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Student Loan Questions

Applying for a Private Student Loan

How do I start the private student loan process?

Start by entering your information to find out which private student loan meets your needs. You can also learn more about the process by reading Student Loans Step by Step.

What do I need to apply for a private student loan?

To receive a private student loan you will need to apply through a private lender, such as Wells Fargo. Here's what you’ll need to apply.

When should I apply for financial aid?

You should apply for financial aid as soon after October 1 as possible. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your first step. It will determine your eligibility for federal loans and other aid. You can complete the FAFSA online at

For private student loans, we recommend that you allow enough time to be sure that you can complete the process comfortably before funds are due to the school or needed.

Do I have to be a Wells Fargo customer to apply for a Wells Fargo private student loan?

No, you don’t have to be a Wells Fargo customer to apply for a Wells Fargo private student loan. However, as a customer, you may be eligible for relationship discounts.

Will I need a cosigner?

A student that meets our income and credit history requirements may qualify on his or her own without a cosigner. A cosigner is not required in order to apply. However, a cosigner may potentially help you qualify for the loan or get a lower interest rate.

Undergraduate students typically may need to apply with a creditworthy cosigner in order to meet our income and credit history requirements. Graduate students can often qualify on their own without income.

Can a cosigner be released from a Wells Fargo student loan?

For a cosigner to be released, the following requirements must be met:

  • The borrower must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or a permanent resident alien with proper evidence of eligibility.
  • If the first scheduled payment is received in full and within 30 days of its due date, then the most recent 24 consecutive scheduled monthly payments were also made in full and within 30 days of their due dates or, if the first required payment was not made within 30 days of its due date, the most recent 48 consecutive scheduled monthly payments were made in full and within 30 days of their due dates. Note: If you have an active Wells Fargo student loan applied for prior to May 18, 2015, please see this additional cosigner release information.
  • No forbearances or modifications were granted for hardship reasons during those consecutive monthly payment periods.
  • The borrower must return a signed cosigner release application and, at that time, satisfy a full credit, employment, and income evaluation.
  • The cosigner needs to sign and return a consent form.

In the event of the death of the student, the loan will be forgiven and the borrower and any cosigner will not be responsible for repayment. Loan forgiveness is also available based on the total and permanent disability of the student.

If you have any questions about cosigner release, please contact our office at 1-800-658-3567.

What is a Self-Certification form, and why do I need it?

The purpose of the federally-required Self-Certification form is to help ensure an applicant does not borrow more than they need when applying for a private student loan. Information required to complete this form includes total cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, room & board, etc.), estimated amount of financial aid, and the difference between the total cost of attendance and estimated financial aid.

Information for Parents

How can I help my student pay for college?

Many parents or sponsors (someone who supports the student’s plans to attend school) want to be able to pay college expenses themselves rather than having the student take on all the responsibility. The Wells Fargo Student Loan for Parents can help. It allows you to pay for a student's expenses, in part or in full, without having to tap into your own savings, investments, or retirement funds, and may offer better benefits than other available types of credit. It can also be used if the student is attending school less than half-time.

Parents or sponsors can also cosign a Wells Fargo private student loan. By agreeing to share equal responsibility for repayment, a creditworthy cosigner may help a student qualify for a student loan. Anyone of legal age (18 years old, in most states), who is a U.S. citizen or U. S. national, or a permanent resident alien with proper evidence of eligibility, has a permanent U.S. address and meets general loan eligibility and credit requirements can cosign—a parent, guardian, spouse, relative, or even a friend.

How do I apply for a private parent loan?

The Wells Fargo Student Loan for Parents is an option for parents or sponsors who want to finance their child's college education using a private student loan.

You can apply for the Wells Fargo Student Loan for Parents online or by calling 1-800-658-3567.

To get started, apply now, and indicate that you are a parent.

Can I apply for a private parent loan if I’m not a student’s parent?

Even if you're not a student's parent, you can help pay for a college education. The Wells Fargo Student Loan for Parents is available to any adult sponsor who meets the eligibility requirements. Apply now.

Student Loan Payment Options

You have various options for making payments on your private student education loan, including paying online, by phone or mail, or at a Wells Fargo banking location.

Student loan payment options


Student Loan Payment FAQs

Review and find answers to common student loan payment questions.

Frequently asked Student Loan payment questions

College costs

How much does college cost?

Estimate your college costs by visiting your school’s website and using their Net Price Calculator to help determine your total costs. This tool may help you understand what types of financing resources may be available and how certain choices, such as your living situation, can affect your costs.

How can I pay for college or graduate school?

