PNC Mortgage Lender Review

PNC is a century-old bank with a strong presence both online and off. Is this the right mortgage lender for you? Learn about the pros and cons here.

Lending flexibility 3.5
Customer service 4.0
Ease of application 4.0
Online experience 4.0
Minimum down payment 3%
Minimum credit score 620
Loan Products Offered

Fixed-rate mortgage
Adjustable rate mortgage
Jumbo mortgage
FHA mortgage
VA mortgage

Best Features

  • Online tools are better than most, especially the Home Insight planner and application tracker
  • Strong branch network on the eastern side of the country
  • Long-time lender with a strong history and good portfolio of products

Drawbacks

  • Generally does not offer the lowest rates or closing costs
  • Mid-range customer service scores compared to other lenders
  • Likely need to apply for a loan estimate to see all offer details

Overview

PNC is a large bank and mortgage lender with a history going back 160 years.

Today, it has about 2,600 branches across 19 states and Washington D.C., most of which are on the east coast and far inward as Kansas.

PNC also has a particularly strong online presence, with intuitive tools to help you plan and manage your mortgage application.

Rates, closing costs, and customer service for PNC Mortgage all fall generally in line with industry averages.

Of course, mortgage rates and pricing are unique to each customer. Compare PNC's rates and closing costs to learn whether it's the best option for your home loan.


Compare PNC mortgage rates

Big banks rarely pull ahead for prices, and PNC is no exception. Don’t expect to be offered a significantly lower rate or closing costs than elsewhere. Its offers could best be described as “competitive” rather than “industry-leading.”

30-year fixed-rate mortgage estimates at major banks

 
PNC
Quicken Loans
Bank of America
Wells Fargo
Interest Rate1
3.625% 3.99% 3.625% 3.75%
APR2
3.773% 4.258% 3.82% 3.843%
Mortgage Points3
0.925 1.875 0.793 0.125
Monthly P&I Payment
$876 $916 $876 $889

We compared PNC side-by-side with other major banks and lenders, and found that its rates and cost fall in line with the average. However, rates can differ based on the types of clients and programs a lender specializes in.

Rates shown here are current as of 10/17/2019. Monthly principal and interest payments are based on a home price of $240,000 and down payment of 20% for a home located in Washington. 

These numbers are a snapshot meant for general comparison only. Your own mortgage costs will vary depending on your loan, your finances, the economy and other factors.

Compare personalized rates from major lenders. Start here (Nov 22nd, 2019)

PNC Mortgage review for 2019

PNC says its objective is to reduce the stress, complexity, and anxiety of applying for a mortgage.

The quality of its online tools suggests it’s taking that promise seriously. PNC can make it feel as if you have a knowledgeable friend holding your hand throughout the entire mortgage process.

Meanwhile, many who live on the eastern side of the country will be able to apply for a mortgage face-to-face, in one of PNC’s 2,600 branches.

PNC may get only average customer reviews from J.D. Power survey respondents, but ‘average’ is better than many big banks achieved, including Chase, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, and US Bank.

One word of caution: Read your post-application loan estimate from PNC carefully before you decide to accept the offer.

There are suggestions that some people find details in those estimates that weren’t immediately clear from the pre-application information you see online.

Of course, this is a best practice for any lender. Be sure to get multiple loan estimates and then compare them side by side and line by line.

Working with PNC Mortgage

PNC’s online Home Insight service comes in two flavors.

The first is called Home Insight Planner. It lets you input your personal household budget and lifestyle details, and then guides you to the loan that should suit you best.

PNC Home Insights planner online tool

Image: PNC

The second component, Home Insight Tracker, takes over when you’ve made an application.

It has two main functions. First, to help you manage your application and access existing documents and status reports. Second, to upload documents and exchange messages with your loan officer in a secure environment.

If working with a loan officer face-to-face is important to you, service can be a bit hit or miss. PNC has plenty of locations on the East Coast and as far inland as Kansas. But if you live west of there, your options will be limited.

PNC customer service reviews

PNC Mortgage was ranked 10th out of 21 lenders in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study.

It scored 835 out of a possible 1,000, which was just one point below the industry average. J.D. Power’s top spot went to Quicken Loans, with a score of 876 out of 1,000.

