SunTrust Auto Loans Review

SunTrust’s LightStream leads the way in auto loans — it’s the golden child of lending due to its low rates and no fees.

Loan Amount
Up to $100K
Fixed APR
3.49%–10.49%
Term
24–84 months
SimpleScore
4.4 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore Suntrust 4.4
New Car Rates 4
Loan Size 5
Used Car Rates 5
Customer Satisfaction 3
Fees 5

SunTrust Bank auto loans cover new or used vehicles, classic cars, refinancing and lease buyouts.

SunTrust Bank is the sixth-largest bank in the United States and it boasts $199 billion in assets. It launched online lending division LightStream in 2013 to provide a simple loan process for consumer credit products including auto loans. SunTrust Bank auto loans are fantastic for those with strong credit as they come with competitive auto loan rates. What’s more, you won’t have to pay application, late payment or prepayment fees. While SunTrust Bank is Atlanta-based, LightStream is located in San Diego.

Check Your Auto Loan Rates

View our top-rated lenders and find the best rates today. It’s quick and easy.

In this article

    SunTrust Bank auto loans at a glance

    LenderLoan AmountNew Car APRTermsKey Benefit
    SunTrust Bank$5,000–$100,0003.49%–10.49%24–84 months$100 satisfaction guarantee

    Rates accurate as of September, 2020, and exclude an autopay discount of 0.50%

    What we like about it

    SunTrust Bank offers some of the best auto loans on the market currently. Not only are SunTrust Bank auto loans rates cheaper than many competitors, but the lender also guarantees to beat any qualifying rate from other providers.

    You’re spoiled for choice with borrowing options, too. There are new and used car loans for dealer or private party purchases, refinancing, classic car loans and lease buyouts. Unlike other lenders, there are no vehicle age or mileage restrictions.

    If you’re in a hurry, you could receive same-day funding as long as you review and sign loan documents by 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, provide bank details and complete verification procedures.

    SunTrust Bank also promises an easy and virtually paperless loan process. You can apply for a loan conveniently from your computer or mobile device, and if you’re not happy with your loan experience, the lender will even give you $100 back.

    Things to consider

    If you’ve been studying SunTrust Bank reviews for auto loans, no doubt you’ve seen getting a loan with this lender requires good credit. This means having a minimum credit score of 660, several years of credit history, experience with different account types, a record of on-time payments and sufficient assets and income. If you have less-than-perfect credit, then take a look at the best auto loans for bad credit for some options.

    Apart from stringent requirements for credit approval, the lowest advertised rates will only be offered to those with very good credit.

    While a streamlined online application can save time, the inability to apply by email, fax or telephone could be an issue if you’re not technology savvy.

    [Read: New Car Buying Guide]

    What you need to know

    APR ranges for SunTrust auto loans are tiered according to the amount you want to borrow and the length of your loan. The lowest APR range is 3.49% to 9.49% for a loan between $10,000 and $24,999 when you buy a new or used vehicle through a dealership. However, if you have been offered a lower rate by another lender, SunTrust Bank will offer a rate .10 percentage points less than the rate you were approved for. You must be able to show evidence of approval, though.

    Loan terms are flexible with the minimum length of borrowing 24 months. Although loan terms can be as long as 84 months, a lengthier loan can cost you more in interest.

    SunTrust Bank ratings are further boosted by its promise of no origination, late payment or prepayment fees.

    You can make an individual or joint application, and if you’re offered a loan, the offer stands for up to 30 days. While you’re not under any obligation to accept the loan offer, LightStream does a hard pull on your credit, which means it can lower your credit score for subsequent applications.

    Here is a step-by-step explanation of how to apply for SunTrust Bank auto loans.

