Wells Fargo personal loan review: A good option for existing customers

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In a Nutshell

Personal loans from Wells Fargo offer competitive rates, high loan maximums and direct payments for debt consolidation. But you have to be a current Wells Fargo customer to apply and to take advantage of its relationship rate discount.

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Pros Cons
Large loan amounts available Must be an existing Wells Fargo customer
Direct payments for debt consolidation Rate calculator with broad range of estimated terms
Co-applicants allowed  

What you need to know about a Wells Fargo personal loan

As one of the nation’s largest banks, Wells Fargo offers unsecured and secured personal loans that you can use for a variety of purposes, from debt consolidation and major purchases to home improvements or medical expenses. Here are some other things to know about personal loans from Wells Fargo.

Large loan amounts

Many personal-loan lenders cap loan amounts at $40,000 or less. But Wells Fargo offers unsecured personal loans of up to $100,000 and secured loans of up to a whopping $250,000. If you don’t need that much, Wells Fargo’s minimum loan amount is $3,000.

Competitive interest rates

Wells Fargo offers competitive interest rates to customers based on a number of factors, including creditworthiness. This lender doesn’t note any credit-score minimums on its website, but banks usually require strong credit profiles in order to get approved and secure better terms — so it’s a good idea to check your scores beforehand to see where you stand.

Wells Fargo also provides a 0.25% rate discount for customers who are signed up for autopay and have a qualifying checking account. Plus, you may be able to reduce your loan’s interest rate even more if you opt for a secured loan instead of an unsecured loan. 

Direct payments for debt consolidation

If you want to use a personal loan to pay off credit card debt or consolidate other debt, Wells Fargo gives you the option to request it pay your creditors directly when you apply. If you’re approved for a personal loan from Wells Fargo, you can also choose to have the funds deposited directly into your bank account to pay off the bills yourself.

Wells Fargo customers only

Wells Fargo only allows existing customers to apply for personal loans and other specific lines of credit. If you’re not already a customer, you’ll need to become one to be considered for a personal loan.

No soft credit inquiry

If you’ve been shopping around for personal loan options, you may have seen lender websites that offer to show you estimated interest rates you may qualify for without affecting your credit scores. That’s known as a soft credit inquiry, which is when a person or company checks your credit as part of a background check.

Wells Fargo doesn’t offer this option as part of its application process. Instead, it offers a rate and payment calculator that lets you estimate your own rate, but it only gives you a range, which can fluctuate fairly dramatically. To find out what your exact rate will be for a Wells Fargo personal loan, you’ll need to complete a formal application, which requires a hard credit inquiry and may affect your credit scores.

A closer look at Wells Fargo personal loans

If you’re thinking about getting a personal loan from Well Fargo, here are a few additional details to consider.

  • Fees are minimal — There are no origination fees for unsecured loans, but secured loans come with a $75 fee. There are also no prepayment penalties for either type of personal loan if you want to pay off your loan early.
  • Co-applicants are permitted — If you don’t qualify for a personal loan on your own, Wells Fargo allows you to apply with a co-applicant, which may improve your chances of qualifying.
  • You have multiple repayment options — Wells Fargo offers repayment terms of 12 to 36 months for unsecured loans under $5,000, 12 to 84 months for unsecured loans $5,000 or more and up to 120 months for secured loans. But remember, even though a longer loan term may make your monthly payments more affordable, you may pay more in interest over the life of the loan.
  • Education-related expenses aren’t allowed — Personal loans from Wells Fargo can’t be used for educational expenses. But you can contact Wells Fargo Education Financial Services because it offers private student loans.
  • Potentially fast decisions and funding — When you apply for a personal loan with Wells Fargo, you may be able to get a credit decision in just minutes, although it can take longer depending on your individual situation. If approved, you may be able to receive your loan proceeds as soon as the next business day, too.

Who is a Wells Fargo loan good for?

Wells Fargo personal loans can be a good option for current Wells Fargo customers who can take advantage of the 0.25% relationship discount the bank offers. If you like the idea of checking your rate for a more-precise estimate before applying, but without lowering your credit scores, you may be better off with a different lender.

How to apply for a Wells Fargo personal loan

You can complete an application online, over the phone or in a Wells Fargo branch. Regardless of how you apply, here are some of the things you’ll be asked to provide.

Once your application is reviewed, you may be required to provide documentation like pay stubs or tax returns that support the information you provide on your application.

Not sure a personal loan from Wells Fargo is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Phone number and email address
  • Mailing address
  • Employment history
  • Income
  • Monthly mortgage or rent payment
  • Desired loan term
  • Amount you want to borrow
  • Preferred due date

If you want to explore other options before deciding, take a look at these lenders.

  • LightStream: If you want a chance at even lower rates than what Wells Fargo offers, a LightStream personal loan may be a good option for you.
  • Discover: A Discover personal loan may be right for you if you want to apply for prequalification to check your estimated rates.

About the author: Jennifer Brozic is a freelance financial services writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in communication management from Tow… Read more.