What we like:
Home equity lines of credit in most states for up to 89.9% of your home’s current market value.
|Rates (APR)||Fixed rates starting at 10.34%|
|Loan amounts||Up to 89.9% of your home’s value|
|Repayment terms||5 – 30 years|
|Minimum credit score||Not disclosed|
Perhaps you’re considering taking out a home equity loan or line of credit and accessing a portion of that equity in cash. For homeowners in many states, a PNC home equity line of credit (HELOC) is one option to borrow as much as 89.9% of their home’s current market value.
With those funds, you can pay off debt, make a large purchase, tackle a home renovation project or repairs, and more. Here’s a look at our PNC home equity review.
In this review:
- How does PNC help me access my home equity?
- Pros and cons of a PNC HELOC
- What do PNC’s customers say?
- Do I qualify for a HELOC from PNC?
- How do I apply with PNC?
- How does PNC determine how much I can borrow?
- What does the appraisal process look like?
- Does PNC charge any fees?
- Does PNC have a customer service team?
How does PNC help me access my home equity?
The amount of your home’s value that belongs to you is your equity.
This is the difference between what your home is worth and what you owe a lender. Over time, the value of a home you’ve purchased may appreciate. Combine that with paying down your mortgage balance, and it’s easy to see how your home equity can grow over the years.
You can access your home equity with the help of a home equity lender. This enables you to borrow against your asset with a secured loan or line of credit when you need cash most.
PNC Choice home equity line of credit
If you own a primary or secondary home and have equity in that property, you may be able to take out a PNC Choice home equity line of credit (aka Choice HELOC). Use the funds to consolidate debt, pay for home renovations, cover unexpected expenses, fund large purchases, or provide an on-demand financial safety net.
Unlike a PNC home equity loan (which the lender doesn’t offer at the time of writing), a home equity line of credit is an open-ended product, providing available funds to borrow against as needed.
After opening the line of credit, you have a defined withdrawal term (draw period) during which you can borrow money whenever you need it. You’ll only pay interest on the amount you borrow. You won’t have to worry about paying anything back or covering interest if you don’t need it. (You may, however, pay a small annual fee.)
Once the draw period ends, your line of credit enters a repayment term. You can no longer borrow against the HELOC and will begin repaying what you borrowed.
|PNC HELOC terms|
|Rates (APR)||Fixed rates starting at 10.34%|
|Rate discounts||0.25% APR for autopay|
|Loan amounts||$10,000 minimum|
|Repayment period||Up to 30 years|
|Maximum LTV||Up to 89.9% LTV for first lien |
Up to 85% LTV for second lien
|Minimum credit score||Not disclosed|
|Minimum income||Not disclosed|
|Fees||$50 annual fee |
$100 fixed-rate part fee
|Minimum draw to lock in a fixed rate||$5,000|
Pros and cons of a PNC HELOC
Up to 89.9% loan to value (LTV)
Option to lock in a fixed rate on specific draws
Repayment terms of 5 – 30 years on fixed-rate part draws
Offered on primary and secondary homes
Not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, or South Dakota
Not allowed on investment properties
No home equity loan option
Check out our list of home equity companies if you’re unsure whether PNC is the right choice for your needs.
What do PNC’s customers say about the company?
|Source||Rating||Number of reviews|
|Better Business Bureau||1.1 out of 5 stars||471|
|Trustpilot||1.3 out of 5 stars||638|
Ratings collected on February 9, 2023.
Understanding a company’s products and services is important, as is knowing how other customers view it. We turn to consumer reviews and ratings for a firsthand idea of how customers think the company performs and whether they would choose the same products and services again.
One of the most trusted sources for industry ratings and consumer reviews is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). PNC has an “A+” overall BBB rating but only 1.1 out of 5 stars from past customers.
Of course, it’s prudent to consider that these reviews include customers’ experiences with products such as checking accounts and credit cards, not just the HELOC.
Another well-known consumer review platform is Trustpilot, where PNC Bank has a rating of 1.3 out of 5 stars, with more than 600 reviews. As with BBB, posted reviews cover more than HELOC products, such as customers’ experiences with the bank’s checking accounts, service representatives, auto loans, credit cards, and even individual branch employees.
Do I qualify for a HELOC from PNC?
Qualifying for a home equity line of credit from PNC involves meeting certain personal and home requirements.
First, you’ll need sufficient equity in your home. Your location, home type, and whether you have an existing lien on the property determine whether and how much you qualify.
At the time of writing, PNC only offers Choice HELOCs on primary and secondary homes, not investment properties.
