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SunTrust Bank Auto Loans Review: The Best Auto Lending Company For You

While there are a lot of auto loan options out there to help finance your dream car, in this SunTrust Bank auto loans review, we are going to provide you essential information to help you understand why it’s one of the auto lending companies you should take into consideration to get a loan from.

SunTrust Auto Loans Review

According to a Finder report, “Americans had $1.3 trillion in auto loan debt in 2019,” which is an increase of 81% since 2009, according to an Experian study published in March 2020.

Furthermore, in the same Finder’s report, it says that American people who get auto loans owed more on average compared to that of a decade ago. By end of 2019, American auto loan borrowers owed $19,231 on average — a 25% rise from 2009.

In addition, according to a study by the Federal Reserve, it was found that around 35% of American adults rely on car loans to pay for or buy their vehicles in 2019 alone.


Based on the experts’ view, the number of auto loans shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, experts project that it will continue to rise in the year and the years to come.

This assumption is not surprising at all especially with the recent events in the country and in the world, more and more people will definitely aim to buy their own vehicle to get them around – providing them ease and safety transportation service.

Now, as the demand when it comes to auto loans increases, more and more lending companies are opening its doors to auto loan borrowers as well. One of them is SunTrust Bank through LightStream.

For those who do not know, LightStream is an online lending division of SunTrust that offers auto loans for both new and used sealer purchases, as well as refinancing, lease buyouts, private party purchase, classic cars, and unsecured loans for borrowers with a good or excellent credit score.

In this SunTrust Bank auto loans review, we are particularly going to answer some very important questions that borrowers usually ask. This includes the following:

  • Who is SunTrust?
  • What is SunTrust LightStream?
  • What auto loan products are offered by SunTrust LightStream?
  • What do borrowers need to know about SunTrust Bank auto loans?
  • Who qualifies for a SunTrust Bank auto loan?
  • How to apply for a SunTrust Bank auto loan?
  • What are the pros and cons of a SunTrust Bank auto loan?


Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, SunTrust Bank is an American bank holding company. It is the largest subsidiary of SunTrust Banks, Inc., having an asset of $199 billion as of March 31, 2018.

In 2019, SunTrust Bank merged with a fellow regional bank, which is the BB&T. Both of them created a new bank called Truist, which is currently positioned as the country’s sixth-largest bank, having a combined asset amounting to a total of $442 billion.

Although the two banks merged, both retained their own branding as well as products, which is why SunTrust still exists.

Now, SunTrust Bank offers a wide variety of banking products, as well as lending, credit cards, mortgages, and wealth management. Among the products offered by SunTrust Bank is an auto loan, which is offered through LightStream.

The bank also offers unusual perks to its customers in 10 southeastern states and the District of Columbia. As of the last quarter of 2016, SunTrust Bank had 1,400 bank branches and 2,160 ATMs in the U.S.


As mentioned earlier, SunTrust Bank offers a wide variety of products and services, which include auto loans through LightStream.

LightStream is the online division of the bank, which makes providing loan services to customers easier for SunTrust Bank.

LightStream offers a full spectrum of auto loans to borrowers with very attractive credit and equally healthy finances.

The online lending division of SunTrust bank offers a variety of auto loan products for private party purchases, new and used dealer purchases, lease buyouts, refinancing, as well as classic cars and unsecured loans.

The SunTrust LightStream auto loan is specifically ideal for borrowers with good or excellent credit with a “background of solid financial management,” those who want to get an immediate response to their auto loan application (as LightStream gives a decision as soon as a few hours after filing of an auto loan application), and those who want maximum flexibility (because LightStream does not have any restrictions on car make, model as well as mileage).

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about LightStream auto loans, check the video below by Honest Finance. He shares a very insightful review, and we thought you got to check this out:


Again, as mentioned, LightStream is SunTrust online division, which caters to auto loans.

One thing that LightStream is popular is that it offers a variety of auto loans to its customers.

Customers may choose on the following auto loan options:

  • New Dealer Purchase
  • Used Dealer Purchase
  • Private Party Purchase
  • Refinance
  • Lease Buyout
  • Unsecured Auto Loans

We just want to point out that LightStream’s classic car option does not have any restrictions on make, model, age, or mileage.

Furthermore, unsecured auto loans basically mean your car will not be used collateral in case of default payments.