Mortgage-related complaints at major lenders

Company
Mortgage originations4
CFPB complaints5
Complaints per 1,000 mortgages6
2018 JD Power rating7
PNC
58,000 69 1.19 835
Quicken Loans
396,000 171 0.43 876
Wells Fargo
312,000 419 1.34 817
Bank of America
111,000 236 2.13 849

Along with PNC’s satisfaction scores, we checked its customer complaints using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) online database, where borrowers can file complaints against lenders.

For PNC, results in the database are again mid-range. It may have more complaints per 1,000 loans than the top performer (Quicken), but it beats a number of other big banks.

Mortgage loan products at PNC

As you’d expect of a big bank, PNC tries to appeal to a wide variety of consumers rather than niche groups with specialist needs. Its portfolio of products reflects that:

  • Fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) — Most people opt for FRMs, with terms that last 10-30 years, down payments starting as low as 3 percent, and a rate that never changes
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) — ARMs let you fix your rate for an initial period of 1, 3, 5, 7 or 10 years. After that, it will float with markets
  • Jumbo loans — For borrowers that need a loan more than $484,350 but less than $5 million. You can pick an FRM or ARM and choose a term between 15 and 30 years
  • FHA loans — Loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration that let you pay as little as 3.5% down and have flexible requirements for borrowers to qualify
  • VA loans — Loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, with zero down payment available for qualifying service members and veterans

PNC doesn’t advertise any proprietary loan products on its website. By comparison, some other companies offer their own loan types with special down payments or no-PMI options.

But it does say some loans are available for primary and secondary homes along with investment properties.

PNC also says its mortgages typically come with fees and costs totaling between 3 and 5 percent of the loan value.

Where can you get a mortgage with PNC?

NMLS ID: 446303

PNC Mortgage has a very good online presence. Its Home Insight planner and tracker are first-class and can be genuinely useful tools.

That goes for all borrowers, but especially first-time homebuyers who will appreciate a little bit of extra guidance along the way.

PNC bank locations across the U.S.

PNC bank locations are concentrated in the Eastern U.S. Image: PNC

However, not everyone is comfortable making online applications.

If you prefer an in-person experience, and you live in on the eastern side of the country, you may well have easy access to one of PNC’s 2,600 branches. It should be simple for you to set up a face-to-face meeting with a specialist advisor.

Borrowers in the gray-colored states above will have to apply for a PNC mortgage online or over the phone.

Is PNC the best mortgage lender for you?

If you prefer a DIY application and online resources, PNC might be a good mortgage lender for you.

It’s also a convenient choice for East Coast folk who have access to one of PNC’s 2,000+ bank locations.

Either way, it’s important to compare multiple lenders before choosing a mortgage company. PNC’s resources are only as good as the rate it can offer you. The same goes for any lender.

Get started by comparing rates and closing costs from at least three reputable mortgage lenders to find the best deal for you.

Compare current rates from major lenders. Start here (Nov 22nd, 2019)

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  1. Interest Rate: The rate you pay in interest per year based on the current loan balance.
  2. APR: The total cost of getting the loan including the interest rate and closing costs.
  3. Discount Points: Mortgage points, also known as discount points, are fees paid directly to the lender at closing in exchange for a reduced interest rate. - Read More
  4. Mortgage Originations: The number of mortgages this lender closed. The most recent data available is from the 2017 Mortgage Market Activity and Trends, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), published May 2018.
  5. CFPB Complaints: The number of mortgage origination or closing related complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2018. We ignore complaints about issues that don't concern mortgage applications and closings, such as loan servicing, since some lenders don't service loans and therefore would have an unfair advantage in complaint numbers.
  6. Complaints per 1000 mortgages: The number of mortgage-related complaints compared to this lender's total mortgages originated. Due to data availability, we're comparing 2017 originations with 2018 complaints to arrive at the number of complaints per 1000 mortgages originated.
  7. JD Power Rating: On a 1,000 point scale, consumer insight company JD Power scores large banks across six factors: channel interactions, deposit accounts, credit accounts, investment accounts, convenience, and problem resolution.