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 2.14% – 7.14% (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 2.14% and 7.14%.

Fixed rates are between 2.84% and 6.94% and variable rates start between 2.39% and 6.39% for associate’s degree holders. For nongraduates, fixed rates are between 3.59% and 7.69% while variable rates start between 3.14% and 7.14%.

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) and its lowest starting variable rate 3.6% (from 2.22% APR). The highest fixed rate remains unchanged; the highest starting variable rate is up 17.6% (from 5.52% APR) since the end of last year.

Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate Variable Rate
5 Year 2.59% – 6.34% 2.14% – 5.89%
10 Year 3.39% – 7.14% 3.04% – 6.79%
15 Year 3.94% – 7.69% 3.39% – 7.14%
20 Year† 3.99% – 6.74% 3.74% – 6.49%

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 (3.50% 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 (3.5 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 20,021 complaints about PNC Bank N.A. to the CFPB for an average of one (1) complaint every four (4) hours and 28 minutes; that is 270 times faster than the average daily complaint rate among reviewed lenders. Among the complaints with narratives, at least 0.8% refer specifically to student loans or student loan refinance.

In 2022, PNC Bank’s consumer complaint rate is 37.4% higher (as of this writing) than it is in an average year. In 2021, PNC received 2,238 complaints, which is 16.6% higher than its average annual complaint rate.

Also in 2021, consumers filed the equivalent of one (1) complaint for every $4.410 million of that year’s corporate revenue or one (1) complaint for every 23 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 5280997
3/2/2022
Maryland

“On XX/XX/2022 I got a cashiers from XXXX for {$7000.00}. On XXXX XXXX I went to the XXXX XXXX Branch of PNC where XXXX XXXX is the branch manager. The branch is located at XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX, XXXX XXXX Md XXXX. As of XX/XX/2022 I have been told by both PNC and XXXX that the check has not been cleared. XXXX has said that PNC has not contacted them for verify the check. PNC can also give no reasons that they have not cleared my deposit. They also will not give me the cashiers check back and cancel the deposit.”


Complaint 5280901
3/2/2022
Florida

“I opened a HELOC loan number XXXX with PNC Bank and the balance is {$48000.00}. There is approximately {$29000.00} that is at a fixed rate of 3.25 %, and {$19000.00} at a variable rate currently at 4.25 %. This is one loan in total, with one account number. PNC Bank told me both online and at the bank, I could direct the payment that is automatically debited from my checking account in its entirety towards the balance with the higher rate. Then, when I tried after the payment was posted, ( at their prior direction ), they said they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, not sure which. This means I am paying more interest on the loan in total. Lastly there is NOTHING in the original loan contact that says I can not do this.”


Complaint 5274567
3/1/2022
Pennsylvania

“XX/XX/XXXX and XX/XX/XXXX I went to bed at XXXX watched my account They then added XXXX four times by XXXX XXXX.This happened to add with putting any notice in mail or email.Not showing me what the charges for.I had XXXX yesterday.All paid for items.Everything stated posted besides my items at XXXX XXXX and at that time everything else was posted and paid. I had a talk with XXXX head offices today.They informed me that they were fully paid on the XXXX of XXXX.The fees were in turn removed by pnc today and repaid to them. And pnc added fees to my account after illegally charging me for back dated items that was already paid for.Items on XXXX still under posted.Did not get charged for those.Yet they back dated removed the item paid already and repaid them and charged me fees 4 XXXX fees.They stated that it was already paid and should not have had any fees.They did not post anything with pnc.The charges came out XX/XX/XXXX and XXXX.They were paid in full.But told me pnc took the money back and paid it back witch gave me those fees.That should not have happen.They did not do it instead pnc did it and gave me XXXX fees four times.They did it by pulling fully paid items and turned them negaive when they were already paid.XXXX agrees that should be paid back or a lawsuit for illegally trying to collect fees not owed.They said pnc paid them and then pulled it back and paid again.And today was a ton of XXXX for other items that was posted as paid items that was back dated before XXXX.It was paid so why charge for items that they back dated.I notice they do this a lot.Took XXXX in XXXX fees for XXXX worth of its that was paid.I had just got my social security today and they stole XXXX from me.And I would like my money back and for this to be investigated for fraud activity by pnc. Hi I need to dispute these XXXXfees.I had moneyin my account and It was not negative.I woke up to four different transaction of XXXX.I will dispute these as well with fairshake.That should not be there.XXXX Spent XXXX at XXXX XXXX and woke up to all these fees when I had money an dno notice on these fees no 24 hours went by just instantly posted XXXX times four..I need my money back in the account .That is just not right.Instantly post that.Been watching my account very close.This is no day later it posted to add fees several times on porpose. I need my money back.I will be moving and I am working with a loan mortgage .And this should not be on here when it was not negative.I am contacting XXXX attorney Because I am being charged when having money in the account and everything posted.”


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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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+
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First Tech Federal C
BECU C-
Navy Federal C-
First Republic Bank D+
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Juno D+
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