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What Wells Fargo Offers
Wells Fargo offers mortgages in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Interest rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate conventional loan at Well Fargo are comparable to current national averages. You can check advertised interest rates on the company’s website.
Wells Fargo offers the following types of mortgages:
- FHA cash-out refinance
- FHA streamline refinance
- Jumbo refinance
- VA IRRRL
- Specialty mortgage products, including first-time homebuyer programs
In addition to these loan types, Wells Fargo offers five-, seven- and 10-year conventional conforming loans, jumbo adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and five-year ARMs for government-backed loans.
If you’re an existing Wells Fargo customer seeking a non-conforming loan—such as a jumbo loan—you might be able to get a discount based on your deposit account or asset management relationship.
Wells Fargo doesn’t have a minimum loan amount, which is good news if you’re seeking a small-dollar mortgage. Some lenders don’t offer small mortgage loans, which can make it harder for people to purchase less expensive homes.
Wells Fargo declined to provide a specific dollar amount for how much it will lend on jumbo loans or conventional cash-out refinance loans. “Maximum loan amounts vary by loan program and transaction-specific factors,” a company representative said in an email.
Many lenders offer jumbo mortgages of up to $3 million or more.
Wells Fargo declined to put a percentage on the chance a loan it originates will also be serviced by the bank. So, we can’t say whether you’ll end up making your payments to Wells Fargo if you take out a mortgage from the company, or if your loan will be resold to another servicer.
Wells Fargo also services loans originated by other lenders, so you could end up making payments to the company even if you close on your mortgage with a different lender.
Minimum Borrower Requirements
Here are the basic criteria Wells Fargo requires mortgage borrowers to meet.
Minimum Credit Score
Wells Fargo’s minimum credit score requirements vary by loan type. Your credit score may need to be higher than the minimums shown here based on other aspects of the transaction, such as loan-to-value ratio. Here are the minimum scores Wells Fargo requires:
- Conventional. 620
- FHA. 640
- FHA Streamline. 600 if the loan requires credit qualification; no minimum score if the loan doesn’t require credit qualification
- VA. 600
- Jumbo. 700
- Low-income loans. Expanded credit criteria
If your qualifying income is at or below 80% of the area median income for the county where the home is located, Wells Fargo will consider nontraditional credit. This means you can use your payment history for utility and cable bills—which often don’t appear on credit reports—to help you qualify.
Minimum Down Payment
Down payment requirements for a Wells Fargo mortgage also depend on the loan type. Here are the most common loan types with their down payment requirements:
- Conventional. 3%
- FHA. 3.5%
- VA. 0%
- Jumbo. 10.01%
You might need a larger down payment depending on the loan amount, property type, property location, your income, occupancy type (primary versus rental property) and homebuyer education requirements. And when you make a small down payment, you might have to pay mortgage insurance premiums, which will increase your monthly payments.
Maximum Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio
Wells Fargo did not provide the maximum DTI ratio for any of its loans.
A general rule of thumb is to keep your monthly debt payments below 43% of your gross monthly income. However, some loan programs allow a DTI as high as 50%, depending on other aspects of your finances. That means you might not get approved for a mortgage with the minimum credit score, the minimum down payment and the maximum DTI. A higher DTI may be acceptable if you have a higher down payment, though.
What Fees Will You Pay?
Generally speaking, closing costs can range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. Some lenders with no origination fee make up for it by charging borrowers a higher interest rate, so you’ll want to compare the annual percentage rate (APR) of each loan, not just interest rates, when you’re shopping around.
Here’s a look at what closing costs Wells Fargo charges:
Wells Fargo’s lender fees vary by loan product and location and can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars for an ARM to more than $10,000 for a jumbo loan. These estimated fees include an origination fee and discount points that allow you to pay a percentage of the loan amount to “buy down” your interest rate.
You’ll be able to evaluate the fees for your specific loan on your loan estimate after you apply and before you commit. Often, you can reduce your fees by certain shopping around for mortgage services.
You have the option to lock your rate online or by phone. A Wells Fargo loan officer can help guide your decision. If you’re buying an existing home, Wells Fargo will lock your rate for up to 120 days. Wells Fargo does not publicly disclose the amount it charges for a rate lock.
