Advertiser Disclosure

PNC Student Loans Review: Refinancing and Private Loans

March 8, 2018
Loans, Student Loans
PNC Private Student Loan Review
At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

PNC is a traditional bank with branches in 19 states. It also offers student loans to undergraduates and graduate students across the country, plus student loan refinancing for those who are no longer in school.

We’ll focus here on refinancing and undergraduate student loans.

In this post

PNC student loan refinancing review

PNC private student loans review

PNC student loan refinancing review

Refinancing student debt means a private lender replaces multiple student loans with a single loan at a lower interest rate. Consider refinancing with PNC if you:

  • Have private student loans
  • Have federal student loans and likely won’t use federal programs like income-driven repayment or public service loan forgiveness. You won’t be able to take part in those programs if you refinance federal loans.
  • Have good credit, a stable income and a history of making on-time debt payments

Choose the shortest repayment term you can afford when refinancing. While the shortest term PNC offers is 10 years, there’s no penalty if you pay off the loan faster, and doing so will save you money.

PNC Student Loan Refinancing Review
Type of loanStudent loan refinancing
NerdWallet rating4 stars out of 5
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Interest ratesFixed: 5.39% - 7.59%
Variable: 4.82% - 7.02%
Loan terms10 or 15 years
Loan amounts$10,000 minimum. $75,000 maximum
Check Rates At PNC

» MORE: Compare student loan refinance lenders

Can you qualify?

You can refinance student loans with PNC even if you left college without graduating. No matter your educational background, you’ll need to demonstrate responsible financial habits for at least two years after leaving school to qualify.

As is true for other lenders, adding a co-signer can help you meet the qualifications if you don’t otherwise, and get you a lower interest rate. You can release the co-signer later so you’re solely responsible for repayment. But PNC requires you to make 48 on-time monthly payments before releasing the co-signer, which is longer than other lenders’ policies.

You’ll be in the best position to refinance with PNC if you:

  • Have good or excellent credit. PNC says borrowers with good or excellent credit, typically corresponding to a credit score of 690 or higher, are most likely to get a refinanced loan.
  • Have at least two years of on-time student loan payment history. You must show 24 on-time monthly payments on existing student loans.
  • Have two years of continuous income.
  • Attended an eligible school. PNC requires refinance borrowers to have attended a school that participates in the government’s Title IV financial aid programs.
  • Are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You also must have lived in the U.S. for the previous two years.

How to refinance student loans with PNC

  1. Complete a full application. Unlike many other lenders, PNC does not offer a soft credit check (which doesn’t affect your credit) to view the interest rates you’ll qualify for. You’ll need to fill out a complete application in order to see your loan options and interest rate. Have the following ready:
    • A valid form of ID, like a driver’s license or Social Security card
    • Home phone number, address and number of years you’ve lived in that location
    • Amount of student debt you want to refinance
    • Employment information, including length of employment and income
    • Payoff information for current loans from your student loan servicer
  2. Agree to a hard credit check. This will appear on your credit report for two years and slightly hurt your credit. But it’s standard practice for lenders to conduct a hard credit inquiry before approving you for a loan.
  3. Finish the paperwork. If your application is approved, PNC will pay off the loans you’ve chosen to refinance. Repayment begins 30 to 60 days after your new loan is disbursed.

Loan details

  • Loan servicer: American Education Services (AES)
  • Application or origination fee: None
  • Prepayment penalty: None
  • Late fees: $5 or 5% of the late payment amount, whichever is less

Repayment options for struggling borrowers

PNC offers standard protections if circumstances like job loss or a medical emergency mean you need to pause payments. Interest will still accrue while you’re not making payments, increasing your loan balance overall.

  • Deferment: PNC offers academic deferment if borrowers go back to school and military deferment for up to 36 months for those on active duty.
  • Forbearance: Borrowers experiencing financial hardship can postpone payments in two-month increments for up to 12 months total throughout the loan term. After the initial two months is up, you must wait 12 months before requesting another two months of forbearance. That’s not as generous as what other lenders offer.

FAQs

  • Can I apply with a co-signer? Yes. You may get a lower rate if you do.
  • Is there a co-signer release option? Yes, after you make 48 months of on-time payments.
  • Can I qualify if I’ve filed for bankruptcy in the past? PNC does not disclose this information.
  • Can I qualify if I didn’t go to a Title IV-accredited school? No.
  • Can I qualify if I didn’t graduate? Yes. But you must have made 24 on-time monthly payments first.

» MORE:  Read more student loan refinancing FAQs

Contact PNC

Call 800-762-1001 or email eduloans@pncbank.com.

PNC private student loans review

PNC offers private student loans for undergraduate and graduate students. It also offers bar loans and medical residency loans for recent law and medical school graduates. This review focuses on PNC’s private student loan for undergraduates.

PNC doesn’t disclose specific credit score or income requirements for borrowers or co-signers. But the company says you’re a strong candidate for a loan if you or your co-signer has good or excellent credit, typically defined as a credit score of 690 or higher.

