Pennymac Mortgage Review 2022

Good for: borrowers seeking a government-backed mortgage who want to rate-shop online.

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Pennymac excels in government-backed mortgages, including FHA loans, and makes it easy to shop rates online. But average origination fees are on the higher end, and the lender does not offer home equity products.

Pennymac
Min. credit score
620
Min. down payment
3%
Loan types and products
Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA
Learn more

at Pennymac

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of loan products, including government-backed and refinance options.
  • Displays custom rate quotes based on home value, down payment or equity, ZIP code and credit score range.
  • “Lock & Shop” lets you secure a rate for up to 60 days, even if you don’t have a purchase contract yet.

Cons

  • Origination fees are on the higher end, according to the latest federal data.
  • Doesn't offer home equity products or renovation loans.

Compare to Other Lenders

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

620

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

3%

Min. down payment

3%

Min. down payment

3%

Loan types and products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

Loan types and products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

Loan types and products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

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Full Review

What borrowers say about Pennymac mortgage

NerdWallet’s lender star ratings assess objective qualities, including rates, fees and loan offerings. To assess borrowers’ subjective experiences with lenders, NerdWallet has gathered customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power and Zillow.

  • Pennymac receives an 827 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2021 Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. The industry average for origination is 851. (Mortgage origination covers the initial application through closing day.)

  • Pennymac receives a 597 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study. The industry average for servicing is 607. (A mortgage servicer handles loan payments.)

  • Pennymac receives a customer rating of 4.36 out of 5 on Zillow, as of the date of publication. The score reflects more than 290 customer reviews.

Pennymac mortgage variety of loan types

  • 4 of 5 stars

Pennymac offers a wide range of loan products, including mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Agriculture. In 2021, 32% of new Pennymac mortgages were VA loans and 19% were FHA loans, according to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. USDA loan borrowers can take advantage of streamlined assist refinance loans if they have Pennymac as their servicer, and VA borrowers can apply for interest rate reduction refinance loans.

For conventional purchase mortgages, the lender offers fixed-rate loans with terms ranging from 15 to 30 years, as well as adjustable-rate mortgages. Jumbo loans and loans for second homes and investment properties are also available.

Pennymac also offers numerous refinance options, including cash-out refinances for qualified borrowers.

Pennymac mortgage ease of application

  • 5 of 5 stars

You can start Pennymac’s application (or seek a mortgage preapproval) in several ways:

  • Online, by registering and entering information into the digital application.

  • By calling Pennymac.

  • By leaving contact information so a loan officer can call.

The secure, device-responsive online portal allows you to submit electronic documentation and e-sign most required paperwork. The portal also provides process updates online.

Pennymac mortgage rates and fees

  • 3 of 5 stars

  • Pennymac earns 2 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

  • Pennymac earns 4 of 5 stars for average mortgage interest rates.

Borrowers should consider the balance between lender fees and mortgage rates. While it's not always the case, paying upfront fees can lower your mortgage interest rate. Some lenders will charge higher upfront fees to lower their advertised interest rate and make it more attractive. Some lenders just charge higher upfront fees.

Pennymac mortgage rate transparency

  • 5 of 5 stars

Pennymac’s website displays rate and fee estimates for many available loan types. Customized estimates are available online through an instant quote widget.

Alternatives to Pennymac mortgage

Here are some comparable lenders we review that borrowers can consider.

Wells Fargo offers a wide selection of loans and ample online conveniences. Better also caters to tech-savvy borrowers, but doesn’t offer VA or USDA loans.

Getting ready to buy a home? We’ll find you a highly rated lender in just a few minutes.

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at Pennymac

Methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for mortgage lenders are evaluated based on four major categories: variety of loan types (purchase, refinance, fixed and adjustable, for example), ease of application, rates and fees and rate transparency. Among the factors we consider when scoring these categories are options to apply for and track loans online, the level of detail about mortgage rates on lender websites and our analysis of the rates and fees lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. These scores generate ratings from 1 star (poor) to 5 stars (excellent).