Founded in 2008, PennyMac Loan Services LLC (PennyMac) is a top nationwide lender that had served over 1.8 million borrowers as of 2020.
Whether you’re thinking about purchasing or refinancing, PennyMac offers a wide selection of loan programs for single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes, and multi-unit properties.
You can choose between a conventional loan or government loan, and there’s even a mortgage option if you’re an investor seeking funds to buy an investment property.
But while PennyMac mortgages are available in all states (except New York), the lender doesn’t offer every type of home loan. Plus, you’ll need a minimum 620 credit score to qualify for financing.
Note, this is a review of PennyMac’s loan origination business. We do not rate PennyMac’s loan servicing side, though the company is also servicer of existing mortgage loans.
PennyMac mortgage rates
PennyMac is transparent about its mortgage interest rates. You can find rate information directly on the lender’s website.
If you’re looking for “ballpark” numbers, you can find current rates for conventional, FHA, and VA mortgages with loan terms from 15-30 years.
But keep in mind, other factors decide your actual rate, like your credit score and the size of your down payment. So you’ll need to speak with a loan advisor for a custom rate quote.
Average 30-year mortgage rates at major lenders
Average 30-Year Interest Rate, 2019
Monthly P&I Payment*
Average Origination Fee, 20191
Average Loan Costs, 20191
In 2019 (the latest data available), PennyMac mortgage rates and fees were comparable with other lenders. But rates have changed since then — and your own rate could be higher or lower than average.
You can get a quote at today’s rates online. You’ll need to provide your credit score, home details, your state, and your contact information.
PennyMac mortgage review for 2021
One of the best features about PennyMac is that it doesn’t only offer conventional loans and government-backed loans.
If you’re refinancing your home, you can select a ‘flex-term mortgage’ and choose a specific payoff date. This could help you save money on interest while keeping your monthly payments at a comfortable level.
Or if you’re an investor, you can apply for either a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate investment property mortgage and build your real estate portfolio.
PennyMac is also flexible with regard to repayment terms. While some lenders might only offer 15-year or 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, PennyMac gives the option of a 20-year term, too.
You’ll also find tools on the lender’s website to help you make an informed decision, such as:
- Affordability calculators
- Mortgage learning center
- Home value estimator
- Real estate concierge services
But even though PennyMac has a good selection, the lender doesn’t offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). So if you’re looking to pull cash from your home, refinancing is your only alternative.
Also, the lender doesn’t offer jumbo loans. These are loans that exceed the conforming loan limit set by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Working with PennyMac
The first step to getting a PennyMac mortgage is to get pre-approved online. The lender makes the application process easy and convenient.
Through PennyMac’s online system you can get a rate quote, complete a home loan application, request your credit score, import bank statements, and securely upload your documents.
You can use WorkNumber® verification to access W-2s from your employer, and the lender uses a two-step verification system to keep your sensitive information safe.
Once PennyMac receives your application and supporting documentation, the underwriting process from application to closing can take between 45 and 60 days.
You’ll receive your Closing Disclosure about three days before closing, which provides details about your final loan costs.
PennyMac customer service reviews
PennyMac receives 4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot and Zillow. Several borrowers praised the company for its low-cost service, knowledgeable and professional advisers, and smooth process.
The lender’s website also boasts more than 34,000 reviews from satisfied customers.
Mortgage-related complaints at major lenders
Mortgage Originations 20193
Complaints per 1,000 Mortgages
2020 JD Power Rating
However, PennyMac also received negative reviews from a small percentage of borrowers, with the majority of these complaints related to closing delays and disorganization.
PennyMac has 0.13 customer complaints per 1,000 mortgages as reported by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But unfortunately, the lender ranked last on J.D. Power’s 2020 Mortgage Satisfaction Study.
Mortgage loan options at PennyMac
PennyMac’s available home loan programs include:
- Conventional home loan — Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This loan requires a minimum down payment of 3% to 5%, and a minimum credit score of 620
- FHA home loan — FHA loans are popular with first-time home buyers. They require a minimum down payment of 3.5%. But while most lenders require a minimum credit score of 580 for this program, PennyMac requires a minimum credit score of 620 for FHA financing, according to a company representative
- VA home loans — These mortgages are available to veterans, active-duty military, reservists, National Guardsmen, and their eligible spouses. You’ll need a minimum 640 credit score
- USDA home loan — A zero-down mortgage loan for home buyers in eligible rural areas. This loan requires a minimum credit score of 640
- Investment property mortgage — Use this loan to purchase an investment property. You’ll need a minimum down payment of 15% for a single-family home, and 25% for a two- to four-unit property. According to a lender representative, there’s no minimum credit score for investment property loans, per se, “although borrowers will need good or excellent credit.” PennyMac takes other factors into consideration when approving these loans such as a borrower’s cash reserves and debt-to-income ratio
Any of these mortgages can be used to purchase a new home or refinance an existing one.
PennyMac also offers cash-out refinancing for homeowners who want to access their home equity.
If you’re not sure which type of mortgage is the best fit for you, your loan officer can help you compare options and make the right decision.
Where can I get a mortgage with PennyMac?
NMLS ID #35953
PennyMac loans are available in all states except New York, and in the District of Columbia. You can apply for a mortgage online from anywhere, anytime.
In addition, PennyMac has branches in a few select states: Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, and Texas.
You can see a full list of PennyMac’s state licenses here.
Is PennyMac the best mortgage lender for you?
PennyMac might work if you’re looking for a conventional loan, a government loan, or if you’re financing an investment property. It’s also an option if you’re okay applying for a mortgage and supplying documentation online.
This lender offers a simple, convenient online application. And in most cases, you can expect to close within 30 to 45 days.
Unfortunately, PennyMac isn’t the right lender if you’re seeking an FHA loan and you have a low credit score. While other lenders might allow a score as low as 500 for FHA financing, you’ll need a minimum score of 620 with PennyMac.
As always, you should compare PennyMac’s pricing with a few other lenders to make sure you’re getting the best deal available on your new loan.
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