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  • Writer's pictureNathan Zarcaro

How Student Loan Refinancing With PNC Bank Can Save You Thousands

Updated: Apr 9, 2023


Student loan borrowers nationwide struggle to understand exactly what options they have available to them to make progress on their debt. One of the most often used strategies is refinancing with a private lender.


Refinancing is an option with both your federal and private loans, and may be used to save money off your monthly payments, secure a lower interest rate, and alter the term on your outstanding loans.


To make things more complicated, each refinancing lender has different requirements, application processes, and details.


This article will review PNC Bank's student loan refinancing


Minimum Loan Amount

​$10,000

Maximum Loan Amount

Varies by education level

Variable APR

​Starting at 4.89%

Fixed APR

Starting at 4.99%

Term of Loan

​5, 10, 15, and 20 years

Student Debt Destroyer Rating

4/5


What is PNC Bank?


PNC Bank is one of the United States' largest banks, offering checking/savings accounts, credit cards, auto loans, mortgage loans, and student loans/refinancing.


Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, PNC is active in 27 different states, and they currently have over 2,600 individual branches all across the country.



PNC Bank student loan refinancing


PNC offers student loan refinancing services to federal and private borrowers across the country and is one of the only lenders that offer refinanced loans to students that left school without a degree.


They offer refinancing up to a maximum of $25,000, $75,000, $175,000, and $200,000 for those that did not graduate, have an Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree, and Graduate Degree, respectively. For those that have corresponding debts within this limit, this could be a good option for you.


Most lenders offer a 0.25% interest rate reduction in exchange for making your payments on autopay since lenders see you as more likely to make all of your payments timely. But PNC takes it one step further by offering a 0.50% reduction for those that:


  • Enroll in autopay

  • Link autopay to a PNC account


They also allow borrowers with the following types of loans to refinance:


  • Federal

  • Private

  • Parent PLUS (in a parent's name)


PNC is not one of the lenders that allows you to refinance Parent PLUS loans into a child or dependent's name.



PNC Bank refinancing eligibility criteria


PNC student loan eligibility works differently than it does with many other lenders because PNC doesn’t actually provide qualifying criteria. This means that information such as minimum credit score, income, maximum debt-to-income ratios, and other factors are all kept internally.


Though financial metrics are not provided by the company, we do know that they will only refinance loans for borrowers that are lawful United States citizens or permanent residents.


Typically, however, lenders will look for borrowers with stable employment credit histories and income.



Rates and fees


Just like any other lender, PNC's rates vary depending on prevailing market conditions, including The United States Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) interest rate hikes or reductions, which are based on macro economic data.


At this time, PNC's fixed rates start at 2.59% for five-year terms, and 3.39% for variable rate five-year terms. Rate ranges for other terms are as follows:


5 year term


Fixed: 2.59-4.84%

Variable: 3.39-5.64%



10 year term


Fixed: 3.39-5.64%

Variable: 4.29-6.54%



15 year term


Fixed: 3.94-6.19%

Variable: 4.64-6.89%



20 year term*


Fixed: 3.99-6.24%

Variable: 4.99-7.24%


*The 20-year term option is only available to those with undergraduate or graduate degrees. Additionally, note that these rates do include the 0.50% autopay discount.


The rates quoted above are for those with undergraduate and graduate degrees only. Those looking to refinance loans used towards an Associate's Degree, as well as those that did not graduate, can expect to pay slightly higher rates.


Check the latest rates on the PNC website.


As far as fees go, PNC does not assess application fees, loan origination fees, or prepayment penalties. The only fee that may be assessed, other than your monthly payment amount, would be a late payment fee, which is equal to $5 or 5% of your overdue payment amount.



Additional features


Beyond its projected rates, fees, and eligibility criteria, there are a couple more nuances of the PNC refinancing experience that you should be aware of.


  • Deferment may be an option for you in special circumstances, like going to grad school full-time.

  • You can apply for cosigner release after you make at least 48 consecutive timely and full payments.



Pros and cons of PNC student loan refinancing


As is the case with any lender or decision in life, there are some definite pros and cons to doing business with PNC. We'll start with the pros first.



1. Available to those without a degree


It is great that PNC has a path for those without a degree to refinance loans they took out to go to school. For Americans in this position, it could save them extra years in debt and potentially thousands of dollars too.


And if you are struggling to afford your current payments, you can also extend your term, which will open up some extra monthly cash flow now.



2. An easy application process


Applying to refinance is an easy process made possible by PNC's online application. You'll be asked for personal information such as your name, email address, phone number, and career, in addition to details about your outstanding loan balance(s), and interest rate(s).


Below, you will see the start of the application.


PNC Bank student loan refinancing application

And now, here are a couple of things that we'd like to see PNC improve upon.



1. Lack of transparency about eligibility requirements


Unlike most lenders out there, interested borrowers are kept somewhat in the dark about PNC's eligibility requirements to be approved. It would be nice for interested borrowers to know what credit score, income, etc. they'll need to be considered as an applicant.



2. More flexibility for borrowers


Though private lenders are known for offering less flexibility than the federal government, it still feels to us that PNC Bank offers fewer options than many of its counterparts. Offering cosigner release is a great perk, for example, but requiring borrowers to make four years of payments before becoming eligible is double the time of some other refinancing lenders on the market.


The same holds true for deferment. It appears that the majority of these decisions are handled on a case-by-case basis, though it would be advantageous for borrowers to have concrete guidelines to reference.



Before you refinance student loans with PNC


Over the past couple of years, we've learned a lot of tips and tricks in the student loan refinancing space. They apply to PNC and any other private lender out there too.


  • Make sure you'll benefit: This sounds like basic advice on the surface, but you'll need to make sure you benefit either financially or mentally by refinancing. You may be able to save thousands of dollars or get out of debt years earlier than you would have previously.


  • Understand why you're picking PNC: Anytime you decide to refinance your student debt, you'll want to keep in mind why you've decided to use the lender you are using. Is it because their term options and rates are better? Or is it because you've heard of the bank or lender and just want to move quickly? Do not be afraid to rate shop for a loan with a rate and term that works better for you!





Finally, just make sure that you are okay with the transition to private loans. PNC Bank's loans do not carry the rights and protections that many federal loan types do, especially as it pertains to access to forgiveness programs, deferment, and forbearance.



Download our student loan refinancing calculator


Are you still trying to understand whether refinancing with PNC - or any other lender is worth it for you? We've built a student loan refinancing calculator, especially for you. This free tool will help you to:


  • Understand whether refinancing may be able to save you money, cut years off your repayment, or both


  • See how your monthly payments, total amount paid, and debt-free year will change based on the new loan terms and rates you are considering


Plus - our calculator will also show you eligibility requirements and your projected payments under a whole host of other student loan forgiveness and repayment programs. Among them are Income-Driven Repayment plans, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), Federal Consolidation, and more!


Download your copy here or by clicking the button below!



PNC student loan refinancing calculator


Summary


PNC Bank can be a good option to refinance your student loans if you are quoted a really good rate. But if not, there are plenty of other options out there with good customer service, rates, and overall refinancing experience.



Other student loan lender reviews




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About Nathan Zarcaro

Nathan Zarcaro is the founder of The Student Debt Destroyer and is passionate about personal finance related causes.  A 2018 graduate of Providence College's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Nathan studied Finance, and has worked for industry leaders in both finance and healthcare.  In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife Brigid.

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