WHEDA launches Refi Advantage program for homeowners

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) has rolled out its new Refi Advantage program, which offers refinancing loans to borrowers whose loans are owned or serviced by WHEDA.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 151 into law on July 13, giving WHEDA the ability to refinance. The WHEDA Refi Advantage will be available to homeowners who are current with their mortgage payments, have a good standing mortgage payment history and have a strong overall credit profile.

“The WHEDA Refi Advantage has the potential to affect thousands of homeowners in Wisconsin,” Walker said.  “Lower monthly payments give them extra disposable income to help build equity, achieve better credit scores, and pay off their mortgages sooner. This program will provide flexibility and access to greater financial security.”

“WHEDA is thrilled to begin offering this exclusive mortgage refinance product that will make home ownership more affordable to our customers,” said WHEDA executive director Wyman Winston. “This consumer option can mean great advantages such as lower monthly payments, the ability to finance closing costs and the pay off of existing junior liens, and the ability to subordinate existing WHEDA second mortgages — all which will help households improve their financial stability and flexibility.”

“Bank Mutual is very excited to partner with WHEDA to provide this valuable tool for Wisconsin homeowners,” said David Rouse, vice president and director of residential loan production for Brown Deer-based Bank Mutual Corp., one of many WHEDA lenders participating in Refi Advantage. “We’re anxious to begin taking applications under this new program so we can assist homeowners to achieve the most attractive and economically favorable mortgage possible.”

“Our goal is to make home ownership not just affordable, but sustainable for the long-term,” said Eric Egenhoefer, president and chief executive officer of Pewaukee-based Waterstone Mortgage, another WHEDA lender.  “The WHEDA Refi Advantage marks a substantial victory for existing WHEDA home owners. It will be an effective and appealing choice and we’re proud to be involved in this effort.”

Homeowners with WHEDA loans may finance the payoff of their existing mortgages and closing costs up to 105 percent of their home’s current value. There are two product options – one requiring reduced-coverage private mortgage insurance (MI) and one in which no MI is required. The no-MI product carries an interest rate that is generally 0.50 percent higher. 

An e-mail with a list of participating lenders has been sent to borrowers who have expressed an interest in refinancing their WHEDA loan through WHEDA’s website or call center since the Governor’s signing on July 13. Borrowers should go to www.wheda.com and search for a lender in their area that offers the WHEDA Refi Advantage. Borrowers may want to first consider inquiring about the WHEDA Refi Advantage with the lender through whom they obtained their original WHEDA loan. WHEDA will maintain on its website a list of lenders eligible to take applications under its refinance program.

WHEDA is a public agency that provides low cost financing for housing, small business and agricultural development.

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