No two banks are alike when it comes to personal loans, and that’s true for Marcus and PNC Bank personal loans, too. Each bank has advantages and disadvantages for someone seeking a personal loan product.
For the purposes of this article, we’re sticking to a comparison of unsecured personal loans. These loans are unsecured because they don’t require a borrower to put up collateral, such as a car or house. Many people turn to personal loans for things like consolidating credit card debt, covering wedding expenses or paying for a vacation.
Here’s our rundown of how Marcus, a lender operated by Goldman Sachs Bank, and PNC Bank, a Pittsburgh-based lender, stack up against each other for personal loans. All details were current as of January 18, 2017.
Marcus vs. PNC Bank personal loans: Which to choose
|Bank||APR Range||Loan Terms||Loan Limit|
|PNC Bank||5.99% — 24.99%, depending on loan amount||36 — 60 months||$1,000 — $25,000|
|Marcus||5.99% — 35.89%||36 — 72 months||$3,500 — $40,000|
One of the most important considerations when taking out a personal loan is the annual percentage rate, or APR. That’s essentially the amount that a bank charges you to borrow money.
At Marcus, the APR for an unsecured personal loan ranges from 6.99% to 23.99%. The APR will depend on the strength of your credit history and the length of your loan.
On its website, PNC offers an APR range for a specific loan amount. At PNC, the APR for a 36-month loan of $5,000 ranges from 9.49% to 24.49%; that includes a 0.25% discount for automatic payments made through a PNC checking account. For a $15,000 loan, however, PNC lists an APR as low as 5.99%, which again includes the payment discount.
At both Marcus and PNC, the APR doesn’t change during the term of a loan. This is known as a fixed-rate loan.
Amount of loan
At Marcus, you can take out a personal loan of $3,500 to $40,000. PNC offers personal loans of $1,000 to $25,000. In other words, you can borrow the most amount of money from Marcus but the smallest amount of money from PNC.
Length of loan
Marcus extends personal loans stretching from 36 to 72 months, while PNC’s personal loans are 36 to 60 months.
Both Marcus and PNC clearly state their loans don’t come with fees.
“A lender that is direct about rates and fees, and communicates that clearly, is usually a better bet,” says Joe Toms, president of Freedom Financial Network’s consumer loan platform.
Neither Marcus nor PNC assesses a penalty if you pay off a personal loan before the loan term is supposed to end. For instance, you won’t be charged extra if you take out a 36-month loan but wind up paying it off in 30 months.
Marcus accepts loan applications from residents of every state except Maryland. The lender encourages people to submit applications online, although applications also can be taken by phone (844-627-2871). The Goldman Sachs Bank office in Salt Lake City handles personal loans for Marcus.
PNC lets consumers apply for loans online, over the phone or at a bank branch. But only those people who live in PNC’s service area are eligible. The bank operates about 2,500 branches in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
As with any personal loan, you should weigh the pros and cons of the lender and the loan’s terms — especially the APR — before you apply. A personal loan can be a sensible way to consolidate debt or pay for a major purchase, but only if the loan won’t leave you stuck with a heap of debt that you’ll have trouble wiping out.
“Only borrow what you need and what you can repay promptly,” Toms says.
Whether you choose Marcus, PNC or another lender, check out their online reviews before signing the paperwork. And be sure to “read the fine print carefully,” Toms says.