Wells Fargo Personal Loans: 2023 Review
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Wells Fargo personal loans are likely a good fit for existing customers, thanks to a wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms, plus perks like pre-qualification and a rate discount.
Pros & Cons
- Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
- Wide variety of repayment term options.
- Rate discount for autopay.
- Options to choose and change your payment date.
- Fast funding.
- Must be an existing customer.
- No co-sign or joint loan option.
- No direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
Compare to Other Lenders
Full Review of Wells Fargo Personal Loan
Wells Fargo offers unsecured personal loans to existing customers. The loans have minimal fees and come in a wide range of amounts and repayment terms, so borrowers can customize the loans to fit their needs.
The loans are available in all 50 states, and you can pre-qualify online with a soft credit check to view your loan offers.
The lender also offers a separate small-dollar loan called the Flex loan that's available to pre-approved customers in the Wells Fargo mobile app.
» MORE: Best bank loans
Table of Contents
Wells Fargo personal loans at a glance
Minimum credit score
7.49% - 23.74%.
Late fee: $39.
$3,000 to $100,000.
1 to 7 years.
Time to fund after approval
Within one business day.
Loans available in 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Where Wells Fargo personal loans stand out
Soft credit check to pre-qualify: Wells Fargo lets customers pre-qualify for a personal loan, which is common among online lenders but rarer among banks. By pre-qualifying, borrowers can view potential loan terms, including what interest rate they may qualify for, before submitting to a hard credit inquiry.
Wide range of repayment terms: Borrowers can choose from a number of repayment terms. For loans under $5,000, one- to three-year terms are available. For loans of $5,000 or more, borrowers can make payments for up to seven years. Combined with the lender’s large loan amounts, these extended repayment terms make Wells Fargo one of the best banks for a home improvement loan.
» COMPARE: Best home improvement loans
Relationship discount: Wells Fargo customers can qualify for a relationship discount, which lowers the amount of interest they pay, by setting up automatic payments from a qualified Wells Fargo checking account. The type of checking account will determine the discount, which ranges from 0.25 to 0.5 percentage point.
Flexible payment dates: Wells Fargo is more flexible with payment dates than other lenders. Before signing the loan agreement, borrowers can choose their payment date, and once the loan begins, they can change their payment date once every 12 months. This is a useful feature if your pay schedule ever changes or if you take on a new expense that changes your monthly cash flow.
Where Wells Fargo personal loans fall short
No direct payment to creditors: If you want to use a Wells Fargo personal loan to consolidate debts, like paying off your credit cards, the lender won’t send the loan funds to your creditors for you. Though this isn’t a must-have for a debt consolidation loan, it’s a nice perk that other lenders offer.
» MORE: Best debt consolidation loans
No co-sign or joint loans: Wells Fargo only offers single-applicant personal loans. If you want to add a co-signer to your application or apply for a joint loan, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Co-signed and joint loans can make it easier for lower-credit borrowers to get approved since the lender considers both people’s creditworthiness as part of the application.
New customers may need to visit a branch: If you’re not a Wells Fargo customer but want to apply for a personal loan, you may need to visit your local branch. Current customers can apply online.
Regulatory action against Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has experienced hefty regulatory fines in the last few years.
In December 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered Wells Fargo to pay a $3.7 billion fine for mismanagement related to auto loans, mortgages and deposit accounts. The CFPB says the bank assessed illegal fees and interest charges on its auto and mortgage loans, wrongfully repossessed cars and charged unlawful overdraft fees, among other offenses.
In September 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency also fined the lender $250 million after it failed to implement a mortgage loss mitigation program.
Though these instances do not directly affect its personal loans business, borrowers should keep them in mind.
Do you qualify for a Wells Fargo personal loan?
Wells Fargo doesn't publicly disclose many of its borrower requirements, but the bank says it accepts applicants with fair, good and excellent credit (630 to 850 credit score). It also favors applicants that have a strong relationship with Wells Fargo, likely meaning your accounts are in good standing.
Before you apply
Calculate your monthly payments. Use a personal loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you’d need to get a loan with affordable monthly payments.
Make a plan to repay the loan. Review your budget to see how the loan’s monthly payments impact your cash flow. If you have to cut other expenses in order to repay the loan, it’s better to know that before you borrow.
Gather your documents. Wells Fargo may request proof of income, which can be a paystub or tax document, as well as proof of address and a Social Security number. Having these documents handy can speed the application process.
How to apply for a Wells Fargo personal loan
Here are the steps to apply for a Wells Fargo loan.
Pre-qualify on Wells Fargo’s website. If you’re a customer, you can pre-qualify online. You’ll be asked to log in to your Wells Fargo account and fill out a short application, including how much you want to borrow and what the funds are for. The lender may ask for information about your income, employment, and whether you own your home before you can preview loan offers. There’s no hard credit pull at this stage.
Preview loan offers and accept the one that fits your budget. Once you accept a loan offer, you’ll submit a formal personal loan application. This could require more documents, like W-2s, pay stubs and bank statements to confirm the information you gave during pre-qualification. Wells Fargo will also do a hard credit check when you apply, so your credit score could temporarily dip.
Stay on top of your loan payments. Wells Fargo reports payments to the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments and keeping an eye on your budget are two ways to manage your loan payments.
Compare Wells Fargo to other lenders
Personal loan lenders offer different rates, loan amounts and special features, so it pays to weigh your options. The best personal loan is usually the one with the lowest APR.
LightStream and SoFi offer similar features to Wells Fargo and accept borrowers with good to excellent credit.
Wells Fargo vs. LightStream
Like Wells Fargo, LightStream boasts a wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms, making it another good choice for covering large expenses like home improvements. It also includes a rate discount for setting up autopay. However, LightStream doesn’t offer pre-qualification.
» MORE: Read our review of LightStream
Wells Fargo vs. SoFi
Similar to Wells Fargo, SoFi personal loans have high loan amounts and numerous repayment options. SoFi also offers multiple rate discounts and charges zero fees, including no late fees. Unlike at Wells Fargo, borrowers can apply for a joint loan.
» MORE: Read our review of SoFi
How we rate Wells Fargo personal loans
NerdWallet writers rate lenders against a rubric that changes each year based on how personal loan products evolve. Here’s what we prioritized this year:
- Category definitions
Affordability (30%) An affordable loan has low rates and fees compared to other similar loans and may offer rate discounts.
Underwriting and eligibility (25%) The lender reviews borrowers credit reports and credit history, and tries to understand their ability to repay a loan, before making a final application decision.
Loan flexibility (20%) A flexible loan is one that lets users customize terms and payments. That means offering a wide range of repayment term options, allowing the borrower to change their payment date, offering loans in most states and funding it quickly.
Customer experience (15%) A good customer experience can include a fully online application process, financial education on the lender’s website and a customer service team that’s available most of the time and can be reached multiple ways.
Transparency (10%) A transparent lender makes information about the loan easy to find on its website, including rates, terms and loan amounts. Transparency also means allowing users to pre-qualify online to preview potential loan offers and reporting payment information with the major credit bureaus.
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NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 technology companies and financial institutions. We collect over 50 data points from each lender and cross-check company websites, earnings reports and other public documents to confirm product details. We may also go through a lender’s pre-qualification flow and follow up with company representatives. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.
Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. Our ratings award fewer points to lenders with practices that may make a loan difficult to repay on time, such as charging high annual percentage rates (above 36%), underwriting that does not adequately assess consumers’ ability to repay and lack of credit-building help. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.