PNC also doesn’t disclose how many of its undergraduate borrowers use co-signers. But without credit history of your own, you’ll likely need a co-signer to qualify for most student loans. A PNC student loan may be a good choice if you:

  • Need to fill a gap in the financial aid you received for college after filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA.
  • Have good or excellent credit, or access to a co-signer who does.
PNC Student Loan Refinancing Review
Type of loanPrivate student loan
NerdWallet rating3.5 stars out of 5
3.5 out of 5.0 stars
Loan terms15 years
Loan amounts$40,000 annual maximum for undergraduates
Check Rates At PNC

Before taking out private student loans, fill out the FAFSA to be eligible for federal loans, grants and work-study. Borrow up to the maximum amount of federal loans available first; they have more flexible repayment options than private loans and don’t require a co-signer.

» MORE:  NerdWallet’s FAFSA Guide

Can you qualify?

You’ll be in the best position to qualify for a PNC loan if you:

  • Have good or excellent credit. PNC says borrowers with good or excellent credit, typically corresponding to a credit score of 690 or higher, are most likely to get a student loan.
  • Have two years of continuous income or employment history, and proof of current income.
  • Attend an eligible school. PNC requires undergraduate borrowers to attend a school that participates in the government’s Title IV financial aid programs. Borrowers in the 19 states where PNC operates retail banks can attend two-year schools; outside those states, borrowers must attend four-year schools to qualify. Schools that offer licensure-granting nursing programs are exempt from this requirement.
  • Are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Your co-signer must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

» SIGN UP:  Check your credit score for free

How to apply for a PNC undergraduate student loan

To get the best interest rate possible, compare multiple private loan options. Also, look at all of the lenders’ repayment terms and how much flexibility they offer if you run into trouble paying your bill.

Ready to borrow through PNC? Apply on the PNC website. Here’s how:

  1. Complete a full application. After filling out the application, you’ll see the interest rate available to you. Have the following ready:
    • A valid form of ID, like a driver’s license or Social Security card
    • Home phone number, address and number of years you’ve lived in that location
    • School name and planned major
    • Expected graduation date
    • Co-signer’s email address and phone number
    • Amount to borrow
    • Employment information, including length of employment and income
    • Academic term the loan will cover
  2. Agree to a hard credit check. This will appear on your credit report for two years and slightly hurt your credit. But it’s standard practice for lenders to conduct a hard credit inquiry before approving you for a loan.
  3. Finish the paperwork. After approval, the loan money will be available based on your school’s timeline.

General repayment options

Making payments while in school will save you the most money in interest. If that’s not possible, you can wait until after graduation to repay your loan. Here are the plans available:

  • Immediate repayment: With this option, you’ll start making full payments 30 to 60 days after the loan is disbursed, while you’re still in school.
  • Interest-only repayment: You’ll pay interest monthly as it accrues while in school, then make full payments after graduation.
  • Fully deferred repayment: You’ll start repaying your loan, plus interest that accrued while you were in school, once the six-month post-graduation grace period ends. Accrued interest will be added to your total loan balance — and you’ll pay interest on that increased amount throughout the rest of your loan term.

Loan details

  • Origination fee: None
  • Grace period: 6 months for fully deferred repayment; no grace period for interest-only or immediate repayment. Borrowers can extend the grace period for up to six months. They must then make nine monthly payments before requesting any more forbearance.
  • Loan servicer: American Education Services (AES)
  • Prepayment penalty: None
  • Late fees: $5 or 5% of the late payment amount, whichever is less
  • Co-signer release available: Yes, after 48 consecutive on-time payments

Repayment options for struggling borrowers

PNC offers standard protections if circumstances like job loss or a medical emergency mean you need to pause payments. Interest will accrue when you’re not making payments, increasing your loan balance overall.

  • Deferment: PNC offers academic deferment if borrowers go back to school and military deferment for up to 36 months for those on active duty.
  • Forbearance: Borrowers experiencing financial hardship can postpone payments in two-month increments for up to 12 months total throughout the loan term. After the initial two months it up, you must wait 12 months before requesting another two months’ forbearance.

PNC extras

PNC offers a 0.5% interest rate reduction when you set up automatic payments from a U.S. bank account. That’s larger than the 0.25% discount most lenders offer. When comparing rates, take this into account.

PNC undergraduate student loans FAQs

  • Can I apply with a co-signer? Yes. It will likely help you qualify or get a lower interest rate.
  • Is there a co-signer release option? Yes, after 48 on-time payments.
  • Can I qualify if I’ve filed for bankruptcy in the past? PNC does not disclose this information.
  • Can I qualify if I’m not attending a Title IV-accredited school? No.

Contact PNC

Call 800-762-1001 or email eduloans@pncbank.com.

STUDENT LOANS RATINGS METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s private student loans ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best for consumer-friendly features

4.5 stars out of 5 — Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features

4 stars out of 5 — Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features

3.5 stars out of 5 — Good; may not offer something important to you

3 stars out of 5 — Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features

2.5 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution

About the author