There are several college funding options available to undergraduate and graduate students and their families, including:

  • Scholarships and Grants – While scholarships are not a guaranteed source of college funding, they can offer students an alternative to credit-based funding options. Each scholarship and grant has specific application requirements. Eligibility may be based on academic performance, ethnic heritage, or extracurricular activities. Scholarships often have specific deadlines, so be sure to research the scholarships and grants applicable to you. For additional information, consult a high school guidance counselor or search for scholarships online using TFS Scholarships.
  • Federal Aid – By completing the FAFSA ( Free Application for Federal Student Aid ) form, you may be eligible to receive financial aid from the federal government. The government will use tax and prior income information to determine whether you qualify for scholarships, grants or federal loans.
  • Federal PLUS Loans – Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students are available to parents of dependent undergraduates, as well as graduate and professional students. This loan can cover up to the full amount of remaining education-related expenses (minus any other financial aid received).
  • Employer Tuition Reimbursement – Some employers offer to reimburse you for eligible tuition expenses in order to encourage professional development.
  • Private Student Loans – Offered by Wells Fargo and other private lenders, private student loans are most commonly based on your credit and income information. A private student loan may be used to cover your education-related expenses, including tuition, fees, books, and living expenses (minus other aid).

What types of scholarships are available for college students?

There are several types of scholarships that students may be eligible to receive, usually based on merit and need, including:

  • Merit-based – Many scholarships are based on aggregate academic performance, such as your unweighted grade point average (GPA).
  • Ethnic-related – Depending on your ethnic background, you may be eligible for a scholarship from your school of choice or the local community.
  • Volunteerism – Being active in your community may qualify you for a scholarship. Consider contacting 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations in your field.
  • Business-related – Check out local and national businesses to see what scholarships are being offered this year and if you qualify.

Most scholarships are offered by educational institutions, corporations, private endowments, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Unlike financial aid, scholarships are like gifts, and usually do not need to be repaid under most circumstances.

How do I find information on scholarships and grants?

Research may help uncover scholarship and grant options you may qualify for based on your accomplishments, background, and interests. To make the most out of your scholarship search, consider:

  • Visit career services – Talking to high school guidance counselors, college admissions offices and resource centers, teachers, community members and friends to help point you in the direction of scholarships or grants that you may qualify for based on eligibility requirements.
  • Search for scholarships onlineTFS Scholarships is an online scholarship resource designed to help students gain access to over 7 million scholarships totaling more than $41 billion.
  • Visit your school’s website – Determine if your institution offers scholarships you may apply for, based on eligibility requirements.
  • Contact community groups – Institutions within your community, such as civic and/or religious organizations, banks, or other local organizations may provide additional information on local scholarships.
  • Contact federal agencies – Visit the U.S. Department of Education for information on federal government grants and to get a copy of a FAFSA form. You must fill out the FAFSA to qualify for federal aid. Many states and colleges use the FAFSA to award aid as well.

How do I start saving for my child’s future college expenses?

The first step to saving for college is starting early. It’s important to start a savings account at a young age, if possible. Putting away a small amount now may have a big impact on your college savings over time.

Popular college savings accounts include:

  • 529 Savings Plan – Earnings on your investment grow tax-advantaged and are not subject to federal tax used to cover the costs of qualified education expenses, including tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Consult your financial advisor for more information.
  • 529 Prepaid Tuition Plans – Availability is limited to a number of private and state schools, and allows parents to “lock in” current tuition rates that are expected to increase. The prepaid plan is exempt from federal tax and allows anyone to make a contribution for the beneficiary. Consult your financial advisor for more information.
  • Education Savings Account – This account allows beneficiaries to contribute no more than $2,000 per year. Funds deposited on your behalf grow tax-advantaged. If the distributions into the ESA do not exceed the enrolled students education costs, they may not be taxed either. Consult your financial advisor for more information.

Contacting Us

Who can I contact with questions about student loans?


Mon – Fri: 7 am – 8 pm
Central Time

Applications in process
Mon – Fri: 7 am – 8 pm
Central Time

Payment & Statement Questions 

1-800-658-3567, select option 1 Mon – Fri: 7 am – 8 pm, Central Time Automated system also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Fax: 1-800-456-0561


Customer? Sign on to send us a secure email.

Not a customer yet? Email a Student Loan Consultant with general questions.

Mail General Inquiries to:

Wells Fargo Education Financial Services
P.O. Box 5185
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5185

Mail Payments to:

Wells Fargo Education Financial Services
P.O. Box 10365
Des Moines, IA 50306-0365

Please write your account number on your check.

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Apply today or contact a
Wells Fargo Student Loan Consultant at 1-800-378-5526