Wells Fargo Personal Loans: 2017 Review

Loans, Personal Loans, Personal Loans Reviews
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3.5 stars out of 5

NerdWallet rating: 3.5 / 5.0
Good for: good credit, debt consolidation

Wells_Fargo_4cWells Fargo is one of the few big banks to offer unsecured personal loans.

The Wells Fargo personal loan is a good fit for those who:

  • Live near a Wells Fargo branch. Existing customers can apply online. New customers can’t apply online but can do so in person at a branch.
  • Have good to excellent credit scores. Wells Fargo doesn’t disclose minimum credit requirements, but more than half of its unsecured personal loan borrowers have a credit score between 660 and 749, the bank says.
  • Need a large loan. The bank offers loans up to $100,000, which is more than what most online lenders offer.
  • Have a Wells Fargo checking account, Portfolio by Wells Fargo checking account or certificate of deposit account. Checking and Portfolio account holders get a small rate discount for automatic payments. Those with savings or certificate of deposit accounts can use either as collateral for a secured personal loan.
  • Want to stay disciplined while paying off debt. Wells Fargo gives borrowers the option to pay creditors directly and offers them free access to FICO credit scores.

Wells Fargo at a glance

Typical APR6.99% – 23.99%
Loan amounts$3,000 - $100,000
Time to fundingTypically same day
Origination feeNone
Soft credit check with application?No

Clicking “Check rates” will take you to the Wells Fargo site for an online application.

» MORE: Best loans for debt consolidation

Wells Fargo personal loan review

To review Wells Fargo, NerdWallet collected more than 30 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives, viewed the online loan application process, and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.

Wells Fargo didn’t provide NerdWallet its minimum requirements for credit score, annual income, debt-to-income ratio or other underwriting factors.

NerdWallet made calls to five Wells Fargo branches around the country and found that a credit score in the high 600s and a debt-to-income ratio of 40% or below are generally considered favorable, but a loan decision isn’t contingent on those factors. An applicant’s length of credit history and relationship with Wells Fargo also matter.

The bank looks at a customer’s “whole picture,” says Stephanie Cutler, vice president of product management at Wells Fargo’s Personal Lines & Loans division.

“If a customer has had a series of negative financial events and are rebuilding their credit, they might not be a good candidate for a Wells Fargo unsecured product,” Cutler says.

Those who are borrowing for debt consolidation can ask the bank to send portions of their loan amount straight to creditors, ensuring that debt is successfully paid off. Wells Fargo allows joint applications, which only a handful of other lenders do. The bank evaluates the combined income and debts of the two applicants.

Wells Fargo also gives checking-account holders a 0.25% rate discount on personal loans and Portfolio-account holders get a 0.5% rate discount. Those with either savings or CD accounts can use them to apply for a secured loan for a lower interest rate. The secured loan option includes a $75 origination fee, and the funds used as collateral cannot be accessed during the loan repayment period.

How Wells Fargo compares

Discover and Citibank are two other large financial companies that also offer unsecured personal loans. SoFi is a large online lender that offers comparable loan amounts. See how Wells Fargo stacks up in the table below:

LenderWells FargoDiscoverCitibankSoFi
Origination feeNoneNoneNoneNone
Free credit scoresYesYesYes*No
Direct payment of creditorsYesYesYesNo
Joint applicationsYesNoYesNo
Online-only applicationYes**YesYesYes
*For selected credit card holders **For existing customers

How to apply for a Wells Fargo loan

Only existing customers can fill out an online application on Wells Fargo’s website. New customers can visit a branch to get the process started. (The bank has more than 8,600 branches.) Wells Fargo conducts a hard credit check when you apply, which can affect your credit score. It pulls information from all three credit bureaus and reports timely payments to them.

If you want to compare an offer from Wells Fargo with those from other lenders, you can check rates with multiple lenders on NerdWallet using the button below. NerdWallet will check its lender marketplace and display the loans for which you qualify, so you can compare rates in one place. Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score.  

Details about Wells Fargo personal loans

Minimum requirements

  • Minimum credit score required: not provided, but typically good to excellent
  • Minimum gross income required: not provided
  • Minimum credit history: not provided, but generally several years
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: not provided, but generally 40% or below

Wells Fargo’s terms

  • APR range: 6.99% to 23.99%
  • Minimum loan amount: $3,000
  • Maximum loan amount: $100,000
  • Loan duration: 1 year to 5 years
  • Time to receive funds: typically same day

Wells Fargo’s fees and penalties

  • Origination fee: none
  • Prepayment fee: none
  • Late fee: $39
  • Personal-check processing fee: none
  • Other fees: $39 returned payment fee

Learn more about personal loans

Consider other debt consolidation options

Learn how personal loans work

Calculate payment scenarios

Amrita Jayakumar is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: ajayakumar@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ajbombay.


Personal Loans Ratings Methodology

NerdWallet’s ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no origination fees, payment options, short time to funding, interest rate caps of 36%, and absence of prepayment penalties. Features are considered for their positive impact on consumers’ credit history and financial health. To ensure accuracy and consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Personal Loans Team.

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