PNC Mortgage Lender 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

  • 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

PNC tends to offer low mortgage rates, either on par with or slightly below what other major banks are advertising.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage estimates at major banks

 
PNC
Quicken Loans
Wells Fargo Chase
Interest Rate1
3.125% 3.375% 3.375% 3.0%
APR2
3.255% 3.617% 3.49% 3.093%
Mortgage Points3
0.0 1.875 0.375 1.0
Monthly P&I Payment
$857 $884 $884 $843

Rates shown here are current as of 05/07/2020. Monthly principal and interest payments are based on a home price of $250,000 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.

Verify your new rate (Jun 1st, 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. 

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 11th out of 20 lenders in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study.

It scored 841 out of a possible 1,000, which was just below the industry average. J.D. Power’s top spot went to Quicken Loans, with a score of 880 out of 1,000.

Company
Mortgage originations4
CFPB complaints5
Complaints per 1,000 mortgages6
2019 JD Power rating7
PNC
58,000 69 1.19 841/1,000
Quicken Loans
396,000 171 0.43 880/1,000
Wells Fargo
312,000 419 1.34 837/1,000
Bank of America
111,000 236 2.13 843/1,000

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, 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

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 (Jun 1st, 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.

Compare current rates from major lenders. Start here (Jun 1st, 2020)

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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.