Custom Choice Loan®
The Custom Choice Loan can be used to cover education-related expenses when federal student loans, scholarships, and grants aren't enough.
- Competitive interest rates
- Several repayment options and choice of rate type (fixed or variable)
- Ability to refinance existing private student loans1 into a new Custom Choice Loan; learn more about the In-school Refinance Option
- No origination, application or prepayment fees
- Interest rate reduction for ACH payments2 (SunTrust clients earn extra)
- Graduation reward3
- Interest rates are determined by (1) borrower's and cosigner's (if applicable) credit histories, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, and (3) the requested loan amount and other information provided on the online loan application
- Current variable rates range from 2.750% APR to 9.588% APR4
- Current fixed rates range from 4.749% APR to 11.043% APR5
- Loan can be used to cover education-related expenses included in your cost of attendance as defined by your school, which often includes expenses such as tuition and school fees, books and school supplies, lab fees, room and board, a computer, transportation to and from school
- Choose what's best for you: upon approval, applicants can compare loan options to determine the impact to their monthly payment amount and total loan cost
- Choice of rate type: fixed or variable
- Choice of loan term: 7, 10 or 15 years6
- Choice of repayment option:7
- Grace period generally six months9
- Minimum loan amount: $1,00110
- Annual loan maximum: $65,00011
- Aggregate student loan limit (total amount of student loan debt allowable): $150,00012
- In-School Refinance Option - refinance existing private student loans1 up to the aggregate student loan limit of $150,00012 minus the approved amount for the upcoming semester/academic period
- Graduation reward: 1% principal reduction3
- Up to 0.50% interest rate reduction for automatic payments4
- Refinance existing private student loans1 into a new Custom Choice Loan with the In-school Refinance Option
- No application, origination or prepayment fees
- Cosigner release option available13; for more details, click here
- Student loan protection in case of death/disability15
The Custom Choice Loan is available to applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens; it is not available to international students or students/cosigners whose permanent residency state is Iowa or Wisconsin.
To be eligible for a SunTrust Custom Choice Loan, the student must:
- Be enrolled at least half-time or more in a degree seeking program at an approved, Title IV eligible school
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Be the legal age of majority, or at least 17 years of age at the time of application if applying with a cosigner who meets the age of majority requirements in the cosigner's state of residence14
Do students need a cosigner?
- A cosigner is not always required, but most students, especially those without a substantial credit history, may need a creditworthy cosigner to qualify
- Either the cosigner or the student can start the application the EasyInviteSM tool, within the online application, allows the cosigner or the student to be invited to the application
- Find out more about how a cosigner can help
- A cosigner release option is available13; for more details, click here.
- Review Frequently Asked Questions about the Custom Choice Loan
- Call a SunTrust representative at 866-232-3889
Step one - Apply Online:
- Students and cosigners, if applicable, apply online (they may apply at the same time or during separate sessions)
- An Application and Solicitation Disclosure outlining current interest rate ranges, loan cost examples, federal student loan alternatives, and other general loan information is presented electronically to the student borrower and cosigner, if applicable
Step two - Consider the Option to Refinance Existing Private Student Loans into the New Loan:
- The process is easy after approval this option will be presented just list which loans you'd like to refinance
- Learn more about the In-School Refinance Option
Step three - Loan Options:
- Upon passing the initial credit review16, loan options (including interest rates, repayment plans and repayment terms) are presented online
Step four - Loan Documentation:
- Once loan options are selected, a list of required documentation is presented
- Required documentation must be submitted before the loan process will continue
- Documentation can be uploaded online or submitted by fax or mail
Step five - Loan Packet (Approval Disclosure, Credit Agreement, etc):
- After all required documentation has been received and approved, a Loan Packet will be sent outlining the terms of the loan based on the preliminary loan amount before school certification and, for applicants opting to refinance existing student loans1, the payoff amounts provided by the student
- The Loan Packet, including the Approval Disclosure, must be accepted within 30 calendar days if the student and, if applicable, the cosigner, agree to the loan terms
- Acceptance of this can be given through the applicant's online account, by fax or by mail
Step six - School Certification:
- Certification of the loan is required by the student's school of attendance and will be requested by SunTrust
- The school will certify the loan ensuring that the student is enrolled at least half time, that the loan amount is correct, and will confirm disbursement specifications
Step seven - Final Disclosure:
- After school certification is received, the final loan terms will be outlined in a Final Disclosure which will be mailed to both the student borrower and cosigner, if applicable; for convenience, the Final Disclosure is also available online
- 3 Day rescission period the student borrower and cosigner, if applicable, will have three business days to cancel or rescind the loan
- SunTrust must wait until this three business day period has expired before disbursement of funds can take place
- No action is required by the borrower and cosigner, if applicable, unless either desires to cancel or rescind the loan
Step eight - Loan Disbursement:
- Funds for the upcoming semester/academic period
- Amounts and timing of when a loan is disbursed is given to SunTrust by the school
- A loan may have up to four disbursements and disbursement amounts do not have to be equal
- Funds are sent to the school and applied to the student's account; any overage of funds above/beyond what is owed to the school is handled between the school and student
- Payoffs for loans being refinanced
- If a portion of the new loan is being used to refinance existing private student loans, payoffs are sent to the Servicer; more about this option
- Payments should continue to be made on any loans being refinanced until they are paid off time may elapse between when this option is requested and when the loans are actually paid off
- If the payoff amount(s) sent by SunTrust do not cover the entire balance owed on the existing loan(s), the outstanding balance(s) will remain your responsibility
What is a cosigner?
