Wells Fargo is one of the largest banks in the United States and has been helping students with student loans and other college-related expenses for many years. It was founded in 1852 and is a top choice for many recent college graduates.

The Good

Interest Rate Options

Wells Fargo gives customers many ways to receive reduced interest rates:

  • 0.25% interest rate reduction for borrowers who register for automatic payments
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction for customers with prior federal or private student loans from Wells Fargo
  • 0.50% interest rate reduction for those with Wells Fargo PMA packages
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction for customers with a checking account from Wells Fargo (must meet requirements)

 

No Upfront Fees

Besides late payment fees, Wells Fargo does not charge any origination fees, application fees, or prepayment fees.

Low Minimums

While most other companies in the industry require minimum loans of $5,000-$10,000, Wells Fargo does not. Minimum loan amounts for Wells Fargo customers are $1,000 for student loans, and $5,000 for consolidation loans. Consolidation loans are also offered to borrowers who did not graduate.

The Bad

High Interest Rates

With fixed interest rates at 6.49%, Wells Fargo has some of the highest interest rates in the student loan refinancing industry.

Private Loan Consolidation Only

Wells Fargo does not offer borrowers the option for federal loan consolidation. (They do, however, provide private student loan consolidation). For students who have both federal and private loans, with Wells Fargo they would have separate loan payments each month, which can be a major turnoff for many.

Lack of Transparency 

Wells Fargo’s website does not provide the information needed for potential customers to make informed decisions regarding private student loans with Wells Fargo. To receive this information, borrowers must contact a customer service representative at Wells Fargo.

Poor Forbearance

Although Wells Fargo offers forbearance options, they are significantly less helpful than many other student loan companies. Forbearance means that the student loan company will temporarily stop payments if an unexpected life event occurs, such as economic hardship. To be considered for 2 months forbearance at Wells Fargo, customers must have already made 12 consecutive on-time payments. Considering that many other lenders offer up to 3 months forbearance for a total of 12 months, Wells Fargo is below industry standards.

The Bottom Line

As an established company and one of the largest banks in the U.S., Wells Fargo is often a go-to lender for student loan consolidation. Their minimum loan requirements are lenient and their lack of fees is appealing. However, they have relatively high interest rates and do not consolidate federal loans. You can most likely do better than Wells Fargo for student loan refinancing. We recommend exploring other options, if possible.