SunTrust is a private lender and you can consolidate your private student loans through them. Perhaps you already have a student loan through them; they do offer many loan options to students. They offer undergraduate and graduate loans and also have a scholarship sweepstakes where they give away a $1,000 scholarship every two weeks. SunTrustEducation.com is the website they have dedicated to education finances. This site has money management tools, with resources and budgeting tips, as well as financial aid tools, with a tuition guide and planning advice. You will also find links to sites which offer scholarship and grant opportunities.
Once you have graduated, you can consolidate all of your private student loans through SunTrust. To be eligible, you must meet certain criteria:
You must be the legal age of majority (usually 18 years old).
You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If you have a co-signer, they must also meet this requirement.
Debt/income ratio standards must be met. A co-signer’s income will count toward this, but you must be employed to qualify.
You must have a bachelor’s degree, or higher, from an approved school. Approved schools are any that are eligible for financial aid from the federal government.
You also must have made two or more payments on student loans already. These can be federal or private student loans.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, then you can borrow from $7,500 to $150,000 or even $250,000 if you have a graduate degree.
There is a “Private Student Loan Consolidation Worksheet,” which you will find on their website. Use this worksheet to get all of your student loan information together before applying. You can apply easily online, and it only takes about 15 minutes. Once you are approved, you can compare rates, terms, and payments.
You can choose from a fixed or variable interest rate, with about a 3% difference between the low and high rates. Having a good credit rating is your best chance at getting the lowest interest rate available, but having a co-signer with an excellent credit rating and considerable, steady income will get you a low rate as well. The co-signer can be released from the agreement, but not until after 48 months of consecutive, on-time payments of both principal and interest.
The relationship incentive offered by SunTrust is a 0.25% reduction in interest if you make your payments from a SunTrust account. An additional 0.25% is taken off of your interest if you have your payments come out automatically.
You can research different lenders and their rates, but you won’t know what rate they will give to you until you apply for a loan. Rates can change from day to day. Applying to more than one lender doesn’t cost you any money, so it is good to do. Also, it gives you bargaining power if you can show a bank that you have received a better offer. Whenever you apply for any type of credit, it shows up on your credit report, but if you make all of your applications within 30 days of each other they will count as one inquiry.