A cosigner is an additional applicant besides the student, such as a parent, guardian, grandparent or other person, who will bear the same legal responsibility as the student.
Why is a cosigner important?
Many students don't have a substantial credit history or have other concerns about being approved for a private student loan, and adding a creditworthy cosigner may help them qualify and also obtain a lower interest rate.
What makes a good cosigner on a loan?
A good cosigner:
- Has a substantial credit history
- Does not have any serious negative items on their credit report
- Meets their credit obligations on time
- Is not over burdened with debt
- Has steady employment and/or income sufficient to meet debt obligations
Can a cosigner be released from the loan?
The cosigner can be released from liability after the first 48, consecutive principal and interest payments are made on time13. The borrower must meet credit criteria on their own at that time. For more details, click here.
What if there is an unfortunate event, such as death or disability, of the student borrower?
In the event of the primary borrower's death or permanent disability, the loan will be forgiven. Proper documentation is required and the cosigner won't be responsible for repayment.15
How is a cosigner added to a Custom Choice loan?
Applying as a cosigner takes about 15 minutes. Either the cosigner or the student can start the application the EasyInviteSM tool, within the online application, allows the cosigner or the student to be invited to the application.
SunTrust recommends comparing all aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans, prior to applying for a private student loan. Before selecting a private student loan, compare options offered by SunTrust.
1 Private student loans that can be refinanced with a new SunTrust private student loan are private student loans and private consolidation loans that the student applicant used for, or to refinance loans used for, postsecondary Qualified Higher Education Expenses not currently in a past due status. Loans that cannot be refinanced into this loan are (1) private student loans for which the student applicant is not the primary borrower, (2) Federal student loans and (3) student loans made by an educational institution; learn more about the In-School Refinance Option.
2 Interest rate reductions offered for automatic payment from a bank account: 0.25% interest rate reduction for ACH payment from any bank account and an extra 0.25% interest rate reduction when ACH payments are made from a SunTrust Bank account. ACH interest rate reduction(s) apply when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. Interest rate reduction(s) will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is stopped (including times during deferment or forbearance) or (2) there are three automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds within the life of the loan. The additional SunTrust Bank account ACH interest rate reduction will be applied after the first automatic payment is successfully deducted from a SunTrust Bank checking, savings or money market account and will be removed for the reasons stated above or if you close your SunTrust Bank account. In the event the benefit(s) is removed, the interest rate stated in the Credit Agreement shall be applied in accordance with the terms of the Credit Agreement.
3 The 1% principal reduction is based on the net disbursed loan amount, which is the total dollar amount of all disbursements made, excluding the dollar amount of any reductions, cancellations, or returns, as applicable. To receive the reward, the benefit must be requested from the servicer, the student borrower must have earned a bachelor's degree or higher and proof of such graduation (e.g. copy of diploma, final transcript or letter on school letterhead) must be provided to the servicer. This reward is available once during the life of the loan, regardless of whether the student borrower receives more than one degree.
4 The variable interest rate for each calendar month is calculated by adding the current One-month LIBOR index (captured on the 25th day of each month, or the next business day thereafter, of the month immediately preceding such calendar month and rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of one percent) to the margin. The current One-month LIBOR index is 1.000% on 04/01/17. LIBOR stands for London Interbank Offered Rate. The One-month LIBOR is the Current Index, as published in the "Money Rates" section of the Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition). The interest rate will be determined after you apply. The variable interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) depend upon (1) the student's and cosigner's (if applicable) credit histories, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, and (3) the requested loan amount and other information provided on the online loan application. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range. The variable interest rate will increase or decrease if the One-month LIBOR index changes. Rates and terms effective for applications received on or after 04/13/17.
