PNC Bank: 2022 Home Equity Review

This major US bank offers only one home equity line of credit, but with both variable- and fixed-rate options.

PNC Bank has been in business for more than 160 years, providing personal and commercial banking services to its more than 12 million customers. The Pittsburgh-based financial institution is the sixth largest bank in the US. Its retail banking services include in-person banking at its 2,500 branches, as well as ATMs and online and mobile banking options.   

PNC Bank logo with gray background
PNC Bank

Bank branches are located throughout the US, in regions including the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southeast and Southwest. PNC's home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is available to property owners in all but six states: Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and South Dakota. 

PNC provides one HELOC, its Choice Home Equity Line of Credit, or CHELOC, but it offers two rate options: Variable- and fixed-rate. With the fixed-rate option, you can lock in a fixed rate on all, or part, of your variable-rate balance during the draw period, according to PNC.

PNC Bank: At a glance

Types of loans offered Choice Home Equity Line of Credit
APR range Not specified, call 833-353-0111 for current rates
Loan amounts $5,000 to $2 million
Credit score requirements N/A
Repayment terms Five to 30 years (Five to 20 years in Tennessee)
Average time for approval N/A

PNC's CHELOC is best suited for homeowners interested in a HELOC and who live in one of the 44 eligible states PNC serves. 

What we like

  • Autopay rate reduction: If you set up automated payments from a PNC checking account during closing, you can get an interest rate reduction of 0.25% on your CHELOC.
  • No hidden fees: PNC doesn't make customers fret about ambiguous fees. It promises to disclose, clearly, all fees for its CHELOC.
  • Services are easily accessible: PNC provides many options for customer service, from digital and mobile banking to round-the-clock automated phone assistance. If you prefer traditional methods of getting assistance, call the customer service team or visit one of PNC's 2,500 branches.

What we don't like

  • No home equity loan option: PNC offers only its CHELOC to bank customers, with no option of a home equity loan.
  • Specifics aren't clear to prospective borrowers: While the PNC home equity website offers general requirements for its CHELOC, it doesn't provide specific details that consumers expect. PNC customers have to do more legwork in researching details such as maximum loan amount, specific interest rates and detailed qualifying factors.
  • Not all states are eligible: Property owners in most states are eligible for a PNC CHELOC. However, property owners in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, and South Dakota can't apply.

Home equity loan options

You can leverage PNC's CHELOC to borrow as little as $5,000 or as much as $2 million. And, you only pay interest on the amount that you borrow. 

In most of the states PNC services, you can borrow up to 89.9% of the market value of your home. However, the maximum rate drops to 85% in Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Tennessee. The maximum rate drops even lower to 80% in the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon. Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming. 

PNC offers low interest rates on its CHELOC, and you can switch from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate line of credit. CHELOC accounts at PNC all start with a variable interest rate, but when rates go low, you have the option to lock in a fixed rate for any variable rate balance of $5,000 or more by simply paying a $100 transfer fee.

Fees

Although PNC promises no surprise or hidden fees, it charges an annual fee of $50 on the anniversary of opening your account. 

The only other fee you may have to pay is when using the fixed-rate option. Each time you use the fixed-rate option on your HELOC account, you'll be charged a $100 transfer fee. However, this fee will be waived if you establish the fixed-rate part at closing.

How to qualify

While PNC doesn't disclose exact requirements to qualify for its CHELOC, it does provide general criteria. The lender wants to make sure that you have the income and budget to manage the amount of the loan you're applying for. 

PNC will examine a few factors. First, it'll look at your credit history by determining your credit score as well as the value of your property and assess it to make sure it's correct. Finally, PNC will verify your income, your employment and your ownership of the property. Once assessed, it will decide if you qualify for the CHELOC. 

Getting started

The application process for a CHELOC is fairly simple. You can apply online, over the phone or at a branch. PNC advertises that the application process typically takes about 15 minutes. 

On the application, be prepared to provide some basic information about yourself, your financial history and your property. Information to provide includes Social Security number, date of birth, contact information -- phone number, email, property address -- and your home's estimated property value. You should also expect to provide documents such as pay stubs and tax documents.

Once you submit your application, the bank will verify your information. Upon approval, a PNC Loan Processor will contact you and walk you through the closing process.

Customer service

For home equity questions, current PNC customers can call 800-822-5626. Automated service is available at the same phone number. To speak with a representative, call Monday through Friday between 4 a.m. and 10 p.m. PT or Saturday and Sunday between 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. PT. 

You can also contact customer service via PNC's Twitter account. Representatives are available Monday through Sunday 3 a.m. to 9 p.m. PT.

If you're not a PNC customer but still have questions, contact a local branch by phone or in person. You can also check out the Home Lending Help portal on PNC's website for answers to common questions, as well as tools to assist you with home equity lending information.