Bank commits $100,000 to help first-time homebuyers

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,917 views 

The mortgage division of one of the state’s largest banking organizations is committing $100,000 to help first-time homebuyers.

FNB Mortgage, a division of Fort Smith-based holding company First Bank Corp., is giving $1,000 to the first 100 first-time homebuyers who get approved for a home loan and close on a new house.

The company started the program on March 9.

Ross Mallioux, the mortgage division manager for First Bank Corp., said there are no special or additional qualification requirements other than standard credit and property qualifications to get a home loan approved.

FNB Mortgage handles mortgage operations for First Bank Corp. subsidiaries in the Fort Smith metro, Northwest Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. That includes First National Bank of Fort Smith (FNBFS), First National Bank of NWA, a division of FNBFS, Central National Bank of Poteau (Okla.) and National Bank of Sallisaw (Okla).

“Our commitment is to provide personalized assistance to people considering buying their first home,” Mallioux said. “The first step is to get pre-qualified and discuss options, and we have lenders throughout the markets we serve ready to help. We hope this closing gift helps with a new homeowner’s needs — moving expenses, furniture or even a large TV for their new home.”

Sam Sicard, CEO of FNBFS, said the current economic climate and rising interest rates are challenging some first-time homebuyers.

“As a community bank, we are committed to giving back to the communities we serve, particularly when there is a need,” he said. “Our markets are strong and growing. The lack of affordable housing is a challenge, and we are committed to being part of the solution.”