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Frequently Asked Questions

Mortgage prequalifying and applying

How can I start my application?

Get started through any of these convenient ways:

  • Call us at 1-877-937-9357, Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 9:00 pm, and Saturday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Central Time. 
  • Find a local consultant and start the application process by phone or in person.
  • Request a personal consultation to have a home mortgage consultant contact you.

Does Wells Fargo require a property inspection?

No, but if you’re buying a home, it’s highly recommended that you obtain a property inspection and make your purchase offer contingent on the findings of the inspection.

There is a difference between a property inspection and an appraisal. An appraisal is required by most mortgage lenders in order to support the value of the real estate and the terms of the mortgage agreement.

Do I need an attorney?

The decision to use an attorney is up to you. In general, real estate attorneys are involved in purchase transactions; refinancing generally doesn’t require an attorney. There are many areas of the country where attorneys are not typically used in real estate transactions.

What is the minimum down payment for conventional, FHA, and VA loans?

While conventional loans (those not backed by a government agency) usually require a minimum down payment of 5%, Wells Fargo also has other low-down payment programs.

  • FHA mortgages are available for as little as 3.5% down. Although FHA loans have the benefit of a low down payment, in many instances, FHA may be a more expensive financing option and should be considered after thoroughly evaluating all other product options that meet your credit qualifying and financial needs.
  • VA mortgages have a no-down payment option for eligible veterans.

Rates and terms

How are interest rates determined?

Interest rates are influenced by the financial markets and can change daily – or multiple times within the same day. The changes are based on many different economic indicators in the financial markets. View our current interest rates.

What is a rate lock?

  • A rate lock gives you protection from financial market fluctuations that could affect your interest rate range.
  • You can choose to lock or not lock your interest rate range. On the date and time you lock, that interest rate range remains available to you for a set period of time.
    • If there are no subsequent changes to your loan and your interest rate range is locked, the interest rate range on your application generally remains the same.
    • If there are changes to your loan, your final interest rate at closing may be different.

What is the difference between “locking” and floating”?

  • Locking ensures that your loan pricing will be unaffected during the lock-in period by giving you a specified period of protection from financial market fluctuations in interest rates.
  • Locking sets the range of pricing available to you; it doesn’t guarantee that a specific rate will apply.
    • Your final rate, which may not be determined until closing, will reflect the pricing that was available at the time you locked.
  • Floating – or not locking – means your rate will fluctuate with the up and down movements of the market.
    • The benefit to floating is if interest rates were to decrease, you would have the option of locking in at a lower level of rates.

Refer to our Loan Pricing Disclosure for more information.

When can I lock and how much does it cost?

The fee for locking varies.

  • You can lock anytime you locate a property, or start your refinancing process, up until ten business days before the closing.
  • You can select a specific length of time for your lock, usually 60 days.

Mortgage approval and closing

If I’ve already been preapproved by Wells Fargo, how long does it typically take to close?

The time to close will vary, depending on your situation. Once you’ve been preapproved, closing generally occurs within the rate-lock period you’ve chosen, which can range from 30-90 days.

If I have a Wells Fargo mortgage and want to refinance, will I have to pay closing costs again?

Yes. There are costs related to processing any new loan application; they can include fees paid to third parties, such as an appraiser, the title company, and other closing expenses.

What is an origination charge?

The origination charge is the amount charged for services performed on the initial loan application and loan processing. This includes all charges (other than discount points) that lenders and brokers involved in the transaction will receive for originating the loan. It includes any fees for application, processing, underwriting services, and payments from the lender for origination.

Can I close my loan at a Wells Fargo location?

Each state has its own specific closing requirements, so check with your closing representative for the details. Typically, closings can be held at Wells Fargo locations or at an attorney’s office. Some states permit “mail away” – or “mail out” – closings. If you’re able to obtain a "mail away" closing, we will send you the documents using overnight delivery.

How much money will be required at closing?

The amount you’ll need to close your loan includes your down payment, closing costs, and prepaid amounts for property taxes, and insurance escrow accounts. Prior to closing, the closing agent will provide you with the final amount.

Insurance

Will homeowners insurance be required at closing?

Proof of homeowners insurance will be required before you can close your loan. Typically, you will need to present an insurance binder and pay for one year’s worth of insurance coverage.

What is the difference between private mortgage insurance and homeowners insurance?

A homeowners insurance (or hazard insurance) policy covers loss from damages to your home, your belongings and accidents as outlined in your policy.

Mortgage insurance is required if you have less than 20% equity (or down payment) in your home and protects the mortgage lender from losses if a customer is unable to make loan payments and defaults on the loan.

How long do I have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI) on my loan?

If you obtained your loan after July 29, 1999, you can request cancellation of PMI when your loan- to-value (LTV) reaches 80%.

  • Cancellation requires that you have a good payment history, the property value has not decreased, and you can certify that there are no liens against your property.
  • Lenders are required (by the Homeowner's Protection Act of 1998) to terminate PMI at 78% LTV (based on the amortization schedule) if the loan is current or has reached the midpoint of the payoff.

What is title insurance?

An insurance policy protects a lender and/or homebuyer (only if homebuyer purchases a separate policy, called owner's coverage) against any loss resulting from a title error or dispute.

Is purchasing title insurance mandatory?

All mortgage lenders require lender’s coverage for an amount equal to the loan. It lasts until the loan is repaid. As with mortgage insurance, it protects the lender but the borrower pays the premium at closing.

Mortgage account management

Can I have my mortgage payment deducted automatically from my checking or savings account each month?

Typically, after closing your mortgage loan, you will have the option of enrolling in an automatic mortgage payment program. You may be asked to provide an authorization form with a voided check or savings account slip attached to set up the draft. The payment is typically debited on a preset day each month.

Can I make a mortgage payment online?

Yes, you can make a payment and manage your mortgage account online, anytime. Gain instant access to your mortgage account details, loan history, tax and interest data, contact information updates, and more. It's fast, it's simple, and it's FREE! Get more details

Can I pay my mortgage with my credit card?

Although you can’t pay your mortgage with a credit card, you can set up automatic mortgage payments so that your monthly payment can be withdrawn automatically from your checking account each month.

Who do I contact if I am having trouble paying my mortgage?

We can help you understand your options if you are facing payment challenges. Call 1-800-678-7986.

 

Applying for home equity financing

Do I have to own a home to get home equity financing?

Home equity is what’s available after subtracting what you owe on your mortgage (and any other outstanding liens) from your home’s current market value. If you don’t own a home and need financing, look into a personal loan or a line of credit that doesn’t rely on home equity.

How much can I borrow?

The amount you can borrow is largely determined by taking your home's appraised or fair market value, and subtracting the balances of any outstanding mortgages and liens on the property. If you qualify, the minimum home equity line of credit amount is $10,000 ($12,000 in North Carolina) and in most cases the maximum is $500,000.

Homestead properties located in Texas must be secured by no more than 80% of the combined-loan-to-value or 50% of the fair market value, whichever is less.

Are there any fees to apply?

There are no fees to apply and a choice of closing cost options. There may be additional fees, depending on the type of home equity financing you choose and the state in which the collateral property is located.

How quickly can I get approved for home equity financing?

The average number of days from application to approval will vary. Depending on your credit history, the equity in your home, and the financing program selected, we may be able to approve your financing more quickly. If you apply online, you may be conditionally approved instantly, subject to verification of your application information.

How quickly can I close my financing?

The average time for closing varies, but is generally around 45 days.

Rates and terms

What is the APR on Wells Fargo home equity financing?

You can estimate payments and rates with our Rate and Payment Calculator.

Will the APR change?

The minimum APR on the Wells Fargo Home Equity Line of Credit is 1%; the APR will never be more than 18%. The APR on the Wells Fargo Home Equity Line of Credit is variable and subject to change daily. In Texas, the Wells Fargo Home Equity Account has a variable APR that is subject to change monthly.

What are the terms and repayment periods available?

Home equity lines of credit have a draw period of 10 years and 1 month. During the draw period, you can access available equity without reapplying. Once the draw period has ended, your outstanding line balance will convert to a repayment period of 20 years.

What are the minimum payment terms?

Your monthly payments will include both principal and interest.

For home equity lines of credit:

  • Your minimum payment will be the lesser of $100.00 or the amount needed to repay your balance with interest.
  • If you withdraw additional funds during the draw period or the variable-interest rate changes, your monthly payment may change.
  • Your payments are recalculated monthly to repay your principal balance over the remaining months of your draw period and your repayment term.

What are the monthly payments on the Wells Fargo home equity line of credit?

You make monthly principal and interest payments. You can choose to make additional principal payments without penalty, so long as you do not close your account.

How is the interest rate calculated?

The home equity line of credit has a variable interest rate that is calculated by adding a preset margin (as defined in your Home Equity Line of Credit Agreement) to the Prime Rate as published in the Western Edition of the Wall Street Journal. Your rate and payments will increase or decrease as the Prime Rate changes.

The home equity line of credit provides a fixed-rate advance option that allows you to convert all or a portion of your line of credit balance to a fixed rate and term during the draw period.

Am I eligible for a relationship discount?

You may be eligible for a relationship discount as well as other discounts. Please contact a Home Equity Specialist prior to signing your home equity documents at 1-888-667-1772 to see if you qualify.

Loan-to-value (LTV)
The ratio of the amount of a potential mortgage to the value of the property it is intended to finance, expressed as a percentage.

Lien
A legal claim or attachment against property as security for payment of an obligation.

Amortization Schedule
A timetable for payment of a mortgage showing the amount of each payment applied to interest and principal and the remaining balance.

Closing cost options
Most home equity financing offers two options:

Have us pay your closing costs:

Pay your closing costs:

For details, please call 1-888-421-4672.