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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. It caters to most homebuyers, and through December 31, 2021, it’s running a promotion that can help you save some money. While customers are largely in favor of the lender, its customer service seems inconsistent across the board.

Details

Loan products offeredConventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Refinance
Minimum credit scoreConventional: 620
Minimum down payment (Conventional)3%
State availabilityNot available in: NY
NMLS #35953

PennyMac requirements

Eligible homebuyers need a credit score of 620 or higher and a down payment of at least 3% of the home’s cost.

Documentation

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 PennyMac is waiving its $1,100 origination fee through December 31, 2021 for homebuyers who purchase a conventional or FHA loan.

As is usually the case, you’re still responsible for paying any third-party fees that come with the purchase of a home, including closing costs 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:

  1. Visit PennyMac’s website and choose Start Your Application.
  2. Sign up for a free PennyMac account by indicating a username and password, confirming your email address and establishing two-factor authentication.
  3. Select Purchase once logged in to your account. For preapprovals, choose Get Pre-Approved. Otherwise, hit Apply for a Loan.
  4. 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?

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
This company accepts mortgage refinance applications.

Other mortgage products available at PennyMac

  • Investment Property Loans. A loan designed for a single-family, townhome, condo or multi-unit property that’s intended to be used 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.

Name Product Loan products offered State availability Min. credit score
SoFi
(NMLS #1121636)
SoFi
Conventional, Home equity, Refinance
Not available in: HI, MO, NM, NY, WV
620
No hidden fees, multiple loan terms, and member discounts available.
Rocket Mortgage
(NMLS #3030)
Rocket Mortgage
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Refinance
Available in all states
620
Streamline your mortgage from quote to final payment — all from your computer or phone.
Better
(NMLS #330511)
Better
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, Refinance
Not available in: HI, MA, MN, NV, NH, VT, VA
620
Online preapproval in minutes and no origination fees with this direct lender.
LendingTree
(NMLS #1136)
LendingTree
Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA, Home Equity, HELOC, Reverse, Refinance
Available in all states
620
Connect with vetted home loan lenders quickly through this online marketplace.
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Compare up to 4 providers

PennyMac reviews and complaints

PennyMac earns 3.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot based on more than 1,420 reviews as of August 2021, putting it on par with other mortgage lenders – maybe even slightly above. At the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, PennyMac earns 4.36 out of 5 stars based on almost 1,400 customer reviews. The company’s had BBB accreditation since 2014.

Most 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 you should consider too.

Pros

  • 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 rate lock. Protect your mortgage against market fluctuations for a limited time.
  • Low income requirements. Most mortgages don’t require a specific salary for eligibility.
  • Special offers. Through December 31, 2021, receive a 0.50% lender credit upon preapproval with PennyMac and pay $0 in lender fees for conventional and FHA loans.

Cons

  • 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.

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.”

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Review by


Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and kids’ debit cards. She’s been featured on Legal Zoom, MSN, and Consolidated Credit and has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. When not writing, you can find her exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.

Expert review

Given its current promotion of waiving the $1,100 origination fee on conventional and FHA mortgages, PennyMac is probably best suited for homebuyers looking for either of these specific types of home loans. In any case, PennyMac offers homebuyers a quick and easy application process and several types of mortgages to choose from. But if you’re applying for anything other than a conventional and FHA loan, you might be on the hook for lender fees.

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