Consumer Complaints and Reviews
Don't ever count on SunTrust to release the cosigner after meeting their advertised requirements! Their cosigner release specialists always find an excuse to reject cosigner release requests. This happened to me twice for my two daughters. In both cases their excuses were that one of the monthly payments in the past five years were late by just one day (due to student changing bank account)! I am convinced that their reps have been trained and instructed to disqualify cosigner release requests because they see no financial benefit in it (and they don't want the risk of student defaulting!).
Contacted Suntrust Mortgage in November, spoke with representative regarding loan modification due to being on short term disability at work. Was given incorrect information regarding how long the process with modification would take. So because of all the misinformation, I decided to just make the payments. Suntrust was made aware in advance of my medical issues. I then made an arrangement to make the November house payment on December 18th. I tried to process the payment on Suntrust Mortgage website and it wouldn't let me proceed.
I contacted Suntrust Mortgage, spoke with a rep who advised since the payment was 48 days past due, I had to mail the payment in. The payment couldn't be made over the phone or online. I have contacted Suntrust on several occasions in the past few days and received no help. On December 23, I was online with Moneygram and looked at their website and saw where I could make a payment to Suntrust Mortgage and pay a fee to do so. I contacted Suntrust on December 23 to verify their Biller Code for Moneygram and the rep had no clue what I was talking about.
I proceeded to process the payment for my home loan with Moneygram. I received a confirmation code. I checked Suntrust Mortgage website today and my payment still hasn't been applied. Now per Moneygram, it is showing payment is posted within 10 minutes and it was showing Suntrust accepted the payment. I called the Home Preservation department today and spoke with Home Preservation rep who advised that Suntrust has the right to refuse the payment. She stated a 50% chance the payment would be accepted and 50% it would be returned to me. I explained to her that I am not even in foreclosure status. She proceeded to advise that when a payment is past due by 30 days, they don't have to accept the payment.
I explained the arrangement made was the November payment being made on December 18th and December payment being made on December 31. This loan is a VA Loan. So now I have made a payment from my debit card that still isn't applied to my Suntrust Mortgage account, and to make matters worse, they sent someone to my home yesterday on a loan that is a little over 30 days past due to make sure the property wasn't vacant. The Home preservation rep said this is standard procedure. Plus the paper that was left on my door yesterday has an invalid phone number.
I am irate, furious and at my wits end over this and need help. I have never seen a company that blocks payments from being made online or over the phone when an account is 30 days late. I have also never seen or heard of a company returning payments when a payment is being made per a payment arrangement agreement. I have been lied to by Suntrust and now they have my money and won't apply it to my account. I have all documentation on the payment made and confirmation numbers and bank info showing it was deducted.
Disclaimer: I am not a current customer of Suntrust. I will not do business with them, given what I know. Also, since lenders' algorithms for determining interest rates are kept secret, I do not have the means to prove my suspicions, but I do have good reason to believe I am correct. I believe that Suntrust has been defrauding borrowers of private student loans since June 1, 2014.
Both online and in print mailers, Suntrust has been advertising a 0.75% interest rate discount on all Custom Choice student loans applied for between June 1 and July 31, 2014. In fact, they seem to be INCREASING rates by that amount instead of discounting them. If I am right, then in all likelihood, everyone who has applied for and accepted one of these loans since June 1 has been tricked into accepting a rate 1.5% higher than they should have.
My reasons for believing this involve two nearly identical Custom Choice loan applications, one last year (when there was no such advertised discount) and one this (submitted during the advertised discount period). Both involved the same student, cosigner, income, and credit (which was excellent for both student and cosigner). Last year, the calculated interest rate, given the terms that provide the lowest interest rate, was 0.25% or less over the minimum advertised; this year, assuming that the discount was correctly applied, it was approximately 1.9% over the minimum advertised rate, given the same terms. Rubrics and algorithms may change year over year, but not that much, especially when both student and cosigner have excellent credit. Further corroborating this suspicion, the same student and cosigner qualified for the lowest advertised rate at another lender, even if selecting the highest-interest terms (e.g., full deferment).
I tried to notify Suntrust of the problem with the "discount" earlier in July, on the supposition that it was an honest error, but at best, they did not take me seriously. Rather, their CSRs treated me with contempt, refused to connect me with anyone who had access to the information that would enable them to look into the issue or with the authority or willingness to have someone else do so, and hung up on me. Finding contact information for any individual representative of the company has proven nigh impossible.
I have a student loan through SunTrust. I have been paying on it for three years. I send every payment with the payment voucher so that they can ensure that my payment get credited to the correct account. About two years ago, they applied some of my payments to someone else's account besides mine. No problem, I got my bank to give them copies of the front and back of my checks and they figured it out and corrected my account. Of course this hit my credit and I had file to have it corrected on my credit because SunTrust refuses to admit when they are wrong. Now they have done it again.
I have had my bank send Proof of payment and in addition to all of the previous headaches that I went through the first time, they are calling me twice a day asking for payment. I have made the payments. They have the proof of the payments and they keep calling me asking for payment. They have told me that they will not be reporting their error to the credit bureaus but that they have reported my alleged delinquent account.
I am going to start touring the state and talking to every financial aid worker at every University, College, and Tech that I can find and tell them that SunTrust will hurt the student's credit and harrass them, even if they make their payments. They can't tell me when they will have anything corrected. They told me 'corrections is backed up' Maybe they should take a few people off the phone calling me for payment and a few more correcting their mistake.
My credit score will go down and it will take years to build it up again. I do not have the time to calculate the actual economic impact that this could have on my life and business. Not to mention the time I have had to spend dealing with them on the phone.
Barbara FriedbergPersonal Finance Contributing Editor
Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.
The SunTrust Custom Choice Loan is a private loan solution for students whose federal loans, scholarships and grants aren’t enough.
- Services: The SunTrust Custom Choice Loan is available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time in Title IV eligible degree programs. (Note that borrowers’ permanent residence may not be in Iowa or Wisconsin). SunTrust also offers private school funding for students enrolled in private K-12 schools.
- Interest rates and fees: SunTrust offers competitive fixed or variable interest rates. There are no origination, application or prepayment fees.
- Repayment options: SunTrust offers seven, 10 or 15-year repayment terms. The firm also presents various repayment terms including immediate repayment, interest-only, partial interest and full deferment.
- Benefits and discounts: SunTrust offers a graduation reward of one percent principal reduction and up to .50 percent rate reduction for automatic payments. There’s also a cosigner release option available.
- Financial aid tools: SunTrust’s robust educational portal includes step-by-step educational guides, calculators, scholarship and grant information, tax benefits and general money management tools. Military applicants have access to information about their specialized benefits.
- Best for Students looking for college funding information and access to private lending solutions.
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Suntrust Student Loans Company Profile
- Company Name:
- 303 Peachtreet St, N.E.
- Postal Code:
- United States