PNC Bank Mortgage Review 2020

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.

NerdWalletAugust 5, 2020

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Our Take


NerdWallet rating 

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

Best Mortgage Lender for Jumbo Loans


PNC: NMLS#446303

Min. Credit Score


Min. Down Payment


Loan Types and Products

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

Pros & Cons


  • 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.


  • Can't complete a full mortgage application online.

  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.

  • In-person service is not available in every state.

Compare to Other Lenders

Min. Credit Score










Min. Credit Score




Min. Down Payment


Min. Down Payment


Loan Types and Products

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

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable

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Full Review

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, getting a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with high loan demand and staffing issues that may slow down the process. Also, some lenders have increased their fees or temporarily suspended certain loan products. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

PNC Bank mortgages 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

  • Variety of loan products: 4 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 4 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 4 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 4 of 5 stars

PNC Bank loan types and products

PNC Bank offers fixed-rate mortgages with terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years as well as 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 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, 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 can 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 $1,500 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 last five years. Gift money can be part of the down payment.

For current homeowners, PNC Bank offers mortgage refinancing and home equity loans. Traditional home equity loans start at $1,000 and home equity lines of credit have a minimum starting amount of $10,000.

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 can be slightly higher depending on certain criteria, such as an applicant's credit history and reserve assets, according to PNC regional manager Staci Titsworth.

PNC Bank online convenience

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 Saturday, 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:

  • A lender's average origination fee compared with the median of all lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. PNC Bank earns 4 out of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared to the best available on comparable loans. PNC Bank earns 4 of 5 stars on this factor.

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. PNC offers 30-day rate locks.

More from NerdWallet

NerdWallet’s star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services each lender offers to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The five key areas we evaluated include the variety of loan types and products offered, online conveniences, online mortgage rate information, and the rate spread and origination fee lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.