Editorial Review

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.

Anna HelhoskiJanuary 16, 2020

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Student loan ratings

Wells Fargo
  • Student loan refinancing

  • Private student loan

The bottom line: Wells Fargo has provided student loans since the mid-1960s. Its refinancing loan, which it calls its private consolidation loan, is best for existing Wells Fargo customers who want to take advantage of payment reduction options. Its private loan is best for existing Wells Fargo customers and those enrolled less than half-time.

Student loan refinancing review

Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinance

Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Fixed APR

3.74 - 9.74%

Variable APR

3.00 - 8.74%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Pros

  • You are assigned a dedicated student loan advisor.
  • More flexible repayment options for struggling borrowers than other lenders.

Cons

  • Shorter length of hardship forbearance than most other lenders.

Best for existing Wells Fargo customers who want to take advantage of payment reduction options.

Full Review

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. It also offers multiple options to lower payments in case of financial hardship.

Wells Fargo student loan refinancing at a glance

  • Several payment-reduction options for struggling borrowers.

  • Existing Wells Fargo customers can qualify for discounts.

  • Hardship forbearance of 6 months is less than most lenders.

How Wells Fargo could improve

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

How much can refinancing save?

Wells Fargo student loan refinancing details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

  • Loan terms: 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $120,000. Each individual loan balance must be at least $1,000. The lifetime loan limit, combined with all other education debt, is $250,000.

  • Can transfer a parent loan to the child : No.

  • Application or origination fee: No.

  • Prepayment penalty: No.

  • Late fees: No.

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 school authorized to receive federal aid: 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.

  • Co-signer release available: Yes, after 24 or 48 consecutive on-time scheduled payments.

  • Death or disability discharge available: 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: 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

You can apply for a Wells Fargo refinanced student loan on its website. 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 borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

How does this loan compare?

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Citizens One Student Loan Refinance
Check RateCheck Rate
Fixed APR

3.49 - 6.67%

Fixed APR

3.49 - 8.63%

Variable APR

3.21 - 6.67%

Variable APR

2.72 - 8.38%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Private student loan review

Wells Fargo Private Student Loan

Wells Fargo Private Student Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Fixed APR

4.53 - 10.72%

Variable APR

3.39 - 10.09%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Pros

  • You are assigned a dedicated student loan advisor.
  • One of the few lenders to offer loans to borrowers enrolled less than half-time.
  • More payment reduction options for struggling borrowers than other lenders.

Cons

  • Shorter length of hardship forbearance than most other lenders.
  • You can’t see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Best for existing Wells Fargo customers and those enrolled less than half-time.

Full Review

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. It's also one of the few loans 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.

How Wells Fargo could improve

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

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: No.

  • Loan terms: 15 years.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 minimum. $1,000 to $120,000.

  • Application or origination fee: No.

  • Prepayment penalty: No.

  • Late fees: No.

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.

  • Types of schools served: 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

  • Grace period: 6 months.

  • 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.

  • Co-signer release available:

  • 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 for 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

You can apply for a Wells Fargo student loan on its website. 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.

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.

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.