Editorial Review

Wells Fargo Mortgage Review 2019

Ideal for borrowers looking for a national lender with a complete selection of mortgage products for home buyers in all financial stages.

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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: Wells Fargo has a world-class selection of mortgage products but has been fined for a string of consumer offenses.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Loan programs to educate and assist first-time home buyers, union members and others.

  • Relocation and employee mortgage programs for many large companies.

  • Accepts down payments as low as 3% on fixed-rate mortgages through its yourFirst Mortgage program.

Cons
  • Government actions and scandals have damaged consumer trust.

Compare to Other Lenders

Quicken Loans
New American Funding
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Reverse, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Full Review

Wells Fargo Mortgage has been the leading originator and servicer of residential mortgages for most of a quarter century. The bank has a loan product selection that is long and wide. And yet the venerable lender has seen numerous setbacks in the last few years.

Wells Fargo has been accused of opening fake deposit and credit card accounts to meet aggressive sales goals, collecting improper fees on mortgage rate lock extensions and foreclosing on homeowners in error, among other alleged wrongdoing. In some cases, federal and state regulators have levied millions of dollars in fines.

“We're committed to making things right for all of our customers, including home lending customers, and earning back the public's trust," says Todd Johnson, senior vice president of Wells Fargo.

"We're definitely a better bank than we were three years ago, and we're working every day to become better still. It's an ongoing commitment by all of our team members ... to put our customers' needs first, to make sure that everyone acts with honesty, integrity and accountability," Johnson adds.

If you’re considering Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, here's what you need to know.

A full product mortgage lender

Wells Fargo offers the extended list of mortgage products you’d expect from a “big box” lender. Beyond conventional mortgages, home equity lines of credit and government loans from the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Agriculture, Wells Fargo Mortgage offers:

  • Jumbo loans on up to 89.9% of a home’s value, with support provided by a specialized private mortgage banking team.

  • Renovation loans, with financing based on after-home-improvement value built into purchase or refi loans.

  • New construction home loans, with options for an extended rate lock during the building period.

  • Relocation and employee mortgage programs for many large companies.

  • A loan program with special benefits for eligible union members.

Low-down-payment or declined home buyers programs

Wells Fargo’s yourFirst Mortgage offers home buyers down payments as low as 3% on fixed-rate mortgages. The bank uses expanded credit criteria, such as the consideration of utility and cable bills, and provides incentives for home buyer education — including a closing-cost credit.

Meanwhile, the My Home Roadmap program offers free credit counseling for customers who have been turned down for credit or have decided not to apply for a mortgage. It offers a referral for up to two hours of free counseling with a certified credit counselor to discuss your situation.

Wells Fargo mortgage process

The bank has adopted all of today’s in-demand technology tools, from online preapproval to a full digital loan application. Time- and paper-saving capabilities include:

  • Electronic employment verification.

  • Asset statements imported from other financial institutions.

  • Document upload and download.

  • E-signature.

  • Online loan process updates.

Using a computer or any mobile device, you can sign into yourLoanTracker, the online bridge between you and your Wells Fargo Mortgage loan advisor. This is where you can track your application's status, exchange information and e-sign documents. It also has a to-do list to help keep you and the bank on task.

If you’re not into tech, Wells Fargo has over 1,000 local offices in 49 states. The missing state? Vermont. The execs we spoke to had no idea why there were no brick-and-mortar locations in the Green Mountain State. However, Wells Fargo does underwrite mortgages nationally.

Wells Fargo mortgage rates and fees

Mortgage rates are easy to find on the Wells Fargo website. Choose one and you’ll get not only the rate, but the estimated monthly payment and closing costs. At the top of each table are the rate assumptions, which generally assume a credit score of 740 and up to half a discount point.

As to minimum credit scores and average fees, Johnson recommended the bank’s online loan comparison calculator. To find it, go to the Compare Home Mortgage Loans Calculator and input whether you are buying, refinancing, remodeling or looking to tap into your home equity.

The data inputs offered can depend on your situation, but when we selected “Buy your first home,” we were able to enter the home price, down payment amount, approximate credit score and property location. There were also optional spots to estimate homeowners insurance and real estate taxes.

For a borrower with a “fair” credit score who’s buying a $250,000 home in Cook County, Illinois, with 20% down, the calculator showed a mortgage origination fee of $1,125 on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Wells Fargo says its lender fee may vary a bit, depending on your location.

More from NerdWallet

NerdWallet's star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The six key areas we evaluated include the loan types and loan products offered, online capabilities, online mortgage rate information, customer service and the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a percentage of loans issued. We also awarded lenders up to one bonus star for a unique program or borrower focus that set them apart from other lenders. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.