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6 Best WHEDA Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 2, 2020

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WHEDA (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority) offers mortgages for first-time home buyers, repeat buyers and veterans, along with down payment and closing cost assistance. Here are some WHEDA lenders that can help you apply.

Buying a house is a big deal, especially the first time. WHEDA — the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority — offers a variety of loan programs to make the purchase more affordable for first-time buyers, as well as for repeat buyers and veterans.

To apply, you need to work with a WHEDA-approved lender. A loan officer can determine if you meet eligibility criteria and lead you through the mortgage process.

NerdWallet has reviewed several WHEDA lenders and put together a list of top picks. We’ve also listed some local WHEDA lenders that do a lot of business in Wisconsin but haven't been reviewed by NerdWallet.

Summary of Best WHEDA Lenders of 2020

LenderNerdWallet Rating Minimum Credit Score Minimum Down PaymentLearn More

Guild Mortgage

Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review

PrimeLending

Best for first-time home buyers

620

3%

Read review

Fairway Independent Mortgage

at Fairway

Best for online convenience

620

3%

at Fairway

Flagstar

Best for nontraditional or alternative credit

620

3%

Read review

New American Funding

at New American

Best for nontraditional or alternative credit

700

3%

at New American

Best for face-to-face service

620

3%

Read review

Guild Mortgage: NMLS#3274

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers with a relatively high credit score who may need down payment assistance or help from a state housing agency.

Pros

  • Works with loan programs offered by state and local housing agencies.

  • Specializes in mortgages for first-time home buyers.

  • Almost half of its loans are low-down-payment government mortgages.

  • Considers alternative credit, such as history of payments on rent and utilities.

Cons

  • With a concentration of offices in the West and South, Guild has little presence in the Northeast and Midwest.

  • Jumbo borrowers may find that banks are more competitive when it comes to large loan amounts.

Read Full Review

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

Logo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for closing cost assistance, as well as those seeking to renovate or to build a new home.

Pros

  • Full online application includes document uploads and automated loan updates.

  • Offers a "float-down" interest rate lock.

  • Offers a proprietary closing-cost assistance program.

Cons

  • No online mortgage rates — you have to contact the lender for info.

  • Doesn't offer home equity products.

Read Full Review
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at Fairway

Fairway Independent Mortgage: NMLS#2289

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

at Fairway


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who want lots of options and a quick turn time. Fairway Independent Mortgage offers a full selection of home loans along with a comprehensive mobile app for a fast and easy application process.

Pros

  • A robust suite of loan products.

  • Licensed in all 50 states.

  • Close in as little as 10 days using the Fairway app.

Cons

  • Limited branch locations.

  • Mortgage rates not posted on website.

Read Full Review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for those who appreciate the full-service experience of a leading regional bank. Flagstar offers a full menu of fixed and adjustable home loans and mortgage refinancing, as well as jumbo loans and home equity financing.

Pros

  • Embraces FHA-backed home loans.

  • Offers several types of construction and renovation mortgages.

  • A professional loan package is tailored for the needs of doctors, lawyers, nurse practitioners, airline pilots and certified public accountants.

  • Flagstar reps are familiar with low-down-payment state bond programs for first-time home buyers and income-limited households, as well as the areas that qualify for USDA loans.

  • Offers home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.

Cons

  • Charges an average $1,295 in underwriting and processing fees.

Read Full Review
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at New American

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

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Min. Credit Score

700

Min. Down Payment

3%

National / Regional

National

at New American


Why we like it

Ideal for borrowers who need to be evaluated on the basis of nontraditional credit. New American Funding offers FHA and VA loans, works with down payment assistance programs, and helps borrowers whose credit histories don't fit the mold of traditional banking.

Pros

  • Uses manual underwriting to evaluate creditworthiness.

  • Offers full online mortgage application, rate quotes, document upload and loan tracking.

  • Home equity lending sets it apart from most non-bank lenders.

Cons

  • Services not available in all 50 states.

Read Full Review

US Bank: NMLS#402761

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Pros

  • Full line of conventional and government loan products.

  • Considers alternative credit data, like utility bills, in some cases.

  • Offers construction and investment-property loans in some areas.

Cons

  • No personalized rates available online.

  • Not all loan products offered are listed on its website.

Read Full Review

More WHEDA lenders

These WHEDA lenders do a lot of business in Wisconsin. They haven't been reviewed by NerdWallet but are worth considering.

  • Offers personalized mortgage rates online.

  • Has loan officers in Appleton, central Wisconsin, Green Bay, Janesville, Kenosha, Madison, Milwaukee, northwest Wisconsin, Racine and Waukesha.

  • Offers a library of home financing articles online.

  • Offers personalized mortgage rates online.

  • Website lets borrowers start application and track progress online.

  • Rate Tracker tool lets users get rate updates by email.

  • Anyone can join the credit union.

  • Offers closing cost discounts when borrowers set up automatic mortgage payments via a BMO Harris account.

  • Publishes sample mortgage rates for a variety of mortgages.

  • Has online mortgage application.

  • Has numerous branches in Wisconsin.

  • Offers personalized mortgage rates online.

  • Membership is open to a wide variety of Wisconsin residents.

  • Offers up to $1,000 discount on closing costs to first-time home buyers.

  • Offers to match closing costs or give the borrower $500 if lower closing costs are found elsewhere.

More from NerdWallet

Last updated on January 2, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's selection of mortgage lenders for inclusion here was made based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The six key areas we evaluated include the loan types and loan products offered, online capabilities, online mortgage rate information, customer service and the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a percentage of loans issued. We also awarded lenders up to one bonus star for a unique program or borrower focus that set them apart from other lenders. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best WHEDA Lenders of 2020