PNC Mortgage Review for 2020

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

  • Competitive rates and fees
  • Online tools are better than most, especially the Home Insight planner and application tracker
  • Strong branch network on the eastern side of the country

Drawbacks

  • 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.


PNC mortgage rates

PNC tends to offer low mortgage rates. In 2019, its average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.13% — which fell below mega-lenders like Quicken, Wells Fargo, and Chase.

PNC also appears to offer very competitive loan fees.

Average 30-year mortgage rates at major lenders 

 
PNC
Wells Fargo 
Quicken Loans
Chase
Average 30-Year Interest Rate, 20191
4.13% 4.22% 4.16% 4.22%
Monthly P&I Payment*
$970 $980 $973 $980
Median Loan Costs, 2019
$2,281 $3,484 $5,075 $3,440
Median Origination Charge, 2019
$828 $1,199 $2,085 $1,279

Average rate and fee data were sourced from public rate and fee records required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

*Monthly principal and interest payment based on a $250,000 home price, with 20% down, at each company’s average 30-year interest rate for 2019. Your own rate and monthly payment will vary.

Verify your new rate (Dec 2nd, 2020)

PNC refinance rates 

PNC refinance rates should mirror its mortgage rates: near, or a little below average compared to other major lenders.

But remember, your refinance rate depends on your credit score, current loan balance, and other key parts of your applications.

So you’ll have to check personalized refi rates from PNC — as well as a few other lenders — to see how it compares. 

Check your refinance rates (Dec 2nd, 2020)

PNC Mortgage review for 2020

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.

That said, PNC does get only average customer reviews from J.D. Power survey respondents.

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.

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 8th out of 17 lenders in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study.

It scored 838 out of a possible 1,000, which was a bit below the industry average. J.D. Power’s top spot went to Quicken Loans, with a score of 883 out of 1,000.

Company
Mortgage Originations 2019
CFPB Complaints 2019
Complaints Per 1,000 Mortgages
2020 JD Power Rating
PNC
160,000 68 0.42 838/1,000
Wells Fargo
1,026,800 342 0.33 840/1,000
Quicken Loans
774,900 187 0.24 883/1,000
Chase
527,600 188 0.36 860/1,000

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, the results in the database look good. It has fewer than one official complaint filed per 1,000 mortgage customers.

Mortgage loan products at PNC

PNC has an especially broad range of mortgage options. It offers conventional mortgages and all the government-backed mortgages (FHA, VA, and USDA).

PNC even has a couple special mortgage programs, for medical professionals and lower-income home buyers.

  • 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 $510,400 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
  • USDA “Rural Housing” loan — Affordable home loans with zero down payment, for those buying in rural or suburban areas who have low- to moderate-income 
  • 80/10/10 conventional loan — The 80/10/10 loan consists of a mortgage for 80% of the home’s value, plus a second loan for 10% of the home’s value that acts as part of your down payment. Coupled with a 10% cash down payment on your part, this adds up to a 20% down payment, which means you don’t have to pay for mortgage insurance
  • PNC Community Loan — A low-down-payment, no-PMI loan from PNC that only requires a $500 down payment contribution from the borrower. The rest of the 3% down payment can be gift funds from a family member or acquaintance 
  • Medical Professional mortgage — A no-PMI loan from PNC reserved for medical professionals

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

The $1,500 closing cost grant from PNC 

If you’re getting a mortgage from PNC, you might be eligible for a $1,500 grant to help with your closing costs. PNC closing cost grants are available on 15- and 30-year loans with fixed or adjustable rates. To qualify, you must either live in a designated “low- to moderate-income” census tract, or have an income that does not exceed 80% of the local median.

Verify your home loan eligibility (Dec 2nd, 2020)

PNC mortgage FAQ

Is PNC good for mortgages?

PNC is worth considering for a mortgage if you want a conventional, FHA, VA, or USDA loan. It offers both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages with down payments starting at just 3% (or 0% for a VA loan). Its rates and fees are at or slightly below average. PNC also has special mortgage programs for medical professionals and lower-income home buyers that are worth looking into if you fit one of those categories.

What does PNC mortgage stand for?

PNC Bank gets its initials from the Pittsburgh National Corporation and Provident National Corporation. PNC was created when these two banks merged in 1983.

What FICO score does PNC use?

PNC requires a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a mortgage. You’ll likely need a score in the high-600s to 700s to qualify for a conventional loan, while you might qualify for a  government-backed loan (like FHA, VA, or USDA) with a score in the lower 600s.

Is it easy to get a loan from PNC Bank?

From a credit standpoint, it’s not quite as easy to get a loan from PNC as some other banks. For instance, PNC requires a credit score in the mid-600s to get an FHA loan, which typically has the lowest credit requirements. Other banks will approve an FHA loan with credit starting at just 580 (or 500 in rare cases).

Aside from credit score requirements, PNC mortgages are not especially hard to qualify for. You only need a 3% down payment, and PNC even offers special mortgages with no private mortgage insurance for lower-income home buyers. So it’s worth a look if you’re looking for a low-down-payment mortgage and have good credit.

How long does it take to get approved for a PNC loan?

PNC offers digital pre-approval for mortgages. That means it can verify your income, assets, and employment online, so you don’t have to submit physical documents. Digital pre-approval is typically faster than traditional pre-approval methods, though PNC does not say how long it takes to approve loan customers on average.

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.

Verify your new rate (Dec 2nd, 2020)

Compare to These Lenders

Minimum down payment: 3%
Minimum credit score: 580
Minimum down payment: 3%
Minimum credit score: 620
Minimum down payment: 5%
Minimum credit score: 580

Sources:

  1. Average mortgage rates and fees sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Rates and fees shown reflect the previous year’s data and may not align with today’s mortgage rates
  2. Monthly principal and interest payments calculated using TheMortgageReports.com mortgage calculator. Payments shown are based on a $200,000 loan amount and assume a “very good” credit score. Property taxes and homeowners insurance are not included. Your own monthly payment will vary
  3. Number of mortgage originations for the previous year sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
  4. CFPB Complaints reflect the number of mortgage origination or closing-related complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the previous year
  5. Complaints per 1000 mortgages reflect the number of official complaints filed against a lender with the CFPB for the previous year, compared to the lender’s total number of mortgage originations for the previous year
  6. JD Power Rating reflects the company’s customer satisfaction score according to JD Power’s most recent Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. Survey respondents score their lenders in four areas: application/approval process, communication, loan closing, and loan offerings