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Wells Fargo Small Business Loans: 2022 Review

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  • Estimated APR range: Prime + 1.75% and up
  • Best for: Established businesses with strong credit looking for an SBA Preferred Lender

Pros and cons of Wells Fargo

ProsCons
  Competitive interest rates and banking rewards   Can be hard to qualify for the best products and terms
  Large number of small business financing options   Hard to find detailed information about financing terms on bank website
  More than 7,200 physical locations if you prefer in-person banking  Businesses must demonstrate at least two years of operation in order to qualify for some products 

Wells Fargo small business loans review

Wells Fargo is one of the oldest brick-and-mortar banks in the U.S. — tracing its origins back to 1852 —  and more recently has also developed a strong online presence as well. For businesses, Wells Fargo offers a wide range of small business loan options, including commercial real estate loans, secured and unsecured lines of credit, term loans, equipment financing, health care practice loans, merchant cash advances, working capital loans, accounts receivable financing and SBA loans.

Wells Fargo is a Preferred SBA lender and its interest rates on small business loans are generally nationally competitive. Not all details about financing terms for small business loans are available on the bank’s website, however, so you should be prepared to call a banker or visit a branch directly.

Who is Wells Fargo for?
  • Businesses looking to work with a brick-and-mortar bank. Wells Fargo has branches in most states, though there are some exceptions.
  • Established businesses with a strong operating history. These types of companies are the most likely to avail of Wells Fargo’s lowest rates and best terms.
  • Companies that are looking for an SBA Preferred Lender. As a Preferred Lender, Wells Fargo may be able to fund your SBA loan quicker.

Wells Fargo small business financing at a glance

ProductLoan amountsRepayment termEstimated APR rangeFees
SBA 7(a) loansUp to $5,000,00010 years for most purposes; 25 years for purchase of commercial real estateRates vary, subject to SBA maximums*Not disclosed
SBA 504 loansUp to $5.5 million for certain projects; Wells Fargo adds up to an additional $6,500,000Up to 300 months for commercial real estate, or 120 months for machinery or equipmentAbout 3.00%*Not disclosed
Unsecured line of credit (BusinessLine)$10,000 to $100,000RevolvingPrime + 1.75% to prime + 9.75%Annual fee of $95 to $175, waived for the first year
SBA line of credit (unsecured)$5,000 to $50,000Five-year revolving termStarting at prime + 4.50%No annual fee
4% cash advance fee
Secured line of credit (PrimeLine)$100,000 to $500,0001 year, renewable annuallyNot disclosed0.50% origination fee
Commercial real estate loan$50,000 to $1,000,00060 to 240 monthsNot disclosedStandard escrow and title fees; early closure fee of $3,000 for variable-rate loans or 3% of principal for fixed-rate loans
Equipment financingStarting at $100,000Not disclosedNot disclosedNot disclosed
Health care practice loansUp to $5,000,000 for commercial real estate loans; other maximums not disclosed (contact banker)Up to 120 monthsNot disclosed (contact banker)Not disclosed (contact banker)

*Terms and rates based on SBA guidelines

SBA 7(a) loans

As an SBA preferred lender, Wells Fargo is a source for both 7(a) and 504 SBA loans. SBA 7(a) loans can be used for a variety of business needs, from buying equipment or real estate to expanding a business. Since these loans are backed by the SBA, requirements are spelled out and can often be more flexible than those of conventional small business loans.

The SBA acts as a guarantor for a portion of these loans, making individual lending institutions more willing to extend them to qualifying businesses. SBA 7(a) loans have a standard term of 10 years, though that may be extended to 25 years for real estate purchases. A business must have a net income of $5 million or less, along with a net worth of $15 million or less, in order to qualify.

SBA CDC/504 loans

SBA CDC/504 loans, are designed to help businesses grow through equipment purchases, construction or the acquisition of land or buildings (CDC stands for “Certified Development Company,” a community-based organization that facilitates these loans in conjunction with the SBA.). Although the SBA sets out parameters for CDC/504 loans, they can be modified by individual lenders within those specific limits. For example, on top of the $5 million maximum allowed by the SBA, Wells Fargo provides qualifying businesses with access to an additional $5.5 million.

Lines of credit

Wells Fargo offers three business lines of credit, two of which are unsecured and one secured. Outside of requiring collateral, the main differences between them are the amounts of the credit lines. The two unsecured options — the Business Line of Credit and the SBA-backed line of credit — offer revolving credit lines of $10,000 to $100,000 or $5,000 to $50,000, respectively. The secured option, the Prime Line of Credit, starts at $100,000 and goes up to $500,000.

The Prime Line of Credit is a secured line of credit, and typically for businesses with $2 million to $5 million in sales. The Prime Line of Credit has a 0.50% origination fee, due at opening and with every renewal, while the Business Line of Credit carries an annual fee of $95 or $175. The SBA-backed option does not carry an annual fee.

Commercial real estate loans

Wells Fargo offers commercial real estate loans for purchase, refinance and equity loans, in addition to equity lines of credit. Under a current promotion, available through Sept. 30, 2022, you can get 0.50% off your fixed interest rate on a 15-year loan.

Purchase loans are available for $50,000 to $1,000,000, with up to 80% loan-to-value financing. Refinancing loans are also available for $50,000 to $1,000,000, but the cash-out portion can only be $50,000 to $500,000. The loan-to-value ratio on a refinancing must remain at 75% or lower. Real estate equity loans and lines of credit share the same $50,000 to $500,000 limits, along with an LTV limit of 75%.

Equipment financing

Wells Fargo offers a wide range of equipment loan options that can be used to purchase technology and heavy machinery like commercial vehicles, construction equipment, computers and marine fleet financing, among other options.

For individual loan or lease amounts exceeding $100,000, the bank asks that you contact them to speak with one of their equipment finance professionals.

Health care practice loans

Health care practice loans are not a specific type of loan offered by Wells Fargo. However, the bank does offer several financing options that can be used to help various types of practitioners establish, expand or acquire their businesses, from physicians and dentists to veterinarians and optometrists. To this end, equipment loans, lines of credit, commercial real estate loans and other Wells Fargo financing options can be used as health care practice loans.

Wells Fargo borrower requirements

Minimum annual revenueNot disclosed
Minimum annual revenueNot disclosed
Minimum time in businessNot disclosed
Minimum credit scoreNot disclosed

Wells Fargo’s process to get a business loan is somewhat opaque, as the bank doesn’t publish annual revenue, time in business or credit score minimums on its website. You’ll have to complete an application and speak directly with a banker to find out whether or not you meet the minimum qualification standards.

The only publicly available requirement for getting a Wells Fargo Advantage Small Business Line of Credit backed by the SBA is that you meet SBA requirements. However, with most lenders, small business loan requirements include a credit score, your time in business, your business plan and balance sheet, cash flow history and projections, accounts receivable and payable reports and collateral.

Required documents

Specific documents may vary by loan or financing type, but here are the general requirements for business loans and lines of credit at Wells Fargo:

  • Legal business name, address and phone number
  • Date business was first established (when the date the business originally opened, even if it was done under different ownership)
  • Business tax identification or Social Security number
  • Ownership type
  • Number of owners
  • Gross annual revenue

Each owner with a 25% or more interest must be listed as a guarantor and provide additional information, including the following:

  • Percentage of ownership
  • Annual household income

At least one owner with control and authority over the business must provide this information:

  • Name, address and phone number
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Citizenship

For the Prime Line of Credit, the additional information required includes:

  • Two years of personal tax returns
  • Personal financial statement
  • Two years of business tax returns
  • Two years of company-prepared, year-end financial statements

Alternatives to Wells Fargo

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Wells FargoNavy Federal Credit Union Bank of America
Minimum credit scoreNot disclosedNot disclosedNot disclosed
Loan products offeredSBA loans, business lines of credit, equipment financing, commercial real estate loansTerm loans, vehicle loans, business lines of credit, commercial real estate loansSBA loans, business lines of credit, equipment financing, commercial real estate loans
Time to fundingApproval within 10 business days or less for unsecured credit line; may be longer for other productsSeveral business days or less; 30 to 45 days for real estate loansDepends on speed of documentation; for equipment loans, generally within 10 business days
Starting APRPrime + 1.75%Not disclosedAs low as 5.50%
Maximum loan sizeUp to $11.5 million for SBA 504 loansNot disclosed; speak with banker regarding loans above $50,000 in sizeUp to $5,000,000
Minimum annual revenueNot disclosedNot disclosedAt least $100,000 for unsecured lines of credit; at least $250,000 for secured lines and equipment loans

Wells Fargo vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union offers lots of perks to its customers, but you’ll need to have U.S. military ties to open an account. Navy Federal Credit Union offers business loans and commercial real estate loans with terms of up to five years. Loans of up to $50,000 are readily available, but beyond that amount, you’ll have to speak with a credit union representative. Business credit lines start at $35,000 and can top $100,000, but they must be secured. If you’re in need of an unsecured line of credit, Wells Fargo would be a better choice for you than Navy Federal Credit Union.

Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America

Bank of America is a large, direct competitor with Wells Fargo, and the two banks offer a number of the same options for business financing. For example, Bank of America offers SBA loans, lines of credit, equipment loans and conventional commercial real estate loans. For better or worse, Bank of America spells out its minimum eligibility requirements for business loans, including two years of operating history and a minimum of $100,000 in annual revenue for unsecured loans and lines of credit ($250,000 for secured loans and lines of credit). These are likely comparable with Wells Fargo, but you won’t know for sure until you speak directly with a banker.