PNC Bank Mortgage Review 2022 – Forbes Advisor - Forbes

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Published: Jun 22, 2022, 11:43am
Based in Pittsburgh, PNC Bank has earned recognition as one of America’s most sustainable and responsible companies. PNC offers closing cost grants of up to $5,000 for qualifying lower-income buyers—it awarded more than $8 million of these grants in 2021. PNC also sends large vans to underserved areas to provide banking, helping to address the problem of bank deserts.
PNC has a wide range of loan options for homebuyers. The bank doesn’t have a minimum loan amount for conventional, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Affairs (VA) or USDA loans—while also offering jumbo loans up to $5 million. Loan terms can be as short as 10 years on a conventional loan and 15 years on an FHA, VA or jumbo loan. The maximum term is 30 years.
For customers who prefer an in-person experience, PNC has branches in about half of U.S. states as well as Washington, D.C. But customers who prefer a digital experience can get preapproved online.
PNC Bank lends in all 50 states and DC. Its mortgage rates are competitive. You can get a rate quote by filling in your loan amount, loan type (purchase or refinance) and ZIP code on PNC’s website.
These advertised rates can give you a general idea of the lender’s offers. However, your own rate will depend on your financial situation, property type, mortgage program and market conditions when you lock in your rate. For example, an FHA loan with 5% down may have a higher APR than a conventional loan with 20% down.
PNC Bank offers the following mortgage types:
Along with fixed-rate mortgages, PNC offers adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) with initial terms of seven or 10 years. Adjustable rates are available on conforming, VA, FHA and portfolio loans, which means the bank holds the loan rather than sells it. You can also get a portfolio loan with interest-only payments.
PNC Bank does not have a minimum loan amount on conventional, FHA, VA or USDA loans—which is good news. Some lenders do not offer small mortgage loans; those who do make it easier for people to purchase inexpensive homes.
The most you can borrow depends on the type of mortgage you want and your qualifications. You can borrow up to $5 million on a jumbo loan with PNC.
Unlike many lenders, PNC services 100% of the loans it originates as of March 2022. If you get your loan from PNC Bank, you will also make your payments to PNC after closing, so consider the level of customer service you receive during the application process as you may be with this company for a long time.
PNC also services some other originators’ loans. Even if you take out your loan from a different company, you might end up making your payments to PNC.
Here are the basic criteria PNC Bank requires borrowers to meet.
PNC did not disclose a minimum credit score by loan type. Typically, lenders require a credit score of at least 580 for an FHA loan with 3.5% down and at least 620 for a conventional loan.
PNC’s minimum down payment varies by loan type. You can put down as little as 3% on a conventional loan, for example. A spokesperson did not provide down payment minimums for other loan types, but VA loans typically allow zero down, as do USDA loans, while FHA loans require at least 3.5% down.
The maximum DTI ratio that PNC allows varies by loan type and situation.
With most lenders, the maximum DTI ranges from 36% to 50%. These are industry standards for the most common loans (conventional conforming loans).
The majority of lenders charge fees, but some charge higher fees than others. Lenders with no origination fee often make up for it by charging borrowers a higher interest rate. Here’s what PNC Bank charges.
PNC Bank’s lender fees vary by state and by loan product. A company representative did not provide any specific dollar amounts for common lender fees such as mortgage underwriting and processing.
The company’s website says total closing costs (not just lender fees) are typically 3% to 5% of the loan amount. Nationwide, the low end tends to be closer to 2%. Applying for a loan is the best way to learn what your actual closing costs would likely be.
The home appraisal and other services from different vendors will be part of your closing costs, no matter which lender you choose. You’ll be able to evaluate the fees for your specific loan on your loan estimate before you commit, and there will be certain mortgage services you can shop for to look for lower fees.
The rate lock period depends on what mortgage product you’re getting, but is typically 30 days for a home purchase and 60 days for a mortgage refinance, according to a PNC spokesperson. The company did not disclose whether it charges rate lock fees or how much those fees might be.
PNC does not charge any prepayment penalties, which is usually the case with any mainstream lender offering you a first mortgage on your main home. If you need to sell or refinance in a few years, you won’t have to worry about this cost.