5 Current fixed interest rates depend on (1) the student's and cosigner's, if applicable, credit histories, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, and (3) the requested loan amount and other information provided on the online loan application. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range. The fixed rate assigned to a loan will never change except as required by law or if you request and qualify for the ACH reduction benefit(s). Rates and terms effective for applications received on or after 04/13/17.
7 Any applicant who applies for the loan the month of, the month prior to, or the month after their graduation date, as stated on the application or certified by the school, will only be offered the immediate repayment option. Partial Interest Repayment is available on loans of $5,000 or more.
8 Making interest only or partial interest payments while in school will not reduce the principal balance of the loan. Partial Interest Payment plan of $25 per month is available on loans of $5,000 or more; click here to see a payment example. For Partial Interest and Fully Deferred loans, any accrued and unpaid interest will be capitalized (added to your principal loan balance) when repayment of principal and interest begins. Payments may be deferred (a) while student is enrolled at least half-time at an approved school, and (b) during the 6 month grace period after graduation or dropping below half-time status, but the total initial deferment period, including the grace period, may not exceed 66 months from the first disbursement date. There are no prepayment penalties. For Immediate Repayment loans, repayment of principal and interest begins 30-60 days after the final disbursement. The minimum monthly payment is $50.00.
9 Typically the grace period is six months from (a) the date the student graduates, (b) the date the student drops below half-time status or (c) the date that is 60 months from the first disbursement date. The immediate repayment option does not have a grace period.
10 The minimum loan amount is $1,001 with exceptions based on the student's state of permanent residence, as follows: Alaska: $5,001, Colorado: $3,001, New Mexico: $2,501, Oklahoma: $4,901, Rhode Island: $5,001, South Carolina: $3,601. The Custom Choice Loan is available to applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens; it is not available to international students or students/cosigners whose permanent residency state is Iowa or Wisconsin.
11 The maximum annual loan amount for the upcoming semester/academic period is determined by the school's cost of attendance, minus other financial aid such as federal student loans, scholarships or grants, up to $65,000.
12 The aggregate maximum student loan debt allowed is $150,000 (includes all student loans and certain unsecured consumer debt).
13 Request for the cosigner to be released can be made after making (1) the first 48 consecutive monthly principal and interest payments on-time (received within 10 calendar days after the due date) or (2) an amount equal to the first 48 consecutive principal and interest payments, provided that (a) such payments are made during the first 48 months of principal and interest repayment and (b) no prior late payments were made. At the time of the request, the student borrower must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident alien, meet credit criteria, be enrolled for automatic deduction of monthly payments from a bank account, and have had at least one payment on the loan transferred electronically from a bank account. Cosigner release may not be available for loans in a forbearance status.
14 The legal age for entering into contracts is 18 years of age in every state except Alabama (19 years old), Nebraska (19 years old, only for wards of the state), and Mississippi and Puerto Rico (21 years old).
15 If the student borrower on a loan dies after disbursement of all or part of the loan and the loan has not previously become a charged off loan due to non-payment or bankruptcy, then the outstanding principal and accrued interest balance on such loan shall be forgiven if the servicer is informed of the student borrower's death and receives acceptable proof of death. If the student borrower on a loan becomes totally and permanently disabled and the loan has not previously become a charged off loan due to non-payment or bankruptcy, the student borrower may apply to have the loan balance discharged by completing a discharge application.
16 The initial credit review is based on all the information you and your cosigner (if applicable) provide during the application process and the information obtained from your credit report (and any cosigner's credit report). If you pass the initial credit review, documentation will be requested to verify your identity and annual income and, if applicable, payoff documentation for any private student loan you request to refinance. A signed Loan Packet, including the Credit Agreement, Approval Disclosure and Applicant Self-Certification Form is required before a final loan decision is made. Your school will be required to certify the loan amount for the upcoming academic year/semester prior to disbursement.
EasyInvite is a registered service mark of First Marblehead Corporation.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue these programs without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and programs may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
Paying for college can be a challenge, SunTrust can help navigate the options.
Before you look into paying for your college expenses, it's important to know how much money you'll need. Our money management resources, tools, and budgeting tips can help.
Financial Aid Tools
Use our college tuition guide and step-by-step guide to paying for college for planning advice on how to avoid getting too over-burdened with debt before you've earned a degree.
Scholarships & Grants
Before you get a loan, we encourage you to try getting scholarships and grants first. Our list of online resources can help. You can also register for our SunTrust Off To College Scholarship Sweepstakes.