PennyMac mortgage review
It offers a wide range of home loans, but customer service isn’t always consistent.
finder.com’s rating: 3.8 / 5.0
PennyMac is among the nation’s largest digital mortgage lenders, offering several types of home loans and a speedy, online application process. While customers are largely in favor of the lender, its customer service seems inconsistent across the board.
Minimum credit score
Minimum down payment (Conventional)
Not available in: NY
Cassidy Horton is a freelance personal finance copywriter and past contributing writer for Finder. Her writing and banking expertise have been featured in Forbes Advisor, Money, The Balance, Money Under 30, Insure.com, and other top digital publishers. She holds a BS in public relations and an MBA from Georgia Southern University.
PennyMac is probably best suited for homebuyers looking for government-backed or conventional home loans. The lenders offer homebuyers a quick and easy application process and several types of mortgages to choose from. But if you’re looking for a home equity product, your only choice is a cash-out refinance.
Eligible homebuyers need a credit score of 620 or higher and a down payment of at least 3% of the home’s cost.
PennyMac asks for your personal, financial and employment information while applying, including:
- Personal contact information.
- Social Security number.
- Pay stubs from the past month.
- Tax returns, W-2 forms and/or 1099 statements.
- Statements of assets, including real estate, vehicle titles, savings, retirement and investment accounts.
- Statements of debts, including existing mortgages, car loans, student loans and home equity lines of credit.
- Current bank statements.
Costs and fees
Fees depend on the loan type, but in addition to whatever lender fees PennyMac charges, you’re responsible for paying any third-party fees associated with the purchase of a home, including title fees, taxes, insurance and appraisal fees.
How to apply for a mortgage with PennyMac
Get preapproved for a mortgage or apply online through PennyMac’s Mortgage Access Center in four steps:
- Visit PennyMac’s website and choose Start Your Application.
- Sign up for a free PennyMac account by indicating a username and password, confirming your email address and establishing two-factor authentication.
- Select Purchase once logged in to your account. For preapprovals, choose Get Pre-Approved. Otherwise, hit Apply for a Loan.
- Enter any personal and financial information and continue through the steps until your application is complete.
What types of mortgages can I get through PennyMac?
Refinancing options available through PennyMac
PennyMac offers a wide range of mortgage products that can be used for refinance with the following two main options:
- Cash-out refinance. Replace your loan with a mortgage for more than you owe so you can tap into your home’s equity for cash. PennyMac offers conventional, FHA and VA cash-out refinancing products.
- Rate and term refinance. Lower your payment or change the term of your loan by refinancing to take advantage of a better interest rate.
Other specialty loans
This lender doesn’t offer either home equity loans or HELOCs, but they do offer Investment Property Loans. These loans are designed for a single-family, townhome, condo or multi-unit property intended for use as an investment.
Alternatives to PennyMac mortgage
Though PennyMac offers a 0.5% lender credit, a quick application process and a current promotion waiving the $1,100 origination fee on conventional and FHA loans, it won’t be the right fit for everyone.
For starters, if you’re a New York resident and want a similar offering of mortgage products, consider a nationwide lender like Rocket Mortgage. Rocket Mortgage also provides a convenient application process and similar requirements, but it doesn’t waive its origination fee. This can be 0.5% to 1% of your loan.
If you’re set on working with a digital lender but want to avoid having to pay lender fees altogether, you might want to consider a lender like Better. Better offers conventional, FHA and jumbo home loans with no lender fees. But like PennyMac, it isn’t available in every state.
You can also compare lenders and lender marketplaces by the type of home loan you’re searching for, state availability and minimum credit score (for a conventional loan). Select See rates to provide the company with basic property and financial details for personalized rates.
Disclaimer: The partners on Finder's mortgage comparison tables are sorted in alphabetical order.
PennyMac reviews and complaints
PennyMac earns 3.3 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot based on more than 1,500 reviews as of July 2022, which is a pretty high star rating for a mortgage lender. At the Better Business Bureau (BBB), PennyMac is rated even higher, earning 4.47 out of 5 stars from 2,189 customer reviews. The company’s had BBB accreditation since 2014 and has answered 753 complaints in the past three years.
Negative customer reviews warn of poor customer service, citing difficulty in getting reps to answer or return phone calls. Other reviewers report contradictory information from customer service representatives, misplaced monthly payments and damaged credit scores due to faulty reporting to the bureaus. Those that praised the company spoke mostly about its quick and easy mortgage process.
PennyMac pros and cons
This digital lender offers a fully online application process that includes preapproval and status updates through your online account, among other benefits. But there are some downsides with choosing PennyMac that deserve your consideration.
- Multiple options. PennyMac offers conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance and Investment Property Loans.
- Live mortgage rates. View the types of mortgage rates on PennyMac’s website.
- Free rate000000000-lock. Protect your mortgage against market fluctuations for a limited time.
- Low income requirements. Most mortgages don’t require a specific salary for eligibility.
- Not available in New York. If you live in the Big Apple or anywhere else in the Empire State, you’ll need to look elsewhere for a mortgage.
- Spotty service. Homebuyers through PennyMac report frustration in getting help after they’ve taken out a mortgage.
- No home equity products. Your only option to tap into your home’s equity with this lender is through a cash-out refinance.
What is PennyMac?
PennyMac is a digital mortgage lender that boasts servicing some $449 billion in mortgage loans to nearly 2 million customers since its founding in 2008. From its California headquarters, it offers competitive conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and investment property home loans to a range of customers through a fully online system and help throughout the process.
PennyMac caters to a wide group of customers, and it claims to focus its efforts on “restoring trust and quality in the home loan experience.”