PNC Home Equity Loan Review December 2022
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Best for low minimum amount.
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PNC offers an initial draw as low as $5,000 (or $4,000 for Texas borrowers), well below the $15,000 or $25,000 that other lenders may require.
Both variable rate and fixed rate HELOCs are available.
PNC offers repayment terms, after the initial draw period, of up to 30 years for its HELOCs.
PNC only offers HELOCs. No home equity loan or cash-out refinancing options are available.
PNC HELOC fees are not transparent
Property must be in a state where PNC offers home equity products (excludes Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and South Dakota)
See PNC's website for full terms and disclosures. Rates may be higher depending on credit score, LTV, and other PNC criteria.
Does PNC Offer Home Equity Loans or HELOCs?
Yes, PNC offers HELOCs, but they do not provide home equity loans.
PNC offers home equity lines of credit to eligible borrowers with limits up to $1 million and a choice of fixed or variable interest rates. PNC does not provide home equity loans. However, a fixed-rate HELOC works exactly like a home equity loan if the borrower taps the entire line of credit at closing.
The main difference is that a home equity loan delivers a lump sum that you pay back in monthly installments. In contrast, a HELOC is a revolving line of credit that functions like a credit card secured by your home. It's possible to get a PNC HELOC with a fixed or variable interest rate. You can use the funds to consolidate debt, cover home renovations, pay for repairs or maintenance, or cover a big-ticket purchase.
PNC offers retail banking and asset management services across more than 40 states in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest regions. The bank serves more than nine million customers and has $353 billion in assets under management. The bank ranked in the top 10 of J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Survey.
PNC Alternatives to HELOC
It's also possible to refinance an existing mortgage with PNC. However, the bank's website doesn't list cash-out refinancing as an option. With a cash-out refi, you replace your existing home loan with a larger loan and take the difference in cash. Cash-out refinancing can be attractive for borrowers who want a large sum and can get better loan terms with a new loan. However, cash-out refinancing involves closing costs and other fees that do not apply with a HELOC.
PNC offers personal loans and lines of credit that don’t require borrowers to put up their homes as security. The maximum loan amount is $35,000, while the top credit line limit is $25,000. Investment lines of credit up to $5 million are also available. A personal loan or line of credit may be suitable for borrowers who don't want to use their home as collateral or only need to borrow a smaller amount.
Comparing Home Equity Loan Products
As mentioned, PNC does not offer a standard home equity loan product. But it's helpful to understand what to consider when comparing home equity loans from other lenders. For example, some of the main factors to weigh include:
- Maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio
- Interest rates and whether rates are fixed or variable
- Credit score and income requirements for the loan
- Minimum and maximum loan amounts
- Loan repayment terms
- Additional features or benefits, such as interest rate discounts for autopay enrollment
It's also important to consider any fees a lender might charge for a home equity loan. This can include application and origination fees or prepayment penalties. Home equity loans can also have closing costs similar to those associated with a purchase loan. They may run between 2% to 5% of the loan amount.
PNC HELOC options include fixed and variable rate loans. Here's more on how these home equity lines of credit work:
- Maximum LTV: The maximum loan-to-value ratio for PNC HELOCs is 89.9%, though this limit may be set lower in some states. In Texas, for example, the max LTV allowed for a loan is 80%.
- Interest rates: PNC offers both fixed and variable rate HELOC options. Estimated rates for either type of loan are available to borrowers who prequalify. Once a HELOC is issued, borrowers can switch from a variable rate to a fixed rate or vice versa.
- Qualification for a PNC HELOC is based partly on credit scores, though the bank doesn't list specific minimum score requirements. There are also no disclosures for income or debt-to-income ratio requirements.
- Loan amounts: The minimum draw for a PNC HELOC is $5,000 in most states. In Texas, the minimum is set at $4,000. The total line of credit can be between $10,000 - $1,000,000.
