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SunTrust Mortgage review

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Popular in the Southeast, this lender caters to a full spectrum of borrowers.

SunTrust makes the mortgage process easier with flexible options for low-, moderate- and high-income earners. Its specialized programs make its loans unique.

Details

Loan types Purchase, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, USDA, VA
Minimum credit 620
Minimum down payment 3%
Origination fee 0%
Other fees Expect fees to include appraisal fees, title charges, closing fees and state taxes.

Ask your loan consultant for the specific fees associated with your pending loan, and keep an eye out for additional fees in your loan documentation.

What types of fees does SunTrust charge?

SunTrust publishes little information about its mortgage fees online, but you can expect to pay fees for:
  • Appraisal
  • Inspection
  • Origination
  • ARM conversion
  • Expedited document delivery

What do customers say about SunTrust?

SunTrust is accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and holds an A rating for its operations and interaction. Customer reviews tell a different story, though. The company has earned one star based on 167 reviews, with most reviewers citing problems with the product, service and billing.

Other forums echo similar sentiments. On Consumer Affairs, SunTrust has a one-star rating based on 279 reviews. While customers were pleased with the mortgage options on offer, they said the service could be slow and unsympathetic.

What makes SunTrust unique?

SunTrust stands out in the mortgage market for its unique loan programs:

Do I qualify for a loan with SunTrust?

To apply for a loan with SunTrust, you must meet these standard requirements:

  • A minimum credit score of 620 for conventional, FHA and VA loans, or 640 for USDA loans
  • A maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43%

You’ll also need to provide proof of income, and put down at least 3% for the Agency Affordable program, and 3.5% for an FHA loan.

What are the benefits of getting a mortgage through SunTrust?

SunTrust’s mortgage programs have a string of pros, including:
  • Complete suite of loans. SunTrust has a range of purchase loans for first-time and repeat homebuyers, including USDA and VA loans, and refinancing options for existing customers.
  • Sophisticated online application. Apply for a mortgage on the online portal.
  • Easy preapproval process. You can access the preapproval form online, too.
  • Low down payments. Choose a HomeReady, HomePossible or FHA loan and you’ll only need a down payment of 3% or 3.5%.
  • Caters to Hispanic customers. SunTrust has a full Spanish version of its website.
  • Full-service banking. Loans aside, SunTrust offers banking services, which may appeal to people who want to consolidate their finances.

What to watch out for?

When it comes to mortgages, SunTrust has the following flaws:

  • Not nationwide. SunTrust offers no service in Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon or Arizona.
  • High interest rates. Compared to competitors, the rates are high, especially for fixed-rate, adjustable-rate and VA loans.
  • Limited branches. The company only has a physical presence in these Southeastern states: Alabama, Arkansas, DC, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • Lack of info on conventional loans. SunTrust has a bias toward other mortgage types. You can still apply for a conventional loan, but you’ll need to contact a loan officer.

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How do I get started?

You can apply (or prequalify) for a mortgage online, over the phone, via email or at a local branch.

Here are the steps for the streamlined, online application:

  1. Go to the SunTrust website. On the top navigation bar, click Mortgages.
  2. Click Apply Now.
  3. Sign In if you’re an existing client. Otherwise, click Continue.
  4. Create an Account with your email address and password.
  5. Review the Terms & Conditions. Click Agree.
  6. Indicate whether you’re Purchasing a New Property or Refinancing a Mortgage.
  7. Enter your personal and contact information.
  8. Select your Property Type and Property Use —for example, primary residence, vacation home or investment property.
  9. Outline your Assets, including all cash, investment and retirement accounts you’ll use to cover your down payment and closing costs. Securely Link Your Bank Account to avoid uploading statements later, or press Skip.
  10. Detail your Income, Employment, and any Real Estate you own.
  11. Upload identifying and supporting documents.
  12. Submit your mortgage application. You can expect to receive a loan estimate within three business days. Once you review this, you can let the lender know if you’d like to proceed with the loan.

Required documentation

SunTrust may request these documents:
  • Recent pay stubs
  • Bank statements
  • Retirement and other account statements
  • Tax returns
  • W-2 forms
  • Homeowner’s insurance information
  • List of credit cards, plus car, student or home loans

I got the loan. Now what?

Make the most of your mortgage with these tips:
Create an online account. Track your mortgage and authorize payments from your bank account. You can also set up a recurring monthly debit using SurePay.

Sign up for biweekly payments. During the first month of enrolment, you’ll need to make your regular monthly payment plus two half payments, which will go straight to paying your principal. After that, you’ll pay half your total mortgage payment every two weeks. Call your loan officer to opt in.

Contact customer service. Questions? You can reach the team by:

  • Phone. Call 800-634-7928 from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET.
  • Live chat. Log in to your account to get real-time help during business hours.
  • Email. Send a secure message at any time.
  • In person. Type in your ZIP code to search for a loan officer near you.

Bottom line

While SunTrust’s interest rates are high, it makes up for it in loan offerings. It caters to a spectrum of borrowers, from high-income earners searching for jumbo loans to those who have trouble affording a traditional 20% down payment.

Unfortunately, these flexible programs are unavailable if you live in Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon or Arizona.

To find a mortgage that meets your needs, compare multiple lenders.

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