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PNC Bank is a private student loan lender offering competitive benefits and interest rates for borrowers looking to finance their education, as well as student loan refinancing. PNC offers perks such as cosigner release and longer repayment terms (to lower your monthly payments), something that other private student loan lenders may not, in addition to more niche loan products, such as health professional residency and bar study loans.
Let’s take a look at our PNC student loan review, including a rundown of your options — specifically:
The basics: PNC student loans review
PNC Bank provides consumers with a comprehensive array of financial services, including everything from checking and savings accounts to mortgages. Likewise, PNC helps finance education through private student loans and PNC student loan refinance options.
In terms of its private student loans, PNC has some unique features and benefits that set it apart from some of its competitors, including:
- Longer repayment terms: Like many other lenders, you can choose a repayment term as long as 15 years, which would result in lower monthly payments than one might get through a typical 10-year repayment period (the default for federal loans). Or if you can afford larger payments, you can opt for a shorter term (PNC starts at five years) and get your debt paid off sooner, with less interest.
- Cosigner release: If you need a cosigner to qualify but would eventually want to remove that person’s responsibility for your loan later on, you can apply for cosigner release after 48 months of on-time payments.
- Interest rate deduction: Many lenders offer autopay discounts, but PNC incentivizes borrowers with a larger rate reduction than most. If you sign up for automatic payments with your checking or savings account, you can get a reduction of 0.50%. Over the length of your repayment term, a half-percentage-point interest rate reduction like this one can result in substantial savings — you can use our Student Loan Interest Calculator to see how much interest you might avoid.
- Deferred payments: PNC is among the private lenders that allow you to defer payments on your loans until six months after graduating, giving you time to get settled and find a job before having to worry about payments.
Pros: What we like about PNC Bank student loans
PNC Bank offers both fixed- and variable-rate loans at competitive interest rates, at 4.54% – 11.79% for fixed-rate loans, and 4.70% – 11.87% for variable loans. That said, your credit history and income will determine whether you qualify for the lowest rates.
In addition, PNC student loans don’t come with any application or origination fees.
PNC also offers refinancing, allowing borrowers to exchange their existing federal and private student debt for a new loan, possibly one with a lower interest rate or a different term. Still, make sure to weigh the pros and cons of refinancing before you act, especially if you have federal loans — with refinancing, they’ll become private, and you’ll lose access to benefits like federal repayment and forgiveness options.
It can also be easy to get help with your loans. PNC Bank’s customer service team is available around the clock, even on weekends. If you need to get in touch with them, you can call 888-PNC-BANK or email them at PNC Bank’s secure message center.
Cons: What to keep in mind about PNC Bank student loans
To qualify for a PNC student loan or refinancing loan, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who has lived in the U.S. for the previous two years. You must also meet PNC’s credit guidelines and debt-to-income requirements, or apply with a cosigner who can. Students need to be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program to be eligible for a loan.
PNC Bank doesn’t specify a certain credit score that you’ll need to get a loan, but its credit guidelines ask for satisfactory credit history and continuous income or employment history (generally for two years). If you’re a freelancer or own a small business, you’ll need to have been in business for at least two years before applying.
If you don’t meet those guidelines, you might need an eligible cosigner to borrow from PNC Bank.
Which PNC Bank student loan is right for you?
To decide if PNC student loans will work for you, consider the different options the company offers.
Undergraduates enrolled in a degree-seeking program at least half-time can borrow up to $50,000 per year to cover education costs. Though some private lenders deposit funds into your bank account, PNC sends undergraduate loan funds directly to the school.
Graduate or professional loans
Graduate or professional-level students enrolled in their program at least half time can borrow up to $65,000 per year for education costs. Here too, PNC will send the money to your school.
Health and medical professional loans
Students in a PNC-approved program working toward a degree in a health-related field can borrow up to $50,000 and $65,000 per year (for undergraduate and graduate students, respectively) to pay for school. Plus, they can defer payments during their medical residency.
Health professions residency loans
Medical doctors, dentists and veterinarians who need money to pay for relocation and living expenses during their residency can borrow up to $15,000 through a health professions residency loan.
Bar study loans
Recent law school graduates or those with less than six months until graduation can borrow money to cover the cost of preparing for and taking the bar exam. You can borrow up to $15,000 with a PNC bar study loan.
Borrowers who want to consolidate their loans into one easy payment, reduce their interest rate or lower their monthly payments can refinance up to $75,000 of their federal and private student loans by taking advantage of PNC student loan refinance options.
If one of these loan types is a good fit for your needs, PNC Bank might be the right student loan lender to turn to when you’re looking to finance your education or make it easier to repay your student loans.
Christina Majaski and Kat Tretina contributed to this article.
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