PNC Bank Review 2022: Mortgage Options for Low Down Payments and Grant Assistance

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PNC Bank Review 2022
PNC Bank Review 2022
Editor’s Score: (4/5)
PNC Bank Review 2022
Editor’s Score: (4/5)
  • Minimum Credit Score:
    Not Provided
  • Minimum Down Payment:
    Not provided
  • Can Apply Online:
    Yes
  • Operates In:
    All 50 States

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Advertises mortgage rates on its website
  • $5,000 grant option for eligible FHA borrowers
  • Offers all government-sponsored loans, conventional mortgages, home equity products, and options for low down payments
  • Can request a mortgage preapproval and start a digital mortgage application online, then track progress
  • Has more than 2,600 locations in 27 states and the District of Columbia
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer construction loans, renovation loans, or reverse mortgages
  • Higher-than-average number of consumer complaints logged with the CFPB.
  • Difficult to obtain credit and down payment requirements for each loan type
The Bottom Line

PNC Bank offers a long list of mortgage options in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The lender may be an especially good option for first-time homebuyers who need a government-sponsored loan or borrowers who qualify for the Community Loan or grant assistance. 

Editorial Independence

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.

PNC Bank Full Review 

PNC Bank is a full-service bank that’s based in Pittsburgh and originates a wide selection of mortgages nationwide. In mid-2021, the company acquired BBVA USA and is now the fifth-largest commercial bank in the U.S. 

In addition to conventional home loans and all the government-sponsored mortgages, PNC also offers checking and savings accounts, credit cards, auto and student loans, and wealth-management services. 

If you’re in the market for a home loan, here’s what to know about PNC Bank.

PNC Bank: Mortgage Loan Types and Products

PNC Bank offers mortgages for home purchases, refinances, and home equity lines of credit. On the lender’s menu right now:

Among PNC’s conventional loan offerings is its Community Loan, which is geared toward low- to moderate-income borrowers. The loan requires a 3% minimum down payment, waives private mortgage insurance, and allows borrowers to use gift funds at closing. Qualified FHA borrowers can benefit from PNC’s $5,000 grant to help with closing costs in certain markets.  

There’s also a Medical Professional loan for up to $1 million for interns, residents, fellows, and doctors who completed their residences within the past five years. This loan doesn’t come with PMI, and gift funds are allowed for the down payment.

PNC Bank also offers jumbo loans, which are mortgages that exceed a dollar amount called the conforming loan limit. The limit is set at $647,200 for one-unit properties in 2022, though it can stretch to $970,800 in certain high-cost areas. Customers who want to borrow more than the conforming limit can get a jumbo loan up to $5 million.

When comparing loan options, borrowers can choose between a fixed-rate mortgage, with terms ranging from 10 to 30 years, or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), which comes with a fixed rate for a certain amount of time. PNC Bank offers ARM terms where the rate is fixed for five, seven, or 10 years. Then, depending on the product, the rate can reset either every six months or once a year. 

PNC doesn’t offer construction loans, renovation loans, or reverse mortgages.

PNC Bank: Mortgage Transparency

PNC Bank’s website is easy to use and includes several calculators and educational resources about the homebuying process, mortgage loans, and creating a realistic budget. Customers can also get help by filling out an online contact form, calling a loan officer, or visiting one of the bank’s 2,600 branches across 27 states and Washington, D.C. 

PNC publishes mortgage rates on its website, though you won’t be able to customize a rate quote with your personal details unless you call the lender. There’s no hard credit check involved in this step, which can help you get a feel for whether the lender’s a good fit. 

When you’re ready to request a preapproval or start a mortgage application, you can do so online and track your progress through a dedicated portal. Both the preapproval and mortgage application require a hard credit pull. (This is common among all lenders.) After providing some basic information about you and the loan you want, you can authorize the lender to pull your credit and electronically verify your employment, income, and financial assets. 

It’s important to note that in 2020, PNC Bank had a higher-than-average number of consumer mortgage complaints logged with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) compared to other mortgage lenders we’ve reviewed. 

