PNC Bank Student Loan Refinance Review

Last Updated: July 10, 2021 by Melanie Hanson

Our Rating: C

Loan Limits $10,000 – $75,000
Fixed Rates 3.44% – 6.74%*
Variable Rates 2.22% – 5.52% (18.00% Cap)
Terms 5, 10 or 15 years
Min. Credit Score Undisclosed

*Lowest rates always include a 0.25% rate reduction for enrolling in auto-pay, plus an additional 0.25% for linking autopay to a PNC account (a 0.50% total rate reduction).

Skip to: Rates & Fees | Eligibility Requirements | Repayment Options | Consumer Reviews & Complaints | FAQ

PNC Bank offers student loans and refinancing along with over a dozen other loan products. One of the nation’s largest banks, PNC also offers consumer and business banking services.

Loan Refinancing Options
Private student loans
Private parent loans
Federal student loans
Federal Parent PLUS loans (in parent’s name only)

PNC Bank Refinance Rates & Fees

PNC Bank’s fixed rates are between 3.44% and 6.74%. Variable rates are between 2.22% and 5.52%. Lowest rates always include the 0.50% interest reduction for enrolling in auto-pay from a PNC checking or savings account.

Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate Variable Rate
5 Year 3.44% – 5.24% 2.22% – 4.02%
10 Year 4.69% – 6.49% 3.47% – 5.27%
15 Year 3.94% – 6.74% 3.72% – 5.52%

Additional information about PNC Bank refinance rates:

  • Checking your rate with PNC Bank will not affect your credit score. They will conduct a soft, not hard, credit inquiry (learn the difference).
  • PNC Bank does offer a discount for setting up auto-pay: 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  • Auto-pay linked to a PNC Bank account activates an additional 0.25% interest rate reduction for a total 0.50% rate reduction.
  • Variable rates are based on the Prime Rate (3.25% as of this writing) as published in the “Money Rates” section of The Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition) on the first business day of the immediately preceding calendar month plus a margin of -0.53% to 2.27%.
  • Variable rates are capped at 18.00%.

Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

Based on advertised rates, use the calculator below to determine what your new monthly payment and potential savings may be if you refinance with PNC Bank.

Additional Fees

Beyond interest rates, there are a number of fees a refinance lender may charge up-front or during the loan servicing period. Below is a list of these fees that PNC Bank does or does not charge.

Fee Type Amount Charged
Application Fee Undisclosed
Loan Origination Fee None
Disbursement Fee Undisclosed
Prepayment Penalty None
Late Payment Fee $5 or 5% of overdue amount
Returned Payment Fee Undisclosed
Collection Fee Unspecified
  1. Application fee – fee to apply for rates & approval.
  2. Loan origination fee – fee to create the new loan.
  3. Disbursement fee – fee for distributing funds to lenders to pay off loans that have been refinanced.
  4. Prepayment penalty – fee for making extra payments to reduce a refinance loan balance or pay it off early.
  5. Late payment fee – fee for making a late payment.
  6. Returned payment fee – fee for failed payments due to insufficient funds, also known as a “bounced check”.
  7. Collection fee – fee for collection activity on a defaulted debt; PNC Bank discloses only that “may incur additional collection charges as permitted under applicable law.”[1]

Current Promotions & Offers

PNC Bank does not currently have any special promotions available to refinance applicants or borrowers.

PNC Bank Refinance Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for refinancing with PNC Bank, all borrowers must meet the criteria below.

  • Citizenship Requirement: U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.
  • Income Requirement: steady over the previous 2 years (no minimum specified).
  • Credit Score Requirement: no minimum specified.
  • Graduation Requirement: none.
  • Location Requirement: none specified.

Additional restrictions apply for specific individuals and loans.

  • A 24-month repayment history on the loans to be refinanced.
  • 2-year credit history.
  • Refinance borrowers must not currently be enrolled in school.

PNC Bank Student Loan Repayment Options

Lenders vary greatly on the benefits and options provided to borrowers during the loan servicing period. Additionally, benefits may only be available on a case-by-case basis. PNC Bank offers some relief options.

Deferment & Forbearance

PNC Bank does not specify much about its deferment, but more options may be available on a case-by-case basis.

See PNC’s conditions for deferment and forbearance below.

Condition Coverage
Returning to grad school (full-time) Deferment, up to 36 months
Disability rehabilitation Undisclosed
Active military duty Unspecified
Involuntary unemployment Undisclosed
Economic hardship Undisclosed
Natural disaster Undisclosed
Temporary hardship Undisclosed

Additional Options

PNC Bank does offer other opportunities for relief or contract modification.

  • Deferment may be available to those enrolled in a medical residency or internship program.
  • Co-signer release is available after 48 consecutive qualifying payments.
  • Death / disability discharge is available in the unfortunate circumstance that a borrower passes away or suffers total permanent disability.

PNC Bank Reviews, Complaints & Lawsuits

Beyond our own findings, our team also collected the most genuinely insightful customer experiences we could find, including any instances of legal action against the company in which the details became public. Some entries may be edited for readability.

PNC Bank Online Reviews

Despite PNC’s size, few online reviews about the bank’s student loan products. Below are samples of PNC Bank customer reviews we found on public forums, included here for their value as unedited, uncensored, and unsolicited user experiences. Note that these reviews are unverified, may include inaccuracies, and may provide outdated information (about rates, bonus offers, etc.).


“Recently, i was shopping around for a refinance with other banks. My chosen lender contacted PNC without me knowing looking for basic info like account balance and PNC charged me a service fee without me even being aware of what was going on. PNC has since said they would return the fee, but I am concerned for several reasons: 1) information on my own account is difficult for me to obtain 2) others can obtain account information without me even being aware 3) small fees are assessed without my knowledge, and I never would have even seen it if I hadn’t been actively checking.”George F. on Better Business Bureau, 9/9/2020


“I have 2 student loans from 2008 total borrowed from PNC was $20000. I have been paying regular monthly payments of over $200 a month for 8 years and still owe more than I borrowed. When I try to talk to them, their attitude is oh well there is nothing we can do. And the variable rate just keeps going up. They are terrible. And would never recommend a private student loan through these people. Awful awful service or compassion…”Aaron P. on SuperMoney, 2019


More (unfiltered) customer reviews of PNC Bank are available at TrustPilot.com (2.2 out of 5) and ConsumerAffairs.com (3.7 out of 5).

PNC Bank CFPB Complaints

As consumer finance companies, student loan refinancing lenders fall under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency. As part of its mission, the CFPB allows consumers to log official complaints. These complaints are publicly available on the CFPB official website.

Since 2011, consumers have submitted 17,623 complaints about PNC Bank N.A. to the CFPB. Among these complaints, 100 are specifically student loan complaints; 119 are debt collection complaints; 166 of all complaints reference refinancing.

In 2020, PNC Bank generated one (1) official consumer complaint for every $4.14 million of company revenue ($16.9 billion total).

The allegations made in these complaints are unverified, are not necessarily representative of all consumers’ experiences with PNC Bank, and may contain outdated information (about rates, bonus offers, etc.). Note that a lender with a large customer base is likely to have a higher number of complaints when compared with smaller lenders.

Line Graph: Consumer Complaints About PNC Bank, Pblic Complaints Filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Below, we’ve included 3 recent relevant complaints (as of this writing) in which the consumer consented to share their details.


Complaint 3296743
7/5/2019
Florida

“The loan is through PNC and serviced by XXXX XXXX XXXX. On XX/XX/XXXX I submitted a loan modification application, which was immediately denied for a few reasons, one of which was not submitting pay statements for myself and my cosigners. The issue with that is the language on the application is vague, saying: Required Materials: XXXX may require you to submit financial statements. When questioning this with XXXX on the phone, a supervisor agreed that this was ambiguous. I had to submit a new application and did so on XX/XX/XXXX. This was denied because on the financial statement for myself and my cosigners, they have a line for a second employer and second income. We left that blank because none of us have a second job – however, PNC apparently requires something in every field or the loan is denied, even though that was never communicated to me either by a representative or on the application. I now have to submit the application a third time, but now the loan is 30 past due, and I risk negative credit reporting. I feel as though PNC and/or XXXX is making this process intentionally difficult.”


