Loans, such as a PNC student loan, afford those less fortunate financially to complete a college degree. Loans provided by the federal government offer low interest rates to students, but often these loans are not enough to cover the complete cost of college. With tuition rates rising 15% per year, even the children of upper-middle-class families are taking out student loans. Working adults who are going back to school may need student loans, too, even if their employer reimburses their tuition after they receive their degree or get certain grades. 

PNC student loans are some of the best available on the market. While there are pros and cons to taking on debt of any kind, student loan debt is considered by all but the most extreme personal finance experts to be "good" debt rather than "bad" debt, such as taking out a payday or title loan at nearly illegally high interest rates. Student loan debt allows you to pursue a degree or further your education, both of which may open the door to your dream job with a high paying salary. It affords you the opportunity to pursue passions in your life such as owning a ranch, flying medical helicopters, or being the next Ralph Waldo Emerson.

 

What Is a PNC Student Loan?

What Is a PNC Student Loan

A PNC student loan is a private loan which affords students of any financial background the opportunity to obtain the higher education they're seeking. PNC is a bank with branches in 18 states. With over $334 billion in assets, it is one of the ten largest banks in the United States. This bank offers variable interest rates between 5.19% and 11.39% and fixed rates between 6.03% and 12.29%. Loans are available for undergrads and graduate students as well as those in a medical residency program, studying health, or attending law school. 

Under certain circumstances, PNC allows you to refinance your loan for a lower interest rate. Here are some stats on refinancing a PNC student loan: 

  • You cannot transfer a parent loan to a child
  • You may release the co-signer
  • You may refinance between $10,000 and $75,000
  • Fixed interest rates are between 5.39% and 7.59%
  • Variable interest rates are between 4.98% and 7.18% 

What Are the Benefits of a PNC Student Loan?

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There are many benefits to PNC student loans. PNC offers prospective and current students up to $225,000 in loans and up to 15 years to pay it back. If you use this money to pay for grad school, you could be making $97,246.27 per year or more once you graduate. In this case, it makes sense to take out a sizeable loan because you will have the means to pay it back in a timely manner while minimizing interest and avoiding late fees and penalties. 


Interest Rate Reduction

PNC Bank offers a 0.50% interest rate reduction if you agree to have your loan payments deducted automatically from your checking or savings account each month. This serves a couple of functions. First of all, you do not need to worry about how long your check will take to be mailed and applied to your account. Second, the less interest you are charged, the faster you will pay your loan down and the less you will pay overall.


Simplicity of Application

PNC student loans are easy to apply for. You can get a rate in only a few short minutes by completing an online application. To make the application even easier, gather all the information you need to apply in advance. You need to know the amount of money you need to borrow, a reference, your school's information, your employment history, and basic background information on yourself such as your social security number and date of birth. If you are under 17 years of age, you need a co-signer with stellar credit history.

However, even if you are 18 years old or older, a co-signer will increase your chances of getting the amount you need at a better interest rate than you could get on your own. Your co-signer will have to complete his or her own application through Campus Door. Do not expect to be approved if you have no co-signer, no proof of income such as paystubs, tax returns or bank statements, and fewer than two years of employment history or decent credit.


Communication

PNC is one of only four private loan service providers which offers customer service support by live chat on its website in addition to support via e-mail and phone. The average response time for their chat service is only three minutes. PNC Bank's customer service is among the best in the industry for helpfulness and responsiveness.


Information

PNC Bank is very open about the benefits and consequences of taking out student loans. They are clear about interest rates as well as penalties and late fees. They also offer useful information which may minimize the amount of the loan you need. This includes links to the FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid) website, the true cost of college, including room and board, school supplies, textbooks, and more. They also have links to grants and scholarships.

The Learning Center portion of their website even shows a generalized timeline of what students need to accomplish both academically and financially to be successful from their junior year of high school through their college graduation. In short, it's a wealth of information that can benefit any student whether or not you are considering taking out a loan.



What Are the Downsides of PNC Student Loans?

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One of the biggest downsides to PNC student loans affects parents. If you co-sign loans on behalf of your child, 48 months of on-time payments must be made before you are released from your liability as joint owner of the debt. If you leave the responsibility of debt repayment solely to your child and he or she misses a payment, it resets the clock and you have to wait another four years to be taken off of the loan.

Another downside to PNC student loans is that you lack the option to consolidate your student loans like you can with federal student loans. If you have several private loans, some loan service providers will assume your debt and allow you to pay it all back at one interest rate and one payment plan, making your cash flow more manageable and saving you money. If you feel you could get better student loan terms, check out other private lenders once you get the initial student loan from PNC.


Terms

Individuals without a degree may not refinance their loans for a lower interest rate even if their credit has improved or income increased since they initially took out the loan. This means you may be looking at up to four years without the opportunity to get a better interest rate on your loan.

Many people look down on the fact that PNC offers only 10 and 15-year loans. However, this may not be such a con because it ensures your loan gets paid back quickly without paying too much in interest over the life of your loan.

Perhaps the biggest downside of PNC student loans for young adults is that you cannot get a personalized rate estimate without a hard credit check. Hard credit checks reduce your credit score.


Conclusion

Sometimes student loans are a necessity. PNC student loans are among the best despite their downsides. They offer the largest interest rate reduction for payments automatically deducted from your checking or savings account. It is easy to apply, and they offer some of the highest loan amounts in the industry, particularly with a co-signer. Co-signers are required for anyone under 18, but if you get one, no matter your age, income, or credit history, you will likely get a better interest rate. 

There are, of course, downsides to these loans. It takes four years of on-time payments for the co-signer to be released from the loan. You lack the option to consolidate all of your private student loans through PNC, so you will need to seek a different private lender if you wish to go this route. Furthermore, their options for refinancing are lacking. Students may not refinance, nor may individuals on visas. However, it is the best option if you need to take out a large loan

What really sets PNC Bank apart is their communication and information. They have some of the best customer service, offering support via phone, e-mail, and a live chat function on their website. Furthermore, they offer all the information you need to minimize the amount of money you need to borrow. This ranges from the true cost of college, which many high school students may not realize, to information on government financial aid they can apply for plus grant and scholarship information.

If you have exhausted all other methods for financing your education, take a close look at PNC student loans to see if they can help you meet your financial needs.

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