Wells Fargo Student Loans and Refinancing Review in 2020

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Wells Fargo Student Loans and Refinancing Review in 2020

Wells Fargo student loans are designed according to the needs of the borrower. Being one of the biggest banks in the US helps it provide private student loans and refinancing according to almost everyone’s needs.

If you’re already a Wells Fargo customer, opting for their private loan services and refinancing can be beneficial for you. However, there are a lot of options out there and each of them has their take on how to pay for college.

Read on to get more details on Wells Fargo’s private student loan options and refinancing.

Wells Fargo Private Student Loans

Wells Fargo private student loans are designed to cater to all sorts of people, but are best for existing Wells Fargo customers. Mostly because you don’t have to enter all your information again, your credit history is already being tracked, and it’s more convenient for both you and the bank.

Furthermore, the loans work best for students opting for professional degrees in the fields of medicine and law. Also, it’s a great option for students who are currently enrolled, or plan to enroll, less than half-time.

Wells Fargo Student Loan Details and Interest Rates

With several repayment options, Wells Fargo provides a loan for everyone – whether you’re studying in a community college, a four-year university, or any other eligible school.

Here is a summary of the loan details and interest rates.

  • Interest Rates: The fixed APR is between 4.53% and 10.72%. The variable APR is between 3.39% and 10.09%.
  • Loan Terms: You can get several loan terms of up to 15 years and if you’re applying for medical school loans, the loan terms can be up to 20 years.
  • Loan Amounts: Depending on the type of degree you’re striving towards, Wells Fargo loan services provide loans of up to $250,000 – which is also the loan limit.
  • Residency Requirements: You have to be a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen, however, temporary residents can also apply if they have a co-signer who’s a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Co-signer Release: If you’ve made 24 consecutive on-time payments (principal and interest payments), you can apply for a co-signer release. However, if your first payment was late or incomplete, 48 consecutive payments will be required.
  • Fees: There are no disbursement, application, or origination fees.
  • Penalties: There are no outstanding penalties such as a prepayment penalty.

There is also a 0.25% auto-pay interest rate discount and a further 0.25% discount if you’ve taken out a student loan from Wells Fargo before.

If you have a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account, you can get another 0.25% discount. 

If you’re facing financial hardship, you can be granted forbearance or you can apply for deferment.

There are no student loan forgiveness programs, but if the borrower dies or becomes disabled, loan forgiveness is available.

Wells Fargo Private Student Loan Review

Wells Fargo provides five different types of student loans.

  • Wells Fargo Collegiate Student Loan: For undergraduate students that are attending 4-year colleges.
  • Wells Fargo Student Loan for Career and Community Colleges: This is for students enrolled in a non-traditional school, two-year school, or a career-training program.
  • Wells Fargo MedCAP Alternative Loan for Health Professionals: This loan is for all graduate-level health programs including medical and dental.
  • Wells Fargo Graduate Loan: This loan is for law, MBA, and other graduate programs.
  • Wells Fargo Parent Loan: It’s for any parent, friend, or family member that meets the eligibility requirements.

All these loans have varying loan limits and interest rates. Furthermore, if you’re making automatic payments through credit cards, your interest rate reduction levels might differ.

Qualifying for the Loans

It’s hard for the student borrower to have the credit score to qualify for a loan, which is why it’s best to have a co-signer. If the co-signer is a Wells Fargo customer, there will be no need for a credit check. The interest rate you get will depend on your credit score and the income statement.

Furthermore, Wells Fargo is one of the few companies that provide loan products to students enrolled less than half-time and to temporary residents (resident aliens).

Repayment Terms

Each loan has a separate repayment option with different monthly payments, loan repayment procedures, and loan terms based on the life of the loan.

  • Community College and Career Loan: You get a 6-month grace period after you graduate where you don’t have to make any payments. The maximum in-school period if it’s a 2-year program is 4 years, and 7 years if it’s a 4-year program.
  • Undergraduate: You get a 6-month grace period after graduation and the maximum in-school period is 7 years.
  • Graduate: This repayment plan also has a 6-month grace period but the maximum in-school period is 5 years.
  • MedCAP: It also has a 6-month grace period and the in-school period ranges between 5 to 7 years.
  • Parent Loan: The repayment begins immediately despite any payment amount.

The company also provides loan modification programs for borrowers who have long-term issues.

Wells Fargo Private Student Loan Competitors

Here are a couple of Wells Fargo’s private loan competitors and how they hold up against the company.

College Ave: Best for students looking for lower interest rates. The fixed-rate starts at 4.54% and the variable rate starts from 2.84%. You can get up to 100% of the cost of attendance and the minimum loan amount you can borrow is $1,000.

Sallie Mae: Best for students looking to get a loan with a co-signer. The fixed-rate ranges between 4.74% and 11.85%. The variable rate ranges between 2.75% and 10.65%. The loan can cover up to 100% the cost of attendance and the minimum borrowing amount is $1,000.

Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinancing

Wells Fargo lets you refinance both federal student loans and other private student loans from any student loan lender. Their financial services are best for existing Wells Fargo customers.

It’s also known as a private consolidation loan and it’s best for borrowers who don’t have a degree yet, and for lawyers and medical professionals with high loan balances.

Wells Fargo Refinancing Loan Details and Interest Rates

Whether you’ve taken loans from other private lenders or have outstanding federal loans, Wells Fargo lets you refinance your loans – especially if you have good credit.

Here is a summary of the loan details and interest rates.

  • APR Rates: The fixed-rate ranges between 3.74% and 9.74%. The variable rate ranges between 3.00% and 8.74%.
  • Loan Terms: You can set the loan’s terms for 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years.
  • Loan Amounts: You can refinance anywhere between $5,000 to $300,000 in student debt.
  • Loan Types: You may refinance private, federal, and Parent PLUS loans.
  • Residency Requirements: You have to be a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.
  • Fees: There are no disbursement, application, or origination fees.
  • Penalties: There are no outstanding penalties such as a prepayment penalty.

You get the same discounts that you get with the Wells Fargo private student loan.

Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinancing Review

Unlike their competitors, Wells Fargo takes refinance requests from students who haven’t completed their degrees and they provide some of the highest interest rate discounts in the market.

Qualifying for Refinance

You have to meet the debt-to-income ratio, credit, and employment requirements to be eligible for refinancing. However, if your co-signer meets all the criteria, you can refinance your loans on their behalf.

The interest rate will depend on the co-signer’s credit scores, the repayment terms, and any late fees accumulated or financial aid taken in the duration of the loan/s.

Repayment Terms

You can customize your repayment term by choosing any of the loan terms and then adjust it according to the amount you’re borrowing. You should understand that a longer loan term would be more costly over the life of the loan.

You can make payments by mail, phone, online, or by deposit. If you face economic hardship, the company provides 2 months of payment relief.

Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinancing Competitors

Here are a couple of Wells Fargo loan refinancing competitors and how they hold up against the company.

PenFed: Best for students applying with a co-signer. You can apply for loan terms of 5, 8, 12, and 15 years and you can borrow between $7,500 to $300,000. There is a co-signer release option after 12 on-time payments and you can transfer a parent loan to the child. The loan servicer is the Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed).

Citizens Bank: Best for students looking to lower their monthly payments. You can get loan terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years and can borrow anywhere between $10,000 and $350,000. You can release your co-signer after 36 consecutive payments and can transfer a parent loan to the child. The loan servicer is Firstmark Services.

Pros and Cons of Wells Fargo

Like all other loan programs, Wells Fargo has pros and cons that you should consider before making a decision.

Pros of Wells Fargo

The following are some reasons why you should consider Wells Fargo.

  • Wells Fargo gives you access to a dedicated student loan advisor.
  • The company provides flexible repayment options that are designed to help struggling borrowers.
  • It’s one of the few companies that offer loans to students enrolled less than half-time.
  • The automatic payment discounts are massive if you’re an existing Wells Fargo customer.

The company also provides help on things like how to refinance student loans and where to apply for student aid.

Cons of Wells Fargo

The following are some reasons you might want to consider looking at alternatives.

  • Since the company doesn’t actively share its credit requirements, you can’t see if you’ll qualify for a loan or refinancing, or what rate you’ll get.
  • The forbearance period due to hardship is shorter, as compared to other lenders.
  • Wells Fargo loan services are tailored to be more favorable towards existing customers.

In addition, you need to undergo a hard credit check to see if you qualify, and to get rates.

Should You Go with Wells Fargo?

Wells Fargo is a great option for existing Wells Fargo customers as they get better interest rates, more benefits and perks, and faster responses. Furthermore, the company believes in providing relevant information through dedicated student loan advisors so borrowers can make the right choices.

It’s one of the few companies that let you apply for loans while being enrolled less than half-time and has a robust refinancing process.

However, Wells Fargo could further improve its services by allowing bi-weekly auto-pay payments and customized monthly payment options. They could also provide co-signer releases sooner and better rates to community college loan borrowers.

Ultimately, it’s best to compare Wells Fargo with other alternatives before making a decision.

If you’re still having trouble, you can enlist FutureFuel’s help and develop a plan on how to pay off student loans, as well as, to determine which loan and repayment option is best for you.