“The length of a rate-lock period may impact the cost of the loan, and some may require a fee up front,” says Tom Goyda, senior vice president of consumer lending communications at Wells Fargo.
For new construction, rate locks can be as long as 720 days, giving you plenty of time to build your home. The company also offers an extended rate lock program that allows you to lock in your rate for up to 24 months on a variety of loans with a required, non-refundable extended lock fee and an option for a one-time float down.
Wells Fargo says it will also extend your rate lock at no cost to you if your rate lock is set to expire before your loan closes.
Check out the Forbes Advisor home affordability calculator if you want to know exactly how much house you can afford.
Wells Fargo doesn’t charge prepayment penalties on any of its current home lending products, according to a company spokesperson.
How To Apply With Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo allows you to submit a complete mortgage application online. That’s different from some other lenders, which only allow you to submit your personal information online. A representative will contact you after receiving your application to discuss the next steps in the process. You can track your loan’s status and upload required documents through the company’s online portal.
If you’d prefer to have someone talk you through your application, you can apply for a Wells Fargo mortgage by phone.
Or, to apply in-person, visit a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Center. By searching for mortgage centers near you, you can pull up a list of mortgage consultants at that location. This feature may be helpful if you need to find someone who speaks a language other than English.
Approval, Underwriting and Closing Timelines
Wells Fargo does not say how quickly it can preapprove a mortgage application, only that the timeline from application to full approval is generally 30 to 90 days.
You can e-sign some but not all of the loan disclosures and closing documents, so plan to meet with a notary in person for closing.
What To Do If You Get Turned Down
If you get turned down after applying for a home loan with Wells Fargo, check with your loan officer to find out why. Typical reasons for not qualifying can include insufficient income, an income history that’s too short or too unstable, too much debt or a credit score that’s too low.
Understanding why you weren’t approved for a mortgage can help you improve your credit score or tackle other financial roadblocks and reapply later on.
However, if you’re in a hurry to get a mortgage, shop around with other mortgage lenders that have more lenient criteria. A lender that offers non-QM loans, for example, or first-time homebuyer programs may be able to meet your needs if you’re willing to pay a higher interest rate. And don’t worry about hurting your credit score if you shop around for a mortgage: Submitting multiple applications within 45 days will have the same impact on your score as submitting a single application, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Asking someone to co-sign the loan or be a co-borrower is another option, but that might be risky if they’re not living in the home. To get an idea of what you can afford without financial help, use the Forbes Advisor mortgage calculator.
What People Are Saying About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has taken a beating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As of May 2023, the bank has a BBB score of 1.07 out of 5 stars based on more than 700 customer reviews.
The BBB also gives Wells Fargo an F rating, based on how the company responds to complaints, its time in business, size and other factors. The BBB closed more than 2,220 complaints about Wells Fargo in the last 12 months, and 5,300 complaints in the last three years.
The company is currently not BBB accredited and has had three government actions against it, only one of which was mortgage related. All three cases have been settled.
The CFPB’s consumer complaint database shows 13,203 mortgage complaints about Wells Fargo from May 2020 through May 2023.
While these numbers may seem high, they’re relatively small compared to the number of mortgage borrowers Wells Fargo serves.
Most complaints were about conventional mortgages or FHA mortgages and the loans’ payment process or mortgage closing process. The company provided a timely response to nearly all complaints. The CFPB does not verify the accuracy of consumers’ complaints.
We graded Wells Fargo based on features that have a meaningful impact on the cost of a mortgage and a borrower’s experience, including interest rates, loan options, accessibility, closing time and customer service.
We award bonus points if a lender offers a specialty rate discount or mortgage product, a home equity product, or a fully online mortgage application process.
Our scoring method is broken down as follows:
- Interest rate. 20%
- Loan options. 20%
- Time to close. 20%
- Accessibility. 20%
- Customer service experience. 20%
- Bonus points. Up to 25 points
We chose to focus on these core elements to bring forward lenders that offer the most competitive rates while also providing a satisfactory customer experience accessible to borrowers of all financial backgrounds. We believe this scoring system best reflects consumers’ top priorities when comparison shopping for mortgage lenders.
To learn more about our rating and review methodology and editorial process, check out our guide on How Forbes Advisor Reviews Mortgage Lenders.
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