PNC Bank Mortgage Review 2021

Good for: borrowers with low to moderate incomes or limited down payments. PNC offers several low-down-payment loans, including one with no mortgage insurance.
Phil MetzgerDec 1, 2021

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: PNC Bank offers a wide variety of loans and can help borrowers with limited down payments.

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

  • Posts current mortgage rates on its website.
  • Has an online application for mortgage preapproval and a digital tool to track application progress.
  • Offers several affordable loan options, including FHA, VA, USDA and the PNC Community Loan.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.
  • In-person service is not available in every state.

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

Loan Types and Products

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

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Reverse, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

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Full Review

The coronavirus pandemic introduced some new challenges to getting a mortgage. Many lenders facing high loan demand and staffing issues increased their fees, adjusted minimum required credit scores or temporarily suspended certain loan products. While some products and business practices have returned to pre-pandemic levels, you might still find delays and limited options. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

PNC Bank at a glance

PNC Bank, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a retail and commercial bank that offers mortgages nationwide. The bank originates and services a broad selection of conventional and government-backed loans for purchase, refinance and home equity.

Here's a breakdown of PNC Bank's overall score:

  • Variety of loan types: 5 of 5 stars

  • Ease of application: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 4 of 5 stars

PNC Bank mortgage loan types

PNC Bank offers fixed-rate mortgages with terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years as well as adjustable-rate mortgages with interest rates that can change once or twice a year after an initial 7- or 10-year fixed-rate period. Government-backed mortgages — FHA, USDA and VA home loans — are on the menu, but the bulk of the loans PNC originates are conventional loans, including jumbo mortgages.

Among its conventional loan offerings is the PNC Community Loan, which requires a down payment as low as 3% and minimal cash reserves. Borrowers may use gift money as part of the down payment. The program is for low- to moderate-income borrowers. Applicants must complete a home buyer education class.

PNC also offers a $5,000 grant to help with closing costs in certain markets. To be eligible, the property must be in a low- to moderate-income census tract, or the borrower's income must be at or below 80% of the area's median income.

PNC's medical professional loan of up to $1 million is geared to interns, residents, fellows or doctors who completed their residencies in the past five years. Gift money may be part of the down payment.

PNC does not publish minimum credit score requirements for its mortgage products. In some cases the lender considers nontraditional credit history, such as rent payment history. Generally, a borrower's debt-to-income ratio can't exceed 45%, and that includes the proposed monthly loan payment. But the ratio may be slightly higher depending on certain criteria, such as an applicant's credit history and reserve assets, according to PNC territory sales manager Staci Titsworth.

PNC Bank HELOC: For current homeowners, PNC Bank offers mortgage refinancing and home equity loans. Traditional home equity loans have a minimum starting amount of $5,000. The lender also offers a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. These second mortgages are one way for homeowners to access existing 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 offers homeowners the option to borrow $5,000 or more and pay it back on a variable rate or on a fixed rate that can be locked and unlocked at any point during the draw period.

PNC Bank ease of application

PNC has bank branches and mortgage offices in many, but not all, states, so in-person service isn't available everywhere. Customer service representatives are available by phone on weekdays and Saturdays, with extended evening hours Monday through Thursday.

You can start the mortgage application process online or by phone. If you wish to speak with someone first, the PNC website offers a tool to find mortgage loan officers in your area. You can reach out to them directly by phone or email.

In areas where there are no local mortgage offices, you can call PNC's general home lending center or fill out a form on the website to have someone call you.

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.

If PNC can't verify income, assets or employment electronically, you can work with a loan officer and manually provide documentation to get fully preapproved. Meanwhile, you can get a "preliminary preapproval" online, which gives an estimate of what you may be qualified to borrow.

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

If you don't create an online account, your loan officer will continue to communicate via phone or email.

PNC Bank mortgage rates and fees

One of the most important considerations when choosing a mortgage lender is understanding what the loan will cost. In order to provide consumers with a general sense of what a lender might charge, NerdWallet scores lenders on two factors regarding fees and mortgage rates, according to the most recently available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data:

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

  • PNC Bank earns 2 of 5 stars for offered mortgage rates compared with the best available rates on comparable loans.

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.

You can decide to buy discount points — a fee paid with your closing costs — to reduce your mortgage rate.

Deciding whether to pay higher upfront fees is a matter of considering how long you plan to live in your home and how much cash you have to apply toward closing costs when you sign the loan paperwork.

PNC Bank mortgage rate transparency

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, but you can't get customized rates according to credit score or down payment amounts. As part of its digital application process, PNC allows borrowers to lock in their rates from a mobile device or computer.

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