Wells Fargo Student Loan Consolidation
Wells Fargo is one of the bigger names in the student loan business, but the interest rates offered are not very competitive with other lenders.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated on 4/3/19 to reflect the latest interest rate information.
Wells Fargo as a company doesn’t have the best reputation with consumers.
The Wells Fargo student loan refinance option has been around for years, but merited very little attention due to laughably bad interest rates.
These days Wells Fargo is clearly making an effort to be a bit more competitive on the interest rate front. While the lowest advertised rates have improved considerably, they still lag behind most of the top lenders in student loan refinancing. As a result, Wells Fargo ranks 16th out of 18 lenders in our best student loan consolidation company rankings.
The Wells Fargo Refinance Basics
Interest rates currently start at 3.75% for Wells Fargo variable interest rate loan consolidation. However, this number can get slightly lower if you qualify for any of their discount loan programs. The variable interest rate loans currently max out at 9.99%, but are subject to increase with the market. Wells Fargo also offers fixed interest rate loans, ranging from 3.99% to 10.24%. The starting interest rates with Wells Fargo are much higher than those offered by other student loan refinancing companies.
According to the Wells Fargo website, the maximum amount that can be combined in a Wells Fargo loan is $120,000. However, according to one of their service representatives, borrowers may actually be able to get more than $120,000. If you would like to consolidate more, calling them directly might be your best route.
The length of repayment is 15 to 20 years depending upon the total amount of debt borrowed, and there is no penalty for paying off your loans early.
As far as qualifying for Wells Fargo consolidation, a minimum yearly income of $12,000 is required, but in most cases a credit worthy cosigner is also necessary. Wells Fargo does offer a cosigner release program, but 24 on time monthly payments are required, and the borrower must be able to pass a credit review on their own.
Wells Fargo Advantages
The big advantage with the Wells Fargo consolidation is the discounts available to existing Wells Fargo customers. Wells Fargo currently offers a .25% promotional discount, a .25% auto debit discount, and a .25% relationship discount for those with other Wells Fargo accounts. These discounts can all be stacked.
The biggest discount available with Wells Fargo is the .50% PMA discount, but according to their representative, this is only for people who have an existing PMA account with Wells Fargo, and assets in excess of approximately $35,000 with Wells Fargo. According to their representative, obtaining this discount must be done through your Wells Fargo banker.
Combining the discounts with the interest rates currently offered, could provide consumers with excellent credit some of the lowest interest rates available.
Reviewing the Wells Fargo Disadvantages
The terms of this loan are pretty strict and offer little relief for someone who runs into difficulty paying of their loan.
Unlike some of their competition, interest only payments and deferments are not available with Wells Fargo. The only thing that Wells Fargo offers to help someone struggling to pay back their debt is a forbearance for up to 2 months. That borrower would not be able to get another forbearance until they have made 12 consecutive on time payments.
There are not penalty interest rates if you miss a payment, but there is a $28 fee accessed to each payment that is over 10 days late.
These loans also carry the same risks associated with all private student loans.
These loans are ideal for people with excellent credit who have an existing relationship with Wells Fargo. Individuals who fit this description can get some of the lowest rates on the market.
However, these loans have strict terms that might be difficult to comply with if you lose your job or are otherwise unable to pay. Unless you are confident in your ability to make full payments for the life of your loan, this loan could be a risk.