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Wells Fargo Reviews: Student Loan Refinancing and Private Student Loans

Wells Fargo offers a variety of repayment options for both its refinancing and private student loans.
Sept. 11, 2018
Loans, Student Loans
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Wells Fargo offers student loans and student loan refinancing, which it calls private consolidation. Wells Fargo has provided student loans since the mid-1960s. Here we review Wells Fargo’s refinance loan; you’ll find a review of its private student loan below.

Review of Wells Fargo’s private student loan

Wells Fargo private consolidation loan

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Wells Fargo refers to its student loan refinancing product as private consolidation. By either name, it means replacing one or more student loans with a single lower-rate loan. Wells Fargo is one of a handful of lenders that allow borrowers to refinance loans without earning a college degree.

Wells Fargo student loan refinancing at a glance:

  • Several payment-reduction options for struggling borrowers.
  • Borrowers can’t refinance their federal loans.
  • Existing Wells Fargo customers can qualify for discounts.
Wells_Fargo_4c
Reviewed loanStudent loan refinancing
Interest ratesFixed: 5.24% - 9.99%
Variable: 4.99% - 9.74%

Includes autopay discount of 0.25%
Loan terms15 or 20 years
Loan amounts$5,000 to $120,000 in private loans only. Each individual loan balance must be at least $1,000.

The lifetime loan limit, combined with all other education debt, is $250,000.
Co-signer release availableYes, after 24 or 48 consecutive on-time scheduled payments.
Can transfer a parent loan to the childNo

How Wells Fargo student loan refinancing scores

NerdWallet student loan experts evaluated more than 50 data points across five categories to see whether Wells Fargo ranks below average, average or above average compared with other student loan refinance lenders.

Enables faster repayment:
Below average
Lenders score highly if they offer a variety of term lengths and make extra payments easy.

Discloses requirements, limits costs:
Below average
Lenders score highly if they limit fees and interest rates, are transparent about their underwriting criteria and allow borrowers to get personalized rate estimates before applying.

Serves range of borrowers:
Average
Lenders score highly if they cater to customers in varying locations, in different financial situations, and with varying citizenship statuses.

Offers payment flexibility:
Above average
Lenders score highly if they offer longer than 12-month forbearance periods, in-school and military deferment, and any other flexible policies that help borrowers during tough times.

Supports customers:
Above average
Lenders score highly if they assign borrowers an advisor, offer multiple ways to get in touch, and have in-house customer service. Websites should display full APR ranges, fees and forbearance policies.

How Wells Fargo could improve

Wells Fargo could improve its student loan refinancing product by offering:

Wells Fargo student loan refinancing details

  • Get a personalized rate before applying: No.
  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.
  • Late fees: Yes; $28 flat fee.

Compare Wells Fargo’s range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Wells Fargo will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

Wells Fargo doesn’t disclose specific details about what it takes to qualify for student loan refinancing. Lenders typically look for borrowers who have good credit and enough income to afford their debts and expenses.

  • Minimum credit score: Did not disclose.
  • Minimum income: Did not disclose.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.
  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Other

  • Citizenship: You must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national, or be a permanent resident alien or an international student who is a temporary resident alien with a current U.S. address. For temporary resident aliens to qualify, a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or a permanent resident alien with proper evidence of eligibility must co-sign the loan.
  • Location: Available in all U.S. states.
  • Must have graduated: No.
  • Must have attended a Title IV-accredited school: Your loans must have been used to pay for a program at a Wells Fargo-participating school. You can find a list of schools on the application.
  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: Did not disclose.

  • In-school forbearance: Borrowers may postpone payments on a loan for the length of time they’re enrolled in school, up to a maximum of 48 months. Borrowers may qualify even if they are enrolled less than half-time.
  • Military forbearance: Borrowers on a period of active military service may be able to postpone payments for up to three years. Borrowers receiving loan repayment from the Department of Defense repayment program can postpone for up to 90 days.
  • Internship, residency or fellowship forbearance: Qualified borrowers may postpone payments for a maximum of 36 months.
  • Public service forbearance: Borrowers volunteering for a qualifying public service organization may postpone payments for a maximum of three years.
  • FEMA disaster forbearance: When FEMA declares a disaster, borrowers may defer payments for a period of time.
  • Grace period extension: Borrowers who had an in-school forbearance while attending school may request an additional six-month grace period.
  • Short-term payment relief: Borrowers who have consistently made on-time loan payments may receive up to two months of payment relief — a lower interest rate, lower monthly payment or extended repayment term.
  • Financial hardship payment relief: Up to six months of payment relief due to financial hardship.
  • Loan modification program: Borrowers may have their payment amount lowered temporarily or permanently.
  • Past due payment options: Borrowers may have options for loan repayment if their loans are already past due.
  • Death or disability discharge: Yes.
  • repayment preferences:

  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: No.
  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

  • Loan servicer: Wells Fargo.
  • In-house customer service team: Yes.
  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.
  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes.
  • Average time from approval to payoff of the refinanced loans: Varies.

Wells Fargo offers four interest rate discounts. All borrowers may take advantage of a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount during repayment, but individuals can qualify for only one of the following additional discounts:

  • 0.25 percentage point discount for borrowers with a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account.
  • 0.25 percentage point discount for having a prior federal or private student loan made by Wells Fargo.
  • 0.50 percentage point discount for having Portfolio by Wells Fargo, which links all your Wells Fargo accounts.

How to refinance with Wells Fargo

Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you’re ready to refinance with Wells Fargo, you can apply on its website.


