SunTrust is a well-established nationwide financial institution which offers a wide variety of banking services including personal banking, mortgages, and a selection of private student loans. Their current student loan options include the SunTrust Custom Choice Student Loan, the SunTrust Graduate Business, and the Union Federal Private Student Loan.
SunTrust's Student Loan Services
SunTrust excels in many areas of student loan financing, including offering options for interest rate reductions, especially to graduates and people making consistent payments. However, it should be noted that SunTrust’s interest rates are considerably higher than what can be expected from a federal student loan program. All privately held student loans inherently carry higher risks for students than those offered through the federal government as there are much fewer protections for the borrower in the private sector.
Suntrust provides a handful of student loan options which all have similar characteristics but a few significant differences. It is important for potential borrowers to scrutinize the details and take the time to learn about all financing options prior to applying. Speaking with a non-profit student loan advisor who is well versed in both federal and private loan options is an excellent way to cover all the bases and find the best option for any situation.
SunTrust Custom Choice Student Loan
The Custom Choice Student Loan is for both undergraduate and graduate students for all fields of study at most accredited institutions. Students must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to qualify. Students can choose between either a fixed or variable interest rate loan currently listed as 2.999 percent to 10.050 percent APR (variable rate) and 4.749 percent to 11.500 percent APR (fixed rate). Like all their loans, SunTrust gives a one percent principal reduction per loan once the student graduates.
Students with SunTrust loans receive at most $65,000 annually. However, the maximum allowable student loan debt is limited to $150,000. Repayment terms are seven, ten, or fifteen years, but SunTrust also offers deferment options under certain circumstances. Students can pause payments altogether before graduation, make interest rate payments only, or partial interest rate payments of $25.
Some restrictions apply to those applying for loans without a cosigner, including the requirement to have proof of positive income. Cosigners are also required to have evidence of positive income, but there is an option to release the responsibility of a cosigner after 36 months.
SunTrust Graduate Business School Loan
As the name suggests, the Graduate Business School Loan is open for graduates entering into business schools. Both U.S. citizens and permanent residents can apply, and most graduate schools are eligible.
This student loan shares many similarities with the Custom Choice Student Loan, including both fixed and variable interest rate options. Upon graduation, SunTrust will reduce principal interest rates on each loan by one percent just as it does with the Customer Choice Student Loan.
The Graduate Business School Loan differs in that it only offers seven and ten-year terms. It also increases the maximum allowable credit withdrawal per year to $95,000, and the total allowable student debt load is increased to $175,000. Another difference is that students are not required to prove positive income at the time of the application. This is because SunTrust recognizes that students may be leaving one degree and immediately entering into another with no time for interim employment.
Union Federal Private Student Loan, Funded by SunTrust
Suntrust’s Union Federal Student Loan is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Most private and public institutions qualify for this loan. The same interest rate options apply as both the Business and Custom Choice Student Loan programs. SunTrust offers this loan at either seven, ten, or fifteen-year terms.
It also mimics many of the characteristics of the Custom Choice Student Loan program, in the sense that it has a maximum per year loan of $65,000 and a total maximum debt load of $150,000. Upon graduation, a one percent reduction in principle still applies.
One interesting differentiation between the Union Federal option and the other loans provided by SunTrust is that this loan is open to International Students as well as U.S citizens and permanent residents. This student loan also allows for an interest rate reduction of 0.25 percent after 36 consecutive on-time payments.
SunTrust Student Loan Refinancing Options
Like most other private student loan services, SunTrust provides refinancing options to its clients. One of the most popular is the In-School Refinancing option which allows students currently enrolled in postsecondary education, and with current student loan debt, to refinance and consolidate all their existing loans into a new loan which takes into account their future financial requirement for the next semester. It is important to note that SunTrust only offers to refinance private student loans held solely by the student, and are not currently past due.
Also, while not technically refinancing options, SunTrust can offer assistance to students struggling with student loan repayments by allowing interest-only payments for 12 to 24 months while the borrower gets back on their feet. Another option they provide is called forbearance, which means students can pause all of their payments in three-month chunks for upwards of 12 months out of the lifespan of the loan.
Overall Application Process
The application process for any of their student loan options is quite simple, and if done online, students will know almost immediately if they have been approved. In most cases, save for the Graduate Business Student Loan, students will require proof of positive income before applying. SunTrust will also check a student’s credit score, and while most institutions require students to have a score of 600 or higher, the exact rate for SunTrust is unknown. Loan officers will take into account current savings, debts, and the financial history of borrowers before approving a loan.