PNC Bank: Mortgage Rates and Fees 

PNC Bank advertises daily refinance and purchase rates for conventional loans, FHA loans, and VA loans with various loan terms in both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options. These rates can change every day and are based on a few assumptions, such as that your credit score is at least 740, your debt-to-income ratio is under 36%, and your down payment is 20%. So everyone won’t be able to qualify for the lowest rates. 

You’ll need to get in touch with a loan officer for a list of lender fees and third-party closing costs you might pay, such as:

If you meet income requirements or live in a qualified community, FHA borrowers might be able to defray these costs (or the down payment) with a $5,000 grant that PNC offers. 

To qualify for a loan at PNC, requirements vary based on the type of mortgage you’re looking to get. PNC didn’t send us their specific requirements, but it can help to know the industry standards. Borrowers typically need a credit score of at least 620 and a minimum down payment of 3% to 5% to qualify for a conventional loan. Jumbo loans usually have higher credit score and down payment requirements because the lender takes on more risk.

But VA loans, USDA loans, and FHA loans are typically more flexible because they’re backed by government agencies. Borrowers may qualify for FHA loans with a credit score of 580 (and down payment of at least 3.5%) or score of 500 (with a down payment of at least 10%). VA loans and USDA loans don’t require a down payment, though borrowers will need to cover an upfront funding fee with VA loans. 

There are no prepayment penalties at PNC Bank, so there’s no extra cost if you want to refinance, pay off the loan, or sell your home soon after closing. Customers can lock in a rate for 30 to 90 days for free, but there’s a fee to extend the rate. Currently, PNC Bank is closing home loans within 30 to 60 days.

Refinancing With PNC Bank

If you have an existing home loan, refinancing may help you save money, borrow against your home equity, or adjust your loan term. PNC offers the following types of refinance loans:

  • Cash-out refinances: These allow you to take out a new mortgage for more than you owe. You’ll pay down the old loan and pocket the difference in cash, which you can use for any type of expense. However, your mortgage payments and payoff timeline will increase.
  • Rate-and-term refinances: These allow you to get a new interest rate, new loan term, or both. Homeowners usually apply for rate-and-term refinances to save money. 
  • Streamline refinances: If you have an existing government-sponsored loan, you might be able to save money through the VA interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL), the FHA streamline loan, or the USDA streamline loan. These programs cut out some of the paperwork involved with a refinance and make it easier to save money. 

PNC Bank Compared to Other Mortgage Lenders

PNC BankTruist MortgageFairway Independent Mortgage Corp.
Minimum credit scoreNot providedNot provided600 for FHA and VA; 620 for conventional; 660 for jumbo
Minimum down paymentNot provided0% for VA and USDA; 3% for conventional; 3.5% for FHA 0% for VA and USDA; 3.5% for FHA; 3% to 5% for conventional
Where does the lender operate?All 50 states and Washington, D.C.47 states and Washington, D.C.All 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Major loan typesConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, streamline refinance, home equity lines of creditConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, construction loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, several refinance programs, home equity loans, home equity lines of creditConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, various renovation loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, reverse mortgages, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit

How to Shop Around to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

Getting the best mortgage rate is important because it influences your cost of borrowing over the life of the loan. 

Here’s an example to show how a small change in mortgage rates can make a difference. Let’s say you receive two mortgage rate quotes on a home worth $300,000 with a 20% down payment and 30-year term. 

Interest rateMonthly principal and interest paymentTotal interest paid over 30 yearsInterest saved
3.25%$1,044$136,141
3.00%$1,011$124,455$33 a month and $11,686 over 30 years

With a 3.25% interest rate, the monthly principal and interest payment comes out to $1,044. But with a 3.00% interest rate, you save $33 a month on interest costs. That might not sound like much, but it adds up to $11,686 in savings over 30 years. 

But you won’t know whether you’re getting the best deal unless you shop around. It’s a good idea to submit mortgage applications to multiple lenders and ask for a mortgage Loan Estimate. Use these documents to compare the interest rate, APR, and lender fees on each loan. A mortgage calculator can help you figure out how much you could save with the lowest offer.

Editorial Independence

As with all of our mortgage lender reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.