From manufacturing to agriculture, Wisconsin offers opportunities for just about everyone. Thinking about refinancing or buying a Wisconsin home? Here are the ins and outs of Wisconsin mortgage rates.
Get a Mortgage in Wisconsin
Tip: compare 2-3 lenders
The Best Mortgage Lenders in Wisconsin for Rates:
- Best Overall: Rocket Mortgage
- Best for Government-Backed Mortgages: Fairway Independent Mortgage
- Best for In-Person Service: Chase
- Best for Online Experience: Guaranteed Rate
- Best for Veterans: Veterans United
- The Best Mortgage Lenders in Wisconsin for Rates:
- What is a Mortgage Rate?
- What Factors Impact Your Mortgage Rate?
- What is a Mortgage Type?
- What is a Mortgage Term?
- Current Mortgage Rates in Wisconsin
- Calculating Interest in Wisconsin
- Lender Credit Score Minimums in Wisconsin
- 5 Best Mortgage Lenders in Wisconsin
- Choosing a Wisconsin Lender
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Mortgage Rate?
Like any business, lenders need to cover their costs and make a profit. To do this, lenders charge interest. Your mortgage rate is the interest a lender charges on your mortgage. When you look at mortgage rates, you may see 2 rates. The lower rate is the basic interest rate. It doesn’t include any fees. The annual percentage rate (APR) includes other costs like origination fees and mortgage insurance.
What Factors Impact Your Mortgage Rate?
What should you expect when you get a purchase quote? It depends on your financial background and on economic factors. Let’s take a closer look at the factors lenders use to determine your mortgage rate:
- Your credit history: Lenders can’t predict the future. They can make an educated guess about how risky it is to lend you money. They do that by looking at your past credit history. Lenders consider whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy or experienced a foreclosure. They look at whether you make on-time payments. Lenders usually offer lower rates to borrowers with a good credit history.
- The size of your mortgage: Lenders may offer a higher interest rate for mortgages that are very small or large. Smaller mortgages require the same amount of effort with a lower return. Larger mortgages are riskier for the lender. A higher interest rate compensates for both.
- Your down payment: Your down payment also influences your mortgage rate. Lenders may offer you a lower interest rate if you make a larger down payment. This is because your down payment lowers the lender’s risk. Let’s say you want to buy a $250,000 home. If you make a 5% down payment, the lender loans you $237,500. If you make a 20% down payment, the lender only has to loan you $200,000.
- Points: Your lender may give you the option to purchase points. Points lower your mortgage interest rate. You pay more upfront in exchange for a lower rate. A point typically costs 1% of your mortgage. In the case of a $250,000 mortgage, One point would cost $2,500. Your lender decides how much each point will lower your interest.
- Economic trends: Lenders change the interest rates for everyone depending on how the economy is performing. When the economy is doing well, interest rates tend to rise. More people can afford to buy. When the economy isn’t doing as well, interest rates drop.
When you get a purchase or refinance quote, you’ll notice that lenders offer you different rates. This is why it’s critical to get rate quotes from multiple lenders.
What is a Mortgage Type?
You’ll also find different mortgage types. Each type has its own features and requirements. Here are the most common types of mortgages:
- FHA: The Federal Housing Administration backs FHA mortgages. These mortgages have low down payment requirements. You can make a 3.5% down payment if you have a credit score of 580 or higher. You must make a down payment of 10% or more if your credit score is 500–579. FHA mortgages also have limits. In most areas, the loan limit is $314,827. In some higher-cost areas, you may be able to get a loan of up to $726,000. You can find the loan limit for your area here.
- USDA: The U.S. Department of Agriculture insures USDA mortgages. Borrowers who meet the income requirements may qualify for a mortgage with no down payment. Borrowers must purchase a home in an approved rural area.
- VA: The Department of Veterans Affairs backs VA loans. Current and retired service members may qualify for these mortgages. If you qualify, you may not have to make a down payment. You also don’t have to pay for mortgage insurance.
- Conventional: Government agencies don’t insure conventional mortgages. Because of this, conventional mortgages may have higher credit score requirements. You may have to pay for mortgage insurance if you make a down payment of less than 20%. This can increase your monthly payments.
Private lenders offer FHA, VA and USDA mortgages with government approval. Make sure to note the type of mortgage as you compare quotes.
What is a Mortgage Term?
Your mortgage term is the length of your mortgage. You can pay off your mortgage sooner by making additional payments. Here are a few common mortgage terms:
- 30-year fixed: A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will last 30 years if you make the minimum monthly payments. At the end of the term, you own your home and you’ve repaid your loan. A fixed-rate mortgage has the same interest rate for the entire term.
- 15-year fixed: A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage will last 15 years. It also has the same interest rate (and the same monthly payments) for the entire term. A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage will have higher monthly payments than a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
- 5/1 ARM: A 5/1 ARM is an adjustable-rate mortgage. ARMs typically start with a fixed-rate. After the initial fixed-rate period, the lender adjusts the interest rate up or down based on market conditions. A 5/1 ARM has a 5-year fixed-rate period followed by annual adjustments.