    1. Choose the type loan you’re after, then click “Apply Now.” You’ll be taken to the LightStream loan application portal.
    2. Fill in loan details including whether it’s an individual or joint application, loan amount and term length. Click “Next.”
    3. Fill in personal information including contact details, residence, citizenship, work status, annual income, monthly housing costs and assets. Click “Next.”
    4. Create a user ID and password to access your account, and select a security question and answer.
    5. Confirm your application details, then submit.

    Collateral and criteria

    Only applicants with good credit will be considered. Apart from having a minimum credit score of 660, you’ll also need to show you have adequate credit experience, good payment history and sufficient income and assets to cover your borrowings.

    SunTrust Bank auto loans can be secured or unsecured. However, an unsecured loan will require you to have excellent credit. According to SunTrust, this means having a minimum of five years’ significant credit experience in a range of credit account types, excellent payment records with no delinquencies and a proven ability to save.

    Check Your Auto Loan Rates

    View our top-rated lenders and find the best rates today. It’s quick and easy.

    SunTrust Bank vs. Bank of America

    With 2.69% APR for new auto loans and 2.99% APR for used auto loans, Bank of America’s starting rates are even lower. However, your actual APR could be more than these advertised rates depending on your credit profile. Remember, if you are offered a lower interest rate, SunTrust Bank promises to beat it by .10%.

    SunTrust Bank has the edge when it comes to loan flexibility. That’s because Bank of America has numerous restrictions in terms of the types of vehicles it will finance. For example, vehicles with 125,000 miles or more or older than 10 years are not eligible. Neither are vehicles valued less than $6,000. The minimum loan amount is higher at $7,500 (or $8,000 in Minnesota).

    Having said that, Bank of America is a better choice if you don’t like to do things online, as you can apply for the loan in person or over the phone.

    SunTrust Bank vs. Capital One

    While Capital One’s starting APR of 3.95% is higher, it offers potential borrowers the chance to pre-qualify with no impact to their credit score. This means you can estimate how much you’ll be able to borrow before heading to a dealer.

    The downside, however, is that you’ll need to buy from a participating dealer and your vehicle must be a 2010 model or newer with fewer than 120,000 miles. If these restrictions will hamper your purchase, then you’re better off with SunTrust Bank.

    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the auto loans we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    We’ve created the SimpleScore™ to help you objectively compare products and services here at The Simple Dollar.

    Our editorial team:

    • Identifies five factors to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each factor
    • Calculate an average of those five factor scores to get one SimpleScore™

    We break down each of these five factors and their rating criteria for our review of the best auto loan companies of 2020.

    Why do some brands have different SimpleScores™ on different pages?

    Some brands like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase have different SimpleScores™ because they offer more than one financial solution — like auto loans, home loans, personal loans and banking.

    For instance, in our Bank of America Mortgage Review, we give the company a 3.8 out 5 based on our five rating factors for mortgages. In our Bank of America Auto Loans Review, we give the company a 4.4 out of 5 based on our rating factors for auto loans. By tailoring our SimpleScore™ to each financial solution, we’re able to give you a more accurate view of their services and how they compare to competitors’ services.

    Minimum new car rate

    Companies that look out for new car buyers with lower rates receive higher scores from us.

    Minimum used car rate

    We also give higher ratings to companies that look out for used car buyers by offering lower rates.

    Maximum loan size

    Having enough money to cover your auto loan is important –– that’s why companies with higher maximum loan amount receive better scores from us.

    Customer satisfaction

    We use the J.D. Power 2019 Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study℠ to find out how customers rate their experience with each company. (If a company is not included in J.D. Power’s study, we skip this rating factor and average the remaining factor scores.)

    Fees

    Fees can add up very fast –– that’s why we give a higher score to companies who have fewer fees.

    Kristie Kwok

    Contributing Writer

    Kristie Kwok is a finance content writer with in-depth knowledge of the banking industry from her previous work experience in banks such as UBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland. She is a qualified accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, specializing in Accounting and Finance.

    Reviewed by

    • Courtney Mihocik
      Courtney Mihocik
      Editor

      Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.