Wells Fargo Student Loans Review

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

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  • Variable APR

If you’re maxed out on your federal student loans and need help paying for college, private student loans can bridge the gap. Many choices are available, and the fact that you’re reading this Wells Fargo student loan review means you’ve taken the wise route and are doing some research into your private student loan options.

Wells Fargo offers competitive rates on its student loans, especially if you’re an existing bank customer. But you’ll have to consent to a hard credit check if you want to see your rates.

Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of this private loan.

Wells Fargo student loans review

If you’re considering Wells Fargo student loans as a borrowing option, it’s important to know both the good and the bad. Here are the main benefits and drawbacks to consider:

Pros

  • Wells Fargo offers various interest-rate discounts to its banking customers.
  • Cosigners can be released from loans.
  • There are few fees.

Cons

  • The student loan interest rates might not be the best available, especially if you don’t qualify for Wells Fargo’s relationship discounts.
  • Prequalification isn’t an option. You’ll have to agree to a hard credit inquiry to see your rates.

Wells Fargo student loans features

Wells Fargo student loans include these options for undergrads, graduate students and parents:

  • Wells Fargo undergraduate private student loan: Undergraduate students can borrow up to a lifetime limit of $120,000, minus any other student loans (including federal ones) that they’ve already received.
  • Wells Fargo graduate student loan: Business and law graduate students can borrow up to $180,000, minus any other student loans. All other fields of study have a $120,000 lifetime loan limit.
  • Wells Fargo career and community college student loan: Students can borrow up to $15,000 per year for a two-year program or $20,000 per year for a four-year career training program.
  • Wells Fargo parent loan: Parents of undergraduate or graduate students can borrow up to $25,000 per year with a lifetime limit (minus other education loans) of $100,000.
  • Wells Fargo student loan consolidation and refinancing: Students can consolidate and refinance at least $5,000 in loans, with each individual loan having a balance of at least $1,000. The maximum amount varies by degree type, with a maximum for undergraduates of $100,000, and a maximum for dental, allopathic and osteopathic students of $300,000. (The limits for other degrees fall somewhere in between).

Keep in mind that individual student loans typically are limited to your school’s actual cost of attendance for the loan period.

Making payments

With Wells Fargo’s private student loans, you don’t have to start making payments until six months after you leave school.

That said, interest starts accruing as soon as the loan is disbursed, as with other private student loans. If you can afford it, consider making interest-only payments while you’re in school. That way, you can avoid having a higher balance due to interest capitalization.

Cosigners

Wells Fargo’s undergraduate, graduate and career loans allow cosigners to help you qualify for a lower interest rate. You can even request that the cosigner be removed from the loan after you make your first 24 consecutive monthly payments on time.

If your first monthly payment is late, however, you will need to make 48 consecutive monthly payments on time.

Wells Fargo student loans: interest rates and fees

The bank doesn’t charge an application, origination or early repayment fee. It does, however, charge a late fee.

Here are some other features of Wells Fargo student loans, starting with the interest rates:

Undergraduate Student Loan Graduate Student Loan Community and Career Student Loan Parent Loan Refinanced Student Loan
Current variable interest rate 4.80% APR to 10.72% APR 5.64% APR to 12.22% APR 7.02% APR to 12.25% APR as of July 1, 2019
(Check with Wells Fargo for latest rates.)
6.24% APR to 12.74% APR 3.75% APR to 9.74% APR
Current fixed interest rate 5.49% APR to 10.93% APR 5.88% APR to 12.68% APR 7.24% APR to 12.45% APR as of July 1, 2019
(Check with Wells Fargo for latest rates.)
6.74% APR to 12.99% APR 3.99% APR to 9.99% APR

Keep in mind that the many of the rates listed above include a 0.25% discount. Meanwhile, you could get additional discounts if you qualify for any of the following: 

  • 0.50% discount if you have a relationship through the Portfolio by Wells Fargo program
  • 0.25% discount if you have a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account
  • 0.25% discount if you have a prior federal or private student loan through the bank
  • 0.25% discount if you set up automatic payments

The first three discounts are available during the application process, and you can get only one of them. The last discount is available for anyone during the repayment process. Make sure to check what your own final rate will be, including any discounts.

