PNC Bank Student Loan Refinance Review

Our Rating: D- (Compare)

One of the nation’s largest banks, PNC Bank may be a good option for nongraduates, those who expect their gross income to improve, and those who already have an account with PNC.

Loan Limits $10,000 – $75,000
Fixed Rates 2.59%* – 7.69%
Variable Rates 4.14% – 9.14% (18.00% Cap)
Terms 5, 10, 15 or 20 years
Min. Credit Score Undisclosed
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*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

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 2.59% and 7.69%. Variable rates start between 4.14% and 9.14%.

Undergraduate and graduate degree holders are eligible for fixed rates between 2.59% and 6.74% and variable rates starting between 4.14% and 8.49%. For associate’s degree holders, fixed rates are between 2.84% and 6.94%, and variable rates start between 4.39% and 9.39%. For nongraduates, fixed rates are between 3.59% and 7.69% while variable rates start between 5.14% and 9.14%.

Note that the lowest rates always include the 0.50% interest reduction for enrolling in auto-pay from a PNC checking or savings account.

In 2022, PNC Bank has lowered its lowest available fixed rate for new loans 24.7% (from 3.44% APR) while the highest fixed rate has remained the same. Its lowest starting variable rate is 86.5% (from 2.22% APR), and the highest starting variable rate is up 65.6% (from 5.52% APR).

Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate Variable Rate
5 Year 2.59% – 6.34% 4.14% – 7.89%
10 Year 3.39% – 7.14% 5.04% – 8.79%
15 Year 3.94% – 7.69% 5.39% – 9.14%
20 Year† 3.99% – 6.74% 5.74% – 8.49%

Terms of 20 years are only available to bachelor’s and graduate degree holders.

Additional information about PNC Bank refinance rates:

  • Checking your rate with PNC Bank may affect your credit score. They will conduct a hard, not soft, credit inquiry (learn the difference).
  • PNC Bank does offer a discount for setting up autopay: 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  • Autopay 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 (5.50% 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.
  • A “satisfactory” 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 (1.3 out of 5) and ConsumerAffairs.com (3.4 out of 5).

PNC Bank Consumer 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 December 1, 2011, consumers have submitted 20,762 complaints about PNC Bank N.A. to the CFPB for an average of one (1) complaint every four (4) hours and 34 minutes; that complaint rate is 300 times the average daily complaint rate among reviewed lenders.

In 2022, PNC Bank’s consumer complaint rate is 26.0% higher (as of this writing) than it is in an average year. In 2021, PNC received 2,238 complaints, which is 16.0% higher than its average annual complaint rate.

Consumers file the annual equivalent of one (1) complaint for every $8.298 million of estimated corporate revenue or roughly one (1) complaint for every 27 employees.

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, from December 2011 (34), all of 2012 (1,398), 2013 (1,636), 2014 (1,833), 2015 (1,594), 2016 (1,663), 2017 (1,504), 2018 (1,650), 2019 (1,506), 2020 (4,086), and 2021 (2,238)

