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Wells Fargo Small Business Loans: 2024 Review

Updated Dec 13, 2023

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At a glance

Bankrate 2024 Awards Winner: Best small business loan for borrowers with good-to-excellent credit

Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
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Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
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Rating: 3.9 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
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Wells Fargo offers business lines of credit and SBA loans with competitive rates for eligible business owners. It even offers a business line of credit to businesses that have been around for less than two years. These products are relatively flexible, and you can choose from secured and unsecured lending options.

Lender Details

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    $5,000-$10 million

  • Rates

    Interest rate

    9.00%-18.25% APR

  • Clock Wait

    Term lengths

    Up to 25 years

  • Dollar

    Min. annual revenue

    Not stated

  • Business

    Min. time in business

    Less than two years

Who Wells Fargo is best for

Wells Fargo is best for established business owners who’ve been in business for at least two years. There is an unsecured loan product for businesses that don’t quite meet the mark, but the amount of funding you can access is lower. If you’re seeking an SBA loan, Wells Fargo is also worth considering, as it’s one of the leading originators of SBA 7(a) loans.

Who Wells Fargo may not be best for

If you’re a startup or need funds for your business right away, Wells Fargo likely isn’t a good fit for you. The lender prefers established companies. 

Traditional banks are usually not a good fit for borrowers looking for fast business loans, as they may take days or weeks to fund loans. And if your personal or business credit rating is on the lower end, an online lender that offers bad credit business loans may be a safer choice.

Wells Fargo: in the details

Wells Fargo pros and cons


  • Checkmark

    Multiple lines of credit

  • Checkmark

    Attractive rates

  • Checkmark

    Rewards program


  • Limited loan options

  • Annual fee may be required

  • Low loan amounts

Business loan types offered

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $10,000 to $150,000
  • Terms: Revolving
  • APR: 10.25% to 18.25% (Prime + 1.75% to Prime + 9.75%)

Wells Fargo BusinessLine® line of credit

This is an unsecured business line of credit for small business owners who have been up and running for two or more years. It doesn’t require you to put up business collateral, doesn’t charge draw fees or give you a limited amount of time to make draws. Instead, you get a revolving line of credit with no scheduled annual review. You pay an annual fee (waived the first year) of $95 if your line amount falls between $10,000 to $25,000 or an annual fee of $175 if your line amount is greater than $25,000. 

Even though this Wells Fargo business line of credit doesn’t require collateral, it does require a personal guarantee from any owner with 25 percent or more of the business. It’s designed to help small business owners cover unexpected expenses, supplement cash flow and capitalize on expansion opportunities.

Loan amounts aren’t the highest, as you’ll find business lines of credit that offer limits of $250,000 and higher. But you will be automatically enrolled in the Wells Fargo Business Rewards program, which comes with a number of benefits you won’t find with many other business lines of credit. This includes earning one point for every dollar in eligible purchases made with the Mastercard Access card that comes with your business line of credit.

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $5,000 to $50,000
  • Terms: 5 years
  • APR: 13.00% to 15.00% (Prime + 4.50% to Prime + 6.50%)

Wells Fargo Small Business Advantage® line of credit overview

Backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), this unsecured line of credit caters to business owners with less than two years in business. It has a smaller line limit than the BusinessLine and a higher starting APR rate, but you get a five-year revolving line without an annual fee. It also comes with a Mastercard access card that lets you earn rewards on qualifying purchases. 

Personal guarantees are required for any owner with 20 percent or more of the business. You must also operate as a for-profit entity and have personal household liquid assets not exceeding $500,000 to qualify.

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $100,000 to $1,000,000
  • Terms: Revolving
  • APR: Starts at 9.00% (Prime + 0.50% with a minimum 5.00% floor rate)

Wells Fargo Prime Line of Credit overview

Established companies generating $2 million to $10 million in annual revenue could be a good fit for the Prime Line of Credit. It’s secured by business assets (excluding real estate) and comes with a one-year draw period since the line is renewable annually. 

You’ll pay a 0.50 percent origination fee when you open the account and at the annual renewal. This is low compared to origination fees of 2 percent to 8 percent charged by other lenders.  

Wells Fargo recommends this form of funding for large purchases, short-term working capital expenses or if you want to take advantage of bulk-pricing discounts.

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: Up to $10 million
  • Terms: Up to 25 years
  • APR: Not stated

SBA loans overview

SBA loans are also insured by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Wells Fargo SBA loans include SBA 7(a) loans and SBA 504 loans. They feature lower down payments, attractive SBA interest rates and extended loan terms. 

SBA 7(a) loans allow you to purchase equipment or real estate, expand operations, acquire a different business, buy out a partner or cover other business-related expenses. If you want to grow your company through construction, equipment purchases, building or land acquisitions, an SBA 504 is a better fit. Both Wells Fargo SBA loans are available to companies with an average new income under $5 million and a net worth under $15 million seeking long-term financing.

Once an application is submitted, funding for SBA loans can take up to 90 days. But as a Preferred SBA Lender, Wells Fargo has the ability to streamline loan processing and make credit decisions in-house, resulting in expedited approval and funding.


Bankrate Insight

SBA weekly lending reports show that for SBA fiscal year 2023, Wells Fargo approved 2,140 SBA 7(a) loans for a total of $427,603,100. The average loan size was $199,815. Compared to other lenders, Wells Fargo is in fifth place for total loan approvals and in tenth for dollar amounts. 

Wells Fargo business line of credit requirements

Wells Fargo business lines of credit options include the BusinessLine of Credit, Small Business Advantage line of credit and the Prime line of credit, with credit lines ranging from $5,000 to $1 million and rates starting as low as Prime + 0.50 percent. 

Like other lenders, Wells Fargo factors in time in business and annual revenue when evaluating applicants. Depending on the line of credit, the lender requires at least two years in business or an annual revenue between $2 and $10 million. Collateral or a personal guarantee, which are two common requirements across lenders, may be needed to secure the line, with odds of approval being better with guarantors who have credit scores of 680 or higher.

Do you qualify? 

Eligibility requirements will vary by loan product. You'll need a personal score of 680 to qualify for Wells Fargo business lines of credit. The lender does not disclose minimum annual revenue requirements for its small business loan offerings, and lending and usage restrictions (if any) aren’t published on the website. You’ll need to inquire with a banker to learn more about the lender’s eligibility guidelines.

What we like and what we don’t like

Wells Fargo offers affordable loans to eligible business owners. But there are drawbacks to consider. 

What we like

  • Multiple lines of credit. There is a line of credit for newer businesses, established businesses and businesses that rake in $2 million or more.
  • Attractive rates. The minimum interest rates offered on the business lines of credit are lower than most lines of credit offered by online lenders. 
  • Rewards program. Unsecured lines of credit come with a built-in rewards program that lets you earn points for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases.  

What we don’t like

  • Limited loan options. Business term loans, working capital loans and equipment financing loans aren’t available through Wells Fargo. 
  • Annual fee. The Wells Fargo BusinessLine line of credit comes with an annual fee after the first year.
  • Low loan amounts. Most of Wells Fargo’s lines of credit stop at $50,000 or $150,000, while most other lines of credit go up to at least $250,000. The exception is the Prime Line of Credit, which offers credit limits up to $1 million for high-revenue businesses.

How Wells Fargo compares to other lenders

Wells Fargo stands out as a traditional bank offering a few different business lending options. Businesses can choose between secured and unsecured options, including SBA loans and business lines of credit, that cover various needs and offer generous loan amounts between $5,000 and $10 million, with terms of up to 25 years and competitive rates starting as low as Prime + .50 percent. The lender is also part of the SBA's Preferred Lender Program, so businesses applying for a Wells Fargo SBA loan may get their loans approved and funded faster. 

Wells Fargo loans are best for established businesses that have been in operation for at least two years and have a credit score of 680, but it is not clear what the required annual revenue is for businesses not interested in the Prime line of credit, which requires $2 million to $10 million in annual revenue. 

Let’s see how Wells Fargo's business lines of credit stack up against other lenders.

Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Loan amount

    $5,000-$10 million

  • Interest rate

    9.00%-18.25% APR

  • Term lengths

    Up to 25 years

  • Min. time in business

    Less than two years

  • Min. business annual revenue

    Not stated

Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Loan amount

    Up to $250,000

  • Interest rate

    6.20% Simple interest

  • Term lengths

    6 or 12 months

  • Min. time in business

    2 years

  • Min. business annual revenue


Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Loan amount

    Up to $15 million

  • Interest rate

    11.50% to 16.50% APR

  • Term lengths

    Up to 25 years

  • Min. time in business

    Not stated

  • Min. business annual revenue

    Not stated

Read our review

on Bankrate

Wells Fargo vs. Bluevine

Wells Fargo and Bluevine approach business lending differently. While both offer business lines of credit, requirements and loan amounts differ. Bluevine is known for its business lines of credit, which give businesses access to up to $250,000, and its streamlined application process means funding can happen in as little as one day.

Wells Fargo's personal credit score requirement of 680 is higher than Bluevine's 625, but both lenders require at least two or more years in business to qualify for a business line of credit, so startups may not have the best luck with either option. 

Businesses specifically interested in SBA loans may find Wells Fargo a great option since Bluevine doesn't offer SBA loans. As an SBA Preferred Lender, Wells Fargo has the authority to process loan applications, which will speed up funding time.

Wells Fargo vs. Live Oak

Wells Fargo and Live Oak Bank excel for business owners seeking loans from an SBA Preferred Lender, which can speed up funding. Wells Fargo suits established businesses of over two years, particularly for SBA 7(a) loans. Businesses also have their choice between the lender's business lines of credit, which offer lines between $5,000 and $1 million. Wells Fargo's rates are competitive, but it can be hard to determine and compare the potential cost of borrowing since Live Oak Bank doesn't disclose its rates online.

If you want access to higher funding amounts for SBA loans, Live Oak can offer up to $15 million, compared to Wells Fargo's $10 million. In the 2023 fiscal year, Wells Fargo's approval count for 7(a) loans was 2,140, while Live Oak approved 1,215. But Live Oak's approval amount for these loans was almost $1.8 billion, significantly higher than Wells Fargo's $427.6 million.

Like Wells Fargo, Live Oak Bank also offers business financing options beyond SBA loans, including business lines of credit. While loan products are available in all 50 states, they are restricted to certain industries.

How to apply for a loan with Wells Fargo 

You can apply for the Wells Fargo BusinessLine line of Credit or Wells Fargo Small Business Advantage line of credit online or by visiting a branch. If you’re interested in the Wells Fargo Prime Line of Credit, call 1-844-807-5060 to apply. 

Wells Fargo frequently asked questions

How Bankrate rates Wells Fargo

Overall Score 4.2
Accessibility 3.7 Wells Fargo doesn’t disclose much information on its website, which makes it harder for borrowers to know if they’re eligible.
Affordability 4.1 Rates are lower, and loans come with fewer additional fees than many other lenders.
Transparency 4.5 Wells Fargo provides APR ranges for two of its lines of credit, which goes further than many other lenders.
Customer experience 3.9 Online access and an online payment option make for a decent customer experience.
Flexibility 4.6 Annual fee waiver the first year, potential credit line increases and Mastercard access cards provide a good level of flexibility for the lines of credit.


Clock Wait
years in business
Credit Card Search
lenders reviewed
loan features weighed
data points collected

To select the top small business lenders, Bankrate considers more than 20 factors. These factors include loan amounts, approval and funding times, credit requirements, APR or factor rate ranges, fees, and easy-to-find rate and fee disclosures. Bankrate reviewed more than 30 lenders and gave each a rating, which consists of five categories:

  • Accessibility: Factors considered in this category include minimum loan amounts, approval and funding speed, minimum annual revenue and minimum credit score.
  • Affordability: This section measures interest or factor rates and fees.
  • Transparency: How easy it is to find important rates, fees and eligibility requirements are considered in this category.
  • Customer experience: Customer service hours, online applications and app availability are considered in this category.
  • Flexibility: This category considers factors like the number of loan products and ability to change payment due date.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by 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.