PNC Bank mortgage review: A good starting place for existing customers

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Updated April 22, 2021

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Written by: Clint Proctor

PNC Bank mortgage loans at a glance

  • Conventional loans: Yes
  • FHA loans: Yes
  • VA loans: Yes
  • Refinancing: Yes
  • Jumbo loans: Yes
  • Adjustable rates: Yes (3/1, 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 ARMs)
  • Fixed rates: Yes (10 to 30 years)

PNC Bank operates branches in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Southeast, and it also offers mortgages online nationwide. PNC has many standard mortgage options along with specialized home loans that may appeal to first-time homebuyers, medical professionals and more.

Pros

  • Offers a digital preapproval process
  • Provides home equity and specialized loans
  • Transparent about current mortgage rates

Cons

  • No home renovation loans
  • Branch access not available in every state

5 things to know about a PNC Bank mortgage loan

PNC Bank offers common home loans including conventional (fixed- and adjustable-rate terms) FHA, VA and USDA loans, as well as mortgage refinancing. Here are a few of PNC’s more unique features and loan options that you’ll want to be aware of before you apply.

1. Online tools backed by phone and in-person support

PNC Bank offers a nice blend of time-saving technology and personal, human service. You can apply for mortgage preapproval online in minutes. You’ll also have the opportunity to verify your income, assets and employment electronically.

In addition to its online options, PNC has an extensive network of more than 2,300 branches. If you happen to do your banking with PNC, you can visit your local branch to start the mortgage process. You can also use the bank’s directory to find the contact information for a PNC mortgage officer in your area.

But take note that PNC branches are currently available in only 23 states and Washington, D.C. If you live in a state where PNC doesn’t have a local presence, you’ll need to be OK with applying online and being limited to phone and email support.

2. Fast and anonymous mortgage rate quotes

PNC Bank doesn’t make you jump through hoops or provide a lot of personal information to see its current rates. In fact, you don’t have to provide any information at all. On PNC’s website you can compare PNC’s starting interest rates for conventional, FHA and VA loans.

The rate quotes you see assume that you have a 740 credit score, a debt-to-income ratio of 36% and will have a loan-to-value ratio of 80%. If you use PNC’s “Application Through Closing” guide, you can use its closing costs calculator to estimate your mortgage fees and charges.

3. Multiple ways to tap into home equity

Many mortgage lenders offer conventional loans and government-backed loans, but home equity loans and home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, are less common. PNC Bank offers both of these options, though.

You can also apply for cash-out refinancing to borrow from your home’s equity. With any of these choices, existing homeowners can use the cash they receive to consolidate debt, fund a home renovation project or meet other needs.

One thing you can’t do with PNC Bank, though, is include the costs of home renovations in an original mortgage. If you’re planning to buy a fixer-upper and want to finance the improvements with a home renovation loan, you’ll need to look at other lenders.

4. Specialized mortgage options

PNC Bank also offers a few niche loans that you may not find with other lenders.

  • PNC Community Loan: This home loan allows eligible homebuyers to put as little as 3% down, and part of that down payment can come from gift funds. Notably, this loan doesn’t come with private mortgage insurance, or PMI.
  • Medical Professionals Mortgage: This mortgage is designed for medical interns, residents, fellows or physicians who completed their residency within the past five years. The loan maximum is $1 million, gift funds can be used for a portion of the down payment, and there’s no PMI.
  • USDA Loan: If you live in a qualifying rural area, you may be able to take out a USDA mortgage with low closing costs and no down payment.
  • Jumbo Loan: If you’re looking to take out a mortgage that’s higher than the conforming loan limits for your area, you’re going to need a jumbo loan. With PNC Bank’s jumbo loans, you can finance up to $5 million. You can also refinance existing jumbo loans up to the same maximum loan amount.

In addition to these mortgages, PNC Bank also offers grants of up to $5,000 to help cover closing costs. To qualify for this grant, you’ll need to meet income requirements or your property will need to be located in a low- or moderate-income census tract (by the FFIEC geocoding system).

5. Numerous homebuying resources

PNC Bank’s website offers many tools that are designed to educate and prepare homebuyers. Perhaps most impressive is its Home Insight Planner, which can help you more accurately calculate how much home you can afford.

The Home Insight Planner asks about your income, living expenses, debt obligations and savings goals. Then it calculates a realistic mortgage payment based on the information you provide. Finally, it allows you to view live home listings in your area with asking prices that would fit within your budget.

Once you’ve started the mortgage process, the PNC Home Insight Tracker makes it easy to monitor and manage your application. And you can find many more online resources and guides inside PNC’s Understanding Home Lending Center.

Who is a PNC Bank loan good for?

PNC Bank might be a natural place to start your mortgage-shopping process if you’re already one of its banking customers. It could also be a good choice if you want to borrow against your home’s equity since it offers home equity loans, HELOCs and cash-out refinancing.

People who are looking for “out of the box” loans may find that PNC Bank offers more flexibility than other lenders. Examples include medical professionals who have unique financial situations or first-time homebuyers who want low down payment options. And if you need a nonconforming loan, PNC’s jumbo loan limits are very high.

But PNC won’t be a good fit if you want in-person support and don’t live near one of its local branches. You’ll also need to look elsewhere if you want a lender that offers renovation financing on new home purchases.

How to apply for a PNC Bank mortgage

You can apply for preapproval with PNC Bank online, over the phone or in person at a branch. It offers two types of preapproval.

  • Preliminary preapproval: This tells you how much you may qualify to borrow based on your manually entered employment, income and asset information. Electronic verification of your information isn’t required.
  • Preapproval: This provides you with a firm lending commitment after your financial information has been verified.

If you’re happy with the amount that you’ve been preapproved to borrow, you can move forward with submitting your loan application. At this point you’ll need to work with a loan officer to submit your supporting documentation such as recent pay stubs, W-2s and bank statements.

To get approved for PNC Bank’s best mortgage rates, the bank says you’ll likely need a credit score of at least 740. But it also says that it has options for people with credit scores as low as 620.

Not sure if PNC Bank is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re shopping for a mortgage, you have a window of time where multiple credit inquiries by lenders are only counted as one for your credit scores. You typically have 14 days to shop around — though it could be longer depending on the scoring model.

  • Fairway: If you want to take out a renovation loan to finance improvements on a new home purchase, Fairway could be a good option.
  • Bank of America: Bank of America could be worth considering if you have a banking relationship with the company or it has a better local branch presence in your area.

About the author: Clint Proctor is a freelance writer and founder of WalletWiseGuy.com, where he writes about how students and m… Read more.