Guide to Low Down Payment Mortgage Options in Wisconsin

Note: If you're interested in more info or pre-approval, please go to Get Started Online.

After reviewing many low down payment programs on this site, I created this page as starting point for you.  This will help you focus your search on relevant programs rather than randomly clicking through program names.


We've ranked the top three programs by category:


(1) Programs that limit maximum income (for low- to moderate income only);

(2) programs with unlimited income; and

(3) specialty programs for certain niches (Jumbo, VA, and Native American).

You can click on each program name for more details.

Income-Limited: Top 3 Programs for Low Down Payment

These programs involve various maximum income caps because they're providing subsidized benefits to low- to moderate-income borrowers. Therefore, these programs are typically more favorable than general programs with no income caps.

  1. HomeReady (3% down) - For low- to mid-income buyers in all areas. More flexibility with income caps because income is calculated only from signatories to the note (not all household). 

  2. WHEDA (As low as 0% with downpayment assistance) - For low- to mid-income buyers in Wisconsin. Some programs are open to repeat buyers, some are for first-time buyers only.

  3. USDA Rural Mortgages (0% down) - For low- to mid- income borrowers in eligible rural areas.

Unlimited Income: Top 3 Programs for Low Down Payment


These programs work for more buyers because they involve no maximum income caps. 

  1. FHA 96.5% (3.5% down) - Higher flexibility on credit, fairly appealing terms, especially for buyers with credit scores under 700. 

  2. Conventional 95% (5% down) - Favorable financing terms for borrowers with good credit. 

  3. Conventional 97% (3% down) - Smaller down payment, first-time buyers only, pricing less favorable. For low- to moderate-income borrowers, check out HomeReady instead. 

Special Situations: Top 3 Programs Not Listed Above

These niche programs work for people with these special situations --

  1. Jumbo Low Down Payment Options (5% down) - For loan amounts over $453,100

  2. VA Home Loans (0% down) - For eligible veterans and military servicepersons

  3. Native American (2.25% down) - for members of participating Native American tribes

Let's Work Together!

As you can see, we're very open about the pros and cons of each program. We'd love to learn about your situation and help you narrow down the most relevant options. We'll help compare and contrast each one.

Equally important, we can set you apart as a buyer. When the seller's Realtor sees we're providing your financing, it can make a real difference because of our strong reputation in real estate community. On top of that, we can give you a head start through our VIP FasTrak program. With this program, you will offer more confidence to the seller, more reliability, and if you'd like, a faster closing date than nearly any other potential buyer who's typically much earlier in the mortgage process.

Your first step is to complete the info on our Get Started Online portal.

Note: If you're interested in pre-approval, please go to that same page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I buy a home with no money down?

A. In the lists above, there are three programs that potentially allow a home purchase with no money down. They are:

1) WHEDA (low-to-moderate income, Wisconsin buyers),
2) USDA (for certain small communities and rural areas), and
3) VA Home Loans (for eligible military people).

In addition to these programs, most of the other programs listed allow the small downpayment to come from a gift from a family member.

Plus, the HomeReady program allows the downpayment to come from cash.

Q. Can I buy a home with a bad credit score and a low down payment?

A. Possibly! FHA programs allow low down payments (3.5%) with as low as a 580 credit score and moderate down payments (10%) with a very low credit score of 550. However, the loan application will be viewed with extra scrutiny and safeguards to ensure responsible lending.

Q. Is it possible to get a low down payment mortgage with no PMI?

A. Possibly, in certain circumstances, such as the VA Home Loan. There is discounted mortgage insurance on several programs listed here including HomeReady, USDA, and WHEDA. If you have 10% down or more, see our article about Avoiding PMI.

Q. Is there a Wisconsin first-time home buyer grant?

A. The WHEDA program provides several subsidy options. Some are more significant than grant programs. This is for low-to-moderate income first-time home buyers in Wisconsin.

Q. Is there a tax credit for Wisconsin first-time home buyers?

A. Yes, there is a mortgage tax credit certificate program. This is generally the highest-impact program under WHEDA which you can read about on that page.

How Can I Get Started and Compare in More Detail?

Very simple! If you're targeting a purchase date beyond three months from now (or if you're outside Wisconsin), use the contact forms below.

If you're hoping to buy a home within the next three months, what are you waiting for? The clock is already ticking, and early preparation provides better outcomes. Get in touch right away through our Get Started Online page.

Not so fast! I'm beyond three months away from buying a home. But I'd love it if you'd get in touch to help me plan and prepare!

I wish you were in my state because your info and programs are top notch! Please put me in touch with a colleague who serves my area!

Greg Schliesmann
Branch Manager, NMLS# 234288
Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., Inc

Greg Schliesmann
Branch Manager, NMLS# 234288
Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., Inc

1033 N Mayfair Rd, Suite 100
Wauwatosa, WI 53226

Tel: 414-617-1756

1033 N Mayfair Rd, Suite 100
Wauwatosa, WI 53226

Tel: 414-617-1756

Free Access to Greg's Valuable Video Series

Five Strategies to Stand Out from Homebuyer Competition and Get Your Offer Accepted!

Free Access to Greg's Valuable Video Series

Five Strategies to Stand Out from Homebuyer Competition and Get Your Offer Accepted!

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Copyright ©2018 Cherry Creek Mortgage Company & Greg Schliesmann for CCMC, Inc.

Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., Inc. NMLS #3001. All Rights Reserved. Some loan products may not be available in all states. Terms, rates, and fees subject to change. Please speak with one of our loan originators for more detail.