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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

Guild Mortgage: NMLS#3274

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers and others who may need the flexibility of a low-down-payment loan program.

Pros

  • Offers multiple online conveniences, including a full mortgage application, e-signatures and digital loan process tracking.

  • Offers a wide variety of loan products, including home improvement and manufactured home loans.

Cons

  • Does not offer home equity loan products.

  • Average interest rates and fees are higher than other lenders.

Read Full Review

PrimeLending: NMLS#13649

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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

Good for borrowers who want access to a wide variety of mortgages and the convenience of a comprehensive mobile application process.

Pros

  • Offers a robust suite of loan products, including a variety of renovation loans.

  • Has a digital application that can be completed in 10 minutes.

  • Works with some state housing finance agencies to offer mortgages with down payment and closing cost assistance.

Cons

  • Mortgage rates aren't posted online.

Read Full Review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for borrowers who want a wide range of choices — not only among mortgage products, but also in the channel they prefer, whether a branch, online or on the phone.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of loan types and products, including FHA, VA and USDA.

  • Has a full suite of online conveniences.

  • Does well with rate transparency, and monthly payment estimates add mortgage insurance, when applicable.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer renovation loans at this time.

  • Home equity lending is geographically limited.

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

Good for: borrowers who prefer a traditional bank with a wide variety of loan products, including some specialty offerings, like 80-10-10 mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers a full line of conventional and government loan products.

  • Provides home equity loans and lines of credit.

  • Allows borrowers to apply and track their loan's progress online.

Cons

  • No personalized mortgage rates available online.

  • Published mortgage rates assume an above-average credit score.

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 star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services each lender offers to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The five key areas we evaluated include the variety of loan types and products offered, online conveniences, online mortgage rate information, and the rate spread and origination fee lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. 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