Complaint 2849319
3/20/2018
New York

“I would like to complain about what I believe is undue burden placed on the student borrower by XXXX XXXX XXXX/PNC Student Loans when it comes to temporarily reducing loan payments as a result of a lower income. I called and spoke with a customer service representative from XXXX XXXX XXXX ( the servicer of my PNC Student Loans ) at the beginning of XX/XX/XXXX to discuss lowering my monthly payments, as I wasn’t employed full time as of yet and was going to have trouble making payments once my loans entered repayment. I was told about a Loan Modification Program PNC Student Loans offers which temporarily reduces payments for eligible students, and received an application for this program via the XXXX XXXX XXXX online portal on XX/XX/XXXX. I filled out this application and sent it in via mail, and was called a week later by a representative about needing to submit additional pay stubs as those provided for my Co-signer were not consecutive. I resubmitted these paystubs. Receiving no updates, I called XXXX XXXX XXXX to follow up on the status of my application about 3 weeks later, where I was told the application had been denied on the grounds that the pay stubs submitted were not consecutive. When I told them I had already sent these, I was told they were never received and I would need to reapply. I sent another application XX/XX/XXXX, and received a denial on XX/XX/XXXX via the online portal, on the grounds that my income/expense and my co-signer ‘s income/expenses did not meet the criteria for this program. I was discouraged and frustrated. I reapplied to the program on XX/XX/XXXX with new financial information, as in this time I was hired full time at a job out of state and moved out of my parents’ house- as a result, my expenses greatly increased. I sent this application in via e-mail this time, as a result of having previous mail-ins not received ( the prior re-submission of pay stubs that were never received ) and hoping this would be a more timely, efficient method and I would be able to receive a response quicker. I called XXXX XXXX XXXX the third week of XX/XX/XXXX to follow up on the status of my application as I had not heard anything back. During this time, I learned that the applications I had sent in after my first application was closed in XXXX ( because of the missing pay stubs ) were invalid, since I was using the application forms sent to me in XXXX that had been closed. The representative told me the XXXX and XXXX applications were invalid because I needed to be sent new application forms to reapply ( even as the forms as the exact same as the original forms. ) I was extremely frustrated that this was never communicated to me, asked that a new application be sent so that I could reapply. I also asked which method would be most effective to send in the application- via mail or via e-mail- as I wanted to ensure my application was received. I was advised to send the application in via mail. I received the new application via the XXXX XXXX XXXX online portal on XX/XX/XXXX, and resent my application via mail XX/XX/XXXX. I called to follow up on the status of this application on XX/XX/XXXX and was told my application was being reviewed by the lenders and a decision was still pending. I called again to follow up on the status of the application on XX/XX/XXXX and this time as told I needed to send additional student borrower pay stubs, as I only sent 2 in ( as the application requests ) but since I am paid weekly, the pay stubs only reflect 14 days and need to reflect 30 days pay. Additionally, I needed to resend a form where I had mistakenly checked a box then scribbled it out- I needed to resubmit this form without a check. I corrected and resubmitted these documents on XX/XX/XXXX. I called XXXX XXXX XXXX to follow up on the status of my application on XX/XX/XXXX. I was told I needed to reapply, as a line in the co-signers financial statement was incorrectly filled out and misleading. I am not waiting for a new application to be sent via my online portal, so I can apply for this program for the 5th time over the past 8 months. My complaint has to do with the tediousness and lack of communication throughout this entire process. It seems unnecessary that I should need to reapply every time there is a small mistake ( such as accidentally checking then scribbling out a box, to indicate that it was a check ). It seems ridiculous that there isn’t a way to submit an application online, that everything is via snail mail. I think it is also ridiculous that I cant receive e-mail or phone call updates to my applications status when it changes- I wouldn’t ever find out about the errors with my application or additional documentation needed without calling the customer service line every week for updates- which involves navigating through an automated operator and being placed on hold for about 20 minutes collectively each call. It honestly feels like XXXX XXXX XXXXPNC Student Loans is trying to make the process of reducing payments as difficult as possible, which is frustrating for me, a struggling student borrower who has been making regular interest payments on my student loans since they were disbursed my freshmen year of college, have never missed a payment, and truly want to be able to continue making regular payments on my loans, but am just struggling with a lower income due to being less than a year out of college. The past 8 months of applying, re-applying and follow up calls have been frustrating and very stressful, as I have had to make full payments this entire time which I can barely afford, and unless they are lowered soon I fear I won’t be able to make payments anymore. Additionally, if I compare my experience trying to lower my student loans with XXXX XXXX XXXX/PNC Student Loans with XXXX XXXX XXXX, I am even more aggravated, as XXXX XXXX XXXX made the process extremely quick, informative, and handles the paperwork themselves. Clearly it does not need to be this complicated; I truly believe that XXXX XXXX XXXX/PNC Student Loans is just purposefully making it so.”


