If itâ€™s time to get a new or used car, itâ€™s time to do your research. Perhaps youâ€™ve picked out the car of your dreams and you want to figure out the best way to pay for it.
When it comes to financing a vehicle, you have a ton of choices. Wells Fargo, founded in 1852, is one of many places to consider getting an auto loan from.
Wells Fargo Auto, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, serves more than 3 million auto loan customers throughout the United States.
Wells Fargo offers new and used vehicle financing through its network of 11,000 active car dealerships, but itâ€™s possible to apply with the bank directly if youâ€™re interested in financing outside of the dealership or refinancing an existing auto loan. You could also use a Wells Fargo personal line of credit or loan to buy a car from a private seller or buy out your leased vehicle, but you may have to pay an annual fee or origination fee. A home equity loan or line of credit is another possibility but puts your home at risk should you default on your car payments.
Itâ€™s worth noting that Wells Fargo continues to compensate auto loan customers who were charged for insurance they didnâ€™t need or add-ons after their car loans were repaid or their vehicles repossessed. The bankâ€™s redress program came after a December 2018 settlement with attorneys general from all 50 states calling for $422 million to be repaid to auto loan customers.
Because a majority of Wells Fargoâ€™s loans are through dealerships, whatâ€™s known as indirect lending, you may not know your exact rate or terms until you apply through a dealership. A Wells Fargo spokesperson said rates are based on a number of factors, including the borrowerâ€™s credit history. While the best rates and terms tend to go to those with the best credit, itâ€™s possible to be approved with less-than-stellar scores at Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo also offers loans for those looking for specialty vehicles like motorcycles or recreational vehicles. Existing customers may be eligible for a discount if they use autopay to make their vehicle payments from a Wells Fargo consumer checking account.
As weâ€™ve already mentioned, most customers apply through one of 11,000 dealerships in the Wells Fargo network. But applying outside of the dealership is possible â€” a Wells Fargo spokesperson said customers may call or visit a branch for more options. Itâ€™s possible to apply for a refinance loan online, in person or by calling 800-289-8004. Weâ€™ll talk more about refinance loans in more detail, below.
Hereâ€™s what the bank will want to know about you and your car:
The only way to make sure youâ€™re getting the best deal on a loan for a new car or to refinance the one you have is to shop around. Make sure a refinance really is in your best interest and that you understand Wells Fargoâ€™s criteria before you sign:
Once you have applied, Wells Fargo will contact you by phone, mail or email. Youâ€™ll have the option of signing and returning the loan package by mail or finishing the process online.
Wells Fargo auto loans can be a good fit for those in the market for a new or used vehicle, or folks looking to refinance a current loan. It may be the best option for existing Wells Fargo customers looking to refinance â€” itâ€™s possible to apply directly through the bank, online and, if youâ€™re willing to make auto payments, you may score a lower interest rate.
A Wells Fargo auto loan might be good for anyone shopping for a new or used car as well, but the only way to make sure youâ€™re getting the best rate, particularly if itâ€™s one offered through the dealership, is by comparing it with your preapproval offer from another bank, credit union or online lender.
Lindsay Martell contributed to this report.