In addition, you can use SunTrust LightStream auto loans to refinance, as well as buy out a lease, and even to finance an RV or a motorcycle purchase.

By its list of products offered alone, as compared to other auto lending companies, SunTrust definitely has an edge. It’s safe to say that their line-up of auto loan products is well-thought-out. They ensured everything is covered, and that they have a product that fits every kind of auto loan borrower – leaving no room to look elsewhere.


As we always say, when eyeing for a loan – whether it be an auto loan or not – it is important to shop and compare. Look around and see what auto lenders offer. Compare their loan offers before making a decision, before sealing the deal.

By doing so, you get to choose the best deal possible – leaving no room for regrets. Well, as borrowers, the last thing you want is to realize you actually cannot afford to pay off the loan, which means, you might end up broke or in a bad light.

With that said, as part of our SunTrust Bank auto loans review, we are going to share with you some of the most vital information regarding what they offer.

In particular, we are going to share with you information on the following aspects:

  • Loan Amount
  • Interest Rate
  • Loan Terms
  • Refinancing Options
  • Fees and Penalties
  • Collateral

Now, let’s discuss the items one by one to give you clarity and a better understanding of what to expect with SunTrust Bank auto loans —

Loan Amount

When borrowing money from a bank or any lending company or financial institution for that matter, make sure you have already determined the amount of money you need to purchase the vehicle. That way, you get to save time and energy – focusing only on banks or lending companies that offer loan amounts based on how much you need.

SunTrust Bank, through LightStream, offers loan amounts from as low as $5,000 up to $100,000.

Compared to other lending companies and financial institutions offering auto loans, SunTrust’s LighStream definitely has one of the highest loan amounts.

So, if you are looking at borrowing money within this range, SunTrust’s LightStream is definitely a good fit for you.

Interest Rate

Another very important thing that every borrower needs to consider when getting an auto loan is the interest rate or the annual percentage rate charged by the lending company or the bank. This will help you gauge if you are able to pay off the loan or not. Needless to say, this helps you determine if the loan is worth it or not.

Take note that every financial institution has its own rate – thus, the importance of shopping/looking around and comparing before anything else.

For your reference, here’s how much SunTrust’s LightStream charges for auto loans depending based on loan category:

  • New dealer purchase – 3.49% to 8.34%
  • Used dealer purchase – 3.49% to 8.34%
  • Private party purchase – 4.99% to 9.19%
  • Refinance – 3.49% to 8.34%
  • Lease buyout – 4.99% to 9.19% (with autopay discount)

The interest rate varies depending on certain factors like your credit score or creditworthiness, your location, loan amount, loan terms, etc. So, if you want a concrete detail, it is best to check with SunTrust’s LightStream as soon as you can.

As we have mentioned, SunTrust Bank offers unusual perks. One of them is that if you have been offered a lower rate by another lender, what SunTrust does is that it will offer .10% points less than the rate that you have been approved for. Of course, the evidence must be submitted.

In addition to SunTrust Bank auto loan perks, if a borrower sets up auto pay, he or she gets an additional 0.50% off from LightStream.

Loan Terms

Another important thing to factor in when deciding where to borrow money from is the loan terms or the length of time you are going to repay the loan.

Every lender has its own loan terms. As for SunTrust’s LightStream auto loans, the loan terms are flexible. The minimum length of borrowing is 24 months, while it can also be as long as 84 months.

However, like in any other type of loan, the lengthier the loan term is, the bigger the interest becomes. Meanwhile, if you opt to repay the loan as soon as possible, you definitely can enjoy a lower interest charge.

Refinancing Options

As mentioned earlier, SunTrust Bank through its online division, LightStream, offers a variety of auto loan options, which include refinancing.

Yes, you can borrow money from LightStream intended to help pay off any existing auto loan.

Fees and Penalties

Some lenders may offer lower rates, but they charge a lot of fees and penalties, which can be burdensome for borrowers. Imagine paying off an interest plus fees and penalties.

Anyway, as a borrower, you also need to take into consideration the fees and penalties charged by the lender before making any concrete decision.

At the end of the day, you want to save as much money as possible, right? An auto loan is useless if you are paying way more than what you are supposed to pay.

