PNC Student Loans

Learn everything you need to know about PNC student loans, their features, types, refinancing, reviews, and other added benefits provided to the borrowers.

Updated by Heibha Passah on 21st August 2019


Operating for more than 25 years in more than 19 states in the country, The PNC Financial Services Group is one of the largest financial institutions providing a variety of services like retail and business banking, a huge range of lending products, and specialized services for corporate and government entities.

One of the many types of lending products provided by them is education or student loans. PNC provides different types of student loans and refinancing options for the borrowers looking to acquire funds for their education.


Table of contents


Types of PNC student loans

Before applying for any PNC Solution loan you should do the following-

  • Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be completed and sent as early as possible after October 1st

  • You received an award letter from the school you wanted to attend

  • You look into the various grants, scholarships, federal loans, and work-study programs

  • You look into the eligibility criteria for PNC Solution Loan below.

1. PNC Solution Undergraduate Loans 

This is a private loan that provides a suitable way for you to fund your education after you’ve used up your federal loan options.

They can be acquired by students who are attending an undergraduate program for at least half time.

Benefits

  • The PNC Education Loan Center Achiever Scholarship of $2000 per month will be given to the borrowers. 12 winners will be chosen and they’ll be receiving an annual amount of $24000 as scholarship.

  • You can save money as there are no application or origination fees for acquiring the loan. Also, a 50% discount will be provided on the interest rates, if you choose to set up Automatic Payments.

  • Your cosigner will qualify for release on completing 48 successive monthly payments on time.

Eligibility criteria and requirements

To be eligible for PNC Solution Undergraduate Loans a student must be attending an undergraduate program for at least half time as insisted by your school.

The student and the cosigner, if any, must be US citizens or lived the previous 2 years in the US.

Both the student and co-signer, if any, need to have the following requirements -

  • An acceptable credit score and proof of employment and income history

  • If you are self-employed, you should be in business for a minimum of two years

  • Your debt-to-income requirements are met with.

The loan limit is $40000 max per annum and the aggregate student loan debt (both federal and private loans) should be a maximum of $225000.


2. Graduate or Professional Loans

Benefits of Graduate or Professional loans-

  • You can choose the type of interest rate structure you want- variable or fixed interest rate loan.

  • You can save money as there are no application or origination fees for acquiring the loan. Also, a 50% discount will be provided on the interest rates, if you choose to set up Automatic Payments.

  • Your cosigner will qualify for release on completing 48 successive monthly payments on time.

(i) PNC Solution Loan for Graduate Students - This is a private loan that provides a suitable way for you to fund your education after you’ve used up your federal loan options.

They can be acquired by students who are attending a graduate program for at least half time.

Eligibility criteria and requirements

To be eligible for PNC Solution Graduate Loans a student must be attending a graduate program for at least half time as insisted by your school.

The student and the cosigner, if any, must be US citizens or lived the previous 2 years in the US.

Both the student and cosigner need to have the following requirements-

  • An acceptable credit score and proof of employment and income history.

  • If you are self-employed, you should be in business for a minimum of two years.

  • Your debt-to-income requirements are met with.

The loan limit for creditworthy borrowers is $65,000 max per annum and the aggregate student loan debt (both federal and private loans) should be a maximum of $225000.

(ii) PNC Solution Loan for Health and Medical Professionals - This is a private loan that provides a suitable way for you to fund your education after you’ve used up your federal loan options.

They can be acquired by students who are attending an undergraduate or graduate accelerated program to get a degree in a PNC-approved health-related field of study for at least half time.

Eligibility criteria and requirements

To be eligible for PNC Solution Loan for Health and Medical Professionals, a student must be attending an undergraduate or graduate program in the health-related field for at least half time as insisted by your school.

The student and the co-signer, if any, must be US citizens or lived the previous 2 years in the US.

Both the student and cosigner, if any, need to have the following requirements - 

  • An acceptable credit score and proof of employment and income history

  • If you are self-employed, you should be in business for a minimum of two years

  • Your debt-to-income requirements are met with.

The loan limit for undergraduate borrowers is $40,000 and for graduate borrowers is $65,000 max per annum. The aggregate student loan debt (both federal and private loans) should be a maximum of $225,000.

(iii) PNC Solution Loan for Health Professions Residency - This is a private loan that provides a suitable way for you to pay for the expenditure incurred on any medical residency program which includes an interview, relocation, and living expenses.

You have the option of applying for this loan one year before your residency starts.

Eligibility criteria and requirements

To be eligible for PNC Solution Loan for Health Professions Residency, a student must be attending a PNC - approved MD, DDS, DO or DVM residency or planning to participate in a residency program in less than a year.

The student and the cosigner, if any, must be US citizens or lived the previous 2 years in the US.

Both the student and co-signer, if any, need to have the following requirements-

  • An acceptable credit score and proof of employment and income history

  • If you are self-employed, you should be in business for a minimum of two years

  • Your debt-to-income requirements are met with

The residency loan limit ranges between $1000 - $15,000 and the aggregate student loan debt (both federal and private loans) should be a maximum of $225,000.

(iv) PNC Solution Loan for Bar Study - This is a private loan that provides a suitable way for you to pay for the expenditure incurred on bar exams and prep.

Eligibility criteria and requirements

To be eligible for the PNC Solution Loan for Bar Study, the student should be planning to take the bar exam not more than 6 months after graduating from a PNC-approved law school.

The student should have graduated within the last six months, or be a professional student attending a PNC-approved law school for at least half time and is going to graduate in not less than six months.

The student and the co-signer, if any, must be US citizens or lived the previous 2 years in the US.

Both the student and cosigner, if any, need to have the following requirements - 

  • An acceptable credit score and proof of employment and income history

  • If you are self-employed, you should be in business for a minimum of two years

  • Your debt-to-income requirements are met with

The loan limit is $15,000 max and the aggregate student loan debt (both federal and private loans) should be a maximum of $225,000.


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PNC student loan interest rates

1. Variable interest rate loans - The variable interest rate ranges between 5.30% - 11.30% and an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 5.15% - 11.30% except for PNC Solution Loan for Bar Study which has an APR of 5.25% - 11.30%

The variable interest rate is equal to the LIBOR index + a margin based on the creditworthiness of the borrower or cosigner if any.

There are three types of repayment options available for paying back the loans.

  • Immediate Repayment - You have to repay the interest and the principal amount of the loan while you are still in school.

  • Interest-only Repayment - You have to pay only the interest amounts while you are still in school and the rest of the amount later after graduating. The amount of the monthly interest payments will increase or decrease depending upon the fluctuations in the interest rates.

  • Deferred Repayment - You have to pay both the interest and principal amounts after graduating or after a grace period if provided.

2. Fixed interest rate loans - The annual percentage interest rate ranges between 5.79% - 11.79% and an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 5.61% - 11.79% except for PNC Solution Loan for Bar Study which has an APR of 5.73.% - 11.79%.

There are three types of repayment options available for paying back the loans.

  • Immediate Repayment - You have to repay the interest and the principal amount of the loan while you are still in school

  • Interest-only Repayment - You have to pay only the interest amounts while you are still in school and the rest of the amount later after graduating

  • Deferred Repayment - You have to pay both the interest and principal amounts after graduating or after a grace period if provided.


Features and Benefits

PNC student loans provide the following benefits to the borrower - 

They are used to pay for the expenditure incurred on your education. After you apply for the loan online, a preliminary decision will be sent to you within minutes.

You can apply for the loan up to 60 days after the end of school, except for PNC Solution Loan for Health Professions Residency where you can apply a year before the residency starts. 

You can choose between variable or fixed interest rate loans. The funds you applied for are directly sent to your school, except for PNC Solution Loan for Health Professions Residency and PNC Solution Loan for Bar Study, where they are directly sent to you.

  • If the borrower passed away, then the remaining loan balance is forgiven

  • If you want to take a PNC Solution Loan for Bar Study, you do not need a minimum income requirement to qualify

  • You can save money as no application or origination fees are charged

  • By signing up for automatic payments, you get a 50% reduction on your interest rates

  • You get a 15 years repayment term with a 6 months grace period for PNC Solution Loan for Bar Study

  • You can get your cosigner released after making 48 successive monthly repayments on time

  • You have the option of either deferring your payments till you graduate or pay while you’re in school to save up later on

For PNC Solution Loan for Health Professions Residency, you can choose between deferring your payments while on your residency period (up to 4 years) and 6 months after the period ends, or you can pay immediately to save up later on.

For PNC Solution Loan for Health & Medical Professionals, you can take the option of deferring payments during your residency if it doesn’t exceed the program maximum of 10 and a half years of deferment (along with the 15 years grace period) from the date of first disbursing the loan.

If you take the option of deferring payments, then your repayment period starts 6 months after graduation. Your interest capitalizes once at the time of repayment Interest may qualify for a tax deduction. You can consult your tax advisor for this.


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Military benefits

As a way of showing their gratitude towards the service members of the country, PNC provides benefits and protections to them through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

These benefits are applicable to both private and federal loans and allow them to-

  • Qualify for a reduction on the interest rates and no application fees

  • Qualify for military deferment or forbearance options.

PNC will also provide benefits and protections to qualifying accounts like -

  • Auto loans

  • Mortgage and home equity secured loans

  • Line of credit, credit card, and installment loans

  • If the borrower or guarantor is eligible for SCRA benefits and protection, then PNC will pursue the guarantor for recovery of the commercial assets

  • Equipment loans

  • Deposit accounts (in limited situations)

  • Safe Deposit accounts (in limited situations).

There are certain states which provide an extension on the SCRA-like benefits for the borrowers irrespective of their military status when the debt was originated. These states are Louisiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

In addition to that, other states like California, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, and Ohio provide an extension of these SCRA-like benefits to the spouses and dependents of service members.


Grad Ready provided by PNC

Grad Ready is a valuable resource center provided by PNC for free to help graduates manage their finances and improve their budgeting skills to ensure smooth repayment of student loan bills.

It focuses on three main motives for the students-

1. Learn - Access to a number of videos that will help you learn about the financial aid options available to you, the expectations when repaying your student loans and to budget upon landing your first job.

2. Plan - A personalized and interactive money management education is provided to help you prepare to be financially strong in the future.

3. Gauge - You can use interactive tools and calculators that are provided for creating an accurate budget that is customizable and can be updated to track the way you spent your money so that you can improve further.


PNC Education Refinance Loan (PERL)

Refinancing means combining all your existing student loans into one loan in order to simplify your payments. You get greater financial flexibility as it provides lower interest rates with an option to extend or reduce your repayment period as per your convenience.

Extending the repayment period allows you to make lower monthly payments while reducing your repayment period will allow you to make monthly payments at a higher amount helping you to get rid of your debt faster. Taking a PERL loan can really help you save money in the long run.

Interest rates

You have the option to choose between a fixed or variable interest rate loan. A fixed-rate loan lets you know what the monthly amount you have to pay throughout the life of the loan, while variable rate loan can help you get a lower interest rate. These rates can be reduced by 50% by signing up for automated payments.

The loan limits range between $10,000 - $75,000 at a 10 or 15-year repayment term.

Fixed APR for 10 years- 4.39% - 6.49%

Fixed APR for 15 years- 4.49% - 6.59%

Variable APR for 10 years- 4.39% - 6.49%

Variable APR for 15 years- 4.49% - 6.59%

Eligibility requirements for refinance loan 

  • You have repaid a minimum of 24 months of your federal or private student loans

  • An acceptable credit score

  • A US citizen or permanent resident

  • You stayed in the US for the previous two years

  • A stable income or employment history for the past two years.

Features and Benefits 

  • You can combine both federal and private loans with high-interest rates into one loan

  • Signing up for automatic payments allows you to get a 50% deduction on your interest rates

  • You can get your cosigner released after completing 48 successive monthly payments on time

  • You can also refinance without a cosigner making you financially independent

  • You can easily apply online

  • The remaining balance of your loan will be forgiven if you passed away

  • Interest may qualify for a tax deduction. You can consult your tax advisor for this.

Do keep in mind that refinancing federal student loans will remove all the benefits available on federal loans like the income-contingent and income-based repayment plan, loan forgiveness, deferment, forbearance, and more which is not available under a PNC Education Refinance Loan.

Apart from the student loans, PNC also provides various financial and educational insights like -

Financial Aid Resources - PNC provides all the information you need to know regarding the financial aid options available to you and also how to budget your finances for paying off student loan debts.

Student Lending Learning Center - It guides you towards minimizing your college debt by making smart financial decisions by providing personal finance education.

Student and Graduate Banking Center - Providing products and services which will help you and your families avail banking benefits from the time you are preparing for college till you are settled in your career.


Reviews of PNC student loans

PNC provides private student loans to those borrowers who have used up their federal loans. They provide a lot of added benefits that are not available in other private student loans.

Let us look at the reasons why you should choose PNC student loans - 

  • The rates charged by PNC for their refinance loans are just somewhat higher as compared to federal loan rates which makes it more cost-effective than other private loans

  • If you have loans taken for programs that were not completed, you can still refinance them with PNC

  • You can free the co-signer of your burden by opting for cosigner release after you’ve completed 48 successive monthly payments on time

  • You get a 50% discount on your interest rates if you opt for automatic payments, which is higher as compared to other private loan lenders who usually provides a 25% discount

  • You get the option of deferring your payments till after you graduate or make interest-only payments or full payment while you’re in school, as per your preferences

  • You can avail various military benefits

  • Apart from student loans, you get the various other resources that will help you on your financial journey.

Now, let’s look at the reason why you should not choose PNC student loans 

  • The maximum loan limit is up to $40,000 for student loans and $75,000 for refinancing loans, which might not be enough for the students who want to pursue expensive courses

  • The repayment terms are restricted to only 10 or 15 years for refinancing loans, while other student loans it is only 15 years, which as compared to other lenders, mean fewer options, who provide more than 2 options of the repayment term

  • You have limited options on repayment plans

  • PNC doesn’t allow schools that are not eligible. So, if you are not from an eligible school, you will not be able to acquire a PNC Loan

  • There is only one standard repayment, for refinance loans in which borrowers who are in financial hardship or just began working will not be able to afford

  • Even though you have the option of having a co-signer, you alone also have to meet all the eligibility requirements

  • PNC uses another loan servicer which is the American Education Services (AES) to provide servicing activities for your loans

PNC has got good customer reviews online which says that they’re always available whenever the borrower needs them to answer a doubt or query, which means that the customer service is satisfactory. Also, with the benefits provided by them, most of the customers are quite happy with their loans from PNC irrespective of some of the disadvantages of these loans.


FAQ's

  How do I estimate the full cost of college?


The full cost of college is not just the cost of tuition but also the Cost Of Attendance (COA), this includes the costs incurred for transport, rent/stay, food, etc. So a proper estimate of how much you will have to spend for college would be the sum total of tuition and COA.

  How much should I have saved for college?


Everyone has a different financial situation so there is no fixed amount we can put out as the amount to be saved and saving up 100% of everything you earned for college tuition is unrealistic. The more you save the faster you will be able to pay back your college tuition.

  How do Direct Loan interest rates work?


The rates are determined by the Government and are decided by July 1st. The rates are different for the type of loan and when the loan was disbursed.

  Why will I need additional loans if I have a Direct loan?


The maximum loan amount you can get with a Direct loan your first year is $5,500. If your school determines your need to be higher than the limits on a Direct Loan, they might offer an additional type of loan, like a PLUS Loan.

  What is a SAR and how do I get one?


The SAR is a Student Aid Report produced by the U.S. Department of Education and sent to students who have applied for federal student financial aid. It is also sent to any schools a student lists on the FAFSA. The SAR summarizes the information from the student\'s FAFSA and provides families and schools with the student\'s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

  What is EFC?


EFC is an estimate of what parents can contribute towards their children\'s college expenses. It is calculated based upon the student\'s FAFSA application, a student\'s eligibility for federal, state or any other financial aid programs is dependant on the student\'s EFC. If COA-EFC>0 then a student has financial need.