How to Refinance Your Wells Fargo Student Loan

Jen Williamson Updated: February 14, 2020

Refinancing is the closest thing to a do-over button you’ll ever get with student loans. It can get you a lower interest rate, a new repayment term, and possibly even some perks (like discounts or networking opportunities). 

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If you're wondering how to refinance your Wells Fargo student loans, it's pretty simple. All you need to do is find a lender that can give you a lower interest rate (we'll tell you how to do this in a minute) and apply. The whole process can be completed in less than a half hour.

If you’re not satisfied with your experience with Wells Fargo, or if you just want a lower interest rate, there are plenty of great options out there. 

Refinancing: what it is

Before we go deeper into your options, let's take a quick look at what you're actually doing when you refinance.

When you refinance your student loans, a private lender pays off your existing loans and issues you a single new loan with different terms and a new interest rate.

This is something people do all the time with other types of loans, such as mortgages, to get better interest rates and terms—and you can do it with your student loans as well, both private and federal.

There are pros and cons to this approach. 

See also: Everything You Need to Know About Student Loan Refinancing

Cons of refinancing

There's only one real drawback to refinancing, and it only applies if you have federal loans.

If you refinance federal student loans, you'll lose access to federal benefits like student loan forgiveness and income-based repayment. You'll likely also forfeit options like deferment or forbearance, though some lenders to provide their own versions of these.

Private loans don’t qualify for those benefits, so you’re not losing out on anything at all by refinancing your private loans. 

Pros of refinancing

On the pro side, if your credit is good, you could reduce your interest—by a lot.

Our data shows that the average borrower who refinances their student loans (federal or private) can lower their payment by $253 per month on average, or save over $16,000 over the life of their loans.

See also: 6 Questions to Ask Before Refinancing Student Loans 

Refinancing: what it isn't

What refinancing isn’t, though, is consolidation. While the words “consolidation” and “refinancing” are often used interchangeably—they’re actually quite different.

Consolidation versus refinancing

With true consolidation, you replace a number of federal loans (and only federal loans) with a new Direct Consolidation loan through the federal government. Like refinancing, you’re replacing a number of different loans with a single loan—but that’s where the similarities end.

Unlike with refinancing, consolidation doesn’t lower your interest. Your new rate is calculated based on the weighted average of interest on all your loans, rounded up to the nearest eighth of a percent. Your interest rate doesn’t go down, and it might even go up slightly.

Wells Fargo offers a product called a “Wells Fargo Consolidation Loan.” This is actually a refinanced loan. (But we can cut them some slack for using this term; lots of lenders do.)

See also: Student Loan Refinancing and Consolidation Terms You Need to Know  

So, now that you know what refinancing is and what it isn’t, let’s get into some great alternatives if you’re looking to refinance your Wells Fargo student loan with a bank other than Wells Fargo.

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LendKey: for those who aren't into big banks

If you want to get away from big corporate banks, you can’t go wrong with LendKey. It matches you with small local credit unions and community banks throughout the country that you may never have found on your own.

These lenders often offer extremely competitive terms — as low as 1.9% variable APR (as of February 2020) with an autopay discount of 0.25%. Compare that to Wells Fargo, whose lowest interest rate offer is 3.0% on a variable interest rate, even with discounts.

LendKey’s goal is to make online lending both affordable and transparent. That’s a breath of fresh air if you’re concerned about all the things you’ve been seeing in the news about Wells Fargo lately.

CommonBond: for those who want to give back

If you’d prefer your student loan with a side of social activism, CommonBond may be the lender for you. 

For every loan they fund, CommonBond pays for a child's education in Ghana—through a partnership with Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit that builds schools, funds technology and supplies, and sends teachers to communities in the developing world.

Even better, every year they send a group of employees and borrowers to Ghana to help build classrooms in the communities they serve. You can feel good about doing business with CommonBond. 

The lender is also known for its great customer service—they've won awards—and their lowest interest rate is also lower than Wells Fargo's, at 2.02%. 

Citizens One: for those who like a long track record of success

If you want a lender with brick and mortar locations, one that combines innovation with long-standing tradition, consider Citizens One. 

Citizens One is the national lending division for Citizens Banks, N.A., a bank with a nearly 200-year history of serving customers and communities. It's also on the leading edge of technology trends in digital banking.

For borrowers that appreciate the credibility that comes with two centuries of experience in the banking industry, Citizens One sweetens the pot by interest rates that compete with new lenders'. Their variable rates start at 2.15%.


