SunTrust Bank is a well-known banking company with over 1,600 retail branches in the United States. A member of the FDIC, SunTrust Bank has also been a Better Business Bureau accredited business with an A+ rating since January of 1967. Their website contains a wealth of valuable resources for a college student looking to find information and funding, or considering refinancing their current education loans. Included is a Step-by-Step Guide to financial aid, a budget calculator, and funding analysis calculator, as well as individual guides for tax benefits, money management, and scholarships and grants. They also provide an extensive compliment of financial services, including student checking accounts, student loans, and student loan consolidations.
One or more private student loans from any lender may be consolidated under their SunTrust Private Student Loan Consolidation Program, however, they do not offer consolidation of federal student loans. There are several requirements which must be met for private student loan consolidation including credit standards and applicable debt to income ratios. The borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and must be at least 18 years old at the time of the loan application in most states. Exceptions to the age requirement are: Alabama where applicants must be over age 19, Nebraska where wards of the state must be over age 19, and Puerto Rico and Mississippi where applicants must be over the age of 21. The SunTrust Private Student Loan Consolidation Program is not available to applicants who are permanent residents of Iowa, Wisconsin or Illinois, nor may cosigners be permanent residents of Illinois.
In addition, the primary applicant for a student loan consolidation must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved school and be able to furnish proof of such. The maximum loan consolidation amount for a borrower holding a bachelor’s degree is capped at $75,000 with an aggregate maximum education debt of $150,000. For those with proof of a graduate degree, the maximum loan amount is $150,000 with an aggregate education debt maximum of $250,000. There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. The cosigner release option is available, but requests can only be submitted after the first 48 consecutive on-time payments of both principal and interest have been made. Also, the primary borrower must have the payments automatically deducted from their bank account and must be able to meet credit requirements on their own at the time of the request.
Borrowers have a choice of fixed or variable rates. The variable rate currently ranges from 4.100%3 APR to 8.350%5 APR. The fixed rate ranges from 5.850%4 APR to 10.350%6 APR. Since these rates are based upon the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), these rates change frequently. There is a 0.25% interest rate reduction for making ACH payments when full payments, which include both interest and principal, are automatically drafted from a bank account. There’s an additional 0.25% interest rate reduction for SunTrust Bank customers when ACH payments are automatically deducted from a SunTrust account. Several choices of repayment terms are offered, and monthly payments of interest and principal begin approximately 45 days after disbursement.
High school student
Of special interest for graduating high school students and undergraduates, SunTrust Bank is offering their 8th annual SunTrust Off To College Scholarship Sweepstakes for the 2012-2013 school year. Students can enter to win a $1,000 scholarship for educational expenses at a 2 or 4 year public or private college or university, which must be located in the United States. One winner will be chosen every 2 weeks from October 26th, 2012 through May 10th, 2013, for a total of 15 drawings. There is no fee to enter, eligibility is not based upon GPA or financial need, and a student can enter once for each drawing. This contest is open only to students with a permanent address in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Checks will be made payable directly to each winner’s college of attendance.