Retired Nurse Finds Home Financing HELP from First Financial Bank, FHLB Dallas


FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS – July 14, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Ten years after retiring as a nurse in Muldrow Oklahoma, Sheila Thrift, 68, was ready to be back in Arkansas with her family. Ms. Thrift sought assistance from First Financial Bank, where she learned about the Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) program offered by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas).

FHLB Dallas awards HELP grants through its member institutions, like First Financial Bank, to assist income-qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs on newly constructed or existing homes.

“To many prospective homebuyers, the assistance received from HELP is greatly appreciated and necessary to secure the funds needed for them to be in a position to seek homeownership,” said Sherry Holden, branch manager at First Financial Mortgage. “Without this program, the homebuyer would have a greater burden by having to seek down payment assistance, which requires a monthly repayment plan and would put their payment above what is within their budget.”

Ms. Thrift was awarded a $6,000 HELP grant that was applied toward her down payment and closing costs. Happy to be a homeowner, Ms. Thrift said she and her two dogs enjoy their new home. “The house is comfortable and perfect for me,” she said.

Ms. Thrift enjoys living so close to her daughter and grandchildren, and she added that the house was well-kept when she bought it. She is just adding personal touches to make it her own. “Owning the house has given me a future I can look forward to,” she said.

In 2015, FHLB Dallas made $1 million available for the HELP program on a first-come, first-served basis. To date in 2015, First Financial Bank has awarded nearly $30,000 in HELP grants to assist four income-qualified, first-time homebuyers.

“HELP is a needed program in our district of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas,” said Greg Hettrick, vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. “We have found that, while first-time, income-qualified homebuyers may qualify for the monthly payments, they often require financial assistance with getting into their homes. That’s where HELP is able to make a difference, and turn renters into homeowners.”

About First Financial Bank

First Financial Bank first opened in 1934 in El Dorado, Arkansas. With mortgage office locations in Arkansas (Conway, El Dorado, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Little Rock and North Little Rock) and Mississippi (Carthage and Senatobia), First Financial Bank is a locally owned, locally managed bank, dedicated to providing the very best financial services. Its in-house team of experts is very experienced in the local market and will work closely with you throughout the entire process. Get the terms you’re comfortable with – available through its wide range of financing options. For more information, visit

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $36.9 billion as of March 31, 2015, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 865 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit


Corporate Communications
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
(214) 441-8445


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