Pennymac Mortgage Review 2024 | Bankrate (2024)

Pennymac is a publicly traded direct mortgage lender and servicer offering a range of loan options, including low-down payment loans and refinancing. Although there are sales office locations, you can only apply for a loan with this lender online or by phone. Once preapproved, you’ll be matched with a loan officer who serves as your point of contact through the underwriting and closing process, which currently averages 36 days for purchases. The lender also features special offers periodically, and can help borrowers facing hardship or those who are ineligible to refinance with a loan modification.

Our Editor’s Take on Pennymac

Pennymac is a well-known, national mortgage lender with a convenient online application process, among other benefits. In light of higher mortgage rates, the lender launched a home equity loan product that allows homeowners to take a lump sum from their equity. It consistently receives below-average customer satisfaction ratings, however.

How Bankrate scored Pennymac

  • Affordability: Pennymac’s mortgage rates are in line with Bankrate’s averages, so you might be able to find more competitive options elsewhere. Like many other lenders, it also charges an origination fee.
  • Availability: Pennymac is licensed to lend to borrowers in every state and offers a deep bench of loan products for a variety of needs.
  • Borrower experience: Pennymac consistently ranks among the most active lenders, but J.D. Power ranked it below average among large mortgage originators.

Affordability: 5.2/10

Pennymac’s loan offers were comparable to Bankrate’s average rates at the time of this review. The lender displays daily APRs on its website, where you can also supply your contact information to get a custom quote. Its lender fees include an origination fee, rate-lock fee and other closing costs.

Availability: 10/10

Pennymac is a national mortgage lender that does business with borrowers in all 50 states. Its loan offerings include conventional and government-backed loans (FHA, VA and USDA), as well as home equity loans and refinances. The lender requires a minimum credit score of 620 for a conventional loan or VA loan, but as low as 580 for an FHA loan.

Borrower experience: 8.5/10

Pennymac has been in operation since 2008 and since become one of the 15 largest mortgage lenders in the U.S., funding $1 trillion in loans for more than 4 million borrowers. It is an A+ accredited business with the Better Business Bureau, with 4.4 out of five stars based on more than 1,900 customer reviews. On Trustpilot, the lender has a rating of 2.3 out of five stars, considered “Poor.” Pennymac ranked below average in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Using the lender’s m.a.c portal, you can get prequalified or preapproved, complete your purchase or refinance application, upload documents and check on the status of your loan. You can also e-sign documents and disclosures through this system.

How to apply for a mortgage with Pennymac

You can apply for a mortgage with Pennymac online or by phone at 888-870-6229. Here are some tips to prepare for the process:

  1. Check your credit report. It’s important to check your credit report before your lender does, in case there are errors that could impact not only whether you get preapproved but also your ability to get the best mortgage rate. Knowing your credit score also helps you decide what type of loan to apply for. If your score is in the very low 600s, for instance, an FHA mortgage might be best for you, as its standards are more lenient than those for conventional loans.
  2. Gather personal and financial documents. With any lender, you must supply documentation about your income, assets and debts. This includes pay stubs and W-2s and account and loan statements.
  3. Provide details about the property. You’ll need to provide the address of the home and submit to an appraisal. (If you’re refinancing, you might or might not need an appraisal.)

Refinancing with Pennymac

Pennymac offers both rate-and-term and cash-out refinancing options.

Pennymac Mortgage Review 2024 | Bankrate (2024)


Is Pennymac easy to get approved for? ›

Minimum Credit Score: Borrowers need at least a credit score of 580 to qualify for an FHA loan. Credit Score of 580 and Higher: Potential buyers with a minimum credit score of 580 may be able to qualify for FHA's low down payment advantage program, which is currently 3.5% of the purchase price.

Is Pennymac a reputable mortgage company? ›

Pennymac is rated 4.1 stars out of 5 overall by U.S. News, with 4.1 stars for affordability, 4.3 stars for customer service and 4.5 stars for eligibility. The median overall rating for all mortgage lenders rated by U.S. News is 4.2.

Where does Pennymac rank? ›

PennyMac was the third largest mortgage lender, the sixth largest mortgage servicer, and largest aggregator of residential mortgage loans in the U.S. in 2019.

How long does Pennymac underwriting take? ›

Underwriting mortgages is an essential part of the overall home loan process and generally takes about 30–60 days, depending on the type of loan, lender and current volume of borrowers.

What FICO score does PennyMac use? ›

For starters, FHA loans require a minimum FICO score of 580 (500-579 score can be eligible with a higher down payment amount).

What credit score is needed for a FHA loan in 2024? ›

Minimum FHA Credit Score

Currently, if you provide a down payment equal to 3.5% of the loan, you can qualify with a FICO score of 580 and above. A 10% down payment allows you to qualify with a lower score, starting at 500. By comparison, the credit score requirements for conventional loans tend to start at 620.

Who is the #1 mortgage lender in America? ›

1. Rocket Mortgage. Rocket Mortgage -- formally Quicken Loans -- has been the largest mortgage lender by number of originations for years. In 2022, Rocket Mortgage originated 464,363 mortgages worth $127.6 billion, giving it a 5.5% share of the market by origination.

What is the Pennymac controversy? ›

PennyMac Financial Services has paid $158.4 million to Black Knight Servicing Technologies, concluding a five-year legal battle over allegations of trade secret theft involving two of the biggest companies in the housing industry.

Does Pennymac drop PMI? ›

Will Pennymac ever cancel my PMI? PMI will be terminated automatically if/when your loan reaches the midpoint of its amortization schedule (halfway through the life of your loan). For example, on a 30-year loan, the midpoint would occur after 15 years have passed.

How often do mortgages get denied in underwriting? ›

You may be wondering how often underwriters denies loans? According to the mortgage data firm, about 8% of mortgage applications are denied, though denial rates vary by location and loan type. For example, FHA loans have different requirements that may make getting the loan easier than other loan types.

Is appraisal done before underwriting? ›

While the underwriting process is happening, the lender will order an appraisal, typically conducted by a licensed appraiser, to assess and evaluate the property a borrower wishes to purchase.

Do underwriters want to approve loans? ›

The underwriter helps a mortgage lender decide whether to approve your loan and works with you to make sure you've submitted all your paperwork. Ultimately, the underwriter will help ensure you don't close on a mortgage you can't afford. If you don't qualify, the mortgage underwriter can deny the loan.

What is the easiest type of mortgage to get approved for? ›

FHA, VA, and USDA loans are often more accessible for individuals with lower credit scores or smaller down payments. However, other factors such as your income stability, employment history, and debt-to-income ratio also play a crucial role in the approval process.

What is the PennyMac loan limit? ›

Pennymac Correspondent is excited to announce that we're raising our Conventional loan limits to $750,000, effective Wednesday, October 11, 2023.

What is the hardest home loan to get? ›

1. Conventional loans. A conventional loan is any mortgage that's not backed by the federal government. Conventional loans have higher minimum credit score requirements than other loan types — typically 620 — and are harder to qualify for than government-backed mortgages.

Is it easier to get approved for in house financing? ›

Compared to traditional car loans, in-house loans are much easier to qualify for. The dealership sets its own eligibility requirements instead of following those of a bank or finance company. An in-house financing dealership might not run your credit at all. For dealerships, this can be a win/win.

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