PennyMac Mortgage Review 2021

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At a glance

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4.4

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Bankrate Score

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Loans offered

Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate; rate-and-term, cash-out and streamline refinancing; home equity line of credit (HELOC), home equity loan; investment property; flex-term
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Nationwide availability

Available in all U.S. states except New York
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Min. credit score required

620 for conventional loans; 700 for jumbo loans; 580 for FHA loans; 620 for VA loans

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Guarantees on-time closings or you get a $500 Visa gift card (provided the delayed closing is on the part of PennyMac)
  • Offers online and phone customer service
  • Works with some employers to offer loan discounts
  • Can connect you with concierge real estate services

Cons

  • No brick-and-mortar locations
  • Online information about loan costs limited

PennyMac overview

PennyMac is a publicly traded direct mortgage lender that offers a range of loan options, including low-down payment loans and refinancing. Although there are sales office locations, you can only apply for a loan with this lender online or by phone. Once preapproved, you will be matched with a loan officer who becomes your single contact throughout the underwriting and closing process, which can take 45 to 60 days or less, particularly if using PennyMac’s Mortgage Access Center (m.a.c) online portal. The lender also has special offers periodically, such as a closing cost discount and fee waiver currently available until Dec. 31, 2021, and can help borrowers facing hardship or those who are ineligible to refinance with loan modification. The lender is headquartered in Westlake Village, California, and was founded in 2008.

Good for

Borrowers looking for a convenient online application process or a dedicated team

Loan types 

  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Fixed-rate
  • Adjustable-rate
  • Rate-and-term, cash-out and streamline refinancing
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC)
  • Home equity loan
  • Investment property
  • Flex-term

Lender fees

PennyMac’s lender fees include a $1,100 origination fee, rate-lock fee and other closing costs. These expenses vary by loan type and applicant. Closing costs typically include a title services fee, recording fee and appraisal fee.

Rates 

PennyMac displays mortgage rates, updated daily, and offers custom quotes online. There is no login or registration required for a quote, but the lender does ask for contact information. 

Reputation

PennyMac Loan Services is an A+ accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. The lender has 4.34 out of five stars on the BBB website based on over 1,000 customer reviews. The lender also has a rating of 3.8 out of five stars on Trustpilot, considered “Great.”

Online services 

Applying for a PennyMac mortgage online takes just minutes, according to the lender, and getting a preapproval even less. Using the lender’s m.a.c portal, borrowers can get prequalified or preapproved, complete their purchase or refinance application, upload documents and check on the status of their loan. Borrowers can also e-sign documents and disclosure through this system.

Of the features on PennyMac’s website, borrowers can check out today’s mortgage and refinance rates, get a personalized quote, explore mortgage calculators and a home value estimator and read mortgage news, tips and tools on the PennyMac Mortgage Blog.

Minimum borrower requirements 

PennyMac adheres to the conforming loan requirements for mortgages approved by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as those backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

For conventional loans, key requirements include good credit (typically a FICO score of 620 or higher) and a minimum down payment of 3 percent. However, anything less than 20 percent down will trigger the private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirement.

For FHA, VA and USDA loans, those requirements are set by the government. You can find them here:

Refinancing with PennyMac

PennyMac offers all types of refinancing: rate-and-term, cash-out and streamline refinancing (including USDA streamlined assist). which can be completed online, but borrowers must give their contact information before starting the online application process. 

Not sure if PennyMac is right for you? Consider these alternatives

Breakdown of PennyMac overall review score 

  • Affordability: 14.50/15
  • Availability: 13/15
  • Borrower experience: 9/10

Review methodology 

To determine a mortgage lender’s Bankrate Score, Bankrate’s editorial team rates lenders on a scale of one to five stars based on a variety of factors relating to the lender’s products and services. Bankrate’s partners compensate us, but our opinions are our own, and partner relationships do not influence our reviews. Here is our full methodology.

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