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An In-Depth Wells Fargo Auto Loans Review: What You Need To Know

Taking out a car loan comes with making important decisions. That is why this Wells Fargo auto loans review will provide you some essential details that you must know and should carefully consider before signing any car loan document from the company.

Wells Fargo Auto Loans Review

Based on an Experian study published in March 2020, the American people do already have an existing $1.3 trillion in auto loan debt as of 2019, which is an 81% increase as compared to how much it was back in 2009.

Furthermore, to date, Americans owe more by average as compared to a decade ago. In fact, the average debt is $19,231 already, which has increased by 25% from 2009 as well.

Meanwhile, according to a study by the Federal Reserve, around 35% of American adults rely on an auto loan to pay for car purchases in the same year.

Although the increase of the number of American people taking out a car loan seems to continue this year and the years to come, according to a Finder article, “the percentage of Americans with car loans has actually decreased over the past few years.

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Nevertheless, one thing’s for sure – Americans do get auto loans to be able to purchase vehicles that they have been eyeing for.

Now, similar to any other loans out there, there are a lot of lending companies or financial institutions that provide auto loans. In fact, the industry is pretty much competitive.

Among the financial institutions that offer auto loans is Wells Fargo. Yes, it is one of the very well-known banks in the country.

But just like what we always say whenever we make reviews, as borrowers, we owe it to ourselves to research before we deal with any lending company or financial institution. It is our responsibility to know the details and be informed to avoid regretting it in the end.

Having said that, in this Wells Fargo auto loans review, we are going to provide you some if not most of the details that we though borrowers need to know before signing any auto loan document from the said financial institution.

In particular, we are going to provide you answers to the following – most commonly asked – questions:

  • What is Wells Fargo?
  • What auto loan products do Wells Fargo offer?
  • What do borrowers need to know about Wells Fargo auto loans?
  • Who qualifies for a Wells Fargo auto loan?
  • How to apply for a Wells Fargo auto loan?
  • What are the pros and cons of Wells Fargo auto loans?

WHAT IS WELLS FARGO?

Wells Fargo and Company or simply known as Wells Fargo is an American multinational financial services company.

While it is headquartered in San Francisco, California, the company does have central offices across the United States.

Based on its market capitalization, Wells Fargo is the world’s fourth-largest bank. More so, it is ranked as the fourth-largest bank in the US based on total assets.

As earlier mentioned, Wells Fargo is a multinational financial services company. It particularly engages in banking, investments, insurance, mortgage, as well as consumer and commercial finance.

Furthermore, the financial institution operates through various segments, which include Wholesale Banking, Community Banking, as well as Wealth and Investment Management, and many more.

The Community Banking segment in particular offers a complete line of financial products for both individual consumers and small businesses, which include checking and savings accounts, credit and debit cards, as well as student, small business, and automobile lending. The latter being our highlight in this review.

By the way, recently, the bank was involved in an auto insurance scandal, which in a way tarnished the bank’s reputation.

If you want to know more about it, and how the company managed such a challenge in their business, watch the video below by The Young Turks:

WHAT AUTO LOAN PRODUCTS DO WELL FARGO OFFER?

Wells Fargo is definitely one of the biggest rather largest auto lenders in the country today.

But although it is known to have a really good reputation when it comes to the products and services it provides, as borrowers, it is important that you still look into the details — in this case, about what particular auto loan products does the company provides.

First and foremost, it is important to take note that starting annual percentage rates (APR) will be based on the lender’s credit scores and the amount of income and debt he or she has.

Wells Fargo offers a variety of auto loan products, which include the following:

  • New Car Financing – This product is available for those who want to buy a new car directly from a dealer. Generally speaking, this does have a fairly low starting APR — somewhere around 4%.
  • Used Car Financing – This product is ideal for people who are either planning on buying a used car from a dealer, or those who are opting to buy from a private car seller. If you choose to buy from a private seller, the ARS is usually around 7%.
  • Lease Buyout Financing – This product is applicable to those who leased a car and eventually decide to keep it by the end of the lease term. If you opt to buy the car instead, the APR usually are close to 4.5%

While it does offer a good variety of auto loan products, unfortunately, Wells Fargo does not offer auto loan refinancing for borrowers who have an existing car loan but are not satisfied with their current rate.

You see, based on the firm’s list of auto loan products, as a car buyer or as a borrower, you really also need to take time to consider what kind of product you will go for. If we are going to base it on APR though, buying a new car does have better rates. But again, the final rates will depend on your qualification, particularly, your creditworthiness.

So, the better your credit score is, the more likely you are to get better rates.

WHAT DO BORROWERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WELLS FARGO AUTO LOANS?

As we mentioned earlier, this Wells Fargo auto loans review will provide you with important details you need to know before applying for an auto loan from the firm.

Apart from APR, there is actually more information that you, as a borrower needs to know to avoid confusion or worse, regretting the decision you made.

In particular, we are going to provide you information on the following:

  • Loan Amounts
  • Interest Rates
  • Loan Terms
  • Fees and Penalties
  • Discounts
  • Disbursement of Funds
  • Limitations
  • Other Information

Now, let’s get to it one by one —

Loan Amounts

While it is important to have a specific amount in your head, it is also important to consider the loan amounts offered by the lending company or financial institution you are looking for. By doing so, it helps you reconsider your options, or you can stick to it and just specifically look for a lender that could cater to your needs.

At Wells Fargo, it is important to note that the funding a borrower gets from an auto loan depends on a number of factors including credit score, credit history, as well as the type of car the borrower is eyeing for.

Wells Fargo, however, provides funding that starts from $5,000 and without an upper limit. Please take note, though, that the amount borrowed will depend also on the state you are from.

But technically, compared to other lenders, Wells Fargo definitely has one of the best and most flexible loan amounts.

Interest Rates

Another important thing to factor in when looking for an auto lender is the interest rate. Every lender does have their own rates and qualifications on specific rates.

However, as a general rule, people with high credit scores usually end up having the best rates possible. Meanwhile, borrowers with fair or poor credit score get a higher interest rate.

The company’s auto loan rates usually range from 0% to 11%, with an average of 4.99%. But for your reference, here’s what APR you can expect based on auto loan type:

  • New Car Financing – around 4%
  • Used Car Financing – around 7%
  • Lease Buyout Financing – around 4.5%

Again, as mentioned, the final APR will depend on several factors especially your credit score. Thus, we highly recommend working on having a high or excellent credit score to be able to take advantage of lower rates and other perks.

Loan Terms

Loan terms refer to the length of time you are going to repay the loan. It’s definitely another factor to consider when taking out a loan as you need to gauge if you are able to pay off the loan based on agreed terms.

As compared to other lenders with a lot of loan term options, some even offer long repayment periods, with Wells Fargo, the firm’s auto loans do only offer repayment periods between 60 months and 75 months (average).           

So, if you are looking at repaying on a longer-term, you may then consider other lending companies instead.

By the way, it is important also to keep in mind that if you will opt for long repayment terms, this could probably lead to paying more in interest over the life of the loan as compared to paying it off in a shorter period of time.

Fees and Penalties

Apart from APR, another money-related factor to consider when taking out a loan, or in this case, an auto loan, is fees and penalties.

Although Wells Fargo does not charge early payment fees, which means a borrower can repay the loan any time before it is due without having to worry about such charges, Wells Fargo borrowers could run into potential late fees and a credit score impact if they make a late payment.

In addition, a borrower may have to pay additional charges in specific states because of insufficient funding in his or her account.

Currently, the company decided to halt lending money to most independent car dealerships because of the financial fallout brought by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Just so you know if you are intending to get into this.

Discounts

Being one of the country’s largest auto lenders, it is not surprising that Wells Fargo offers perks.

In particular, the firm offers discounts to borrowers who are already Wells Fargo customers, as well as those in the military.

Disbursement of Funds

If you need quick credit decisions, and fast funding (in as soon as same-day), then Wells Fargo may just be the right match for you.

Yes, the firm could provide you with the amount you need as soon as the same day you applied for an auto loan — provided, of course, you pass all the requirements and qualifications.

Limitations

While some auto lenders may provide funds for any type of vehicle, with Wells Fargo, there are some limitations.

