Wells Fargo Auto Loan: In-Depth Review
Walking into a dealership without doing loan research can make it easy for a salesperson to convince you that you can only qualify for a high interest rate. But by doing your research with at least a couple of banks, credit unions or online lenders, you’ll have a much better idea of the rate you deserve. Wells Fargo auto loan rates are competitive, so it’s worth adding the bank to your auto loan shopping list. However, you won’t know your exact rate or terms until you apply through the dealership.
Wells Fargo auto loan details
Wells Fargo offers auto loans through its 11,000 partner dealerships. You cannot apply directly to Wells Fargo, but you could ask a network dealership to send your finance application to Wells Fargo.
This is a disadvantage when other lenders offer preapproved auto loans, an offer with your maximum APR and loan amount to take with you when you car shop. Some lenders will even issue a check you can take to the dealer. But there are good reasons to keep Wells Fargo in the running:
- Consumer auto loans: Most borrowers will receive an auto loan rate between 3.99% and 19.99%, according to a Wells Fargo spokesperson, as of July 27, 2020. Terms stretch to 75 months.
- Business auto loans: Wells Fargo business auto loan rates start at 3.99% for terms between 24 and 75 months. Check on availability with your local branch.
- Personal loans, which you could use to buy a specialty vehicle, start at 5.74% for 12 to 60 months.
Wells Fargo business auto loans and personal loans offer a discount off your APR if you use autopay to make your monthly payments from a Wells Fargo checking account:
- Business auto loans offer a 0.25 percentage-point discount.
- Personal loans offer up to a 0.5 percentage-point discount if you use autopay from a Portfolio checking account.
Specialty vehicle financing
In addition to cars, trucks and SUVs, Wells Fargo also finances new and used RVs, motorcycles, boats, yachts, personal-use aircraft and miscellaneous recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles and Jet Skis. However, you would have to use a Wells Fargo personal loan, not an auto loan, to purchase this kind of vehicle. Wells Fargo personal loans have higher starting rates, but you could qualify for a customer relationship discount if you make automatic payments from a Wells Fargo checking account.
Pros and cons of a Wells Fargo car loan
Wells Fargo is what’s known as an “indirect” auto lender, meaning it works with dealerships, not consumers. But it does offer flexibility that other auto lenders don’t, including direct financing you could use to buy a vehicle for your business or a specialty vehicle like an RV or motorcycle. One big gap: If you’re looking to refinance your auto loan, keep searching, Wells Fargo no longer offers them.
Advantages of the Wells Fargo auto loan
Rate discounts available: As we mentioned earlier, Wells Fargo offers customer relationship discounts. To qualify, you must have a Wells Fargo account or open one at loan booking. The discount is only available for business or personal loans, not consumer auto loans.
Competitive rates: Wells Fargo auto loan rates are on par with other lenders we’ve seen, but it’s always a good idea to shop around so you get the best auto loan rate possible.
Poor credit considered: You don’t have to have great credit to qualify for a Wells Fargo auto loan. But it isn’t the only lender to consider if you need a bad credit auto loan.
No origination fees or prepayment penalties.
Drawbacks of the Wells Fargo auto loan
No direct lending: You cannot get a consumer auto loan directly from Wells Fargo; you must go through a dealership that works with the bank.
No private party auto loans: You cannot use a Wells Fargo auto loan to buy a car from a private seller.
How to apply for Wells Fargo auto financing
To apply for a Wells Fargo car loan, you’ll have to buy a vehicle from a partner dealership. Don’t assume the dealer you have in mind is in its network; call ahead and ask to be sure.
At the dealership, you’ll pick out the vehicle you want and then fill out a credit application form. Here’s the basic info you and your cosigner, if you have one, may need to provide:
- Personal details: Name, number, address, Social Security number
- Employment information: Employer’s name and contact details and your income
- Loan details: Your down payment and desired loan amount and loan term
- Vehicle information: Make, model, trim, mileage and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the car you want and of your trade-in, if you have one
If you recently started your job, or if your pay varies because you’re paid hourly or on commission, Wells Fargo may ask for proof of income. And if you have not lived for very long at the address you used on your Wells Fargo loan application, you may have to provide proof of residence. For more information on the type of documents you’ll need, check out our car loan documentation checklist.
How to make a Wells Fargo auto loan payment
If you sign for a Wells Fargo auto loan at the dealership, you’ll still make payments to the bank. Wells Fargo offers different ways to make your monthly car payment:
Log in to your account through the Wells Fargo website. You may make a payment immediately or schedule one up to 30 days in advance.
Like online payments, use your Wells Fargo auto login to enroll in autopay or fill out this form and return by mail or fax to make automatic payments from another bank account.
Call 800-289-8004 to make automated payments 24/7. If you want to speak to a representative, you’ll need to call between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CST on weekdays or 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. CST on Saturdays.
Send a check or money order to Wells Fargo Auto, P.O. Box 17900, Denver, CO 80217-0900.