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SunTrust Mortgage Review: Great for First-Timers and Low Down Payments

Review Updated
Kimberly Rotter
By: Kimberly Rotter

Our Mortgages Expert

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

Offer status

The offers on this page have expired. In 2022, SunTrust completed its merger with BB&T, to form Truist Bank. Check out our Truist Mortgage Review to learn about Truist's home loan programs.

SunTrust has a wide selection of mortgage products that will appeal to first-time home buyers or those looking for low down payment options. It also offers a special loan program for new physicians who haven't saved up a large down payment yet. Check out our full SunTrust review to find out more.

SunTrust Bank recently merged with BB&T and is in the process of rebranding as Truist Financial Corp. During the transition, the two banks will continue to operate under their existing names, but expect to see a new look in 2021.


Best for: Mortgage options

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Bottom Line

SunTrust earns top honors for customer service and the entire approval process can be done over the Internet, however it only has physical branches in 12 states and charges a 1% one-time guarantee fee.

Min. Credit Score Minimum Credit Score 580 FHA 620 other mortgage products

  • 580 - 620

Min. Down Payment Minimum Down Payment 0% for USDA loans and VA loans 3.5% for VA loans (minimum 580 credit score) 3% for conventional loans

  • 0% - 3.5%

Key Features

  • Customizable fixed terms
  • Streamlined online application process with the option for in-person help
  • Top ratings for customer service.

Loan Types

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo

Fixed Rate Terms

  • Customizable (10 - 30 years)

Adjustable Rate Terms

  • 10/1, 7/1, 5/1

Full SunTrust review

This mortgage lender is a good fit for: Low income borrowers, first time borrowers, medical professionals, current SunTrust customers, and jumbo loan borrowers.


  • Loan variety
  • Affordable options
  • Loans for high income professionals


  • No online rate check
  • Not nationwide

Top perks

Flexible mortgage options

SunTrust's wide home loan selection will suit many types of borrowers. In addition to all the standard mortgage loans, SunTrust has several low down payment options -- as well as jumbo loans of up to $3 million.

Good for low-income borrowers

SunTrust has several mortgage loan options for low- and moderate-income home buyers. The down payment requirement on affordable SunTrust mortgages is between 0% and 5%, depending on the home loan type. Best of all, some of those programs come with reduced private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirements.

Gift funds allowed

SunTrust's mortgages allow you to pay all or a portion of your down payment and closing costs with money you received as a gift from an approved source.

Loans for high income professionals

SunTrust offers a physician loan program for medical professionals. These could include lower rates, favorable repayment terms, and PMI-free loans with low down payment requirements. Medics with high earning potential who may be too new in the field to have amassed a large down payment should check out SunTrust.

SunTrust also offers a similar jumbo loan with special terms for nonmedical high-income households.

HELOCs available

If you are considering a home equity line of credit (HELOC), SunTrust may be the lender for you. HELOC rates are already low compared to other financing options, and SunTrust reduces the rate further if you sign up for automatic payments.


When it comes to technology, both SunTrust and BB&T offer cutting-edge mobile apps to help borrowers through the application and mortgage management processes. The BB&T banking app is ranked #1 in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Banking Mobile App Satisfaction study.

Mortgage benefits for SunTrust Premier Program members

Any qualified SunTrust customer (with at least $100,000 in liquid assets at the bank) can get a mortgage for up to $1 million with a 10% down payment -- without paying PMI.

Educational resources

The information on SunTrust's website is easy to navigate and understand. Among the many well-organized resource sections, you'll find a helpful library of content for homeowners, including calculators, a home buyer checklist, and a comprehensive downloadable buying guide.

Experienced hands

Established in 1891, SunTrust is a veteran in the mortgage lending business. In fact, it's recognized as one of the best mortgage lenders in the industry. SunTrust was ranked in the top seven in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study.

What could be improved

Online prequalification tool

At SunTrust, you'll only find the mortgage rates for the most well-qualified applicants online. You'll have to fill in your information and talk to a loan officer to find out what rate you'd be offered.

