Updated November 16, 2015
Shopping for a new (or new to you) car can be an all-consuming process. Between reviewing your budget and determining what payment you can afford, obtaining financing at the absolute best rate, and then actually shopping for the car your family needs, you can be looking at a stressful process.
Online banks and credit unions are quickly becoming the most competitive when it comes to auto financing, but big banks like Wells Fargo is still looking for your business.
Wells Fargo auto loan provides flexible financing for new and used vehicles, as well as lease buyouts. Its rates range from 3.90% to 10.51%, and it loans up to $100,000. Auto loan terms with Wells Fargo start at 12 months and top out at 72 months, but it does not allow online approval.
How To Apply
In order to apply for a Wells Fargo auto loan, you should be prepared with the following information:
- Personal Information: Your Social Security number, address, any previous addresses, mortgage amount and information or rent payments.
- Income Information: Your gross income, current and previous employment history, employment status.
- Current Vehicle Information: The VIN, year, make, model, and mileage of the car.
To make sure you have all of the necessary information, use Wells Fargo’s Loan Application Checklist
The actual online application is fairly simple, and you will receive an answer as well as your rate in 5 to 10 minutes. If you do not wish to complete your application online, you can visit a Wells Fargo branch and discuss your application there with an Auto Finance Specialist.
If you are approved for the loan, you will receive your funds within a few days.
The Fine Print
Auto loan rates with Wells Fargo depend on creditworthiness, type of purchase (new or used), term, and the amount financed. The following are the starting APRs for different types of purchase:
- Refinance: 5.33%
- New Purchase From Dealer: 3.90%
- Used Purchase From Dealer: 5.26%
- Used Purchase From a Private Party: 6.84%
- Lease Buyout: 4.34%
The starting APRs listed above assume a loan amount greater than $22,000 and that is less than 85% of the car’s value. This means that if you have the credit history to qualify for the starting rates, you may have to have a down payment.
You can choose to finance 100% of the vehicle, and not need to provide a down payment, but your rate will be higher.
The starting APRs also include a 0.25% relationship discount. To qualify for the relationship discount, you must maintain a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account and make automatic payments from a Wells Fargo deposit account. You can only receive one relationship discount per loan, and auto loans where the dealer is the lender to not qualify. If you choose to cancel automatic payments or your qualifying checking account, your relationship discount will be cancelled.
Auto loans from Wells Fargo come with a $99 origination fee, which is financed with the loan and reflected in the APR. There is no need to pay this fee out of pocket.
The minimum loan amount Wells Fargo will finance is $5,000. Wells Fargo has the ability to finance up to $100,000 for an auto loan, but the maximum amount you are approved for will be determined when you apply. Terms for new vehicles are as long as 72 months, but for vehicles 7 years or older, the maximum term is 48 months.
Wells Fargo finances most vehicles with the exception of commercial vehicles, salvage vehicles, or conversion vans. Titles cannot be registered to a business.
Also worth noting is that Wells Fargo does not finance auto loans in Louisiana.
- Rates From 3.90%
- Terms of 12 to 72 months
- Loans from $5,000 to $100,000
- 25% Relationship Discount
- Online application approval or denial in 5 to 10 minutes
- Rates max out at 10.51%
- $99 Origination Fee
- No online pre-approval
- Not available in Louisiana
- No commercial or salvage vehicles
- No conversion vans
- 48 months maximum term for vehicles 7 years and older
- Rate is unknown until you apply
Other Auto Loan Options
Wells Fargo’s rates are easily beat by many other auto loan lenders, regardless of whether you’re buying new, used, or refinancing.
LightStream offers similar loan terms, 24 to 84 months, and will finance $5,000 - $100,000 with rates starting at 3.99% with autopay. Unlike Wells Fargo, LightStream charges no origination fees.
For a less complicated loan experience with lower rates and fewer fees, you could also consider PenFed Credit Union. You have to become a member, but anyone can gain membership in PenFed Credit Union with a one-time donation to a PenFed selected charity. It offers rates from 2.49% to 4.49%, terms from 36 to 84 months, and will loan $500 - $100,000. It charges no origination fee, but does not provide the option for online pre-approval.
A Good Option in Select Cases
Wells Fargo may be a good option for an auto loan if you prefer to buy used from a private party, need a lease buyout, or already have a relationship with the bank. However, in most cases you will be better off looking elsewhere. Between the high interest rates, complicated terms, fees that few other lenders charge, and no ability to get pre-approval online, an auto loan from Wells Fargo may be more trouble than it’s worth.