Pros / You can get a student loan up to $225,000, the highest limit of the 10 lenders we reviewed.
Cons / You must make 48 on-time payments before a cosigner is released from the loan.
Verdict / Though it offers the highest loan limit of the private student loan providers we reviewed, you have 15 years to repay your PNC student loan. Further, PNC requires four years of on-time payments before it will release a cosigner from a loan.
After you've exhausted your options for scholarships, grants and federal student loans, it might be time to consider a private student loan. PNC Bank offers annual loans of up to $44,000 for undergrads and $65,000 for grad students. You can borrow a total of $225,000 in combined student loans through PNC. It also offers a reduction of 0.50% off the interest rate if your payments are automatically deducted from your checking or savings account.
One downside to PNC's student loans is that it doesn't offer loan consolidation. This means you can't combine your federal and private student loans into one payment plan with one interest rate. The best private student loans allow you to do this. It does offer a refinancing option, which has a maximum of $75,000.
If you're like many college students, you may need a cosigner. After 48 on-time payments, PNC will let you apply to release the cosigner from your loan. These payments must be consecutive, so it's important to pay your loan installments on time each month.
If you plan to apply for a student loan without a cosigner, PNC requires two years of good credit history and proof of two years of employment before it will approve you for a private student loan.
When dealing with a large bank like PNC, you can often get a better discount on your interest rate when your loan payments are automatically deducted from your bank account each month. PNC can give you a 0.50% interest rate reduction.
PNC offers help and support by phone, email or live chat on its website. When we tested their live chat service, we received a response within three minutes. There was, however, a wait time before we could chat with a service agent. Still, PNC is one of just four private student loan providers that offer phone, email and live chat.
If you're trying to pay for an expensive college education and federal student loans aren't enough to cover the costs, a private loan from PNC can help cover the gap. PNC offers an extremely high loan limit of $225,000. You can also shave 0.50% off your interest rate by signing up for automatic payments.
If you need a cosigner, they remain on the loan for four years before they can be released (and each payment needs to be on time). If you need a loan with a high limit, PNC may be the best student loan provider for your situation. Otherwise, we recommend choosing a provider with more flexibility and a shorter cosigner release period.