How to transfer your loan

Want to get a ballpark idea of how much you could saves by refinancing—without filling out an application? Check out our Refi Ready calculator. Every lender's offer will be different, but this will give you a good estimate of how much you could save based on your finances.

If you want to make the switch, it’s easy. Just fill out the application — all three of these lenders have a quick online application process, which you can find by following the links below. The process usually takes about 15 minutes or less.

The lender will ask you some basic questions about your income and other financial information. They'll do a "soft pull" on your credit—this won't affect your score—and give you a preliminary offer.

Once you accept an offer, your new lender handles all the paperwork to get your loan transferred from Wells Fargo.

You don’t have to stay stuck with a lender you aren’t crazy about—not when there are so many great options. Check out a list of our favorite lenders—those who’ve met a high standard for affordability, transparency, perks, customer service, and more. 

Refinance & Save Today With These Leading Lenders

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • Fixed rates: 2.59% - 8.49% APR
  • Variable rates: 2.49% - 11.72% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
View More Details
Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with some of the lowest fixed in the industry which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.

  • Low interest rates – especially for graduate students
  • No application or origination fees. No prepayment penalties.
  • Co-signer release program - you can apply for a cosigner release form your loan after 12 months of on-time payments
  • Specialty product for doctors in training with low monthly payment

Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.

#2 View More Details

ElFi offers top-rated customer service, some of the lowest rates available, and flexible terms to fit your goals.

  • Fixed rates: 4.29% - 7.29% APR
  • Variable rates: 2.48% - 7.98% APR
  • Minimum credit: 680
View More Details
Visit ElFi View Loan Disclosure
Student Loan Refinancing Made Simple.
Discover our low rates and fast, no-fee application process for refinancing your student loans or financing your college education.
The ELFI Difference:
  • Some of the Lowest Rates Available – We believe in rewarding financially responsible borrowers by providing some of the lowest refinancing rates available.
  • Expertise That’s Second to None – Our ELFI management team has over 30 years of expertise in student loans and student loan refinancing.
  • Fast and Easy Process – Secure your personalized student loan or refinancing options in just a few short minutes.
  • Personal Loan Advisors – Our award-winning customer service team will guide you every step of the way.
  • Service Coast to Coast - ELFI private student loans and student loan refinancing are available across the entire U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Click here to refinance now with ELFI.

#3 View More Details

SoFi is the leading student loan refinancing provider. 

  • Fixed rates: 3.99% - 8.24% APR
  • Variable rates: 2.49% - 7.99% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
View More Details
Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

$30 billion+ in refinanced student loans. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, there's no maximum on the amount you can finance. Some state restrictions may apply.

  • Serious savings: Save thousands of dollars thanks to flexible terms and low fixed or variable rates.
  • No hidden fees, no catch: No application or origination fees. No pre-payment penalties.
  • Fast, easy, and all online: Simple online application and access to live customer support 7 days a week.
  • Access to member benefits: SoFi members get career coaching, financial advice, and more—all at no cost.
  • 98% of surveyed members would recommend SoFi to a friend

Save thousands on your student loans and pay off your loans sooner. Find your rate.

#4 View More Details

Works with 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances

  • Fixed rates: 2.49% - 7.75% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.90% - 5.25% APR
  • Minimum credit: 660
View More Details
Visit LendKey View Loan Disclosure

Connecting student borrowers to a network of over 300 community lenders with low interest rates. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.

LendKey Student Loan Refinance review

  • Lightning fast rate check - 2-minute rate check with no impact on your credit score
  • More lenders, more options - see the best offers from over 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances
  • Life of loan relationship - With LendKey, your personal information will never be sent or passed on to third parties. Their customer service team is with you from the moment you land on their website until you've completely repaid your loan.
  • Unmatched benefits- Community lenders put people over profits and offer unique benefits like cosigner release after 12 on-time payments, interest only repayment options to keep monthly payments low, the largest unemployment protection period in the market, and more.

Get a personalized quote from LendKey now.

#5 View More Details

Best for borrowers who want to customize their repayment schedule to pay off debt fast.

View More Details
Visit Earnest View Loan Disclosure

Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.

  • Commitment-free 2 minute rate check
  • Client Happiness can be reached via in app messaging, email, and phone 
  • No fees for origination, prepayment, or loan disbursement
  • Flexible terms let you pick your exact monthly payment or switch between fixed and variable rates
  • Skip a payment and make it up later
  • Online dashboard is designed to make it easy to apply for and manage your loan

Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.

I reduced my student loan payment by $152 per month, by refinancing thru Nitro

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