Wisconsin Mortgage and Refinance Rates
As of Friday, July 30, 2021, current rates in Wisconsin are 3.02% for a 30-year fixed, 2.32% for a 15-year fixed, and 2.50% for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).
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Wisconsin mortgage overview
By Dhara Singh
With about 5.8 million people, Wisconsin’s average home list price is cheaper than the national average. Wisconsin homebuyers seeking a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will find that average interest rates in the state have ticked upwards recently, but still remain low by historical standards.
First-time homebuyer programs in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) offers state-specific homebuyer programs that may be helpful for first-time homebuyers. The agency partners with private lenders to provide mortgages with below-average rates.
WHEDA also offers down payment assistance. When combined, the WHEDA mortgage and down payment programs can provide as much as 100-percent financing for a home purchase.
In order to qualify for a WHEDA loan, all first-time homebuyers must complete a homebuyer education program.
WHEDA Advantage Conventional
The WHEDA Advantage Conventional loan program can be used to buy properties located in Wisconsin. A 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage open to both repeat and first-time buyers, there are income limits associated with this mortgage, and first-time homebuyers must complete the homebuyer education program in order to qualify.
Applicants must also have a credit score of 620 or higher, and live in the property for the life of the loan.
WHEDA Advantage FHA
Like the Advantage Conventional loan program, the WHEDA Advantage FHA mortgage is only available to purchase properties in Wisconsin, and the buyer must live in the home for the life of the mortgage. The primary distinction between this program and the Advantage Conventional loan is the minimum credit score requirement, which in this case is 640 or higher.
The Advantage FHA mortgage also requires a 3.5 percent minimum borrower investment, but a separate WHEDA down payment assistance program can be used to meet this threshold. There are also income limits associated with the Advantage FHA, and first-time homebuyers seeking this mortgage must complete home buyer education.
WHEDA Easy Close Down Payment Assistance (DPA)
For Wisconsin homebuyers who need help with a down payment, WHEDA offers Easy Close DPA (down payment assistance). The program provides a minimum $1,000 or as much as $3,000 or 3 percent of a home’s purchase price for a down payment when used in conjunction with a WHEDA Advantage Conventional mortgage.
For those who use the Easy Close DPA with a WHEDA Advantage FHA mortgage, the down payment assistance increases to 3.5 percent of the purchase price or $3,500, whichever is greater. Funds are provided in the form of a 10-year fixed-rate second mortgage that must be repaid monthly. There are also income limits associated with this program.
WHEDA Capital Access DPA
Yet another option for those who need assistance with a home down payment, the Capital Access DPA provides either $3,050 or 3 percent of the property purchase price, whichever is greater, when used with a WHEDA Advantage Conventional mortgage.
When this program is paired with a WHEDA Advantage FHA mortgage, the down payment assistance increases to 3.5 percent or $3,500, whichever is greater. As an added bonus, this program does not require making monthly payments, and down payment funds are provided in the form of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a zero percent interest rate. Income limits on this program, however, are generally lower than Easy Close DPA.
Wisconsin mortgage refinancing
Wisconsin residents who are ready to refinance their mortgage can work directly with private banks, lenders and mortgage companies. Those who currently have a WHEDA mortgage can also apply for the WHEDA Refi Advantage program.
Created to make homeownership more affordable for those who already have a WHEDA mortgage, the Refi Advantage program allows for refinancing with as little as 3 percent equity. In order to qualify, applicants must be current with mortgage payments, have a good payment history and a solid credit profile.
Successful applicants will be allowed to add refinance closing costs to the new mortgage. In addition, the Refi Advantage program allows borrowers to obtain cash back, the lesser of $2,000 or 2 percent of the new loan.
Applications may be denied, however, for a variety of reasons, including if the borrower’s credit score is less than 620; there was a bankruptcy or foreclosure during the current loan; the property is currently listed for sale; or real estate tax payments are more than 60 days delinquent.