SunTrust Auto Loans Review

SunTrust Bank

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

New Car APR:
3.49%–10.49%
Loan Size
Up to $100K
Terms
24–84 months
SimpleScore
4.4 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
SunTrust Bank
4.4
  • New Car Rates
    4
  • Loan Size
    5
  • Used Car Rates
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Fees
    5

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.

Full review

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

SunTrust Bank auto loans at a glance

Lender Loan Amount New Car APR Terms Key Benefit
SunTrust Bank $5,000–$100,000 3.49%–10.49% 24–84 months $100 satisfaction guarantee

Rates accurate as of July 14, 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.

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.

Too long, didn’t read?

SunTrust Bank offers great rates, but the real perk here is its rate match guarantee. It doesn’t charge fees and you’re not restricted with your choice of vehicles. In short, SunTrust Bank auto loans are hard to beat if you’ve got good enough credit to qualify for them.

Keep reading

Methodology

The SimpleScore is our proprietary scoring metric to compare products and services at The Simple Dollar in a transparent, evidence-based way. Our editorial team identifies five quantifiable aspects to compare for every brand, determines the rating criteria for each aspect score, then averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore. For auto loans, we compared new car rates, used car rates, loan amounts, customer satisfaction and fees for every major lender. Our ratings are meant to be a directional tool to help you in the process of choosing an auto loan provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best auto loan that fits your specific needs.

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.

Kristie Kwok
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 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.