Wells Fargo Auto Loans Review

Wells Fargo

Head to the dealership if you want more nitty, gritty details about Wells Fargo auto loans; this bank discloses very little about its product.

New Car APR
0% – 11%%
Loan Amount
$5K - No Max
75 months
3.6 / 5.0
Wells Fargo
  • Rates
  • Loan Size
  • Used Car Rate
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Fees
It can be a lot of work to find the best auto loans. Wells Fargo Bank offers many types of loans and is one of the biggest lenders of auto loans in the U.S., serving more than three million auto customers. The company has over 70 million customers in total and been around since 1852, keeping its headquarters in San Francisco. The only way to get a Wells Fargo auto loan is through a dealership, and it recently decided to suspend its auto loans to most used car dealerships. Therefore, only new car customers can currently get a Wells Fargo loan.
Full review

Our Two Cents — While Wells Fargo's rates are competitive — it's high loan amount makes it easy for car fanatics to finance their dream vehicles.

Wells Fargo at a glance

Lender Loan Amount APR Terms Key Benefit
Wells Fargo $5,000 – no max 0% – 11% (average  4.99%*) 60 months – 75 months (average) Large and experienced auto lender

*Rates accurate as of July 15, 2020

What we like about Wells Fargo auto loans

Wells Fargo is one of the largest auto lenders in the country. You can receive a discount if you are already a Wells Fargo customer, and it also provides military benefits. Also, according to its customer service line, the company hasn’t been assessing late charges since late March due to COVID-19. It’s also offering three- to six-month deferments on payments.

The bank also doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement. If you’re looking for the best auto loans for bad credit, you could still qualify for a loan through the bank. However, you’ll want to shop around to ensure you’re getting the best available rate.

Things to consider

You must get Wells Fargo auto financing through a dealership. Therefore, the bank provides minimal information on its website about auto rates, terms or fees. This can be frustrating for the customer looking for details about the bank’s auto loan rates and more while shopping around.

Wells Fargo doesn’t offer a refinancing option at this time, either. Furthermore, Wells Fargo ratings are lower than many other auto lenders, according to JD Power’s 2019 customer satisfaction survey. Plus, the recent auto insurance scandal may deter some customers from wanting to use the bank for their auto loans.

What you need to know about Wells Fargo

The amount of funding you can get through Wells Fargo auto loans depends on factors like your credit score, your credit history and the type of car. However, the amount borrowed (depending on your state) starts at $5,000 and has no upper limit. Wells Fargo auto loan rates typically range from 0% to 11%, with an average of 4.99%. Across the United States at the end of 2019, the average APR for a new car loan was 5.76%, so Wells Fargo is on par with that rate.

There’s no early payment fee, although you could run into potential late fees and a credit score impact if you make a late payment. Also, you may have to pay additional charges in specific states for insufficient funds. The average term length for a Wells Fargo loan is between 60 and 75 months.

If you’re looking at used cars, you may have to wait a while to get a Wells Fargo loan. The company decided it will temporarily halt lending to most independent car dealerships due to the financial fallout from COVID-19. Independent dealerships usually sell pre-owned cars, which make up about 10% of its auto loans. If you’re looking for a new car, you can still access Wells Fargo auto loans from a franchise dealership.

To apply for a Wells Fargo auto loan, you’ll need to go to a new car dealership that offers its loans and apply directly through them. You fill in an application that the dealership sends to a Wells Fargo underwriter for approval. The bank performs a hard credit check, so your score may go down by a few points.

Criteria and eligibility

Eligibility for a Wells Fargo auto loan depends on a few factors. The bank doesn’t assess your eligibility solely based on your credit score. Instead, Wells Fargo looks at several criteria when it performs a hard credit pull. It bases your fitness on many items in your credit report, like your income, job history and more.

There is no minimum credit score required to apply for an auto loan, but keep in mind that a low score will likely make your APR increase. You’ll pay more interest — thus more for your financing — while you are borrowing the money. Also, you can’t refinance an auto loan through Wells Fargo at the moment. You can only use Wells Fargo for an auto loan on a new car.

Wells Fargo vs. Chase Bank

An auto loan through Chase Bank is a bit of a smoother process than acquiring one through Wells Fargo. You can see the bank’s average rates and apply for a loan online, neither of which Wells Fargo lets you do. We found rates from Chase ranging from around 2.99% to 10.99% on average, which was about the same as Wells Fargo. Also, you can refinance through Chase. Furthermore, JD Power ranks Chase significantly higher in customer satisfaction than Wells Fargo. Thus, we would recommend choosing Chase Automotive Services over Wells Fargo for your auto loan.

Wells Fargo vs. LightStream

LightStream is SunTrust Bank’s online offshoot for auto loans. You can get a new car loan rate from LightStream as low as 3.49% when you sign up for automatic payment, which is comparable with Wells Fargo (you’ll pay 0.50% more without AutoPay). Also, you can get a loan for between 24 and 84 months through LightStream. However, you can’t borrow more than $100,000 from LightStream, while Wells Fargo doesn’t have a borrowing limit (as told to us by the same customer service representative).

SunTrust Bank received middle-of-the-road scores from JD Power in terms of auto loan customers’ satisfaction, but it’s better than the Wells Fargo reviews. LightStream also offers a refinance option, along with online rate shopping and an application, which Wells Fargo doesn’t. If we had to choose, we would recommend LightStream over Wells Fargo for its ease of use.

Too long, didn’t read?

Shopping around for the best auto loans can be a hassle, but we recommend finding quotes from at least three different lenders. If you get a quote from Wells Fargo, look at things like the APR, term length and potential fees to see if it’s right for you. A Wells Fargo loan is best for someone who is happy with shopping and applying for loans directly through a car dealership. If you want to shop for auto loans online, however, you might want to look elsewhere.

Keep reading

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the auto loans we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Tiffany Verbeck
Tiffany Verbeck
Contributing Writer

Tiffany Verbeck is a personal finance expert. She uses her storytelling skills gained from a master’s degree in writing to run a freelancing business focused on helping people make and manage their money. She has been published in The Financial Diet, Fast Capital 360, The Write Life, Matador Network and other publications

Reviewed by

  • Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.