How to Refinance Your SunTrust Student Loan


Jen Williamson Updated: April 30, 2019

Got a private student loan through SunTrust? Did you know you can refinance that loan—and potentially score a lower interest rate? You absolutely can.

If you refinance your SunTrust loan and you've already graduated, you have to pick a new lender. That's because SunTrust doesn't offer refinancing, unless you're applying for a new student loan with Suntrust and you want to roll previous student loan balances into your new loan.

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What is refinancing—and why would you want to do it? 

Refinancing means replacing an existing loan with a new loan, through a new lender. People do this all the time with other types of loans—like mortgages—to take advantage of lower interest rates. You can do it with your student loans, too.

There are several reasons why you might want to consider refinancing.

To get a lower interest rate and save money

If you took out your original SunTrust loan while you were in college, your credit score may have improved since then—which means you might qualify for a better interest rate now.

This strategy works—our data shows people who refinance save around $16,183 on average. Especially if you’ve kept your credit score sterling, it’s worth it to see if other lenders will give you a lower rate.

To replace multiple loans with one loan

When you refinance, your new lender pays off all the loans you’re refinancing—and issues you a new loan. You now make payments only to one lender, not many. This makes your loan easier to track and manage. 

To change your loan payment term

Maybe you want to increase the length of your payment period to reduce your monthly payment—or pay off your loan faster to save on interest.

Either way, refinancing is a surefire way you can change the payment terms on a private student loan.

See also: Everything You Need to Know About Student Loan Refinancing

How do I find a new lender to refinance my loan?

If you're unable to refinance with SunTrust, some shopping around is in order.

For most people, the first criteria is how low the new interest-rate offer is. You can get a ballpark idea by using a refinancing calculator.

Once you’ve narrowed your search, you can apply with several different lenders. They’ll ask you some questions about your financial life, do a soft pull on your credit—this won’t show up on your score—and make you an initial offer.

From there, you can pick the offer you like best, and the lender will handle all the paperwork of paying off your old loans and issuing a new one.

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What other criteria can I use to pick a lender?

 Apart from the interest rate, you might want to consider:

Customer service

What are people saying about this lender’s services? Look at Yelp reviews and ask your friends. 

Horror stories are definitely out there, but some lenders do have a good reputation for customer service. (CommonBond, for instance, has won awards for theirs).

Types of loans

Most lenders offer fixed- and variable-rate loans for various interest rate ranges. A few offer other options (for instance, CommonBond offers a hybrid fixed-and-variable-rate loan).

See also: Choosing a Fixed or Variable Interest Rate 

Extra perks

Some lenders have a little something extra that makes them worth a second look.

For instance, SoFi offers coast-to-coast networking events, yoga, wine tastings, and entrepreneurial seed funding; CommonBond has a strong social promise angle; and LendKey will hook you up with over 13,000 local community banks and credit unions to score the lowest rate.

Refinancing can make a big difference in your financial life. You don’t have to stick with SunTrust or any of your other current lenders—you can hit the reset button and score a better interest rate.

Check out Refi Ready to see how much you could save.

Refinance & Save Today With These Leading Lenders

#1 - Comet Recommended View More Details

Works with 275+ not-for-profit community lenders for higher approval chances

  • APR: 2.49% - 7.50%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $300K
View More Details
Visit LendKey View Loan Disclosure

LendKey operates student loan programs for over 275 not-for-profit and community lenders across the country. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.

LendKey Student Loan Refinance review

  • Lightning fast rate check - 2-minute rate check with no impact on your credit score
  • More lenders, more options - see the best offers from over 275 not-for-profit and community lenders for higher approval chances
  • Life of loan relationship - With LendKey, your personal information will never be sent or passed on to third parties. Their customer service team is with you from the moment you land on their website until you've completely repaid your loan.
  • Unmatched benefits- Community lenders put people over profits and offer unique benefits like cosigner release after 12 on-time payments, interest only repayment options to keep monthly payments low, the largest unemployment protection period in the market, and more.

Get a personalized quote from LendKey now.

#2 View More Details

Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking

  • APR: 2.490% - 8.074%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Refinance up to 100% of student debt
View More Details
Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

SoFi, which stands for “Social Finance,” was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. They set out to change the student loan industry and help borrowers like themselves to get lower interest rates. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, it has no maximum amount you can finance. However, Nevada residents can’t currently refinance with SoFi. Minimum loan balances are higher in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to state laws. