Established in 1852 and one of the “big four” U.S. banks, Wells Fargo is probably already on the radar of anyone searching for the best auto loans. Serving over three million auto loan customers, Wells Fargo is one of America’s leading auto lenders for new and used vehicles. Financing options are available through its 11,000 strong dealer network, although it should be noted that auto loan refinancing is no longer on offer.
As you would expect of such a banking behemoth, however, Wells Fargo offers almost anything else you can think of in respect of personal finance, including banking services, credit cards and mortgages. And given it’s aim is to help people manage their money effectively, it should come as little surprise that Wells Fargo ranks highly in our shortlist of the best debt consolidation companies as well.
Wells Fargo Auto Loan review: Eligibility
- Considers all credit scores
- Accepts co-applications
You can only get an auto loan through Wells Fargo if you are willing to buy a car through one of its active dealers. However, given there are over 11,000 of them nationwide, this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
What is also important is that Wells Fargo is usually willing to consider lending to almost anyone, regardless of credit score. This potentially opens the door to auto finance for those whose credit history is perhaps not as favorable as it could be, although the best auto loan rates will be reserved for those who can demonstrate a good level of creditworthiness.
There is, of course, no guarantee that you will be accepted, but if your credit score is too low for approval, you can also apply with a co-applicant. Not all auto loan companies provide this option, which can improve the chance of acceptance by considering the finances of both applicants.
Wells Fargo Auto Loan review: Application process
Application process: Direct dealer application or call
APR: Dependent on amount, terms and credit score
Fees: Fees apply, not disclosed
Loan terms: 36 - 72 months
- Must call or go to dealer
- Slow approval
Perhaps surprisingly, there isn’t an abundance of information to be found on the main Wells Fargo website about auto loans. If you conduct a web search for ‘Wells Fargo auto loans’, a smaller self-contained site can be found that is mostly for the benefit of auto dealers, but does offer some useful for auto loan customers too.
If you have any questions about the application process, you will need to call. Lines are open 7am - 9pm Central Time, Monday to Friday, and from 8am - 2pm on Saturday. If you have any questions on Sunday, then you’re out of luck. Alternatively, if you are ready to buy, you can go straight to one of the approved dealers and start the process from there. As Wells Fargo can take up to a week to approve an auto loan, it is not the place to go if you’re in a hurry for a new car. By comparison, Bank of America can provide a decision in around a minute.
Wells Fargo Auto Loan review: Essential details
- Minimum loan of $2,500
- Little information regarding APRs
Auto loans from Wells Fargo generally range from 36 to 72 months, and must be for a minimum of $2,500. It is also made clear that late fees and finance charges can be applied to a loan account. However, all we are told about interest rates is that they will depend on your credit, your income, and your vehicle of choice, and that APRs on new vehicles will usually be lower than on used vehicles. Of course, the better your credit, the lower you can expect your APR to be, but it would be nice to have some kind of indication without having to pick up the phone or take a trip to the auto dealer.
Wells Fargo Auto Loan review: Service
- Can manage account online
- Auto pay option
Once you have an auto loan through Wells Fargo, you can sign up to manage your account online. This allows you to make payments from the comfort of your home, although there are also the more traditional options to mail your payment, pay in branch or by phone. For ultimate convenience, however, consider using the Automatic Loan Payment feature which takes away the hassle of remembering to pay each month.
In terms of guidance, the financial education section of the main website contains a handful of well written articles relating to managing auto finances on a general level. The alternative auto loan website also has a calculator that you can use to work out your monthly payments, as long as you have the APR at hand to input it yourself. There are a number of FAQs on this site too, mainly addressing questions about online management and making payments.
As is often the case with the largest banks, customer reviews tend to disappoint, but shouldn’t necessarily be seen as an accurate reflection of the type of service you can expect specifically in relation to auto loans.
Should you choose a Wells Fargo Auto Loan?
If you’re looking for an auto loan but have doubts over your credit score, Wells Fargo is a reliable and well-known name to approach. With more than 11,000 dealers nationwide, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a suitable vehicle, while co-applications are welcome and there are a selection of payment options too.
That said, a number of things disappoint with Wells Fargo, including the lack of upfront rate information and the disparate nature of guidance available to potential borrowers overall. If you’re struggling to get a loan elsewhere, then by all means give Wells Fargo a try, but it’s likely you’ll be relying on the auto dealer to answer most of the questions you have.