A longer mortgage term typically has lower monthly payments, but you pay more in interest. The right term for you depends on your financial situation and how long you plan to live in the home.
Current Mortgage Rates in Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s mortgage rates are a bit higher than the national average. Lenders change mortgage rates daily to reflect changes in the real estate market and the economy. At Benzinga, we update rates frequently to reflect the most relevant data.
|Loan Type||Current Mortgage Rate|
|5/1 ARM (adjustable rate)||4.05%|
Calculating Interest in Wisconsin
Your monthly mortgage payment goes toward interest, your loan payment and other expenses like taxes. Over time, your loan balance goes down. You pay a little less in interest and more toward your balance. The amount of interest you pay over time depends on your mortgage term. A longer-term means you pay more in interest.
Here are a few examples of how much you pay in interest in 4 Wisconsin cities:
|City||Average Home Value||Loan Term||Current Rate||Monthly Payment||Total Interest Paid|
|Green Bay||$147,000||30-year fixed||3.76%||$681.61||$98,381.16|
Lender Credit Score Minimums in Wisconsin
Your credit score is a 3-digit number that sums up your credit history. Credit scores range from 300–850. Lenders consider a credit score of 700 or higher to be good and require certain minimum credit scores. Here are the minimum credit scores of several Wisconsin lenders:
|Lender||Minimum Credit Score Required|
|Bank of America||620|
|Homebridge Financial Services||620|
5 Best Mortgage Lenders in Wisconsin
Ready to buy or refinance a Wisconsin home? Here are the state’s 5 best mortgage companies:
1. Best Overall: Rocket Mortgage
Rocket Mortgage has a completely online mortgage experience.
It also has award-winning customer service, making it among the top lenders for first-time buyers as well as more experienced ones. Rocket Mortgage offers educational resources and has an intuitive website.
It provides conventional, FHA, USDA and VA mortgages.
2. Best for Government-Backed Mortgages: Fairway Independent Mortgage
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation offers conventional, VA, FHA and USDA loans.
It’s a large lender and has funded more than $120 billion in loans. This means Fairway has extensive resources and experience.
It also has an innovative mobile app so you can access your information on the go.
3. Best for In-Person Service: Chase
Chase has branches throughout Wisconsin, making it easy to talk to a person when you need to.
It offers online prequalification and a wealth of educational resources. You can review their rates online for easy comparison shopping.
Chase offers conventional, FHA and VA mortgages for purchases and refinancing.
4. Best for Online Experience: Guaranteed Rate
Guaranteed Rate offers an online mortgage experience.
It has an excellent reputation for customer service. Its website has educational and home buying resources. You can view its rates online, which makes the loan shopping process easier.
Guaranteed Rate offers conventional, FHA and VA mortgages.
5. Best for Veterans: Veterans United
If you’ve logged some time in the military, Veterans United’s loans will likely be the best deal. Unlike other veteran-marketed loan programs, Veterans United only accepts active duty and veteran military members.
In addition to no-down-payment loans, you’ll also eliminate the private mortgage insurance you’ll have to pay with other mortgages.
Veterans United is also more forgiving of lower credit scores. Interest rates are lower than average.
Choosing a Wisconsin Lender
Ready to buy your Wisconsin home? Look for a lender with great rates and excellent service. Even a small interest rate difference can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage, and every penny counts. Keep the overall cost of each mortgage in mind, including fees and discounts.
You may also want to consider the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) programs. These programs offer low rates, and you may be able to qualify for down payment assistance. Private lenders offer the WHEDA program’s mortgages. If you’re curious about a program, ask your lender about it. You can find a WHEDA lender here.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: How do I get pre-approved?
First, you need to fill out an application and submit it to the lender of your choice. For the application you need 2 previous years of tax returns including your W-2’s, your pay stub for past month, 2 months worth of bank statements and the lender will run your credit report. Once the application is submitted and processed it takes anywhere from 2-7 days to be approved or denied. Check out our top lenders and lock in your rate today!
2) Q: How much interest will I pay?
Interest that you will pay is based on the interest rate that you received at the time of loan origination, how much you borrowed and the term of the loan. If you borrow $208,800 at 3.62% then over the course of a 30-year loan you will pay $133,793.14 in interest, assuming you make the monthly payment of $951.65. For a purchase mortgage rate get a quote here. If you are looking to refinance you can get started quickly here.
3) Q: How much should I save for a down payment?
Most lenders will recommend that you save at least 20% of the cost of the home for a down payment. It is wise to save at least 20% because the more you put down, the lower your monthly payment will be and ultimately you will save on interest costs as well. In the event that you are unable to save 20% there are several home buyer programs and assistance, especially for first-time buyers. Check out the lenders that specialize in making the home buying experience a breeze.