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Forward Bank

WHEDA Loans - Getting Started

Buying a home is one of the biggest, most exciting decisions you’ll ever make. Let WHEDA guide you toward your future home. 

Six Steps to a WHEDA Loan

Step 1: Manage Your Money

Have your finances in order before applying for a loan. How you have paid your debts is an important indicator to lenders of how you will repay your loan. Creating a budget that lays out your income and expenses is also a great way to learn to manage your money.

Know your credit score

Once you have made the decision to buy a home, it is a good idea to review your credit. The type of loan you get, including interest rate, is primarily determined by your credit score, also known as a FICO score. It is a good idea to get a copy of your credit report and learn how to read and understand it. Most of WHEDA's programs require a minimum credit score of 620.

Create a budget and manage your money

To establish a good budget

  • Start with identifying your expenses
  • Keep a detailed record of all income and expenses
  • This record should include all your expenses

You can also use Propel, a money management tool located in Forward Bank's mobile app to track your income and expenses. 

Step 2: Find a Lender

Finding a mortgage lender is about more than selecting one that offers the best rates; you want to work with a lender that offers expertise and will help guide you through the process.

WHEDA offers a statewide network of lending partners including Forward Bank. Our mortgage lender team will look at your monthly income, credit history, and debt level to qualify you for a WHEDA loan that best fits your needs.

Step 3: Available Mortgage Programs

WHEDA has loan programs tailored to your individual needs whether you are purchasing, refinancing, or first-time or repeat buyer.

WHEDA First Mortgage Programs

  • WHEDA Advantage  Conventional
  • WHEDA Advantage FHA

WHEDA Down Payment Assistance Programs

  • WHEDA Easy Close DPA
  • WHEDA Capital Access DPA

For more details on these programs, visit WHEDA.com or contact a mortgage lender.

Step 4: Home Buyer Education

Get educated! First-time borrowers using a WHEDA loan are required to take a home buyer education class. Learn about the buying process, financing options, and being a responsible homeowner.

  • First-time Home Buyers are required to take a home buyer education class
  • In addition, if purchasing a 2-4-unit property, at least one borrower must also complete an approved landlord education course
  • Check with your lender on which type of education you will need
  • Both Home Buyer Education and Landlord Education must have been completed prior to purchase and are good for within 12 months of the application date

There are several in-person and online options and both are acceptable. View a list of acceptable classes recommended by WHEDA.

Step 5: Shop for your Home

Get pre-approved! Find out how much house you can afford narrows your search saving you time. After pre-approval, you can work with a qualified real estate professional to find a home in your target neighborhood and price range.

Finding a Real Estate agent

The Wisconsin REALTORS Association offer’s the state’s largest database of real estate professions.  Search their Find a REALTOR database to find one near you. Choosing the right real estate agent is important to help you find the home you want.

A real estate agent will:

  • set up showings
  • provide market analyses for competing and sold listings
  • prepare offers
  • handle negotiations on properties

Shopping for your home

When looking at homes, it’s important to prepare yourself by knowing the difference between wants and needs.  This will help you save time and money. For example you need 3 bedrooms and a good school district, but you want granite counter tops and walk-in closets. 

Use WHEDA's Home Buyer Checklist as a guide for you to list all of your needs before you start looking at homes, and to help you keep track of how each property you look at matches up with your list.

Closing Your Loan

You’ve selected your home and your offer has been accepted; you are in the final stretch. You will be reviewing and signing many documents.

  • Before you sign any document, review it and ask questions if the document is unclear to you
  • In addition, pay attention to deadlines and dates for items that need to be completed to purchase the home and to obtain your loan
  • It is very important all requirements are completed in a timely manner, including those deadlines listed in the purchase contract

Step 6: Become a Homeowner

With closing done, you are now officially a homeowner! Purchasing a home with a WHEDA mortgage makes you part of our community, where you have access to other WHEDA homeowner benefits. 

Let WHEDA's Loan Servicing Team help you mange your WHEDA loan account via phone at 800-562-5546 or email .