Some lenders do not charge any monthly payment fees no matter how you submit your payment. PNC’s charges a $7 fee to pay by phone from a non-PNC bank account. If you pay online or by mail, or if you make a phone payment from a PNC bank account, you won’t incur a monthly payment fee.
You can apply and lock your rate online, and PNC can digitally verify your income, assets and employment when you apply. Applicants may get a decision instantly; approved buyers will be able to securely download a preapproval letter to submit when making a purchase offer.
For customers who prefer an in-person experience, PNC has branches in about half of U.S. states as well as Washington, D.C. Another option is to work with a loan officer by phone.
PNC offers a variety of options for customers to provide application documents such as bank statements, pay stubs and tax returns, including uploading them or providing paper copies. However, the company does not yet offer a fully digital mortgage process, unlike some of its competitors.
If you’re not ready to apply but just getting your feet wet, PNC’s Home Insight Planner can help you learn what monthly payment you can afford. This tool accounts for everything from childcare expenses to groceries—costs lenders won’t ask about on your application, but ones you must factor into your budget. You need to know whether you can comfortably spend the amount a lender’s formula might approve you for.
After entering a few key details about your finances into the planner, you’ll see how the monthly mortgage payment you can afford measures up to the projected monthly payment on the homes for sale in your desired location. The tool doesn’t require you to register, making it a somewhat private way to assess your options.
PNC Bank can offer an instant decision on some pre-approval applications for borrowers who apply online. When that’s not possible, verified pre-approval times depend on your specific situation.
The company didn’t provide a best-case or typical timelines to underwrite or approve a loan, saying it varies by situation. For example, closing may take anywhere from 30 to 90 days.
It’s safe to assume that you’ll experience the shorter end of this timeline the simpler your situation is and the faster you respond to the lender’s requests. In general, a conventional refinance will close faster than a VA purchase, for example.
If you get turned down for a loan, ask your loan officer what specific steps you need to take to qualify for a PNC mortgage. Common reasons for not qualifying include: low income, too much debt, income history is too short or too unstable, or credit score is too low. But it’s helpful to learn the specific reasons that apply to your situation.
If you don’t want to wait, you could consider pricier or higher risk options. These include working with an alternative lender whose criteria are less strict, getting a co-signer or finding a co-borrower. Of course, asking someone to take on a mortgage with you is no small commitment, especially if this person won’t be living with you.
How much home can you afford? To get an idea of what you can afford, try our mortgage calculator.
It’s also a good idea to apply with several mortgage lenders to see where you stand. Don’t worry about hurting your credit score: Submitting multiple applications within 45 days will have the same impact on your score as submitting a single application, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
PNC Bank’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating is 1.1 out of 5.0 stars based on 440 reviews as of late-June 2022. The BBB had closed 934 complaints about the company in the last 12 months, and 3,086 complaints in the last three years.
The BBB gives PNC Bank an A+ rating, but this rating isn’t based on customer reviews. It’s based on how the company responds to complaints, its time in business, size and other factors.
The CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database shows more than 1,100 mortgage complaints about PNC Bank from March 2019 through June 2022.
Most complaints were about conventional mortgages or FHA loans, and specifically, trouble during the payment process, struggling to pay the mortgage, applying for a mortgage or closing on a mortgage. The company provided a timely response to all complaints. The CFPB does not verify the accuracy of consumers’ complaints.
While these numbers may seem high, they are insignificant compared to how many customers use PNC Bank’s mortgage services.
We graded PNC Bank based on elements that have a meaningful impact on the cost of the mortgage; borrower eligibility requirements; the variety of loan options; and loan features that can impact the homebuying process. Our scoring method is based on the following categories:
While there are certainly more features that lenders offer, we chose not to include these in our scoring in order to bring forward lenders that have the most competitive rates and are among the most accessible for borrowers of all financial backgrounds.
Our focus on affordability, accessibility, and key features that can impact the homebuying process (like preapproval time and closing timelines) is what we consider reflective of today’s consumer’s top priorities when comparison shopping for mortgage lenders.

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