PNC Bank Mortgage Review 2024

Good for: borrowers with low to moderate incomes or limited down payments, as well as home buyers seeking mortgages in higher-priced regions of the nation.
Phil Metzger
By
Last updated on January 2, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Johanna Arnone
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

5.0

Home loans overall
NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

PNC Bank offers a wide variety of loans, with an emphasis on jumbos, but also serves borrowers with lower down payments. Its Community Loan allows down payments as low as 3% without requiring private mortgage insurance (PMI). However, PNC doesn’t offer home equity or renovation loans, and we found its customer service by phone hard to access.

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PNC
PNC: NMLS#446303

Min. credit score
620
Min. down payment
3%
Loan types and products
Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers several low-down-payment loan options, including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.
  • Mortgage rates are lower than the industry average, according to the latest federal data.
  • Jumbo loans available with 5% down payment.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages or home equity loans.
  • In-person service is not available in every state.
  • You’ll have to create an account or supply personal data to get answers by phone.
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Full Review

PNC's mortgage loan options

  • 4 of 5 stars

PNC Bank offers fixed-rate mortgages with terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years, as well as adjustable-rate mortgages. Government-backed mortgages — FHA, USDA and VA home loans — are on the menu, but the bulk of the loans PNC originates are conventional loans.

Among its conventional loan offerings is the PNC Community Loan, which requires a 3% down payment and, unlike many similar loans, doesn’t require PMI. The program is for low- to moderate-income borrowers.

PNC also offers a $5,000 grant to help with closing costs, down payments or other homebuying costs in certain markets or for buyers with qualifying incomes.

Jumbo mortgages are available for primary residences with down payments of 5% (much lower than the industry standard 20%), as are jumbo loans for vacation homes, investment and multifamily properties, and government-backed options.

The lender’s medical professional loan of up to $1 million is geared toward interns, residents, fellows or doctors who completed their residencies in the past five years. Like the Community Loan, it doesn’t require PMI.

PNC offers several ways to refinance your mortgage, including government-backed, cash-out and jumbo options.

Home equity loans and renovation loans are not available.

Video preview image

PNC HELOC 

The lender also offers a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. These second mortgages are one way for homeowners to access home equity without refinancing or selling their home. Funds obtained with a second mortgage can be used for expenses such as home improvements, education costs or debt consolidation.

PNC's HELOC lets homeowners borrow a particularly large amount — up to $1 million — and choose a variable or fixed rate, which may be locked or unlocked for a fee at any point during the draw period. A rate discount is available to borrowers who autopay from a PNC checking account.

What it's like to apply for a PNC mortgage

  • 5 of 5 stars

PNC has bank branches and mortgage offices in many, but not all, states, so in-person service isn't available everywhere. But if you do live near a branch, the PNC website offers a tool to find and schedule an appointment with mortgage loan officers in your area.

PNC’s website also features a live chat option that allows borrowers to ask questions and get answers in real time. And customer service representatives are available by phone, with numbers that are easy to find on the lender’s website. However, when we called two of them, though the lender’s system answered almost immediately, we were prompted to enter account or personal data in order to speak with a representative.

PNC's website offers a live chat that allows customers to ask questions and get answers in real time.
PNC's website offers a live chat that allows customers to ask questions and get answers in real time.

You can apply for preapproval on the lender's website. The online application asks for basic information, such as your Social Security number, where you're looking for a home, how much you want to borrow and down payment amount. Then you can authorize the lender to verify your employment, income and financial assets electronically and check your credit.

Once your mortgage application goes through, you can register for an account to see its status and get updates when it hits certain milestones. You can also upload and submit documents, as well as send and receive messages with your loan officer and processor.

PNC's mortgage rates and fees

  • 3.5 of 5 stars

  • PNC Bank earns 3 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

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

NerdWallet analyzes federal data to compare mortgage lenders’ origination fees and offered mortgage rates. We measure annual averages across all loan types, as reported by the lenders. Overall, PNC charged average origination fees, and its mortgage rates were lower than average in the industry.

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.

PNC's mortgage rate transparency

  • 5 of 5 stars

PNC's website displays current interest and annual percentage rates, along with estimated monthly payments, for a variety of loans and terms. You can enter different loan amounts and ZIP codes in the rate quote tool to get customized sample rates according to credit score or down payment amounts.

What borrowers say about PNC mortgages

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.

  • PNC Bank receives a 704 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. The industry average for origination is 730. (Mortgage origination covers the initial application through closing day.) 

  • PNC Bank receives 609 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study. The industry average for servicing is 601. (A mortgage servicer handles loan payments.)

  • PNC Bank receives a customer rating of 4.95 out of 5 on Zillow, as of the date of publication. The score reflects more than 3,000 customer reviews.

Alternatives to a home loan from PNC

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

Bank of America offers grants and other assistance to home buyers, and Alliant Credit Union is another strong option for jumbo loans.

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Bella Angelos contributed to this review.

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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).

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