Wells Fargo Personal Loans: 2022 Review

Wells Fargo offers unsecured personal loans with minimal fees and flexible features to existing customers with good credit.
Aug 30, 2022

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Wells Fargo personal loans come with a wide variety of loan amounts and repayment terms, making them an especially good fit for home improvement projects.

Wells Fargo Personal Loan
Est. APR
5.74-20.99%
Loan amount
$3,000-$100,000
Min. credit score
None
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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No origination fee.
  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
  • Wide variety of repayment term options.

Cons

  • No co-sign or joint loan option.
  • No direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
  • Must be an existing customer.

Compare to Other Lenders

SoFi
Lending Club
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Est. APR

6.99-22.23%

Est. APR

5.66-35.89%

Loan term

2 to 7 years

Loan term

3 to 5 years

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Loan amount

$1,000-$40,000

Min. credit score

680

Min. credit score

600

Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders

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Full Review of Wells Fargo Personal Loan

Wells Fargo offers unsecured personal loans to existing customers with good credit. Not only do the loans have minimal fees, but they also come in a wide range of amounts and repayment terms, so borrowers can customize loans to fit their needs.

Customers who make automatic payments from a Wells Fargo account may qualify for a rate discount.

Wells Fargo offers pre-qualification, so borrowers who want to see potential loan offers before formally applying can do so with a soft credit pull, which doesn’t affect your credit score.

If you’re not an existing Wells Fargo customer, you’ll need to visit a branch to apply.

Table of Contents

Wells Fargo personal loans at a glance

Minimum credit score

Not disclosed.

APR

5.74% - 20.99%.

Fees

Late fee: $39.

Loan amount

$3,000 to $100,000.

Repayment terms

1 to 7 years.

Time to fund after approval

1 to 3 business days.

Loan availability

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.

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.

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 need to visit a branch: If you’re not a Wells Fargo customer but want to apply for a personal loan, you’ll need to visit your local branch, according to the company. Current customers can apply online.

Regulatory action against Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo has experienced a series of hefty regulatory fines in the last few years.

In February 2020, the lender agreed to pay a $3 billion fine after it was found guilty of creating millions of fake savings and checking accounts in the names of real customers. In September 2021, the lender was fined $250 million by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 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.

How to qualify for a Wells Fargo personal loan

Wells Fargo doesn't publicly disclose many of its borrower requirements. Borrowers with good or excellent credit scores (690 or higher) will likely qualify for the lowest rates.

To apply for a Wells Fargo personal loan, you’ll need to provide:

  • Personal information, including Social Security number or individual tax identification number (ITIN), date of birth and citizenship status.

  • Contact information, including email address, telephone number and permanent address.

  • Employment and income information, including the name of your employer, gross monthly income, and mortgage or rent payment; documentation may be required.

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 W-2 or paystub, as well as a utility bill to verify your address, and a copy of your driver’s license or Social Security card. 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.

  1. Pre-qualify on Wells Fargo’s website. If you’re already 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. You can then preview potential loan offers. There’s no hard credit pull at this stage.

  2. Preview offers and formally apply. After viewing your loan options, you can 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 do a hard credit check when you apply, so your credit score could temporarily dip.

  3. Make a plan to repay the loan. Wells Fargo reports payments to all three major credit bureaus, 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 other 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.

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.

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

Star rating

Affordability

Transparency

Loan flexibility

Customer experience

Overall

Affordability An affordable loan has low rates and fees compared to other similar loans and may offer rate discounts. Transparency 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. Loan flexibility 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 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.

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Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. 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. 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.

This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.