Chronicle Journal: Finance

Wells Fargo mortgage review: Lender with assistance and grants if you earn below 80% of area median income

Wells Fargo personal loan review 2x1Wells Fargo; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

Table of Contents: Masthead StickySummary List Placement

The bottom line: Wells Fargo offers many home loans, including USDA and new construction loans. The Dream. Plan. Home. Mortgage can offer assistance and grants to people who make below 80% of the median area income. 

Wells Fargo logoWells Fargo
Editor's rating3.5 / 5
Minimum credit score620
Minimum down payment3%
Types of mortgagesConforming, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, new construction, cash-out refinance, refinance, Dream. Plan. Home. Mortgage
Get started with Wells Fargo

Minimum credit score and down payment are for conforming mortgages.

Overall lender rating
FeatureInsider rating (out of 5)
Loan types4
Affordability4
Customer satisfaction4
Trustworthiness2
Total3.5
Pros and cons
ProsCons
  • Conforming, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, or new construction loan options
  • Refinancing options for FHA loans, fixed-rate mortgages, and adjustable-rate mortgages
  • Dream. Plan. Home. Mortgage has more flexible credit requirements
  • 24/7 customer service support
  • Doesn't offer a home equity loan, HELOC, or reverse mortgage
  • Doesn't accept alternative forms of credit
  • NR rating from the BBB, plus several public controversies over the past few years
Wells Fargo mortgage rates

Wells Fargo provides general mortgage rate information on its website. When you're on the Wells Fargo home mortgage website, scroll down to the area on calculators and tools.

If you click on "Check Rates" it will show sample mortgage rates based on specific assumptions. For example, the 30-year-fixed rate is based on the assumptions that you're going to buy a single-family home and have a credit score of 740. 

If you want to get a personalized rate, you'll have to fill out a form.

Right now, the 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgage rates are about the same as the national average rates listed by Freddie Mac. 

How Wells Fargo compares

We compared Wells Fargo to two other national banks that provide mortgage products: Bank of America and Chase.

Wells Fargo logoBank of AmericaBank of AmericaChaseChase logo

Types of home loans

Conforming, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, new construction, cash-out refinance, Dream. Plan. Home. Mortgage

Types of home loans

Conforming, jumbo, FHA, VA, HELOC

Types of home loans

Conforming, jumbo, FHA, VA, HELOC, Chase DreaMaker

Standout feature

Dream. Plan. Home. Mortgage

Standout feature

Homebuyer assistance programs

Standout feature

Chase DreaMaker Mortgage

Get startedGet startedGet started
Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America

Wells Fargo has more home loan options than Bank of America. If you're looking for a USDA loan or new construction loan, Wells Fargo is the clear choice. Bank of America doesn't have these loan mortgage products.

However, if you need a lender that offers a HELOC, Bank of America will be a better match since Wells Fargo currently doesn't offer any.

Bank of America has homebuyer assistance programs that provide home grants and credit. Bank of America's Our America's Home Grant program can give eligible homebuyers up to $7,500 in credit toward closing costs, and the Our Down Payment Grant System can offer up grants of up to $10,000. You'll have to contact a lending specialist if you want to know whether you're eligible. 

Wells Fargo also offers home grants and credits through the Dream. Plan. Home. Mortgage, but your eligibility in these programs may ultimately determine which one is the more appealing choice. 

  Wells Fargo vs. Chase

Both Wells Fargo and Chase have a mortgage with a low down payment and assistance in the form of credits or grants.

The Chase DreaMaker mortgage provides grants of up to $5,500. To qualify for the $5,000 grant, you must be purchasing a primary residence in a Black-majority community. You'll also have to qualify for the Chase DreaMaker mortgage or a mortgage that's backed by the FHA, VA, or Standard Agency program. For the additional $500 grant, you'll need to meet the further requirements.

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo has the Dream. Plan. Home. Mortgage, which is specifically for people who make below 80% of area median income. Your decision between the two may boil to which mortgage you're eligible for. 

How Wells Fargo mortgages work

Wells Fargo is a national bank with more than 4,900 branches across 36 US states and Washington DC. You can apply for a home loan from anywhere in the US. 

At Wells Fargo, you can get a variety of home loans, including: 

It also has refinancing for FHA loans, fixed-rate mortgages, and adjustable-rate mortgages. As of February 2019, you can only refinance a VA loan if you are eligible for a VA IRRRL loan

If you have a credit score or a poor credit score, Wells Fargo has the Dream. Plan. Home. Mortgage. This mortgage has more lax credit standards and was created for people who were below 80% of the area median income. If you want to learn about the mortgage, you'll have to contact a mortgage consultant to see if you meet the criteria and are eligible for any grants or credits. 

According to the Wells Fargo website, some products, like home equity loans and HELOC, aren't available because of current market conditions. If you're looking to renovate or make improvements to your home, Wells Fargo has the option of a cash-out refinance. Wells Fargo also doesn't offer a reverse mortgage.

Customer service is available 24/7 through telephone or online chat. There's also a FAQ section that covers general questions about lending.  

Is Wells Fargo trustworthy? 

Wells Fargo has dealt with several public controversies in the past few years. 

  • In February 2020, the Department of Justice required Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion in a settlement for having its employees create fake bank accounts to meet unattainable sales goals. 
  • In December 2019, Wells Fargo paid $10 million in a settlement with the City of Philadephia when accused of providing home loans to Black and Latino residents that violated the Fair Housing Act. The $10 million paid will go toward creating sustainable housing programs that help low-income and moderate-income people. 
  • In January 2019, the bank paid $10 million in a settlement with the California Department of Insurance when accused of signing up and charging 1,5000 consumers on insurance products that they didn't sign up for. 

Wells Fargo received a good rating on customer satisfaction, according to the 2020 US Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study by JD Power. However, if you prioritize high customer satisfaction, then you may also want to look at some lenders on our best mortgage lenders list since some featured received higher ratings.

We use ratings from the Better Business Bureau to see how a lender may deal with customer issues. Currently, Wells Fargo has an NR rating from the BBB because it is currently dealing with previously closed complaints. Prior to that, Well Fargo had an F rating from the BBB. 

Something to keep in mind is that a good BBB rating won't necessarily indicate that your relationship with the lender will be the same. If you want to get a better understanding of whether a mortgage lender will be right for you, consider hearing the opinions of friends or family. Another option may be reading online customer reviews.

Mortgage and refinance rates by state

Check the latest rates in your state at the links below. 

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington DC
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Related Content Module: More Mortgage Coverage

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