2023 Wells Fargo Auto Loan Review
If you’re looking for an auto loan, it makes sense to go to a familiar institution like Wells Fargo (WF), especially if you are already a Wells Fargo customer. Due to recent changes in the bank’s lending policies, however, Wells Fargo auto loan reviews are less than positive.
In the past, Wells Fargo offered auto loans directly through its branches, but that option isn’t available anymore. Now if you want to apply, you’ll have to contact one of the dealerships in WF’s network.
- Loans only available through dealerships: Wells Fargo doesn’t offer direct lending, but you might be approved through one of the partner dealerships in its network.
- Large network of dealerships: Wells Fargo works with a wide network of nearly 11,000 auto dealerships.
- Terms vary: The terms for a Wells Fargo auto loan can vary from one loan contract to the next. This means that you won’t know the interest rate, loan amounts or loan terms you may qualify for until you visit a dealer.
- Qualification requirements are not disclosed: Each dealership in the Wells Fargo network may have its own requirements to qualify for a loan.
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Wells Fargo pros and cons
Wells Fargo doesn’t offer direct auto lending, which means you can’t apply through the bank. Instead, you’ll have to apply through a dealership in Wells Fargo’s network, and each dealership may have its own loan terms and eligibility requirements.
Established auto lender
Large network of dealerships
Available at dealerships only
Loan terms vary by contract
Requirements vary by dealership
The upside to applying for an auto loan with a dealer is that you can shop for your car and get your financing all in one place. But there are many downsides, including:
- Your car choices will be limited to what’s in the dealer’s inventory.
- Dealerships often add their own fees to financing.
- Terms and requirements can vary significantly from one dealership to the next.
A closer look at Wells Fargo auto loans
Wells Fargo offers loans through its network of nearly 11,000 dealerships. While that gives you a wide variety of dealers to choose from, WF doesn’t publish a list of network partners.
What we do know is that WF loans are available through AutoNation and Hertz, two of the largest dealerships in the U.S., but not through Carvana. For other dealerships, you’ll have to contact them to find out whether they offer Wells Fargo auto loans.
Wells Fargo doesn’t offer auto refinancing or private party loans, and it doesn’t work with independent dealerships. Instead, it lends through franchises, which don’t always sell used vehicles.
If you do qualify for a WF loan with good terms, you may still want to pass on the deal. In December 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that Wells Fargo had been illegally charging fees and interest on auto loans, to the tune of $1.3 billion, and wrongly repossessing vehicles. The CFPB’s director also stated that “Wells Fargo has consistently been one of the most problematic repeat offenders of the banks and credit unions we supervise.”
A few other details to keep in mind before applying:
- Interest rates will depend on your credit, income and vehicle, but nothing more specific is disclosed. It’ll be difficult to know how much to budget for your monthly payment without submitting a loan application.
- Fees and interest rates will depend on your loan contract, including late fees and prepayment penalties.
- You can change your payment due date on a Wells Fargo auto loan one time by requesting a due date change online.
How to get a loan with Wells Fargo
If you’re looking for auto financing through Wells Fargo, you’ll have to check with your local dealership to see whether Wells Fargo financing is available.
Each dealer has its own application process, but you can generally expect something like this:
- Fill out an application: Provide your contact information, Social Security number and income details.
- Submit documents: Submit any documents the dealer requests, which may include a copy of your photo ID, proof of insurance and tax returns.
- Finalize the loan: If approved, carefully review the loan terms before signing the contract.
How Wells Fargo auto loans compare
If you’re looking for a bank-backed auto loan, Bank of America and LightStream may be better choices than Wells Fargo. Both offer direct lending online, including auto refinancing and loans for private-party purchases. You can also fill out a single form with LendingTree and receive up to five auto loan offers from lenders.
|Wells Fargo||Bank of America||LightStream|
|Starting APR||Varies by location||5.79%||6.99%* with autopay and good credit|
|Terms||Varies by location||Up to 72 months||24-84 months|
|Amount||Varies by location||$7,500 and up||$5,000-$100,000|
|Min. credit score||Varies by location||Not disclosed||Good credit|
Is a Wells Fargo loan right for you?
It’s difficult to give a positive Wells Fargo auto loan review, since the terms for WF’s auto loans vary from one contract to the next, and customers seem generally unsatisfied. If you’re still interested in a WF loan, the best way to determine if it’s right for you is to carefully review your loan approval and compare it to your other loan offers.
Frequently asked questions
Each auto dealership in Wells Fargo’s network may have its own credit requirements. The best way to find the minimum score requirement is to call the dealer or visit its website. Generally speaking, the higher your credit score, the better financing terms you can expect to receive.
Dealer-arranged financing is often the most convenient way to finance and purchase a car, but it can also be the most expensive. If you’re looking for the most affordable terms, you’re more likely to find them from your bank or credit union.
In mid-2022, the average interest rate for borrowers with credit scores of 720 or higher was 2.96% APR for new car loans. Borrowers with bad credit can still be approved for auto loans but will likely have much higher interest rates.