Wells Fargo private student loan

4.5 NerdWallet rating

The Wells Fargo Collegiate student loan is a private option for undergraduate students who attend traditional four-year schools. It’s best for existing Wells Fargo customers who can qualify for discounts and for borrowers enrolled less than half-time in college. Most lenders require at least half-time or full-time enrollment status.

Wells Fargo also has some of the most generous forbearance and repayment options available.

Wells Fargo private student loans at a glance:

  • Flexible forbearance and repayment options.
  • Borrowers are assigned a dedicated student loan advisor.
  • Borrowers enrolled less than half-time are eligible.
Wells_Fargo_4c
Reviewed loanPrivate student loan for undergraduates
Loan terms15 years
Loan amounts$1,000 to $120,000
Grace period6 months
Co-signer release availableYes
Related productsPrivate graduate student loans; medical school loans; bar loans; parent loans

How Wells Fargo private student loans score

NerdWallet student loan experts evaluated more than 50 data points across five categories to see whether Wells Fargo ranks below average, average or above average compared with other private student loan lenders.

Enables faster repayment:
Below average
Lenders score highly if they offer a variety of term lengths and make extra payments easy.

Discloses requirements, limits costs:
Below average
Lenders score highly if they limit fees and interest rates, are transparent about their underwriting criteria and allow borrowers to get personalized rate estimates before applying for the loan.

Serves range of borrowers:
Above average
Lenders score highly if they cater to customers in varying locations, in different financial situations, and with varying citizenship statuses.

Offers payment flexibility:
Average
Lenders score highly if they offer longer than 12-month forbearance periods, in-school and military deferment, and any other flexible repayment policies that help borrowers during tough times.

Supports customers:
Above average
Lenders score highly if they assign borrowers an advisor, offer multiple ways to get in touch, and have in-house customer service. Websites should display full APR ranges, fees and forbearance policies.

How Wells Fargo could improve

Wells Fargo could improve its private student loan product by offering:

Wells Fargo private student loan details

  • Get a personalized rate before applying: No.
  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.
  • Late fees: Yes; $28 flat fee.

Compare Wells Fargo’s range of interest rates with other private student loan lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Wells Fargo will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

Wells Fargo doesn’t disclose specific details about what it takes to qualify for student loan refinancing. Lenders typically look for borrowers who have good credit and enough income to afford their debts and expenses.

  • Minimum credit score: No minimum.
  • Minimum income: No minimum.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.
  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Other

  • Citizenship: Borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, a permanent resident alien, or an international student with temporary resident alien status and a current U.S. address.
  • Location: Available in all U.S. states.
  • Must be enrolled half-time or more: No.
  • Must attend a Title IV-accredited school: You must be enrolled as an undergraduate student at a Wells Fargo-participating school seeking a degree, certificate or license. You can find a list of schools on the application.
  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: Did not disclose.

In-school repayment options:

  • Immediate repayment: Make full payments as soon as the loan is disbursed, while you’re still in school.
  • Deferred payments: Don’t make any payments while you’re in school.

Post-school repayment options

    • In-school forbearance: Yes, borrowers may postpone payments on a loan for the length of time they’re enrolled in school, up to a maximum of 48 months. Borrowers may qualify even if they are enrolled less than half-time in school.
    • Military forbearance: Yes, borrowers on a period of active military service may be able to postpone payments for up to three years. Borrowers receiving loan repayment from the Department of Defense repayment program can postpone for up to 90 days.
    • Internship, residency or fellowship forbearance: Yes, qualified borrowers may postpone payments for a maximum of 36 months.
    • Public service forbearance: Borrowers volunteering for a qualifying public service organization may postpone payments for a maximum of three years.
    • FEMA disaster forbearance: When FEMA declares a disaster, borrowers may defer payments for a period of time.
    • Grace period extension: Borrowers who had an in-school forbearance while attending school may request an additional six-month grace period.
    • Short-term payment relief: Borrowers who have consistently made on-time loan payments may receive up to two months of payment relief — a lower interest rate, lower monthly payment or extended repayment term.
    • Financial hardship payment relief: Up to six months of payment relief due to financial hardship.
    • Loan modification program: Borrowers may have their payment amount lowered temporarily or permanently.
    • Past due payment options: Borrowers may have options for payment relief if their loans are already past due.
    • Death or disability discharge: Yes.
    • repayment preferences:

    • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: No.
    • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

  • Loan servicer: Wells Fargo.
  • In-house customer service team: Yes.
  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.
  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes.
  • Average time from application to approval: Varies.

Wells Fargo offers four interest rate discounts. All borrowers may take advantage of a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount during repayment, but individuals can qualify for only one of the following additional discounts:

  • 0.25 percentage point discount for borrowers with a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account.
  • 0.25 percentage point discount for having a prior federal or private student loan made by Wells Fargo.
  • 0.50 percentage point discount for having Portfolio by Wells Fargo, which links all your Wells Fargo accounts.

How to apply for a Wells Fargo student loan

Before taking out a Wells Fargo student loan or any other private student loan, exhaust your federal student loan options first. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s FAFSA Guide

Compare your private student loan options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

If you’re ready to borrow with Wells Fargo, you can apply on its website.

STUDENT LOANS RATINGS METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s student loan ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best for consumer-friendly features

4.5 stars out of 5 — Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features

4 stars out of 5 — Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features

3.5 stars out of 5 — Good; may not offer something important to you

3 stars out of 5 — Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features

2.5 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution