PNC Student Loans Review 2022

Terms for Bar Study Loans
Variable APR 4.14%–11.89%
Fixed APR  4.24%–11.99% 
Loan Amounts  $1,000–$15,000 
Loan Terms  5, 10, or 15 years 

Loan Eligibility and Approval

PNC student loans are available in all 50 states. The lender doesn’t provide specific credit requirements, such as a minimum credit score or income. However, PNC provides some general criteria:

  • Have two years of satisfactory credit history
  • Meet debt-to-income ratio requirements
  • Have two years of employment history
  • Provide proof of income (must have two years if self-employed)
  • Have two years of U.S. residency

For in-school loans, you need to be enrolled at least half-time. If you’re applying for a refinance loan, you need to be the age of majority in your state. If you haven’t obtained an associate degree or higher, you need to have made 24 consecutive payments on at least one student loan in the past two years to refinance. 

While parents can co-sign a PNC student loan, the lender doesn’t offer parent-specific loan options.

Are Co-Signers Required?

PNC requires a co-signer if the student is 17 years old, and also in cases where the student cannot meet credit, employment, and income requirements on their own. 

Remember, though, that the bank does not offer loans to international students, even with a co-signer who is a citizen or permanent resident.

Is Loan Pre-Qualification Available?

PNC does not offer pre-qualification. If you want to compare rates with other lenders, you’ll need to submit an official application.

Length of Time for Loan Approval and Disbursement

PNC has not disclosed how long the approval or disbursement process will take. If you’re approved for in-school loans, the lender will disburse them directly to your school. If there are funds left over, PNC advises borrowers to contact their school to learn about the disbursement process.

Loan Fees and Repayment Options

Loan Fees

  • Origination fee: None
  • Application fee: None
  • Late fee: 5% of the past-due amount or $5, whichever is less; the fee is assessed 15 days after the due date
  • Returned payment fee: None
  • Deferment fee: None

Loan Discounts

PNC offers a 0.50% interest rate discount if you set up automatic payments.

Repayment Options

For in-school loans, borrowers will be able to choose from three different repayment options:

  • Immediate: You’ll start repaying both principal and interest while still in school.
  • Interest-only: You’ll only pay the interest that accrues each month while you’re in school, then both principal and interest six months after graduating or falling below half-time enrollment.
  • Deferred: All payments will be deferred until six months after you graduate or fall below half-time enrollment (interest will still accrue). 

If you get approved for a refinance loan, you’ll start making monthly payments immediately. 

Loan Deferment and Discharge Options

PNC may offer deferment in the event that you enroll in school at least half-time or experience financial hardship, unemployment, or military deployment. However, the lender doesn’t disclose specifics about how long you can pause your payments. 

If you die, the lender will discharge the debt. However, there is no forgiveness available if you become permanently disabled.

Is Student Loan Refinancing Available?

If you have existing student loans you can refinance them with PNC, even if you have an associate degree or no degree at all. Interest rates, loan amounts, and repayment options can vary based on your degree level. The 20-year repayment option is only available if you’re refinancing $75,000 or more. Refinancing is only available for college students, not for parents.

Terms for Refinance Student Loans
Variable APR  4.39%–13.64% 
Fixed APR  4.49%–13.74% 
Loan Amounts  $10,000–$25,000 for borrowers with no degree
$10,000–$75,000 for borrowers with an associate degree
$10,000–$175,000 for borrowers with an undergraduate degree
$10,000–$200,000 for borrowers with a graduate degree 
Loan Terms  5, 10, 15, or 20 years 

Longer repayment periods can reduce your monthly payment, but they will also result in higher interest costs over the life of the loan. Carefully weigh your budget and the long-term costs to find the right term for you. 

Customer Service

If you have questions before applying, you can reach a student loan specialist by calling (800) 762-1001 or submitting a request online, and one will get in touch with you. Once you’ve been approved, you’ll contact your loan servicer, American Education Services, at the same number.

In 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received just three student loan-related complaints against PNC. 

Applying for a PNC Student Loan 

Before you apply for a private student loan with PNC or any other lender, it’s important to first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and take advantage of all of the federal financial aid options that are available to you.

If you still have a financial gap to bridge, then move forward with your application for a private student loan.

You can apply for a loan online through PNC’s website. To find out if you’re eligible, you’ll share the following details:

  • School state
  • School name
  • Requested loan amount
  • Enrollment status
  • Citizenship status
  • Whether you’re the age of majority in your state
  • Whether you’re applying with a co-signer

If you’re eligible based on the information you provided, you’ll need to provide the following information for you and your co-signer, if applicable:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Email address
  • Employment status
  • Income information

Once you’ve submitted your application, the lender says it may require additional documentation but doesn’t provide specifics. 

Alternative Choices

  PNC Education Loan Finance (ELFI)  Sallie Mae 
Loan Types Offered Undergraduate; Graduate; Professional Undergraduate; Graduate; Parent  Undergraduate; Graduate; Medical; Technical; Bootcamp 
Undergraduate Fixed APR  4.49%–12.24%  3.21%–7.29%  4.50%–14.83% 
Undergraduate Variable APR  4.39%–12.14%  2.69%–7.98%  4.00%–14.34% 
Origination/Administrative Fee  None  None  None 
Repayment Options  Deferment; Interest-only; Full payment  Deferment; Fixed; Interest-only; Full payment  Deferment; Fixed; Interest-only; Full payment 
Refinancing Available  Yes  (Yes, No)  No 

Final Verdict

PNC student loans can be a good fit if you’ve exhausted all of your federal financial aid and don’t need more than the maximum the lender allows you to borrow each year. It can be particularly beneficial if you plan to make automatic payments and want a co-signer, but don’t want them to be stuck with that obligation for the life of the loan.

Keep in mind, though, that some lenders may offer more flexible repayment terms, and there are other lenders with co-signer release programs that start with just 12 consecutive on-time payments. Before you apply for a PNC student loan, get pre-qualified with other lenders and compare their rates with the ranges PNC provides to get an idea of whether it’s worth submitting an application.

Looking for the best rates and terms for your student loan is a smart move. Save some time by checking out our picks for the best student loans today.


Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of student loan lenders. We collected thousands of data points across 30 lenders—including loan types, interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that we help readers make the right borrowing decision for their education needs.