Wells Fargo Mortgage Review 2020
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Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo first provided banking and express delivery services during the California Gold Rush. It now offers consumer lending, consumer and small business banking, commercial banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management.
Wells Fargo offers home loans and other mortgage products through its retail banks and by correspondent lending to business partners that close loans in the bank’s name. The company is headquartered in San Francisco.
Pros and cons of a Wells Fargo mortgage
- Offers a wide variety of purchase and refinance loan products
- Allows eligible customers to apply, submit documents and track the progress of their loan online
- Offers construction loans with extension rate lock options
- Doesn’t offer fixed-rate home equity loans
- Doesn’t provide loan qualifying requirements on its website
Working with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Wells Fargo offers mortgage services and products in 50 states through nearly 1,000 locations that include both dedicated home loan branches and partner sites. The company originated $124.56 billion in loan volume in 2019, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Wells Fargo borrowing requirements
Wells Fargo doesn’t publish information online about the minimum credit scores it requires for its loans. It also doesn’t specify whether it offers manual underwriting for special borrower circumstances. Customers should contact a Wells Fargo home mortgage consultant for questions about acceptable property types; some types of homes may not qualify for mortgage or home equity financing.
Wells Fargo mortgage products
- Conventional fixed-rate purchase loans. Wells Fargo’s yourFirstMortgage loan comes with a fixed interest rate and allows borrowers to put down just 3% toward the cost of a new home. Eligible homebuyers may qualify for a closing cost credit.
- Adjustable-rate mortgage loans (ARMs). Wells Fargo’s website does not advertise ARM rates for conforming or government loans.
- FHA loans. Loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) let eligible borrowers buy moderately-priced homes with as little as 3.5% down. The down payment money can come from a gift or a grant. Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options are available.
- VA loans. Eligible military borrowers may qualify for a no-down-payment mortgage with a loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options are available.
- USDA loans. No down payment is necessary if you qualify for this loan. You will need to buy a home in a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated rural area. Income limits also apply.
- Jumbo loans. If you need a loan that’s more than your area’s maximum for conforming loan limits, Wells Fargo offers both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate jumbo mortgages. The bank’s 7/1 and 10/1 jumbo ARMs come with lower rates than its fixed-rate jumbo loans. With the adjustable loans, you receive a lower rate for the first seven or 10 years, followed by a rate that can change annually for the remainder of the loan term.
- Construction loans. Wells Fargo offers special loans for financing new construction or almost-completed homes. For borrowers worried about potential interest rate jumps, the bank also offers the Builder Best® Extended Rate Lock program on a variety of loans to lock down a rate for six to 24 months. Fees are required.
- Fixed-rate refinance loans. If you qualify for a lower interest rate, this loan can help you save on your monthly payment. You may also be able to save on interest costs overall with a shorter loan term.
- Cash-out refinance loans. This refinancing option lets you convert the equity in your home into cash to put to other uses, like paying off high-interest credit cards or making home improvements.
- VA interest rate reduction refinance loans (IRRRLs). Homeowners who have a current VA loan may be able to use an IRRRL to either reduce their interest rate or loan term. Special note: As of Feb. 15, 2019, the VA IRRRL is the only VA refinance option Wells Fargo offers.
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). With a home equity line of credit, borrowers receive as-needed access to funds over a set draw period, usually 10 years. Wells Fargo does not charge closing costs, application fees, annual fees or prepayments fees on its HELOCs. Please note: At time of publication, Wells Fargo was not accepting new applications for HELOCs.
Wells Fargo special mortgage programs
NeighborhoodLIFT program. Wells Fargo Bank has a partnership with NeighborWorks America, an independent nonprofit, to provide down payment assistance and financial education to eligible homebuyers. The amount of assistance varies based on income and where you live. To become eligible, you’ll need to take a homebuyer education class.
The mortgage application process
- How to apply. Borrowers can apply online or meet with a home mortgage consultant at a Wells Fargo branch. If you’re already a Wells Fargo customer and use an online username and password, the bank will prefill some of your information to speed up the process. Non-Wells Fargo customers will need to provide basic info like a home address, phone number and the reason why they’re applying for financing. A Wells Fargo consultant will then contact them.
- Disclosure process. Within three business days of applying, Wells Fargo will send a loan estimate with details about your loan terms. Borrowers applying online may be able to use the bank’s yourLoanTracker system to electronically sign any documents they need to submit, like proof of income, assets and debts. They can then upload the documents through the digital portal. The yourLoanTracker system is not available for all types of loans.
- Submitting loan for preapproval. You’ll receive a preapproval based on basic application information and a review of your credit. If you’re using yourLoanTracker, you’ll receive email and text alerts during the loan application process and afterward. Wells Fargo also provides home mortgage consultants to answer questions by phone and help with the loan navigation process.
- Final approval. Once you’ve submitted an application, a home loan processor and underwriter will review and request additional documents as needed. A written loan approval will finalize both the maximum loan amount you’ll receive and your monthly payment.
- Closing. You’ll receive a closing disclosure with final loan terms and costs three business days before you close. Closing requirements vary by state, but most likely your closing will be held at a local Wells Fargo branch or at an attorney or escrow office.
- Servicing. Wells Fargo services its mortgages. Mortgage customers can either enroll in an automatic mortgage payment program or make payments online.
Communication during the process
Borrowers can reach a Wells Fargo representative by calling the following numbers:
- To ask about new loans or speak with a local mortgage consultant in your area, call 877-937-9357, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT
- To ask about existing loans, call 800-357-6675, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT