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Wells Fargo Financial / using consolidation schemes to trick consumers!

1 United States Review updated:
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We have a small loan through Wells Fargo (was $1100... now down to $840) which we have been paying on time, actually early, and paying about $10 extra each month. I was contacted by a representative (Pete) via phone from their St. Cloud, MN office to see if I wanted another loan since we had been paying on time and such. I told him we were doing fine, so "no". He then asked if we would consider a consolidation loan, as it might help us reduce our high interest credit card payments. (We do have several credit cards... as I went to graduate school and graduated with my master's last year, so accumulated some debt along the way.) We thought it might be nice to have it all lumped into one payment (consolidated) with lower interest, so we decided to hear him out, as we will soon be moving into our new house, so would love fewer payments. He asked us to come into his office and bring our car title, pay stubs, and insurance slip for the car, as it might be a source of collateral. We figured we would do it to see what they could offer us. (Note... we have 3 years left to pay on our car on a 6 year loan at 9%; we have $2900. in equity in the car). Since we have not had a late payment on anything in over 3 years, we hoped for a good offer. He asked us what we wanted when we got there... we told him to consolidate into a lower interest loan- to avoid several small payments, and instead have one. After almost 2 hours of sitting in his office (he was 'downstairs' talking to an underwriter), he finally brought in an offer. They would refinance our car with a 66 month loan at 18%. We could then take the equity ($2900) and use it to pay off a few small credit cards. They also would offer us a $5000. credit line to pay off some others. I asked the percentage rate... 20.998% was the offer!!! We nearly fell off of our chairs. This is higher than any of our credit cards, and the car loan was a joke at 18%. We just got up and walked out the door. We couldn't believe that they would think we would fall for this!!! Obviously, they were not thinking of our needs... only how they could make huge amounts of money off of interest on us! Buyer Beware!!! We will pay off our credit cards on our own... we are doing it fine now. We certainly DON'T need to make Wells Fargo rich in the process.

Va
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Comments

  • Ju
      28th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    ***FORMER EMPLOYEE***

    Hello Bill,

    As a former employee of WFF (I sold the exact same loans you are speaking of), I can tell you that you made an excellent decision! You should feel very good.

    Tips for other readers that may come across the same situation:

    1. It is the sales rep.'s job to compliment you on your payment history and say we have other opportunities for you. We compliment this history good or bad. This opens the conversation to talk about you other bills and thats what we made commission on... paying off other companies bills.

    2. You never have equity in your car if you're still paying on it. Period. Don't listen to what they tell you... WFF will loan you up to 160% of the actual cash value of your vehicle, that is where the "equity" is. Not to mention WFF uses N.A.D.A. to appraise your vehicle. This is usually about $2,000-$4,000 higher than what your vehicle is worth on trade. Dealers use Kelley Blue Book, not NADA.

    3. The $5,000 they offered you was either a Credit Card or "Cash on Demand". Both of which are essentially the same product. The credit card is your typical Variable rate card. The Base Rate for those with perfect credit is about 15%!!! You have to have perfect credit to get that. Annual Fees range from $25-$40. The Cash on Demand is a much the same except you can't purchase with it at a store like a typical Visa. You can withdraw money at an ATM. The COD doesn't have an annual fee and the rate may be 1-2% lower.

    Way to go Bill. Another tip... next time they call (and they will call again, especially if the had one credit application on you, they see potential for another) tell you you want to be on their DO NOT SHARE LIST. Company Policy states that as soon as a customer says this, all sales advances must stop, immediately. WFF upper level management actually takes this policy seriously. Reps have been terminated for not following.

  • Jo
      9th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    Yesterday I noticed an incorrect fee charged against my checking
    account balance. I phoned the Wells Fargo customer service people and ended up speaking with a customer service rep in Ft. Worth, Texas. I live in Austin. She was of no help so I asked for her supervisor. The supervisor named Melody was worse yet. She was rude and never let me talk and raised my blood pressure to where I was driven to profanity. I hung up on her. I then called back and got a Customer Service rep in the Minn. office for Wells Fargo. He fixed the problem and credited my checking account on the spot.

    5 hours later I went to use my ATM card and it did not work. I phoned wells fargo and a lady named Jenny informed me it had been terminated and a new card had been requested. A few more calls to Wells Fargo got them to admit that a lady named Melody had done this to me. She had canceled my card as an act of revenge against me. She must have monitored my account and seen that the funds were credited. They warned me to check my credit report because she may have stolen my SS# as well. They are now sending me a new ATM card with which will take 7
    days.

    I clearly should have a case to sue.

  • Da
      20th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    They are taking advantage of people in trouble. They should be closed and sued...

  • An
      28th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    I had a car loan and paid it off on the 14th of the month in full, $18, 000. That afternoon collections calls started in. And the next payment was not even due till 24th of this month. I have been harassed to no end. They even sent a tow truck to our home. Tried calling them and they refuse to speak with me. I have faxed over a copy of the pay off check and they refuse to accept it.

    Isn't this illegal?

    Help how do you get Wells fargo corporate to talk to you?

  • Th
      7th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    I hope Wells Fargo Financial will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I think their interest rate is even higher than these payday loan companies. They are really making it sure to make the poor become poorer.

  • To
      5th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    they are crooks! I am trying to follow through on a plan of action.
    and if more people e mail I will explain

  • Jo
      23rd of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    YOU PROBABLY HAVE BAD CREDIT

  • Pa
      30th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Wells Fargo are rude, inconsiderate and lyers. Yes, they always lie to you and they con you to try to sign loans saying "you get long term benefits" Which is not true. They plainly lied about the rates for CD. Some junior said they were low after saying they were good when he was question. Basically, their customer service is untrained, but purely trained to lie to you to get you in the door to try to sell you want you DO NOT need. Makes car salesmen look good..

    Be aware of Wells Fargo. We are in he process of transfering our entire portfoglio away from those idiots...

  • Ha
      2nd of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I worked for them, Do not accept any loans unless your lawyer reads the "fine prints"...We were taught to lend more money to people that couldn't afford to pay back such high rates or confusing terms, we were taught to target Blue Collar, African American, older people and people that lived further out in Rural areas. We lied about the "ARM Mortgage Loans", as well as the aggressive auto loans. We made clients take cash advance on Wells Fargo credit card charging clients 25% + 3% fee, so we can paydown a mortgage to make sure that wells fargo has 10k in new money as a tangible benefit..Upper Managent as well as HR knew this was going on and now they are being investigated by the Federal Government.

  • Ha
      2nd of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    Bill,

    Just imagine how many other people fall for these type of scams, CONSIDER your self lucky that you understand how INTEREST RATES/TERMS work. We sold these type of loans on peoples homes that also as you had great rates and 10-15 years left on homes/Cars

  • Ma
      24th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes
    Wells Fargo Financial Bank - Balance that never go away
    United States

    I have continually called and spoke to WFFB to correct my account. The account was taken out on May, 2006 with a balance of $3, 500. The amount that they are saying today 10/24/08 is still @ $3.282.60. I have asked repeatedly for WF to review my account and send me documentation of all of the payments that I have paid. I requested that insurance payments be removed from the account over a year ago, and they would not remove the insurance even though I was not able to use it when I needed it. I have had this account over three years and it will not go away. My contract state a $10.00 late fee, they automatically increased late fees to $39.00. Other fees was added to advanced charges that I was not responsible for. I am unable to get the company to correct the problems associated with my account. I can't even get them to give me a fax number to fax the letters that I have written to them with no satisfaction. This account should have been paid up by the payments that I have made, however the balance is showing like I have not paid any payments on the account. I can not get any response from the company to give me an reasonably payoff amount.

    Sincerely,

    Marilynn McRae

  • Wi
      17th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    What the people who write this comment left out is that their credit score is probably in the 500's and 18 is all they could qualify for. Nobody ever qualifies for what they think they should, otherwise everyone would have 0% on everything. Fix your credit score and then you will qualify for something lower.

  • Ca
      4th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    I worked for WWF for a few months. I had to leave because I was disturbed at the level of lying, misrepresentation, and means that my co-workers would go through to sell a loan. They would do things such as... telling people that a credit card application (they did not tell them it was a CC app) was a part of the application process for getting a home loan, they would fail to disclose prepayment penalties on a home refiances when they applied (3% of the loan, eg. 100k loan = 3k prepayment penalty fee), next, they would leave out terms and conditions on auto loans unless the customer really pushed to know, sometimes they would claim that first the customer had to sign (thereby accepting the loan) before knowing the terms. They would leave out as much paperwork as possible at signing and then include it later. They would hang up when someone asked not to be called, they would not remove wrong numbers, and they would not check the do not call list. Additionally, my manager told me on three seperate occations that compliance did not matter unless the compliance guy was in our office observing us and he and my co-workers often refered to our customers as idiots, ###s, stupid, etc. I could not report this up the chain. I tried to call HR and ask them about it and they would not even speak to me without my ID number. My DM was just as bad, durning phone training he would say anything to get them in the door, ANYTHING, and did not even know the process to verify that a number was on the do not call list. Although personally I have no moral problem with ignoring the do not call list, I do feel that the 6k fine per infraction is something to pay attention to. All and all I am glad not to work there and recomend never to do business with them. If they call you, ask to be put on the do not call list. If they say they did and they call back get down the date, time, branch number, credit manager's name, and branch manager's name. Then threten to tell the FTC, federal trade commision, on them, be sure to inform them that ignoring the do not call list is a 6k fine per occurence. If they call again report them.

