PNC personal loan review: A discount with a checking account

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In a Nutshell

PNC Bank offers personal loans with interest rate discounts when your payments are automatically deducted from a PNC checking account. But tiered interest rates on unsecured personal loans mean you might pay a higher rate when you borrow less.

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Pros Cons
0.25% autopay discount with PNC checking account For unsecured personal loans, the lowest interest rates are available only for higher loan amounts
Loans starting at $1,000 No option for prequalification
Secured and unsecured loan options Not available in all areas

What you need to know about a PNC personal loan

With more than 2,400 branches, PNC is the sixth-largest bank in the U.S., operating in 20 states and Washington, D.C.

If you’re eligible, you can use a PNC personal loan for home improvements, credit card debt consolidation or other large purchases. If you’re trying to decide whether a personal loan from PNC is right for you, here are a few things to consider.

Good credit requirement

Getting a personal loan from PNC Bank can require solid credit for the best rates. PNC doesn’t publish its eligibility requirements on its website, but we spoke to a PNC representative in April who said people typically need FICO® credit scores of at least 680 and a debt-to-income ratio of 40% or lower to qualify for a PNC personal loan.

Unsecured or secured loans

PNC offers both secured and unsecured personal loans. With a secured personal loan, you put up property like real estate or a savings account as collateral. PNC’s unsecured loans range from $1,000 to $35,000, and secured loans range from $2,000 to $100,000.

Automatic payments discount

Not only can automatic payments help ensure you make your monthly payments on time, it can also save you money. Set up automatic payments with a PNC checking account to qualify for a 0.25% interest rate discount.

Lower interest rates on higher unsecured loan amounts

The annual percentage rate, or APR, on unsecured personal loans from PNC varies based on the amount you’re borrowing. PNC offers competitive rates compared to other large lenders, but its lowest unsecured loan rates are only available if you borrow at least $15,000.

No option for prequalification

Many personal loan lenders use a soft credit inquiry to let you check your rate without impacting your credit scores. But PNC isn’t one of them. To find out what your rate will be for a PNC personal loan, you must complete a formal loan application, which includes a hard credit inquiry.

A closer look at PNC personal loans

If you’re considering an installment loan from PNC, there are a few more details you should know.

  • No origination or prepayment fee: The bank doesn’t charge an origination fee to set up your loan account. You also won’t face a prepayment penalty if you want to repay your loan early.
  • Multiple repayment terms: PNC offers loan terms of six months to 60 months for unsecured personal loans, depending on the loan amount, and 12 months to 72 months for secured loans.
  • Co-applicants allowed: PNC allows co-applicants, which may improve your chances of qualifying for a loan or help you qualify for a lower interest rate if they have good credit.
  • Potentially fast funding: If your application is approved, you may receive your loan funds within 24 hours, according to the customer service rep we spoke with in April.
  • Late fee: If you don’t make your payment within 15 days of the due date, you’ll be charged a late fee of $40 or 10% of the payment due, whichever is higher, according to the same customer service representative.
  • Line of credit: PNC also offers personal lines of credit from $1,000 to $25,000, which may be a good option if you need to pay for ongoing expenses.

Who is a PNC personal loan good for?

Unsecured PNC personal loans can be a good option for people with strong credit who want to borrow at least $15,000 but less than $35,000, since they may qualify for the lowest rates the bank offers.

You’ll also need to live in an area where PNC offers loans, which are clustered in the eastern half of the U.S.

If you have collateral to back your loan, a secured loan may also be a good option. To lower your rate even further, consider opening a PNC checking account so you can take advantage of the bank’s automatic payments discount. 

How to apply with PNC

You can apply for unsecured loans online, by phone or at one of PNC’s branches, and you can apply for secured loans by phone or at a branch. The application process is simple and should only take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete if you have all the information required.

You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Desired loan amount
  • Purpose of the loan
  • Photo ID
  • Annual income
  • Monthly housing payment
  • Creditor information if the loan is being used for debt consolidation

Not sure a PNC loan is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

Here are some other lenders to consider if you’re shopping for a personal loan.

  • LightStream: A LightStream personal loan may be a good choice for people with good credit who can qualify for lower rates than PNC offers.
  • Avant: If your credit isn’t perfect, Avant may be an option because it considers customers with a wide range of credit scores. Read our Avant personal loan review to learn more.