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Wells Fargo offers conventional fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages for purchases and refinancing. It also offers jumbo mortgages for purchases and refinancing at both adjustable and fixed rates, and it provides FHA and VA loans. If you’re a member of a participating union, you may be eligible for Well Fargos’ Union Plus Mortgage, which offers award cards for purchase or refinance loans.

Wells has a construction mortgage option that lets borrowers lock their interest rate while their home is being built. Current homeowners can apply for home improvement loans and home equity lines of credit.

With the lender’s yourFirst mortgage, eligible borrowers can purchase a home with as little as 3 percent down, and they can qualify for a discounted interest rate by going through a homebuyer education class. The program is designed for first-time buyers, but the bank states that some who aren’t first-timers may be eligible as well.

Rates and Fees

As of this publishing, Wells Fargo’s interest rates were comparable to those of other large banks and higher than the smaller mortgage lenders’ rates. The difference between its advertised interest rates and annual percentage rates is small, meaning it has lower closing costs and fees than some competitors. There is no fee for applications. Borrowers who put 20 percent or more down will not have to pay for private mortgage insurance.

If interest rates go down while a borrower is in the rate-lock period before closing, they can have their rate lowered once. Wells does not charge a penalty for making extra payments on a mortgage to shorten the life of the loan.

For its conventional loans, Wells prefers at least a 620 credit rating and a 43 percent debt-to-income ratio, but its loan officers have some flexibility for individual clients. For yourFirst mortgages, the lender considers factors beyond traditional credit scores (utility payment history, for example), to qualify borrowers that might otherwise be rejected.

Customer Experience

While there is a wealth of information about Wells Fargo’s products on its website, to apply for a mortgage, you will have to speak to someone in person or on the phone. Once the process is under way, you can do most of it online through the secure yourLoan Tracker website, where you can upload documents and sign them electronically.

We can’t ignore Wells Fargo’s very public misdeeds: opening millions of new accounts for customers without their consent, improperly charging mortgage customers extra rate-lock fees, allegedly discriminating against minorities and signing up customers for auto insurance they didn’t want. While the company has promised the federal government and its customers (see its new ad campaign) that it has entered a new era of trustworthiness, go into any arrangement with your eyes wide open. That said, the company still gets lots of new business and has decent customer satisfaction rating with J.D. Power, and its individual loan officers receive glowing reviews.

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