Wells Fargo Personal Loan Review 2023
Wells Fargo Personal Loans
- No origination fees
- Large loan amounts
- Decent APR
Wells Fargo landed in hot water several years ago when it was revealed that employees had created millions of fraudulent accounts in order to make their sales targets.
Increased consumer acceptance of online banking, where customers can expect better interest rates and mobile apps, has also posed a problem for Wells Fargo, whose core checking account is not interest-bearing and whose savings account earns a meager 0.15% APY.
On top of that, large banks like Citibank and Capital One have finally begun to embrace a no-overdraft-fee policy, but Wells Fargo lags behind. The bank has announced some changes, including an overdraft-fee free checking account aimed at students, but so far no complete elimination.
It’s fair to say that Wells Fargo has a consumer perception problem. However, while Wells Fargo’s bank account options are less than desirable and the brand is still working to regain consumer trust, the Wells Fargo personal loan offering is decent.
Wells Fargo Loans: At a Glance
Personal loans are just one of the loan options offered at Wells Fargo. Borrowers can turn to Wells Fargo for:
- Home loans
- Auto loans
- Credit cards
- Personal loans
While you can get a personal loan for any use case, Wells Fargo specifically advertises home improvement loans and debt consolidation loans. Existing customers may also qualify for small personal loans, called Flex Loans.
Wells Fargo is a full-suite bank that also offers multiple checking and savings accounts, CDs and investment options. In addition, Wells Fargo offers both small business banking and commercial banking. However, the Big Four bank no longer offers student loans.
Wells Fargo Personal Loan Review
Still not sure if a Wells Fargo personal loan is right for you? Let’s dive in a little deeper to the specifics of the unsecured personal loans on offer.
Transparency continues to be Wells Fargo’s largest problem. When applying for a personal loan, you cannot see your options unless you’re an existing Wells Fargo customer.
More frustrating, Wells Fargo does not disclose its minimum credit score requirement for personal loans. While the bank does sometimes approve bad credit loans, you’re most likely to be successful in applying for a personal loan with Wells Fargo if your credit score is 600+, but the bank’s website does not overtly state this.
This is especially true of the bank’s new Flex Loan product. Existing Wells Fargo customers may get an offer for a $250 or $500 loan – but there’s no application. Eligible customers will get the offer, while those with lower credit scores or poorer spending habits simply won’t.
Existing Wells Fargo customers can easily apply for personal loans online. However, you cannot apply online or over the phone if you are not a current customer. You’ll have to open an account first. While that’s a big strike for convenience for non-customers, current customers will have a better experience.
In fact, Wells Fargo banking customers can connect their checking account for a discount on their personal loan APR. Plus, the monthly payments are automatic, so you don’t have to sweat late payments.
Wells Fargo also funds most loans on the same day of approval or the next business day. Though the bank does not share statistics, the Big Four financial institution maintains that there are few exceptions to this quick funding process.
Even more convenient: If you are using Wells Fargo specifically for a debt consolidation loan, the bank will coordinate direct payment to creditors.
Need more help? Wells Fargo is one of the Big Four banks, with thousands of brick-and-mortar locations across 37 states, so there’s a good chance you can visit if you have questions before opening or during the life of your loan. The website is easy to use, and the Wells Fargo app in the Apple App Store carries a 4.8 star rating based on nearly 7.6 million reviews.
Speaking of the app, existing Wells Fargo customers can get small personal loans in seconds with the new Flex Loan. If you’re eligible, you’ll get the offer in-app. All you have to do is tap a button.
Personal loans from Wells Fargo have a fair bit of flexibility. You can secure a loan for up to $100,000, making it ideal for tackling large home renovations. However, if you are looking for a small loan amount, you will struggle with Wells Fargo, where the minimum threshold is $3,000.
For $3,000 to $4,999 loans, loan terms are less flexible (1 to 3 years), but the range opens up when you apply for a larger loan (1 to 7 years).
Need a smaller loan and already a Wells Fargo customer? Check the app. You might be approved for a $250 or $500 Flex Loan.
While the 6.99% starting APR looks attractive, you will find lower rates elsewhere. In addition, this rate includes a 0.25% discount for being an existing Wells Fargo customer and setting up automatic payments. Wells Fargo says that at least 10% of approved applicants receive the 6.99% rate.
However, the rate maxes out at 23.49%. Borrowers with bad credit can expect to fall on this end of the range. This high APR is actually not bad compared to some competitors, with rates as high as 35.99%. The reason? Wells Fargo is stricter about whom it approves. Bad credit borrowers are more likely to get rejected here, meaning online lenders with rates as high as 36% may be their only viable option.
The Flex Loan charges a flat fee: $12 for $250 and $20 for $500.
Wells Fargo Personal Loan: Pros and Cons
If you’re specifically looking for an unsecured personal loan, whether for a home renovation, debt consolidation or emergency expense, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of opening a Wells Fargo loan.
- Wells Fargo caps its APR at 23.49%, considerably lower than some competitors.
- Wells Fargo doesn’t charge an origination fee, closing fees or prepayment penalties.
- The loan amount is pretty flexible, up to $100,000.
- Loan terms are also flexible, from 12 to 84 months, or 4 months for Flex Loans.
- Current customers can get a customer relationship discount on the APR.
- Loans are generally funded quickly–same or next day, in most cases.
- The minimum conventional loan amount is $3,000. Only some borrowers are eligible for $250 or $500 Flex Loans.
- The minimum APR is higher than some competitors.
- The minimum credit score requirement is not disclosed.
- You can’t check loan options if you’re not already a Wells Fargo customer.
- Every approval requires a hard inquiry on your credit report.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Wells Fargo Personal Loans
Still have questions about opening a Wells Fargo personal loan? Here are the answers to some of the most common questions.
Wells Fargo offers personal loans up to $100,000, pending approval. You can get larger loans if applying specifically for a mortgage.
Wells Fargo does not disclose a minimum credit score requirement for unsecured loans. However, a credit score of 600 or higher will improve your chances of approval. If you have bad credit, prepare for rejection or a higher interest rate.
Only current Wells Fargo customers can apply for a personal loan over the phone or online. Non-customers must apply in person, but you’ll get a slight discount if you have a Wells Fargo checking account.
When looking at Wells Fargo personal loans, you’ll notice an advertised APR as a leading feature. APR, or annual percentage rate, is the yearly interest rate charged on your personal loan.
While Wells Fargo doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score requirement, the bank does look at your credit report and credit history when reviewing your loan application. If you have a low credit score or no credit history, you are not likely to be approved and should consider personal loans for bad credit.
It’s possible to get a personal loan from Wells Fargo with bad credit, though it’s not guaranteed. There are other online lenders that specifically target borrowers with poor credit scores, but beware: APRs are likely to be high, and they might cap you at a low credit limit.
In 2022, Wells Fargo launched Flex Loans, small personal loans with a flat fee. For now, the bank offers a $250 loan for a $12 fee and a $500 loan for a $20 fee. Customers pay the loan back in four equal monthly installments.
You can’t. If you are an eligible Wells Fargo customer, this product will be offered to you automatically in the app or online.
The Bottom Line
Wells Fargo’s personal loan option is decent if you have a fair to strong credit score, but the bank is still working on winning back customer trust and improving its core savings and checking account offerings.
Timothy Moore covers banking and investing for The Penny Hoarder from his home base in Cincinnati. He has worked in editing and graphic design for a marketing agency, a global research firm and a major print publication. He covers a variety of other topics, including insurance, taxes, retirement and budgeting and has worked in the field since 2012. Contributor Ciara McLaren contributed to this report.