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Wells Fargo auto loans: 2024 review

2024-01-01 00:00:00

At a glance

3.2
Rating: 3.2 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 2 stars out of 5
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About Wells Fargo

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    Varies by dealership

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not disclosed

  • Rates

    APR from

    Varies by dealership

  • Funds available in

    Instant upon approval, paid to dealership

Best for in-person loan management

Wells Fargo has over 4,700 physical branches across the U.S. Customers who prefer making payments in person can do so at any one of these locations, even if they don’t have a Wells Fargo account. 

Wells Fargo pros and cons

Consider these benefits and drawbacks of an auto loan with Wells Fargo before applying.

Green circle with a checkmark inside

Pros

  • Large branch footprint
  • Option to add co-borrower
  • Payment due date flexibility
Red circle with an X inside

Cons

  • Unspecified loan terms
  • No loan prequalification available
  • No direct application

Wells Fargo, a national bank founded in 1852, serves customers across the United States. Its suite of products includes personal and commercial banking, investing and loans. It offers auto financing through over 11,000 dealerships in its network. It used to also offer auto loans through branches as well, but it no longer has this option available.  

Do you qualify?

Wells Fargo does not disclose its credit or income requirements to receive a loan. If your credit score is not strong, Wells Fargo recommends signing on with a co-applicant who will share responsibility for making payments.

Wells Fargo versus Valley Bank

Valley Bank is another brick-and-mortar financial institution offering auto loan financing. Its branch footprint is much smaller than Wells Fargo, including only Alabama, Florida, New Jersey and New York. That said, you could get a good deal on a car loan as they offer competitive rates — from 7.30 percent — and fast approvals. Like Wells Fargo, the lender’s website offers limited information regarding auto loan terms and eligibility guidelines.

Wells Fargo versus Credit Direct

Credit Direct offers personal loans that can be used for auto purchases and refinances. You can borrow up to $40,000 with rates as low as 5.99 percent through Credit Direct or a lender in its partner network. Specific eligibility guidelines aren’t disclosed on the website, but there is no minimum credit score requirement. In fact, the lender uses factors beyond credit score to determine your creditworthiness. By comparison, with Wells Fargo, you’ll likely need good or excellent credit to qualify for an auto loan. 

Read more: Wells Fargo vs. Credit Direct

What we like and what we don’t like 

Before signing off on an application, consider all the benefits and drawbacks — especially given you can’t prequalify.

What we like

  • Large branch footprint. Wells Fargo boasts around 4,700 banking branches across 36 U.S. states and doesn’t charge extra for making payments at a branch, which is a great plus for drivers who prefer to handle finances in person rather than online.  
  • Option to add a co-borrower. If you don’t meet the lender’s credit score requirements, you may apply with a co-borrower — someone who agrees to be equally responsible for repaying the car loan and retains partial ownership. 
  • Payment due date flexibility. If you meet certain requirements, you can change your payment due date to better suit your budget — though you can only do this once.

What we don’t like

  • Unspecified terms. Due to the dealership relationships, rates vary and cannot be determined until meeting with a sales representative at a dealer lot.  
  • No loan prequalification available. Wells Fargo does not offer prequalification, which can help you understand how you can afford to borrow and give you negotiating power.  
  • No direct application. To apply for a Wells Fargo loan, you must go through a partner dealership

How to contact Wells Fargo 

Wells Fargo offers excellent customer service. They have in-person appointments along with online and app access. Account management and questions can be answered by phone at 800-289-8004 Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CT.
 

Auto loan types offered

Wells Fargo offers auto loans for new and used vehicles through partner dealerships.
 

New and used car loans

  • Amounts: Not specified
  • Terms: Not specified
  • APR: Not specified

Due to the relationship that Wells Fargo holds with dealerships, they do not disclose their rates, fees and terms. So, it is wise to take advantage of a monthly auto loan calculator to best understand what you can afford.  

Although Wells Fargo does not disclose its terms, you can expect terms between 12 to 72 months. Your rate will be based on factors like your credit score and the vehicle you choose. For the best terms, come with an excellent credit score of 740 or higher. 

How to apply for a loan with Wells Fargo

To apply for a loan with Wells Fargo, you will have to work with one of the dealers found in its network. This means that the entire application process is done through your chosen dealership. The loan application process varies, but you’ll likely need a few common items
 

Features and perks

Wells Fargo allows you to make your loan payments by phone, mail or in person at any physical branch. You can also enroll in autopay to ensure your payments aren’t late. 

Additionally, if you are having difficulty affording your loan payments, Wells Fargo offers several possible solutions.

  • Defer a payment: This extends your due date and the ultimate loan maturity date. Not all borrowers will be eligible.
  • Change your payment due date: You may do this once during your loan term if you are no more than 10 days delinquent, have made at least one payment and your requested new date is no more than 15 days from your existing due date. 
  • Surrender your car: If you’re eligible and have no other options to get current, surrendering your vehicle voluntarily will let you avoid repossession.

Fees and penalties

Wells Fargo’s website doesn’t specify any fees and penalties on its auto loans. The lender does state there may be a fee for making a late payment and that you can find this fee amount in your contract.

Wells Fargo FAQs

How Bankrate rates Wells Fargo

Overall score 3.2
Availability 3.5 Wells Fargo has an extensive dealership network but doesn't disclose loan amounts or terms for its loans.
Affordability 3 Wells Fargo has several ways to repay your loan, including autopay, but rates are not available.
Customer Experience 4.4 Wells Fargo supports online payments, has an app and its customer service hours extend to Saturday.
Transparency 2 With no prequalification or published rates and fees, Wells Fargo scores low for lender transparency.

Methodology

The Bankrate team assessed more than 35 auto lenders to find the best. Bankrate considered 18 criteria, such as acceptance criteria, loan amounts and APR range. These scores are broken into four categories.

  • Availability: Loan amounts, repayment options, dealership requirements and state availability all contribute to this category. Lenders that serve customers nationwide with flexible loan amounts rank higher.
  • Affordability: This section houses APR ranges, acceptance criteria, fees and discounts. Lenders with the lowest rates, fewer fees and most generous acceptance criteria receive higher scores.
  • Customer experience: Our team looked at how easy it is for customers to apply for and manage their loans. Criteria include how long you have to shop, customer service hours, whether there’s an app and autopay availability.
  • Transparency: This includes prequalification and disclosure of rates and fees. We favored lenders that make it easy for customers to preview possible costs.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.

Written by
Rebecca Betterton
Writer, Auto Loans and Personal Loans

Rebecca Betterton is a writer for Bankrate who has been reporting on auto loans since 2021. Through her writing, Rebecca aims to provide clarity and accessibility to the automotive loans industry as the cost to finance new and used vehicles continues to climb due to steep inflation.

Edited by Editor, Auto Loans