Complaint 1849570
3/26/2016
Pennsylvania

“As I attended the University of XXXX in XXXX PA between the dates of XXXX to XXXX, I had to take out a combination of loans, both private and federal. The school was XXXX of the best schools I got into, and I didn’t have the best grades in high school so when I got accepted and started attending the only thing I cared about was staying there and graduating, which I did and I am very proud that I have. However, the tuition there exceeded the amount of money the Federal Government would grant me in loans. Thus I had to take out private loans through PNC bank to support the remaining costs. In the end I had about XXXX of private loan debt and XXXX of federal loan debt. The XXXX I have to pay a very high amount, almost {$500.00} per month and I can not change that number, can not refinance, can not renegotiate, and am powerless also on the interest rates since they are variable. I do not make a ton of money each year and in combination with my federal loan monthly fees, the total is over {$700.00} per month in just loans. I work in the XXXX, so I don’t make a lot of money. The only options outlined to me was that if I wanted to get a new monthly payment, a lower one, Id have to take out a personal loan through a bank. They would not approve me for a loan of XXXX unless I had collateral, like a house or an expensive vehicle. I’ve contacted private institutions, like sofi loans and the quotes of their interest rates are unbelievable, XXXX and up. I’d be paying over XXXX if I took out a private loan per month. I am stuck. I find ways to work XXXX jobs to stay afloat and the downside is that if I make too much money then my federal loan payments go up since I’m on the IBR and would leave me paying close to XXXX per month in just loans. I find it unfair that students are being put into situations like this because they attempt to get a good education. I went to school for 7 years and at times I wonder if I just stayed out of school maybe Id be a XXXX making close to what I make now an hour; it’s depressing. It’s not fair that the private loan companies take advantage of uninformed students and lock them into loans that are VIR ( variable interest rates ) and despite me paying them back since the end of 2012, never missing a payment mind you, they don’t offer me any other possible change to the repayment plan.”


For a full list of the 17,623 complaints made against PNC Bank in the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database, click here.

PNC Bank Lawsuits

PNC Bank and PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. are often subject to legal action. This is not uncommon among multibillion-dollar financial corporations. No current lawsuits appear to mention the bank’s student refinance loan program.

Note that while this information is updated regularly, ongoing legal action is subject to change.

Jones v. PNC Bank, N.A. Case No. 1:2021-CV-02000

Judth Jones filed a complaint on April 14, 2021, alleging PNC Bank, N.A. (PNC) unlawfully collects millions in stolen customer funds each year in the form of excess charges and fraudulent fees. The case has been assigned to Judge John Robert Blakey of the Illinois Northern District Court and is ongoing.[2][3]

This is not to be confused with a similar class action case regarding overdraft fees, which PNC settled in August 2020 for $7.5 million.[4]

Lincoln Network, Inc. v. PNC Bank, N.A. Case No. 3:20-CV-02824-TSH

In April 2020, California nonprofit Lincoln Network, Inc. filed a class action lawsuit with a demand for jury trial against PNC Bank, N.A. (PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.).[5]

Lincoln Network claims PNC exploited the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program during the COVID-19 pandemic by expediting larger loans and disregarding small businesses, allegedly as a means to generate more revenue. Lincoln Network alleges PNC is in violation of California law, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence.[6]

This case is ongoing.


Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most common questions consumers have about student loan refinancing with PNC Bank.

  • Is PNC Bank good for refinancing student loans?
    PNC Bank may be a good option if you have an account with PNC. Nongraduates and those who expect their gross income to improve may also consider PNC.
  • Are PNC Bank loans federal?
    PNC Bank loans are not federal. PNC Bank has no affiliation with the federal government or the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Does PNC Bank charge a prepayment penalty?
    There are no penalties for early payments or repaying a loan in full before its term is over.
  • Does checking your rates with PNC Bank hurt your credit score?
    For their prequalification process, PNC Bank performs a soft credit check, which will not hurt your credit score. If you proceed with an application, however, PNC Bank will perform a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Can I refinance a PNC Bank loan?
    You can refinance PNC Bank student loans, student loans from another private lender, and federal loans. There is no limit to the number of times a borrower may refinance with PNC Bank. Note, however, that every new line of credit requires a hard credit check that may affect your FICO score.
  • Can I refinance just some of my loans with PNC Bank?
    Yes, you can refinance some, all, or just one of your qualifying student loans with PNC Bank. You may choose to refinance your private loans only or refinance private and federal loans together.
  • Can I refinance loans that have already been refinanced?
    Yes, you can refinance loans as many times as you want with PNC Bank. Note that each time you refinance, you will have to submit a new application; every application requires a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Can my spouse and I refinance our loans together with PNC Bank?
    PNC Bank does not offer joint refinancing.
  • How long does it take to refinance with PNC Bank?
    PNC Bank does not disclose a timeline.
  • Who services PNC Bank refinance loans?
    American Education Services (AES) services PNC Bank refinance loans.
  • Does PNC Bank offer a grace period?
    No, PNC Bank does not offer a grace period.
  • How often do variable rates change?
    PNC Bank updates their variable rates once per month according to the Prime Rate index plus a margin of -0.53% to 2.27%.
  • Can I get any special rates or discounts with PNC Bank?
    Yes, PNC Bank offers a 0.25% interest rate reduction with enrollment in autopay, plus a further 0.25% rate reduction when autopay is linked to a PNC Bank account. The total potential reduction is 0.50%.
  • What happens if I file for bankruptcy?
    PNC Bank’s refinance loan disclosure explicitly states “[i]f you file for bankruptcy you may still be required to pay back this loan.”[1]
  • Is PNC Bank a Credible lender?
    PNC Bank does not partner with Credible as part of its lender marketplace.

Compare Student Loan Refinance Reviews

Lender Rating
Advantage B+
BECU C-
Brazos A
Citizens Bank B-
College Ave A-
CommonBond A+
Discover D+
Earnest B+
EDvestinU B
ELFI A-
First Tech Federal C-
iHelp D
Laurel Road A-
MEFA B-
NaviRefi D-
Navy Federal C+
PenFed B+
PNC Bank C
RISLA A
SoFi B-
UW Credit Union A

Sources

  1. CampusDoor, PNC Education Refinance Loan Application and Solicitation Disclosure
  2. Justia, Dockets & Filingss: Jones v. PNC Bank, N.A.
  3. Top Class Actions, PNC Bank Fraudulently Kept Millions in Unearned GAP Fees, Class Action Lawsuit Claims
  4. Bloomberg, PNC Resolves Decade-Old RBC Bank Overdraft Suit for $7.5 Million
  5. Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. Attorneys at Law
  6. Class Actions Reporter, PNC Bank Favored Large Customers for PPP Loans California Class Action
  7. PNC Bank, Refinance Student Loans
  8. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, After Early Fears of Loan Losses, PNC Posts Higher Profits for Fourth Quarter, All of 2020
  9. Class Action Claims PNC Bank ‘Exploited’ Coronavirus at Expense of PPP Loan Applicants
  10. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Consumer Complaint Database
  11. Dun & Bradstreet, Business Directory
  12. Better Business Bureau, Search Businesses and Charities
  13. Wikipedia, PNC Financial Services