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How Wells Fargo Student Loan Consolidation Measures Up in the Refinancing Market

05/18/2015 11:06 pm ET | Updated May 18, 2016

As an independent, transparent marketplace for student loan refinancing, Credible will be producing a series of articles profiling lenders in the refinancing space. 

With the student loan refinancing market expanding, there are many lenders willing to refinance and consolidate your student loans. Lenders come in all sizes, from big banks to newly emerged peer-to-peer lenders.

Wells Fargo is the most notable of big banks that will consolidate your student loans. Here is a deeper look into a consolidation with Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo Student Loan Consolidation Highlights

  • 15- to 20-year loan repayment term, with rates as low as 3.24 percent APR
  • Discounts available for Wells Fargo customers
  • Interest-only payments and deferments are not available
  • Only private loans can be refinanced

Choosing Wells Fargo allows you to work with a well-established financial institution. In 2014 they were named the best U.S bank by The Banker magazine, and they have over 8,700 locations.

Mission

Wells Fargo promotes their loan consolidation to help individuals save money as well as simplify the loan repayment process. They want borrowers to "[a]chieve more and worry less about loan payments in your new life after college." Their banking products have been high-ranking around the world, and they have spent several billions of dollars on charitable organizations and community outreach. In 2014 they recorded 1.74 million hours of volunteer work done by their team members.

Product Offerings

Wells Fargo student loan consolidation only offers 15- and 20-year loans, but there is no penalty if you pay off your student loan early. One disadvantage of these two loans is that Wells Fargo does not allow interest-only or deferment payments, like their competitors.

Rates (Valid as of May 18, 2015):

Term

Fixed

Variable

15-year loan
6.49% - 11.79%
3.24 - 8.49%
20-year loan
6.49% - 11.79%
3.24 - 8.49%

*Lowest rates include customer discount and automatic payment discount.

Co-signers are allowed on these consolidation loans and can help borrowers achieve a better interest rate. If the co-signer is a Wells Fargo customer but the main borrower is not, then the loan will still receive the 0.25-percent rate reduction for the customer discount.

Details

Borrowers can borrow up to $120,000 for the consolidation loan. However, the lifetime limit for the loan combined with all other education-related debt is $250,000. Repayment of the loan begins immediately after consolidation has been approved. Therefore, if the borrower is still a student with loans that do not require repayment until after graduation, then they should wait until graduation before enrolling in the Wells Fargo consolidation loan to save money.

For those who are struggling to pay back their debt, Wells Fargo offers up to two months of forbearance. Another forbearance would not be granted until 12 consecutive payments have been made.

Instead of issuing a penalty interest rate for missed payments, a $28 fee is issued for each payment over 10 days late.

Benefits

For individuals or co-signers with an existing relationship with Wells Fargo, their rates can be some of the lowest. Wells Fargo offers two APR discounts on their products, which can be stacked for a combined 0.50-percent rate reduction. Previous Wells Fargo customers receive 0.25-percent rate reduction for a previous Wells Fargo student loan or for another qualifying Wells Fargo product. Individuals can also receive an extra 0.25-percent rate reduction for enrolling in automatic payments.

Who Should Explore Wells Fargo?

Graduates with private student loans are the best fit for a Wells Fargo's loan consolidation. Wells Fargo will not consolidate federal loans. Consolidating your student loans can lower your monthly payment and simplify the paying process.

Wells Fargo Student Loan Consolidation Reviews

Most Wells Fargo reviews focus on the fact that the big bank does not offer deferment options like its competitors; however, borrowers do not find this to be much of an issue but find the discounts offered very enticing.

If you are interested in exploring other refinancing options from other great lenders, visit Credible to see what options may be available to you.