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PennyMac Mortgage Review 2022

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PennyMac Loan Services is a national mortgage lender founded in 2008 and based in Westlake Village, Calif. The company is one of the two largest lenders in the country, funding nearly $200 billion in loans in 2020. PennyMac is licensed to lend in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Who is this lender for?
  • Military servicemembers and veterans seeking a VA loan
  • Homeowners looking to tap equity through a cash-out refi
  • Real estate investors

9/10 LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating 

LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating is based on a 10-point scoring system that factors in several features, including digital application and closing processes, available loan products and online and in-person accessibility. LendingTree’s editorial team calculates each rating based on a review of information available on the lender’s website. In some cases, additional information was provided by a lender representative.

  = 1 pt   = 0 pts

  1.   Application online 
  2.   Product info online 
  3.   Rates listed online 
  4.   Helpful articles about mortgages and homebuying 
  5.   Standard product offerings 
  6.   Special programs 
  7.   Info about how to qualify for products offered online 
  8.   E-closing availability 
  9.   Licensed in at least 35 states 
  10.   After-hours and weekend access to loan officers 

PennyMac pros and cons

Pros

  Variety of loan product offerings. PennyMac provides both conventional and government-backed mortgage programs, as well as a loan option for investment property purchases.

  Lender credits available. PennyMac may offer eligible borrowers a lender credit of 0.5% of the loan amount, applied toward the closing costs or loan principal.

  Online mortgage process guide. PennyMac’s Mortgage Access Center helps its customers navigate the application process, upload documents and stay on top of tasks to be completed.

Cons

  High credit score needed for FHA loans. PennyMac requires a 640 credit score for an FHA loan, well above the minimum score of 500 set by the federal government.

  Home equity loans not available. While PennyMac launched a home equity line of credit (HELOC) offering in 2019, the loan is no longer available.

  No local loan officers. If you’re looking for in-person service, you won’t find local mortgage offices where you can meet with a loan officer. Instead, you’ll work with the company by phone or online.

PennyMac borrowing requirements

Minimum credit score620
Minimum credit score 
  • 620
Minimum down payment 
  • 0% for VA loans
  • 3% for conventional loans
  • 3.5% for FHA loans
Available loan terms 
  • 30-, 20- and 15-year, or flexible term fixed-rate loans
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans with initial fixed periods between three and 10 years
Available loan types 
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Investment property

PennyMac mortgage rates and fees

PennyMac publishes mortgage rates online for its most common loan types, including conventional, FHA and VA fixed-rate loans. You can also put in a little information about the type of home you’re looking to buy and your credit score range and get an instant custom rate quote.

PennyMac says it may waive its typical $1,100 origination fee on conventional and FHA loans, and discounts the fee on VA loans by $1,100.

PennyMac mortgage products

Purchase

PennyMac’s conventional loans are available with fixed or adjustable rates and require a minimum 620 credit score. Down payments can be as low as 3%.

Unusually, the lender’s FHA loans require a higher credit score — a minimum of 640 — though other qualifying criteria are more flexible than other loan types. Down payments on an FHA loan can be as low as 3.5%. VA loans are available to military servicemembers and veterans with no down payment requirement and a 640 minimum credit score.

Investment property loans are offered to borrowers with good credit, substantial cash reserves and a 15% down payment. Vacation homes can be purchased with a minimum 10% down payment.

Refinance

Conventional refinance loans are available with fixed or adjustable rates and flexible term lengths to help borrowers lower their monthly payment or pay off their loan more quickly. Cash-out refinances are also available.

PennyMac offers FHA streamline refinances and the VA interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL), the VA’s streamlined refinance program. Cash-out refinances are also available with FHA and VA loans.

While PennyMac doesn’t appear to offer USDA loans for new purchases, they do offer the USDA Streamlined Assist program for refinancing.

How does PennyMac compare to other lenders?

PennyMacAmeriSaveCaliber Home Loans
Minimum credit score 
  • 620
  • 620
  • 620 (fixed-rate)
Minimum down payment 
  • 0% (VA)
  • 3% (Conventional)
  • 3.5% (FHA)
  • 0% (VA, USDA)
  • 3% (Conventional)
  • 3.5% (FHA)
Loan products and types 
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Investment property
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • FHA
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
  • New construction
Special programs offered 
  • Lender credits
  • Solar financing
  • Renovation loans
Lender ReviewAmeriSaveCaliber Home Loans

 

Today's Mortgage Rates

  • 5.34%
  • 4.55%
  • 3.31%
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