Wells Fargo Mortgage Review 2021

Good for: borrowers looking for a national lender with a wide selection of mortgage products for home buyers in all financial stages.
Phil Metzger, Kate WoodNov 19, 2021

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Wells Fargo has a solid selection of mortgage products and offers easy-to-shop rates.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo: NMLS#399801

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

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

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Provides numerous online conveniences, including loan application and process updates.
  • Current rates clearly posted for various loan products.
  • Offers a wide variety of loan types and products.

Cons

  • New applications for home equity lines of credit suspended due to COVID-19 are still unavailable.
  • Scandals and government actions have damaged consumer trust in recent years.
  • No home improvement loans offered.

Compare to Other Lenders

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA

Loan Types and Products

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

Loan Types and Products

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

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Full Review

The coronavirus pandemic introduced some new challenges to getting a mortgage. Many lenders facing high loan demand and staffing issues increased their fees, adjusted minimum required credit scores or temporarily suspended certain loan products. While some products and business practices have returned to pre-pandemic levels, you might still find delays and limited options. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Wells Fargo at a glance

Wells Fargo Mortgage has been a 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, along with ample online conveniences to streamline the mortgage application experience.

Here’s a breakdown of Wells Fargo’s overall score:

  • Variety of loan types: 4 of 5 stars

  • Ease of application: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3 of 5 stars

Wells Fargo mortgage loan types

Wells Fargo offers the extended list of mortgage products you would expect from a "big box" lender. Beyond conventional mortgages and government loans from the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Agriculture, Wells Fargo Mortgage offers:

  • Home loans for newly constructed homes, or those nearing completion, 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.

  • Programs to educate and assist first-time home buyers, union members and others.

Wells Fargo is also notable for its jumbo loans, which boast support from a specialized private mortgage banking team. Existing Wells Fargo customers may qualify for lower interest rates on nonconforming loans. They also give jumbo borrowers the option of recasting their loans — basically, reamortizing the jumbo loan based on the loan's current balance — after making a large principal payment.

Wells Fargo ease of application

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.

  • Document upload and download.

  • E-signature.

  • Online loan process updates.

With a computer or any mobile device, you can sign into your Wells Fargo account to track your application's status, exchange information and e-sign documents.

If you’re not into tech, Wells Fargo has over 1,000 offices in 49 states. The missing state? Vermont. However, Wells Fargo does underwrite mortgages nationally.

Wells Fargo mortgage rates and fees

One of the most important considerations when choosing a mortgage lender is understanding what the loan will cost. In order to provide consumers with a general sense of what a lender might charge, NerdWallet scores lenders on two factors regarding fees and mortgage rates, according to the most recently available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data:

  • Wells Fargo earns 3 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

  • Wells Fargo earns 3 of 5 stars for offered mortgage rates compared with the best available rates on comparable loans.

Borrowers should consider the balance between lender fees and mortgage rates. While it's not always the case, paying upfront fees can lower your mortgage interest rate. Some lenders will charge higher upfront fees to lower their advertised interest rate and make it more attractive. Some lenders just charge higher upfront fees.

You can decide to buy discount points — a fee paid with your closing costs — to reduce your mortgage rate.

Deciding whether to pay higher upfront fees is a matter of considering how long you plan to live in your home and how much cash you have to apply toward closing costs when you sign the loan paperwork.

Wells Fargo mortgage rate transparency

Mortgage rates are easy to find on the Wells Fargo website. A dropdown under "Loans and Credit" offers access to a mortgages page with options for buying a home, refinancing or taking advantage of home equity. Choose one to find rates, loan comparisons and other tools. You can look at sample rates for common loan products, or enter your location, desired loan amount and down payment amount to get more personalized rates.

Wells Fargo and consumer trust

Despite earning high marks for loan variety, digital tools and easy-to-find rates, Wells Fargo has seen numerous setbacks in the past few years.

The venerable lender 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 against the bank.

"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, Wells Fargo senior vice president.

Although these regulatory actions don’t enter into NerdWallet’s star rating, borrowers are encouraged to weigh a lender’s customer service record when shopping for a mortgage.

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