Mortgage origination customer service

Although SunTrust gets high marks for loan servicing, it scores below average in the most recent (2019) J.D. Power survey for mortgage origination. For clarification: Mortgage originators give you your loan, whereas loan servicers collect your monthly payment and manage things like your insurance and tax payments.

Limited eligibility

Neither SunTrust nor BB&T has a physical branch presence in all 50 states, nor do they cover the entire country when combined as Truist.

Alternatives to consider

If you're comparing HELOCs, be sure to check out Bank of America Mortgage. Its HELOC has no application fee, no closing costs, no annual fee, and no fee to access cash. Bank of America is also a great choice for low-income borrowers. It offers two different non-repayable grant programs (free money) to help qualified buyers get into homes. 

Are you a member of the military community? If you want more information about rates and fees before you start giving out your phone number or email address, check out Navy Federal Credit Union Mortgage. Not only are current rates very easy to find on the website, it also offers a mortgage rate match guarantee.

How to qualify

Credit score requirements vary by loan. For an FHA loan, the minimum credit score is 580 (or 500 if you can make a 10% down payment). For a USDA loan, you'll need a score of 640. The minimum may be even higher for other loan programs. 

The maximum debt-to-income ratio (DTI) varies by loan. For an FHA loan, it can be as high as 57% (your monthly debt payments make up about half of your monthly pre-tax income). For a SunTrust conventional loan, you'll need a lower debt-to-income ratio -- 43% or below. DTI looks at all of your required monthly debt payments compared with your income. The less you have to pay each month, the better.

You'll also need to be clear of any mandatory waiting periods following a foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy

How are SunTrust's refinance rates?

SunTrust Bank's refinance rates are very easy to find on their website, which is really nice if you're doing preliminary research and you're not ready to talk to a salesperson yet. Refinance rates trend right at or slightly above the national average, and are just a smidge higher than the interest rates for purchase loans. That's common among mortgage lenders. Interestingly, you can get the lowest refinance rate at SunTrust when you pay .70 of one mortgage discount point, which is less expensive than the .90 of one discount point that you have to pay for the lowest purchase rate.

How are SunTrust's rates compared to the national average?

SunTrust's mortgage rates trend about the same as the national average. The rates are displayed clearly on the website, so you can shop and compare before giving up your contact information. Also nice is that you can see how much you'll have to pay in points in order to get the low rate. Some lenders bury that information in tiny, light gray footnotes. Some lenders also charge a lot more for their lowest rate. SunTrust's fees are competitive.

SunTrust is right for you if:

SunTrust is great for anyone looking for low down payment options, including new doctors, low-income borrowers, and first-time home buyers. HELOC availability helps round out options for those who want to tap the equity in their home. SunTrust will suit people who are comfortable with technology but want confirmation from a knowledgeable human, too.


  • SunTrust's mortgage interest rates trend right around the national average. The fee that SunTrust charges to lower your rate is lower than many other lenders.

  • Yes. SunTrust can accommodate most borrowers, and makes a special effort to help lower-income borrowers achieve homeownership. SunTrust also accommodates high-income professionals with a variety of low-cost loans with high loan limits.

  • Yes. SunTrust offers competitive rates and fees on mortgage refinance loans.

  • You'll need a down payment of at least 3% unless you qualify for a USDA or VA loan (for those, the down payment requirement is zero). For a conventional loan, you'll need a credit score of 620. But you might qualify for an FHA loan with a score as low as 580 (lower if you can make a bigger down payment). Also, keep in mind that if you qualify for a USDA loan or VA loan, the credit score requirements are more flexible. Your debt-to-income ratio should be no higher than about 43%, but again, SunTrust has mortgage programs that might work for someone with a higher DTI. Depending on the loan you choose, you might need to complete a home buyer education course.

  • Many borrowers can find the right loan at SunTrust. SunTrust offers

    • Conventional
    • FHA loan
    • VA loan
    • VA IRRRL
    • USDA loan
    • Fixed-rate mortgage
    • Adjustable-rate mortgage
    • Refinance mortgage
    • Cash-out refinance
    • Affordable mortgage loans with reduced PMI for lower income borrowers
    • Jumbo loans

Our Mortgages Expert