PNC Mortgage is a great fit for borrowers seeking a mortgage with a low down payment, including low- to moderate-income earners who might qualify for a PNC cash grant. This lender offers a wide array of fixed- and variable-rate loans for purchases and mortgage refinancing, plus a diverse suite of other mortgage products.
In this PNC mortgage review, we'll cover the lender in more detail to help you decide whether PNC is the best mortgage lender for you.
Best for: First-time home buyers
Diverse loan products and terms make it a flexible lender for many needs, including several no PMI options to choose from.
This lender is a good fit for: Low- and moderate-income earners, jumbo loan borrowers, and medical professionals looking for a home loan with an affordable down payment and no private mortgage insurance. PNC Mortgage is also a great resource for anyone looking to increase their knowledge of the mortgage process.
PNC Mortgage offers a very wide variety of mortgage loans likely to satisfy the needs of most borrowers. Among PNC's offerings are the most popular government-backed mortgages, the standard conventional loan, low-down-payment mortgage options, and specialty loans. The variety is broader than the offerings of many other mortgage lenders.
PNC Mortgage offers several home loan programs to help borrowers attain homeownership without a large cash outlay.
Note that low down payment loans tend to come with a higher mortgage interest rate than a conventional mortgage with a 20% down payment.
PNC offers a special mortgage to medical interns, residents, fellows, and doctors who have completed a residency in the last five years. The loan must be used for a primary residence, and the maximum loan amount is $1,000,000. There is no PMI.
Eligible borrowers who qualify based on income limits or location can get a $1,500 grant toward the down payment or to help pay closing costs.
From the comfort of home (or just about anywhere else), using the device of your choice, you can provide basic information about yourself and the loan you want, plus electronically verify income, assets, and employment. PNC's pre-approval is a firm commitment to lend.
PNC Mortgage offers very good information, education, and online tools geared toward first-time home buyers and any other borrowers who want to learn more about home loans. It's always a good idea to use a mortgage calculator to see where you stand when you start your home-buying research. PNC offers its own set of interactive calculators on its website to help you figure out the loan size, the home price, and the monthly mortgage payment you can afford. Then you can use PNC's Home Insight Planner to identify the right loan and get ready to apply. PNC's Application Tracker helps you navigate the entire mortgage process, from application to closing. Mortgage rates are also easy to find on PNC's website.
PNC's Choice home equity line of credit (HELOC) could help you access equity at a lower cost than a typical refinance. It's more flexible than a typical HELOC. At PNC, borrowers can lock in a fixed rate on any part of an outstanding balance. A fixed-rate option usually applies to a home equity loan for a set amount. Variable-rate options are typically associated with a line of credit, which gives you access to more cash whenever you need it, up to your limit. Fixed- and variable-rate loan options both have pros and cons, and it may be to your advantage to have this level of control.
Many lenders offer a discount on the origination fee or the interest rate to customers who meet certain eligibility criteria. PNC says a relationship discount on mortgages "may" be available (it's not for sure) but most people won't qualify for it. PNC Wealth Management or Hawthorn customers who maintain at least $500,000 in balances can inquire about special pricing.
J.D. Power ranks PNC ninth in the 2020 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, with a score below the industry average. To be fair, PNC moved two places higher than in the previous year. Even so, PNC is squarely in the middle of the pack -- not amazing, not dismal. Crossing the threshold of your new-to-you home is a champagne-worthy occasion, but the mortgage process isn't an experience that makes most people dance with delight. In fact, it can be a frustrating and stressful time when you feel somewhat at the mercy of strangers who hold the key to your happy future. We all want to feel well cared-for during this time, so there is something to be said for seeking out a mortgage lender whose service stands out.
PNC doesn't offer a way to accurately estimate closing costs without applying. That makes it hard to compare apples to apples when researching or shopping for loans. PNC estimates total costs at 3% to 5% of the loan amount, but doesn't narrow it down more than that. There is a tool on the website for calculating closing costs, but it makes many assumptions that may not be correct. Your actual final cost also depends on your location and your loan type.
You can expect PNC's mortgage refinance rates to be very competitive, since it's one of the biggest mortgage lenders in the nation. PNC's refinance rates, like those of many other lenders, are a little higher. The interest rate for a mortgage refinance is about 0.25% higher than a comparable purchase loan.
The documents required for a mortgage from PNC are similar to what you need at most banks. You provide basic information about who you are and where you work (or what your other sources of income are). You're asked for recent tax returns, pay stubs, and financial account statements, as well as other information relevant to your situation. PNC provides a mortgage application checklist to help you.
PNC requires a credit score of at least 620 for most loan programs, or at least 580 for an FHA loan. Some loans have a higher credit-score requirement. The best mortgage rates at PNC require a score of at least 740.
You'll have an easier time qualifying for a mortgage if you have a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 36% or less. That means your total required monthly debt payments, including your new mortgage payment, should not exceed 36% of your gross (before taxes) income. If your DTI is higher, don't give up. Many mortgage loan programs allow a DTI up to 50% or 55%. The higher your credit score and the more cash you have for a down payment, the more flexible the lender can be with your DTI ratio.
Quicken Loans is consistently popular with its customers. For the last 11 years, it has earned the top spot in J.D. Power's U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Customer Satisfaction study. People who get a mortgage from Quicken Loans report very high levels of satisfaction. Furthermore, Quicken Loans earned the top spot in J.D. Power's mortgage servicing customer satisfaction study for the last seven years, indicating that the lender prioritizes customer service for the long haul.
CitiMortgage gives mortgage fee discounts to all its banking customers, not just those who are affluent (you must set up an automatic monthly payment from a Citi account). If you have just $1 on deposit with Citi, you're eligible for a $250 discount off closing costs. The financial benefits grow along with your total balance (deposit, IRA, and investment accounts are eligible). Customers with a combined balance of $2 million or more get a 5/8% discount off their mortgage interest rate for the life of the loan.
You're low on cash for the down payment or you are a low- or moderate-income earner. The special mortgage programs offer a wide variety of options to fit many homebuyers' needs. In particular, the low down payment mortgage with no PMI could be a long-term money saver.
You're a medical professional. PMI is a monthly cost that can add up significantly over time, so avoiding it is a boon no matter your income or the size of your loan. That's why doctors should also take a close look at PNC for its medical professional loan.
You're a first-time home buyer or repeat buyer who still feels a little flummoxed by the process. The well-designed educational tools could help you gain the knowledge you need.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is an important step in the home buying process. Our experts recommend mortgage pre-approval before you begin looking at houses or deciding on a real estate agent.
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