There are certain vehicles that are not eligible for Wells Fargo financing. This includes large commercial-type vehicles (like dump trucks) as well as vehicles that auto manufacturers have already discontinued.

This is very important also when taking out an auto loan. Make sure that the vehicle you are purchasing is eligible for the lender’s auto loan products.

Other Information

Apart from the details and/or information we have already mentioned, Wells Fargo also has another feature that borrowers must look into.

Unlike other auto lenders, the firm allows borrowers to change the due date on your payment loan once over the entire period of the loan. This may come very handy if a borrower fell short on cash one month or that he or she wants to line up the car loan payment due date with his or her paycheck schedule.

To be fair, this kind of feature is not that common among lenders, so, it’s nice to take advantage of it if the need arises.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR A WELLS FARGO AUTO LOAN?

As part of this Wells Fargo auto loans review, we are also going to provide you what you need to be able to borrow money from the firm.

First off, you have to have fair to excellent credit score. Based on Wells Fargo’s Q1 2020 quarterly report, during the first quarter of the year, nearly 34% of auto loans issued by it went to borrowers with FICO scores under 680.

So, if your credit score is somewhere around that, there is a chance that you can also get approved for an auto loan.

Apart from the FICO score, auto loan borrowers must also present a copy of the following financial documents during the application process:

  • Social security number
  • Previous and current residential addresses
  • Employment history and status of current employment
  • Proof of income
  • A statement that details your rent or mortgage payments on your home or apartment

In addition, you will also need to provide details on the vehicle you intend to apply for an auto loan. Details such as the following:

  • VIN
  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Mileage

Similar to other types of loans, when applying for a Wells Fargo auto loan, make sure you are:

  • A U.S. citizen or a permanent resident card holder
  • At least 18 years old (or 19 years old depending on the state)
  • Employed or are self-employed

HOW TO APPLY FOR A WELLS FARGO AUTO LOAN?

At the moment, the only way to apply for a Wells Fargo auto loan is by filling out a credit application with a dealer within the firm’s network. Currently, Wells Fargo does have 11,000 partner dealerships.

Unfortunately, though, a list of their network of dealers is not available on their website, which means borrowers need to call and ask dealers directly if they work with Wells Fargo.

Once you found a dealer that is within the firm’s network, you will then have to fill in an application form that dealers send over to Wells Fargo underwriter for assessment and approval.

It is important to take note that Wells Fargo conducts a hard credit check, which may affect your credit score.

Once approval is granted, expect funding in as soon as the same day as the auto loan application.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF WELLS FARGO AUTO LOANS?

To sum up this Wells Fargo auto loans review, at the same time, to help you make an informed decision, we are also listing down the things that we like and the things that we do not like about Wells Fargo auto loans.

As you know, while the firm has its share of good things, like any other lenders out there, it does have its share of flaws as well. As borrowers, it is important to know it all so you get to consider them when making a decision.

Anyway, here’s our list of pros and cons for your reference:

PROS

  • Wells Fargo does have better rates as compared to other auto lenders out there.
  • The firm can fund your up to 100% of the amount of the vehicle you are purchasing.
  • Fees are included in your monthly payments instead of charging them upfront.
  • Wells Fargo auto loans do not require down payment.
  • It offers discounts to Wells Fargo customers availing an auto loan, as well as those working in the military.
  • It does not have a minimum credit score requirement, which makes it appealing to all types of customers.

CONS

  • You need to go through a dealership within its network in order to avail of a Wells Fargo auto loan.
  • The company website is not as informative as other websites — it does not include a list of partner dealerships.
  • Wells Fargo does not offer a refinancing option.
  • Wells Fargo auto loans are only available for up to 75 months.
  • The company, unfortunately, has been involved in a recent auto insurance scandal that may deter customers from using the bank’s auto loan products.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON WELLS FARGO AUTO LOANS

Wells Fargo may have its share of highs, but, it sure does have its lows as well, which is not surprising. After all, there’s no such thing as a perfect company or auto lender for this matter.

Given all the facts we share, are you considering taking out an auto loan at Wells Fargo?

We do hope that through this Wells Fargo auto loans review, we were able to provide you with all the information you need in order to come up with the right decision.