  • Em
      12th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    **Former Employee**

    I worked at WFF for about a year and can relate to a lot of the comments I have read do far. To be balanced a lot of the customers we worked with had credit scores below 630, so in some cases the intesrest rates and fees were good for them because every other place had turned them down. In most cases though there was never a benefit of doing business with that customer other than knowing that they will be back in six months in more debt and getting a product added to my tally.
    Management pushes you really hard to sell these products and reach these goal that are almost impossible to reach. I worked there right as home equity and layoffs started to really spiral downward so getting people with good enough credit or equity in a home for a refi was a chore in itself. Base salary for a credit manager 30k. The only way you could make more money was to reach these incentives for three months in a row and then get approval from the DM and RM. The incentives were 3 real estate refi's 4 auto loans, and and at least 8 credit cards or cod's. This is all in a month. Imagine refinancing 3 real estate loans with the housing market like it is. Needless to say hardly anybody reached these bonus incentives. The bonus for a credit manager was 2500, while a senior credit manager (who's base pay is the same) would get 10, 000 if they reached their incentives. In the year I was there one person was able to reach the bonus goals in my branch.
    It was frustrating. Granted with it being a glorified telemarketing job it was difficult dealing with a lot of customers day in and day out. In the office we would make fun talk bad and joke about them all the time. My manager was probably the worst of us all. We were told not to lie but to basically mislead a customer to get them in the office to sell them a ridiculous plan. Even when a plan wasn beneficial it took forever for approval and had to go through a bunch a b.s. to get the loans done.
    Our district manager's job was on the line because her district was last in the region, would come in like a dictator and basically tell us how terrible we were at our jobs and make us feel like the littlest people on earth. It was like a big high school, every branch in the district talked crap about other branches and bad about other people on a daily basis. We would have stupid contest to see which branch could sell the most credit cards in a day, so we would basically con people into taking something (usually with a 20% rate) they didn't need just to get a number.
    I worked my butt off there but would always come up a product or two short of getting the monthly goals. You see you can sell 10 auto loans a month and 20 credit cards but if you don't sell at least 3 real estate loans, you don't qualify for the bonus. Not to mention you had to meet a new money goal. It was exhausting.
    I would not recommend anybody with decent credit to go to WFF or anybody in the job market to work for them. You'll hate it after a month. Turnover is extremely high. Every three months we had another person being hired at a branch because two had quit or were fired. Stay away, it will be a waste.

  • Al
      23rd of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am a former employee as well

    I can also relate to the other former employees with the frustrations of this job. I was very excited when I graduated college to be working for such a prestigious financial firm but within my first month I realized how terrible this job is. You are taught to lie, cheat and steal your way to the top. You sit behind your desk all day calling angry people at their homes and work trying to solicit debt consolidation. I'm not sure how it works in other regions but in mine the only "benefit" needed to qualify a loan being sold was that it benefited Wells Fargo. OF COURSE every loan benefited Wells Fargo, no matter how horrible it was. I was told that if anyone asked me detailed questions in the loan closing to only answer in a way that would continue to benefit the company. Naturally, having morals, I was not good at this job. If my boss forced me to bring someone that I knew the loan was not helping I would sit them down in the booth and tell them this was not the time for them to look into this certain type of consolidation program, and I was sorry I had wasted any of their time. The funny thing is, in the long run, this practice actually benefited me because a few months down the road, when these customers had paid off some of their debt, they were more than happy to use Wells Fargo for their consolidation. Although I considered this a good business practice, my management thought otherwise, ridiculing me for not being a good enough salesperson to sell the loan the first time around. Most of my time spent there I was trying to decide if this is how the business world truly is or if there are still good companies out there.
    I think the worst part of my entire experience there was the things I saw others do. There was one credit manager who would slip the credit card contract into FHA submittal paperwork or a vehicle loan just to get a product. This was appalling to me but of course everyone was patting him on the back, our compliance person was even based out of my office and did NOTHING about the practices being done!!! Eventually, I was asked to resign or get fired, in which being young and stupid I chose resignation. I am currently making my way in another sales job and am enjoying being able to sell ethically.

    For those considering doing a refinance with Wells Fargo keep these in mind:
    1. Doing a loan is this person's JOB. There are very few of cms, ams and sms that actually have your best interest in mind.
    2. ASK QUESTIONS, read every line of the paperwork presented to you. Again these are salespeople, take control of your loan, if you don’t like something don’t hesitate to ask even if they pressure you. Some of these consolidation loans are beneficial to the customer if you have questionable credit and payment history. If you are an average person who pays their bills on time with good credit you can do better somewhere else.
    3. If you don’t want them contacting you for any other loan options say WORD FOR WORD: PLEASE PUT ME ON YOUR DO NOT CALL LIST OR DO NOT SHARE LIST don't say "don’t call me anymore" because legally they can still contact you legally unless you use the exact words, sleazy right?

    I dont think the company as a whole is necessarily this terrible, I'm young and still remain optimistic for the future of the financial industry but I hope that something is done about these despicable business practices.

  • Ha
      11th of Apr, 2012
    0 Votes

    At the parker colorado branch, managers are fully aware of the gaming and unethical practices and encourage and reward it.

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