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Wells Fargo Student Loans Review
[Note: As of July 1, 2020, Wells Fargo is not accepting student loan applications from non-existing customers. Wells Fargo is only offering student loans to borrowers who already have student loans with the bank.]
Wells Fargo was established in 1852 and is headquartered in San Francisco. It’s a large bank with about 5,400 different branches and over 13,000 ATMs nationwide. It caters to individuals, small businesses, and commercial clientele offering a broad menu of conventional banking, lending, investing, and wealth-building solutions. This lender also offers private student loans to help you finance your post-secondary education degree, certificate, or licensing program.
Wells Fargo student loans at a glance
|Loan Type||Min. Loan||Max. Loan||Fixed APR||Terms||Key Benefit|
|Undergraduate||$1,000||$120,000||4.53% APR (with discount) to 10.72% APR (without discount)||15 years||Rate discounts 0.25%-0.50%|
|Graduate School||$1,000||$180,000||5.64% APR (with discount) to 11.76% APR (without discount)||15 years||Cosigner rarely required|
|MedCap||$1,000||$250,000||4.82% APR (with discount) to 9.54% APR||15 years||7-year grace period|
|Bar Exam loan||$1,000||$180,000||12.45% APR (with discount) to 12.67% APR (without discount)||7 years||6-month grace period|
|Medical Residency Relocation||$1,000||$15,000||9.76% APR (with discount) to 9.99% APR (without discount)||7 years||Aggregate loan limits to $250,000|
|Parent||$1,000||$100,000||6.74% APR (with discount) to 12.99% APR (without discount)||15 years||Any adult can apply to help a student pay for college|
What we like about it
Like federal student loans, most of Wells Fargo’s private student loans also allow at least six months’ grace from graduation before repayment begins. For certain graduate-level loans, this grace period has the potential to extend up to seven years.
Wells Fargo’s student loans offer a couple of rate discounts. First, if you have a pre-existing relationship with the bank, it offers a 0.25% to 0.50% rate reduction. Also, you may also qualify for a 0.25% rate reduction if you sign up for automatic payments.
Things to consider
When looking at a Wells Fargo student loan, there are fewer term options available to borrowers, with 15 years being the shortest for many of its loans. This is something to consider if you have the desire to pay off your loan in fewer than 15 years. While Wells Fargo doesn’t charge a penalty for paying off your loan early, it can be difficult to estimate an early payoff date.
In addition, you cannot get pre-approved for a student loan with Wells Fargo, which means you have to apply and have a hard-pull on your credit before you’ll know what rate you’ll be receiving. This makes it difficult to compare lenders when shopping for the best student loan rates.
Fees and penalties
Unlike other loans and lenders, Wells Fargo’s student loans have none of the common fees associated with the loan application, origination, and late payments — although it only recently dropped late payment fees on student loans. However, it also extends this benefit to include prepayment penalties. Depending on how early you repay the loan balance, you can potentially shave hundreds or thousands of dollars off of your loan interest. Since Wells Fargo has no prepayment penalty, you can repay your loan early worry-free.
Collateral and criteria
No collateral is required because these student loans are considered unsecured. However, there is a stipulation for some of the loans. If you’re looking for a career and community college loan or the undergraduate loan, then you may need a cosigner unless you meet the credit and income requirements when determining creditworthiness. The need for cosigners on the graduate level loans is not always required, but it might still be a possibility depending on your financial history. Loans that require a cosigner may qualify for a better rate than loans without a cosigner and eligibility for financing depends on the loan that you’re applying for, but most of it is pretty standard for private lending.
First, you need to be enrolled in a certificate, license, or degree program through a school that has a relationship with Wells Fargo. How do you know if your school fits the bill? Complete the online pre-application questionnaire using the “Apply Now” button. You’ll get an instant response after answering a few basic questions. Unlike federal student loans, you don’t necessarily have to enroll for halftime status to qualify.
There is, however, a residency stipulation, but that’s also common among most student loans. So, you must be a U.S. citizen or national. If not, then you need to be a permanent resident immigrant, an international student with a temporary residency or protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals with a valid U.S. address. Proof of eligibility is required via proper documentation.
Finally, some loans or borrowers may need a cosigner. Additional criteria may be required of those cosigning for temporary resident immigrants or DACA individuals.
For some loans, satisfactory academic progress is also required. Graduate-level loans will require you to have established positive credit history. Medical residency and Bar exam loans have additional requirements that extend beyond this.