What we particularly like about SunTrust Bank auto loans is that they do not charge an origination fee, late payment fee, as well as prepayment penalties. On the latter, it means you can repay the loan in full anytime you want before the scheduled end of the term without having to worry about prepayment penalties.


Unfortunately, the auto loan offered by SunTrust Bank’s LightStream is only applicable to borrowers with good or excellent credit. Those with unattractive or poor credit score may consider looking for other auto loan providers.

Now, SunTrust Bank auto loans can either be secured or unsecured. Secured auto loans mean your vehicle automatically becomes the collateral of the loan, which means, in case of default payment, the bank has all the right to get the vehicle from you.

Meanwhile, with SunTrust’s unsecured loans, the company requires borrowers to have an excellent credit score. According to the bank, borrowers must have the following to get approval for the unsecured auto loan:

  • Minimum of five year’s substantial credit experience in different credit account types
  • Excellent payment records, with no delinquencies or record of bankruptcies
  • Proven ability to save money


Borrowers, it is important to know that every lending company or financial institution have their own set of requirements or qualifications.

These requirements or qualifications are set to make the approval of auto loan applications easier.

Ideally, before anything else, borrowers must first and foremost check the requirements set by the lender to help save time and effort.

As for SunTrust Bank auto loans, please take note of the following requirements or qualifications:

  • Must have a good or excellent credit score (at least 660 to qualify for lowest rates and most lenient terms)
  • No delinquencies or record of bankruptcies
  • Must have a proven ability to save money
  • Must have sufficient income to cover debts
  • Must have at least five years of credit history
  • Must own a variety of account types

In addition, you must of course be of legal age and a U.S. citizen or a permanent residence cardholder to be able to obtain a SunTrust auto loan via LightStream.


At this point in our SunTrust Bank auto loans review, we are going to talk about how to actually apply for an auto loan at SunTrust Bank.

Following below step-by-step guide will definitely help make the auto loan application easier.

First, go to the SunTrust Bank website, and choose the type of loan you want to apply for — in this case, it’s auto loan — and then, click “Apply Now.” You will then be directed to the LightStream loan application portal.

Second, fill in all the details required to process your auto loan application. At this point, you have to indicate whether it’s an individual or a joint application. You will also be asked to input your desired loan amount and the loan term that you prefer. Once done, click, the “Next” button.

Third, fill in your personal information, which includes your contact details, place of residence or address, citizenship, work status, as well as your annual income, monthly housing costs, and your assets. When done, click the “Next” button.

Fourth, create a user ID and input your preferred password to be able to access your account. Then, choose a security question and answer. This enables you to access your account in the future.

Lastly, confirm your application details, and then submit them.

Please note that SunTrust Bank may provide funding for you as soon as the same day of your application provided you review and sign loan documents by 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, provide your bank details, and have completed the verification procedures.

By the way, SunTrust provides a satisfaction guarantee. In case, however, you are not happy with your loan experience with the company, the lender will give you $100 in return.


This review will not be complete if are not going to share with you what we like and what we do not like about SunTrust Bank auto loans.

Without anything else to say, here’s our list of pros and cons of SunTrust Bank auto loans:


  • It provides a variety of auto loan options, which include dealer or private party purchases, refinancing, classic car loans, and lease buyouts.
  • Fast auto loan processing, which allows borrowers to receive funding in as soon as the same day of the loan application.
  • Offers some of the best auto loan rates in the market today — definitely cheaper as compared to its competitors.
  • Beats competing for APR offers by offering a 0.10% points off (with conditions).
  • Does not charge an origination fee, late payment fee, as well as prepayment penalties.


  • It only caters to borrowers with strong credit.
  • It does not offer a phone or email application process, which could be an issue for non-tech savvy borrowers.
  • It has very strict requirements for auto loan approval.


To sum it all up, SunTrust Bank auto loans through LightStream offers great deals. It comes with perks such as a rate match guarantee, as well as a customer satisfaction guarantee. Needless to say, the bank offers one of the lowest rates in the industry today.

Unfortunately though, qualifying for a SunTrust auto loan can be quite daunting. It has very stringent requirements. Unless you have very good credit, and you meet all the qualifications set, then, there should be no problem at all.

So, do we recommend SunTrust auto loans?

With everything we have shared in this SunTrust Bank auto loans review, we definitely say, yes, we do recommend it especially to borrowers with excellent credit records. They definitely will benefit a lot from it.

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