You can only take out a PNC Choice Home Equity Line of Credit if you live in a state where this product is offered. As of February 2023, this doesn’t include the following:
- South Dakota
You’ll also need to meet PNC’s income and credit score requirements. It doesn’t disclose the thresholds required for approval, but many lenders expect good credit (around 670) or better, and many allow a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 45% or lower.
How do I apply with PNC?
According to PNC, completing the Choice HELOC application takes about 15 minutes. As part of that application, you may choose between a variable or fixed interest rate and enter qualifying information about your home.
Expect to provide PNC with most or all of the following documentation:
- Your name, birthdate, and Social Security number
- Current address and address of the home you wish to use for your HELOC
- Employer’s name, address, and phone number
- Two years’ worth of W-2s, K-1s, 1099s, or tax returns
- Most recent pay stubs
- A copy of your driver’s license, passport, or state ID
- Mortgage balance statement, if applicable
You may also need to provide title insurance coverage, flood insurance declarations, condominium or homeowners association declaration pages, property tax statements, and more.
After conditional approval, PNC will further review your application and check your credit history before processing the loan. The bank will also verify your income and, if needed, request an independent home appraisal to determine your home’s current market value.
Once complete, PNC will schedule your loan closing date and location. You can request initial funds at closing, to be disbursed the next business day. However, you may need to wait up to 10 days after closing on the new loan before additional HELOC funds are available.
How does PNC determine how much I can borrow?
Many factors go into determining how much of your home’s equity you can borrow, regardless of lender.
The primary factor is your home’s current market value. This value determines your home’s loan-to-value ratio (LTV). LTV shows the relationship between your home value and what you owe against the property to lienholders, such as a mortgage lender.
This percentage indicates how much equity you own in your home and is used to determine whether you meet a lender’s maximum borrowing limit.
For instance, let’s say you own a home worth $400,000 in today’s market. You still have a mortgage loan balance of $120,000, but that’s your only lien. In this case, your LTV is 30% based on the calculation below:
$120,000 [outstanding loan balance] / $400,000 [current value] = 0.3 = 30% LTV
If you’re considering a lender with a maximum home equity LTV of 80%, you might be able to borrow as much as $200,000 against the property:
$400,000 [current value] x 80% [maximum LTV] = $320,000 total maximum liens
$320,000 [total maximum] – $120,000 [current mortgage balance] = $200,000 available equity
Note: Every lender sets its LTV limits, which may vary by property type, location, and the lien position of the loan. Personal factors such as income and credit score may affect the LTV a lender will approve.
PNC allows homeowners to borrow as much as 89.9% of their home’s fair market value (minus any liens), but this isn’t the case in every state. The LTV limit is lower in several states, depending on whether PNC will hold the first or second lien position.
For example, you can only borrow up to 85% of your home’s LTV in the following states, and only if PNC will be the first-position lien holder:
If PNC is the first- or second-position lien holder in the following states, you can only borrow up to 80% of your home’s LTV:
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico*
- Rhode Island
*In New Mexico, homeowners are limited to 80% LTV for the first lien but can borrow up to 85% LTV for second-lien position.
What does the appraisal process look like?
As real estate markets change, so do home values. It’s unlikely your home is worth the same today as when you purchased it.
To determine your home’s current market value, a lender may request an independent home appraisal inspection, which considers factors such as:
- The home’s structure
- The exterior condition
- Local market
- Comparable homes that have sold nearby in recent months
The appraisal report will tell your lender (and you) how much to expect your home to sell for if you listed it for sale today. Your lender can use this number to calculate your equity and how much it will lend as a home equity loan or line of credit.
You’ll almost always need a property valuation when taking out a PNC Bank HELOC.
PNC will order the report and use an independent, unbiased service provider. An exterior inspection is always required, but it may also schedule an interior inspection.
Does PNC charge any fees?
You may pay several fees with a Choice HELOC from PNC.
First, PNC assesses a $50 annual fee on HELOCs for as long as the account is open. (This fee doesn’t apply to lines of credit you take out against properties in Texas.)
You may also be subject to certain fees if you pay off and close your HELOC within 36 months of opening the account. These fees can vary, if applicable, and aren’t required if the property securing the line of credit is in Texas.
|PNC HELOC fees|
|Fixed-rate part fee||$100|
|Closing costs||Waived. (You may need to reimburse if you close out your HELOC within 36 months of opening.*)|
|Pay by phone with an agent||$7 (Does not apply in some states or if you pay with a connected PNC Bank account.)|
*Excludes Texas properties
Does PNC have a customer service team?
PNC states that 24-hour automated account Information is available seven days a week, but you can reach a representative if needed.
- By phone: Home lending specialists are available at 800-822-5626 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.