- Repayment terms: PNC HELOC offers repayment terms up to 480 months, including a draw period of 10 years and a repayment period of 30 years. Tennessee is an exception; the maximum repayment term is 20 years. Note: They require a partial payment on principal during the ddraw periodd.
- Rate discounts: A 0.25% interest rate discount is available for HELOC customers who enroll in automatic payments. Borrowers must schedule automatic payments through an eligible PNC checking account to qualify for this rate discount.
In terms of transparency, PNC makes it difficult to estimate the cost of a HELOC without prequalifying. This is because interest rates and loan-to-value ratio limits can vary from state to state. Borrowers can, however, check their rates before filling out the entire application.
The bank also doesn't disclose what fees, if any, apply to a HELOC. Typical HELOC fees can include application fees and annual fees. PNC provides a home equity calculator tool that interested borrowers can use to estimate the amount they might qualify for before applying.
How to Apply for PNC Home Equity Loans
PNC makes it possible to start the application process for its HELOC online. The first step is providing some basic information, including:
- The preferred initial withdrawal amount
- Total desired HELOC amount
- Type of home (i.e., primary residence, secondary residence, etc.)
Borrowers also need to tell PNC whether they have any outstanding loans on the property already, including a first mortgage or other home equity loan.
Once this information has been entered, PNC will share a list of home equity line of credit options, including fixed and variable rate HELOCs. The options will show:
- Estimated monthly payment
- Estimated interest rate
- Repayment term
Again, the maximum repayment term is 360 months or 30 years. At this stage, the borrower will need to select a HELOC option to proceed with the application. Or they can use the customize option at the bottom to choose the combination of interest rates and repayment terms they prefer.
Once they make a selection, borrowers complete their application. This can take 10 to 15 minutes. Applicants will supply the following information:
- The amount they'd like to borrow
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Employment information
- Annual income sources
- Information about the home, including estimated market value
The lender performs a hard credit check, which generates an inquiry on applicants’ credit reports. PNC may ask for supporting documentation, including a driver's license, income tax returns, W-2, and bank statements. The bank will also verify ownership of the property and obtain a professional appraisal of its valuation.
If a HELOC application is approved, the borrower can proceed with loan disbursement. But if they don't like the loan terms or have changed their minds about the line of credit, they can refuse the offer.
PNC Expert and Consumer Ratings
We compared expert reviews and consumer ratings online as part of this PNC home equity loan review. Based on an average rating across the different resources we compared, PNC earns a 3-star rating overall. These ratings are subjective and are based on a combination of expert opinions and first-hand experiences from consumers who are or have been PNC customers.
Getting a home equity line of credit with PNC has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most attractive features of the PNC HELOC:
- Low minimum. PNC offers an initial draw as low as $5,000 (or $4,000 for Texas borrowers), well below the $15,000 or $25,000 that other lenders may require.
- Rate check. Borrowers can enter some basic information about their home, and HELOC needs to get estimated rates and monthly payments. This can make it easier to decide whether to pursue the complete loan application without any initial credit score impact.
- Loan terms. PNC offers repayment terms, after the initial draw period, of up to 30 years for its HELOCs, a decade longer than the 20 years set by other lenders. A longer repayment term does mean paying more in interest total, however.
There are some potential drawbacks associated with getting a PNC HELOC. Here's what borrowers should be aware of:
- Fees. As mentioned, it's unclear what fees PNC charges for its HELOC product, if any. This can make it difficult to gauge the total cost of getting a home equity line of credit here.
- Qualification. PNC also doesn't disclose how applicants qualify for a HELOC. Borrowers may submit their applications only to find they aren't eligible, based on their credit scores, income, or both.
- No home equity loan or cash-out refinancing. As mentioned, PNC does not offer a standard home equity loan option, nor does cash-out refinancing appear to be available.
Home Equity Alternatives to PNC
Don’t see what you want here? Other lenders offer home equity products that might be better for you. Remember to compare programs and pricing to get a good deal.