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


Complaint 5778701
7/17/2022
Texas

“PNC purchased BBVA Compass Bank I have ( XXXX ) issues that I need the CFPB to me resolve. I have been a mortgage holder with BBVA since XX/XX/2015. I never once missed a payment or not received statements. Once PNC took over the mortgage account, Issue number ( XXXX ) : PNC cancelled ACH off my account causing my payment to go ( 60 ) days late. When I was made aware my mortgage was cancelled off my account by viewing my credit report, I called immediately asking how ACH was removed, they stated someone called and cancelled, I advised I never called and cancelled and requested they pull the call because this has adversely affected me, they stated they could not. In that moment on that call I then paid ( XXXX ) months of payments and explained I have been a mortgage holder since 2015 and I have never once been ( XXXX ) days late. Issue number ( XXXX ) : I had not received any mortgage statements from PNC bank failing to notify me of account changes or receive statements on the account. Per section XXXX Periodic statements for residential mortgage loans. Section ( XXXX ) Periodic statements. A servicer of a transaction subject to this section shall provide the consumer, for each billing cycle, a periodic statement meeting the requirements of paragraphs ( b ), ( c ), and ( d ) of this section. As well, per section ( b ) Notices of transfer of loan servicing ( XXXX ) Requirement for notice. Except as provided in paragraph ( b ) ( XXXX ) of this section, each transferor servicer and transferee servicer of any mortgage loan shall provide to the borrower a notice of transfer for any assignment, sale, or transfer of the servicing of the mortgage loan. Due to PNC & BBVA transition in ownership, their systems failure to communicate and properly merge all account information, I am wrongly affected by : ( XXXX ) having ACH cancelled off my account due to PNC systems not communicating and me not being notified ( XXXX ) not receiving any legal, account or ownership correspondence from PNC. I was never notified via mail, phone call or any attempt at all. I am requesting ( XXXX ) day lates be removed off all credit bureaus immediately, as this has caused an extreme financial hardship that is due to PNC, not me. I have spoke with their escalations team, I have conducted research and found many PNC customers have had issues since the merge of BBVA and PNC and I am not the only XXXX adversely affected. Thank you kindly for your help & all of blessings to you, XXXX XXXX”


Complaint 5629025
6/2/2022
Missouri

“Pnc bank located in St.Louis MO on Page and Grand.Committed the perfect crime. I need someone to investigate the fact of somehow I had a believe 9 checking accounts. Hmm guess to confuse Me. Then why over 60 thousand dollars in tele transfers were not authorizedby me nor had I ever made transfers over the phone ever. I wish to know where and to whom the money 60 thousand went. The employees at this bank lie and work together in a stem and know what to do to cover there assets if someone brings up something alerting them to the misdeeds So heads up at how you go about catching these crooks… Also the telephone calls recordings I need to know how to obtain such evidence to clear myself of a false claim of a felony crime for making a terrorist threat. Sad insane and gross.. Please help”


Complaint 5627009
6/2/2022
California

“My daughter and I had account with BBVA. One account was mine alone, and the second one is mine along with my teenage daughter. BBVA was purchased by PNC. We were no longer using the BBVA accounts regularly but, as my daughter was going to college, we agreed to keep them open for a couple of months to see if she needed them while she was away. She did not, and took all the money out of her account. On a couple of occasions, I received notices from PNC that my balance was low, so I made a couple of small deposits, as I did not want the account to be overdrawn. Several months ago, we decided to close the accounts. I called and was told that I would receive a document to sign. Never came. I messaged through their app and left messages on their social media and was told that the accounts would be closed. Still nothing. Finally, on XX/XX/2022, I received a call from an XXXX XXXX at PNC retail escalation group who asked me to call her back so she could help me. Her direct line is XXXX. I have called her back 4 times, with no response. At this point, I don’t know how much has been taken out of our accounts in fees we did not authorized, etc., but I am receiving daily emails now from PNC telling me that my account is overdrawn and to please deposit money. We feel that we have given PNC more than enough money to maintain accounts that we did not want or use.”


For a full list of 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.
  • Does PNC Bank have a minimum credit score requirement to refinance student loans?
    PNC Bank does not disclose a minimum credit score to qualify for student loan refinancing.
  • 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?
    Yes, checking your rates with PNC Bank may impact 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]

Compare Student Loan Refinance Reviews

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RISLA A+
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CommonBond A
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ELFI A-
Laurel Road A-
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Splash Financial A-
Purefy B+
UW Credit Union B+
LendKey B+
College Ave B
PenFed B
SoFi B
Earnest B-
EDvestinU B-
INvestEd B-
MEFA B-
Sparrow B-
Yrefy B-
Citizens Bank C+
ISL C+
Lend-Grow C+
SELF Refi C+
SuperMoney C+
First Tech Federal C
BECU C-
Navy Federal C-
First Republic Bank D+
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Discover D
Nelnet Bank D
PNC Bank D-
NaviRefi F

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: PNC Bank, National Association
  12. Better Business Bureau, Search Businesses and Charities
  13. United States Securities and Exchange Commission, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc