PNC refinancing and private student loans: 2021 review

Full review

PNC’s Private Student Loan is ideal for borrowers who plan to start repaying while in school. The lender offers immediate, interest-free payment plans, as well as an interest rate reduction of 0.50 percentage points for automatic payments, which is double what most lenders offer.

PNC does not disclose information about its forbearance policy and does not offer any other repayment options to borrowers struggling with payments. Consider other lenders if you want this potential flexibility.

The PNC private student loan at a glance

  • No option to get personalized rate estimates via a soft credit check.

  • Co-signer release available after 48 months of on-time payments.

  • No flexible repayment option for borrowers struggling with payments.

How PNC could improve

PNC could improve its private student loans by offering:

  • Personalized rate estimates via a smooth credit check.

  • A formal abstention policy.

  • Transparency around the requirements of the candidates.

PNC Private Student Loan Details

  • Smooth credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: No.

  • Loan term: 5, 10 or 15 years.

  • Loan amounts: $ 1,000 to $ 50,000.

  • Application or origin fees: No.

  • Late fees: Yes; 5% of the overdue amount or $ 5, whichever is less, after the payment is 15 days past due.

Compare PNC’s range of interest rates with others private student loan lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors such as your credit history and financial situation or that of your co-signer. To see what rate PNC will offer you, apply on its website.

PNC does not disclose specific details on what it takes to be eligible for its student loans. Lenders usually look for borrowers who have good credit and enough income to pay their debts and expenses.


  • Minimum credit score: was not disclosed.

  • Minimum income: Not disclosed.

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: was not disclosed.

  • Typical income of approved borrowers: not disclosed.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: not disclosed.

  • May be eligible if you have declared bankruptcy: Did not disclose.


  • Citizenship: Must be a US citizen or permanent resident.

  • Location: Available in all 50 US states.

  • Must be enrolled part time or more: Yes.

  • Types of schools served: Any school authorized to receive federal aid.

  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: did not disclose.

School reimbursement options

  • Immediate: Start making full monthly payments as soon as the loan is disbursed. This option will save you the most interest.

  • Deferred: You will not be required to make payments until the end of your grace period, but you can choose to make payments if you wish. Interest will accrue while you are in school and will be capitalized or added to your principal balance at the end of your grace period.

  • Interest only: Pay only interest while you are in school and start paying off the principal balance after your six-month grace period ends.

Post-school reimbursement options

  • Military Deferral: Postpone payments if you are on active military service.

  • Tolerance: not disclosed.

  • Co-signer version available: Yes, after 48 consecutive monthly payments on time.

  • Death or Disability Release Available: Overdue debt will be canceled upon death of the loan. Did not disclose information on discharge from disability.

  • Release of loan if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: did not disclose.

Refund preferences

  • Allow payments above the minimum via automatic payment: Yes.

  • Allows bi-weekly payments via automatic payment: No.

  • Loan Manager: American Education Services.

  • Internal Customer Service Team: Yes.

  • Concern escalation process: Yes.

  • Borrowers are assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.

  • Average time from request to approval: was not disclosed.

  • Auto Payment Discount: If you set up automated payments for your loan, PNC will reduce your interest rate by half a percentage point, which is a greater auto payment discount than most lenders offer.

  • PNC Education Loan Center Achiever Scholarship Competition: Win a $ 2,000 scholarship and gain access to financial literacy tools by registering with Decision Partners, an online financial education provider, through PNC. More details.

Before applying for a PNC student loan

You can apply for a PNC student loan on their website. Before taking out a PNC student loan or any other private loan, first exhaust your federal student loan options. Submit the Free Federal Student Aid Application, known as FAFSA, to apply.

Compare your private student loan options to make sure you get the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, consider lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you are not eligible for the PNC student loan

If PNC refuses your student loan application, the lender tell you why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders or, if you haven’t already, try applying with a co-signer.


NerdWallet believes that the best student loan is one that you can pay off at the lowest possible interest rate. That’s why NerdWallet’s student loan ratings reward lenders who offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and give borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for flexible credit checks, underwriting transparency and other user-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to research the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive any compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines

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