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PNC Student Loans: 2023 Review

Updated on Jan. 1, 2023
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At a glance

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Repayment Options
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

PNC Bank is best known for its checking and savings accounts, mortgage and personal loan products. However, PNC also offers a robust selection of student loan options geared toward college students, as well as borrowers who want to refinance their existing student loans – even if they don’t have a degree.

Loan amount $1,000 to $225,000
APR from 5.89% Variable; 4.39% Fixed
Clock Wait
Term lengths 5 to 20 years

This lender is best for anyone who has maxed out scholarships, grants and federal student aid and doesn’t need to borrow much, especially since PNC offers such low rates.

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PNC pros and cons


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    Co-signer release option

  • Checkmark

    Big discount for autopay

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    No degree required to refinance


  • Close X

    Lower loan limits

  • Close X

    No prequalification available

  • Close X

    Limited loan terms

Do you qualify?

Qualification requirements for a student loan from PNC vary slightly by loan type.

For undergraduate, graduate and professional student loans, you must:

  • Be enrolled at least half time in a degree program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Have lived in the U.S. for the last two years.
  • Have satisfactory credit and proof of employment and income history, or have a co-signer who meets qualifications.
  • Meet unspecified debt-to-income ratio requirements.

For residency student loans, you must:

  • Be participating in a PNC-approved M.D., D.D.S., D.O. or D.V.M. residency program (or planning to participate in a residency program within a year).
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Have lived in the U.S. for the last two years.
  • Have satisfactory credit with proof of employment and income history.
  • Meet unspecified debt-to-income ratio requirements.

For bar study loans, you must:

  • Be planning to take the bar exam no later than six months after graduation.
  • Have graduated from a PNC-approved law school within the last six months (or be a professional student enrolled at least half time at a PNC-approved law school scheduled to graduate within the next six months).
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Have lived in the U.S. for the last two years.
  • Have satisfactory credit and proof of employment and income history.
  • Meet unspecified debt-to-income ratio requirements.

For student loan refinancing, you must:

  • Have at least 24 months of positive repayment history on private or federal student loans.
  • Be able to pass a credit check.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Be able to prove two years of continuous income or employment history.

PNC: in the details

What we like and what we don’t like

PNC student loans can be a good option if you’ve maxed out federal student loan options and need to borrow a little more to pay for school. Still, there are some pros and cons you should consider before signing on the dotted line.

What we like

  • Co-signer release option: Once you have made 48 months of on-time payments on your student loans, you may request a co-signer release.

  • Big discount for autopay: PNC offers a 0.5 percent discount for automatic payments, double what most other companies offer.

  • No degree required to refinance: PNC lets you refinance student loans regardless of whether you finished your degree program, although you’ll have to meet all other eligibility requirements to qualify.

What we don’t like

  • Lower loan limits won’t work for everyone: PNC has lower loan limits than competitors, maxing out at $50,000 annually for undergraduate loans. This can disqualify some who are borrowing considerable sums for higher education.

  • No prequalification available: Some student loan companies let you prequalify and see the interest rate you can qualify for before you apply; PNC does not.

  • Limited loan terms: PNC lets you repay your private student loans over 5, 10, or 15 years which is less flexible than the repayment timelines of other lenders.

How to contact PNC

PNC makes it easy to speak with a representative if you have questions about its student loan products. You can call the bank at 800-762-1001 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET or send an email through the company’s contact form. You can also stop in a brick-and-mortar PNC bank branch if you live near one.

Loan rates

PNC offers student loans with variable or fixed interest rates, and you can secure a 0.5 percent rate discount if you set up your loans for automatic payment. The following chart includes this interest rate discount:

Loan product Variable rate Fixed rate
Undergraduate loans 5.89% to 15.39% APR 4.39% to 13.89% APR
Graduate and professional loans 5.89% to 15.39% APR 4.39% to 13.89% APR
Medical profession loans 5.89% to 15.39% APR 4.39% to 13.89% APR
Bar study 5.89% to 15.39% APR 4.39% to 13.89% APR
Refinance loan 6.74% to 13.84% APR 5.99% to 12.94% APR

Repayment terms and options

PNC’s private student loans come with repayment terms that can last 5, 10, or 15 years. Besides that, borrowers can choose between three repayment options: deferred payments while enrolled in school, interest-only payments while in school and immediate repayment.

In the case of deferred payments, the grace period ends six months after you graduate or are no longer in school on at least a half-time basis.

Refinance loans come with 5, 10, 15, or 20-year repayment terms, depending on your degree.

How to apply for a loan with PNC

You can apply for a student loan through PNC directly on the company website. Plan on gathering the following information ahead of time:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your school information (including field of learning and enrollment period).
  • How much you want to borrow.
  • Information on other bills you have, such as your mortgage or rent amount.
  • Information on other financial aid you have received.
  • Your financial information and employment history.

Any co-signer you’re considering for your loan will need to provide their Social Security number, along with their financial information, employment information and address.


How Bankrate rates PNC

Overall Score 4.5
Repayment Options 4.4 While PNC has many types of student loans, its low maximum loan amounts and few repayment options could be limiting for some students.
Affordability 4.6 PNC has low APRs for borrowers with good credit, though it does charge a late fee.
Customer Experience 4.5 PNC’s customer service hours are limited. However, it does have a mobile app for easy loan management.


Bankrate scores student loan providers across 14 data points. State availability, the length of the grace period offered and available loan amounts are all considered when evaluating lenders. Scores are divided into three categories.

  • Repayment options: Includes loan amounts, loan types, repayment options and state availability.

  • Affordability: Includes grace period length, APR range, cosigner requirements and fees.

  • Customer experience: Includes app availability, repayment options, online availability and customer service hours.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.