PennyMac Mortgage Review

About PennyMac Loan Services, LLC

PennyMac Loan Services, LLC

PennyMac is a leading national mortgage lender and servicer. Our goal is to provide you with innovative mortgage solutions to make it easier for you to purchase, refinance, or simply remain in your home.

 
Since our founding in 2008 by a team of mortgage industry veterans, we've sought to restore Americans' trust in home ownership by improving the quality and consistency of the mortgage experience. We're a full-service lender with a breadth of loan options for everyone from first-time home buyers to those seeking jumbo, FHA, or VA loans.
 

PennyMac has also been a leading provider of help to underwater homeowners. We're a major participant in the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), the government program created in 2009 to assist underwater homeowners in refinancing their mortgages.

review breakdown

Recommended
94%
Interest Rates
Fees & Closing Cost
Customer Service
Responsiveness

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What is PennyMac?

Founded in 2008, California-based PennyMac Loan Services was the eighth-largest mortgage servicer and fourth-largest loan originator in the U.S. in 2017, according to the company’s annual report. PennyMac made more than $5 billion in loans that year.


Working with PennyMac

PennyMac Loan Services specializes in mortgage loan origination in 49 states (New York is the exception), Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. The customer service hours posted on the website for the sales center are for the Pacific time zone. Its six sales offices are in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Texas.

The company’s website is easy to navigate and explains different mortgage options so they can be easily understood. There are many calculator options, including one that determines the financial value of paying discount points. For deeper information about mortgages and buying a home, the company’s blog discusses topics including housing market predictions, questions to ask a real estate agent and risky mortgage types.

To get a mortgage with PennyMac and work with its underwriting team, a borrower needs a credit score of 620 or higher on a loan for one of the following property types:

  • Single-family homes
  • Condominiums
  • Multifamily properties
  • Planned-unit developments
  • Rental properties

PennyMac mortgage products

PennyMac has a variety of options for homebuyers and homeowners.

Purchase

  • Conventional mortgage: Includes 15-year and 30-year fixed options, as well as a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)
  • FHA loan: Available as 15- or 30-year fixed or 5/1 ARM
  • VA loan: Available as 15-, 20- or 30-year fixed
  • Jumbo loan: For home loans between $453,100 and $2 million; available as 30-year fixed or 7/1 or 5/1 ARMs

Refinance

  • Conventional refinance
  • Cash-out refinance: Can be done as an FHA or VA refinance, or a conventional cash-out refinance; available at a 30-year fixed term, while the VA cash-out has an additional 20-year fixed option
  • FHA-to-conventional refinance: For homeowners with FHA loans who want to refinance their homes, even if they have no equity
  • VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)
  • USDA Streamlined Assist

Home equity

  • Cash-out refinance: Can be done as an FHA or VA refinance or a conventional cash-out refinance; available as a 30-year fixed, while the VA cash-out has an additional 20-year fixed option

PennyMac special mortgage programs

PennyMac has a special partnership called the Home Loan Affinity Program that allows employers and associations to offer mortgage discounts to their employees and members. When a company or organization partners with PennyMac to become a program participant, PennyMac creates a branded portal to allow the partner’s employees or members to apply for loans and save money on both fees and interest rates. The partner will also receive co-branded marketing materials, access to lunch-and-learn workshops and help from a PennyMac representative to manage the program.


The mortgage application process

As a direct mortgage lender with few branches, PennyMac makes it relatively easy to handle most of the mortgage application process online. Borrowers also have the option to call and talk to a licensed loan officer when getting a quote and applying.

How to apply. When applying online, borrowers can use the mortgage access center (called m.a.c). Through this system, they can complete their application, view a personalized dashboard, see loan status and upload documents requested by the lender. Alternatively, borrowers can apply by phone.

Disclosure process. After the application is submitted, PennyMac will send disclosure documents via the m.a.c. system, email or mail. The form can be sent back or uploaded through the m.a.c. system.

Submitting loan for approval. PennyMac’s underwriters will then review all the information submitted and determine whether they need additional information. During the underwriting process, PennyMac underwriters will order the appraisal.

Final approval. After the underwriting team verifies all the financial information submitted and ensures it meets its requirements for borrowers and the loan is approved, it’s time to begin coordinating the closing.

Closing. Depending on the requirements of your state, closing may take place in your home, in an escrow office or at a title company. The closing can be arranged at a time and place that is convenient for you. Some of the forms you’ll be given at closing include the promissory note, deed of trust and notice of right to cancel.


Communication during the process

After applying, borrowers are assigned a m.a.c. team that is available to answer any questions borrowers have during the process. If additional information is required, borrowers are notified through the m.a.c. system. After the loan is approved, a loan processor will be available to discuss the final terms and arrange the closing.


Pros and cons of a PennyMac mortgage

Pros

PennyMac has a lot going for it when it comes to working with the right borrowers. Some of the advantages of working with PennyMac include:

  • Online application and document portal. For people who are busy or who work unconventional hours, this can be a vital service.
  • Access to the application, m.a.c and document upload from mobile devices. Again, for some, this is a must, especially for those who can’t head to a local bank to drop off paperwork.
  • The option to apply via phone with a licensed loan officer. For individuals with lots of questions or special needs, this can be a very important feature.

Cons

  • PennyMac doesn’t lend in New York.
  • Only six sales offices. This may be a dealbreaker for borrowers who like face-to-face meetings. For those who do like the face-to-face option and live in California, Nevada, Texas or Hawaii, there may be a location near you.

Editorial Note: Parts of this article were reviewed by a lender to ensure accuracy prior to publication. The overall conclusions, recommendations and opinions are the author’s alone.

The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.