Wells Fargo Business Loans: 2022 Review

Wells Fargo offers multiple business loans with competitive rates and terms — but only established businesses can qualify.
Jun 16, 2022

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Our Take

The bottom line:

Wells Fargo business loans are a good option for established business owners who are existing Wells Fargo customers or those who want to start a relationship with a large bank lender.

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo
Min. credit score
700

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Multiple business loan options available.
  • Top SBA lender.
  • Competitive interest rates.
  • Unsecured business lines of credit include a free rewards program.

Cons

  • Strict eligibility requirements.
  • Doesn’t offer business term loans or equipment financing.
  • Will likely need to apply over the phone or in person.
  • Limited information available online.

Full Review

Wells Fargo is one of the largest bank lenders in the U.S. — with an average commercial and industrial loan balance of over $252 billion in 2021. In addition, the bank offers multiple small-business loans, including business lines of credit, SBA loans, commercial real estate financing and health care practice loans.

Current customers with a Wells Fargo business checking account can benefit from an online application process for a specific loan product. Wells Fargo business loans offer competitive rates and terms; however, you’ll need strong credit and several years in business to qualify.

How Much Do You Need?

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Wells Fargo is best for borrowers who:

  • Have established businesses. Although Wells Fargo doesn't provide eligibility information for all its loan products online, you will need a minimum of two years in business to qualify for the Wells Fargo Prime Line of Credit and the BusinessLine line of credit.

  • Are current Wells Fargo customers. Small-business owners with a Wells Fargo checking or savings account open for at least one year can apply for an unsecured business line of credit online — instead of visiting a branch to apply.

  • Want SBA financing. Wells Fargo is one of the most active Small Business Administration 7(a) lenders — issuing over $156 million in loans in the first quarter of 2022 alone. The bank is also an SBA-preferred lender, meaning it has the experience and authority to expedite applications through the underwriting process.

  • Don’t need quick access to funds. More likely than not, you’ll have to talk to a lending representative and visit a branch to apply for a Wells Fargo business loan. Compared with online lenders — some of which can fund applications in just 24 hours — it may take several business days or weeks to receive financing from Wells Fargo.

Types of Wells Fargo business loans

Wells Fargo offers the following types of small-business loans:

  • Secured and unsecured business lines of credit.

  • Commercial real estate purchase and refinancing loans.

  • Commercial real estate equity loans and lines of credit.

  • Health care practice financing.

Wells Fargo business loan features

Here’s what you can expect from Wells Fargo’s business financing, based on the loan type:

Unsecured business line of credit

Secured business line of credit

Commercial real estate loan

Commercial real estate equity loan/line of credit

Loan amount

$10,000 to $100,000.

$100,000 to $500,000.

$50,000 to $1 million.

$50,000 to $500,000.

Estimated APR range

Varies based on your business’s qualifications.

Varies based on your business’s qualifications.

Varies based on your business’s qualifications.

Varies based on your business’s qualifications.

Fees

Annual fee is waived for the first year, then $95 for credit lines up to $25,000 and $175 for lines over $25,000.

Origination fee: 0.50% of line amount, due at account opening and annual renewal.

Up to $1,000 deposit required when accepting conditional approval terms for any loans. Additional fees may vary based on loan agreement.

Up to $1,000 deposit required when accepting conditional approval terms for any loans or lines of credit. Additional fees may vary based on loan agreement.

Terms

Revolving line of credit, no scheduled annual review required.

One year. Can be renewed annually, subject to credit approval.

Up to 25 years.

Up to 25 years for loans; lines of credit can be drawn on for five years, after which the balance converts to an adjustable 15-year amortizing loan for a total term of 20 years.

Repayment schedule

Monthly.

Monthly.

Monthly.

Monthly.

Funding speed

Up to 10 business days.

Up to two weeks after you’ve submitted the required documentation.

Not disclosed.

Not disclosed.

You can make an appointment with a Wells Fargo small-business lending representative, by phone or in person, to learn more about health care practice financing or any of the other loan options.

Wells Fargo SBA loans

Wells Fargo also offers multiple SBA loans, including standard SBA 7(a) loans, SBA 504 loans, and SBA lines of credit.

As an SBA preferred lender, Wells Fargo has substantial experience processing, servicing and issuing SBA loans. This designation also allows Wells Fargo to make final credit decisions without sending applications to the SBA, which speeds up the loan approval timeline.

Wells Fargo SBA loan features

SBA 7(a) loan

SBA 504 loan

SBA line of credit

Loan amount

Up to $5 million.

Up to $6.5 million.

$5,000 to $50,000.

Estimated APR range

Varies based on your business’s qualifications, but subject to SBA maximums.

Varies based on your business’s qualifications, but subject to SBA maximums.

Varies based on your business’s qualifications, but subject to SBA maximums.

Fees

Guarantee, origination, packaging, processing and other miscellaneous fees may apply.

Guarantee, origination, packaging, processing and other miscellaneous fees may apply.

No annual fee; additional fees may apply.

Terms

Up to 25 years for commercial real estate and up to 10 years for all other purposes.

Up to 25 years for commercial real estate and up to 10 years for machinery or equipment.

Five years.

Repayment schedule

Monthly.

Monthly.

Monthly.

Funding speed

Varies. Average timeline is 60 to 90 days for standard SBA loans.

Varies. Average timeline is 60 to 90 days for standard SBA loans.

Up to 10 business days.

Where Wells Fargo stands out

Competitive rates and terms

Wells Fargo offers business loans with competitive rates and terms among its different financing options.

The BusinessLine line of credit, for example, is a revolving line of credit with no scheduled annual review required. Although the interest rate you receive will vary depending on your business’s creditworthiness and other factors, rates on this unsecured business line of credit can range from the prime rate plus 1.75% to the prime rate plus 9.75% — or 5.75% to 13.75% (the prime rate is 4% as of this writing).

Top SBA lender

Wells Fargo is an experienced SBA lender, offering multiple types of SBA financing. As of March 2022, Wells Fargo has issued 915 SBA 7(a) loans in the 2022 fiscal year alone, totaling over $156 million in financing.

Although you’ll likely need multiple years in business to qualify for an SBA 7(a) loan or a 504 loan from Wells Fargo, you’ll find more flexibility in applying for the SBA line of credit. Businesses with less than two years in business are eligible — but you’ll still need good credit and strong finances to qualify.

Product-specific perks

Some of Wells Fargo’s business loans offer unique perks.

For example, if you qualify for an unsecured or SBA line of credit, you’re automatically enrolled in a free rewards program. This program allows you to earn a point for each dollar spent on eligible purchases — then, you can redeem your points for travel, gift cards, merchandise and other products.

Business owners who apply for commercial real estate financing, on the other hand, can benefit from a $200 cash bonus if Wells Fargo can’t match a competitor’s written loan offer, including interest rates and fees.

Where Wells Fargo falls short

Minimal loan options compared with competitors

Compared with competitors like Bank of America and Chase, Wells Fargo has a limited number of business loan options. For example, unlike some bank lenders, Wells Fargo doesn’t offer business term loans, equipment financing or business auto loans.

If you’re looking for any of these specific types of business financing, you’ll need to consider other banks or online lenders.

Hard to qualify and slow to fund

Like most bank lenders, you’ll likely need multiple years in business, excellent credit and strong financials to qualify for a Wells Fargo business loan.

And if you want to apply online and take advantage of a streamlined application process, you’ll need to have a Wells Fargo checking or savings account for at least one year. Plus, the online application is available for the unsecured business line of credit only.

For all other Wells Fargo business loans, you’ll need to contact a lending representative to discuss your financing needs or visit a branch to complete an application. Compared with online lenders offering applications with minimal documentation and funding within days, working with Wells Fargo will be much slower.

Limited information available online

Although not uncommon among bank lenders, Wells Fargo doesn't provide access to the information you may find from online business lenders, such as credit score minimums, annual revenue requirements and interest rate ranges.

And while Wells Fargo may list specific details, like average time to fund, for certain products, it doesn’t include all information consistently across the different loan types.

How to apply for a business loan from Wells Fargo

You can apply for a small-business loan from Wells Fargo by calling and working with a lending specialist or scheduling an appointment and visiting a branch location. In addition, if you’ve had a Wells Fargo checking or savings account for at least one year, you can apply for an unsecured business line of credit online.

When you apply for a Wells Fargo business loan, you can expect to provide some, if not all, of the following information:

  • Legal business name, address and phone number.

  • Date business was first established.

  • Ownership type and the number of owners.

  • Gross annual revenue.

  • Business tax returns.

  • Business financial statements.

As the business owner, you’ll also need to provide:

  • Name, address and phone number.

  • Social Security number.

  • Date of birth.

  • Citizenship information.

  • Personal tax returns.

Wells Fargo may ask for additional information depending on the type of business loan you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a commercial real estate loan, you’ll need to provide relevant real estate information, including the property type and usage details.

Alternatives to Wells Fargo

Bank of America

If you’re looking for a bank lender that offers a wider variety of business loan options, Bank of America is a good choice. For example, Bank of America provides business term loans, lines of credit, equipment financing, auto loans, commercial real estate loans and SBA loans.

Plus, if you have a Bank of America business checking account, you can apply for many of these loan options online and become a member of the Preferred Rewards for Business program to access discounted interest rates and other perks.

Like Wells Fargo, however, you’ll need solid finances and several years in business to qualify for a business loan from Bank of America.

OnDeck

For a faster and more accessible unsecured business line of credit lender, you might consider OnDeck. OnDeck offers lines of credit up to $100,000 with terms of 12 months. Interest rates vary but will likely be much higher than a Wells Fargo business line of credit.

You can apply for an OnDeck business line of credit online or over the phone, with minimal documentation, and receive funds as soon as the same day. To qualify, you need a minimum FICO score of 625, at least one year in business and at least $100,000 in annual revenue.

Compare small-business loans

To see and compare loan options, check out NerdWallet’s list of best small-business loans. All of our recommendations are based on the lender’s market scope and track record and the needs of business owners, as well as rates and other factors so that you can make the right financing decision.