Compared with other student loan companies, Wells Fargo’s student loan interest rates stack up fairly well. CommonBond offers 3.52% to 9.74% APR, for example, and College Ave offers 3.70% to 12.94% APR. Neither lender requires a special membership to get the lowest rate.

While CommonBond’s and College Ave’s rates are slightly lower, they typically go to borrowers who choose a five- or eight-year term, which could result in substantially higher monthly payments. Wells Fargo’s rates, on the other hand, represent a loan with a 15-year term, which could be a more realistic repayment plan for many borrowers.

That said, only some customers snag Wells Fargo’s lowest rates. The biggest discount requires you to be a Portfolio by Wells Fargo customer, and that program charges a $30 monthly fee unless you have big deposits with the bank.

 

Wells Fargo student loans eligibility requirements

Depending on which loan you want, there are different eligibility requirements. For any kind of Wells Fargo loan, you must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, a permanent resident or an international student who is a temporary resident. If you’re a temporary resident, you’ll also need to have a cosigner who is eligible to apply.

Wells Fargo also has various credit and employment requirements. Here are some of the prerequisites:

Undergraduate student loan

  • You must be enrolled as an undergraduate student at an eligible school and be seeking a degree, certificate or license.
  • You can qualify even if you’re in school less than half time.

Graduate student loan

  • You must be enrolled as a graduate student at an eligible school and seeking a degree, certificate or license.
  • You must be making “satisfactory academic progress” in your chosen field of study. Check with Wells Fargo to see how this translates into your own specific academic program.

Career and community student loan:

  • You must be enrolled in a qualifying community college or career training program as an undergraduate or graduate student and pursuing a degree, certificate or license.
  • You might qualify even if you’re enrolled less than half time.

Parent student loan:

  • You must apply on behalf of an undergraduate or graduate student who’s pursuing a degree at an eligible school.
  • You must meet underwriting requirements for credit, employment and debt-to-income level.

Consolidated and refinanced student loan:

  • You must apply to refinance a student loan balance of at least $5,000.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or eligible permanent resident.
  • You must meet underwriting requirements for credit and income or apply with a cosigner who does.

How to apply for Wells Fargo student loans

If you’re interested in applying, you have two options. One is to call 1-800-378-5526 and work with a Wells Fargo student loan consultant. The other is to apply online.

If you go for the online application, you’ll start out by choosing which loan you want, and then will verify your school and citizenship information. Next, you’ll get a rundown of loan terms so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Once you’re ready, click on “Apply Now” to begin the official application. You’ll need the following information to complete it:

  • Employment and income information for you (and your cosigner, if applicable)
  • Permanent U.S. address
  • The academic term for which you’re using the loan
  • Anticipated college graduation date
  • Cost of attendance
  • Estimated financial assistance you’re receiving
  • Personal information, including your Social Security number, date of birth, phone number and email address

If you’re already a Wells Fargo customer, the bank will prefill parts of the application for you when you sign in. If you aren’t, it’ll take only a few minutes to get through it.

If you’re applying for refinancing, you’ll need to indicate the amount you’d like to refinance, as well as your school and when you graduated.

Once you fill everything out, you’ll need to agree to some disclosures and terms and conditions before proceeding.

Keep in mind that if you submit the application, Wells Fargo will make a hard inquiry into your credit report, which can knock a few points off your credit score. In contrast, other lenders, such as LendKey and CommonBond, have a prequalification process that allows you to see offers with a soft credit check, which doesn’t hurt your credit score.

Should you apply for a Wells Fargo student loan?

Despite Wells Fargo’s discounts for existing bank customers, you might be able to qualify for a better interest rate elsewhere.

To ensure you get the best deal on a private student loan, shop around and compare several lenders to see what they have to offer. Focus on more than the interest rate, too. For example, one lender could offer a low interest rate but no cosigner release option.

Prioritize the student loan features that are most important to you, and keep them top of mind as you do your research. If you do your due diligence, you’ll be in much better shape when it comes time to start making payments.

Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to Wells Fargo student loans, which is current as of July 5, 2019, unless otherwise noted. None of the financial institutions named has either provided or reviewed the information shared in this article.

Rebecca Safier contributed to this report.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

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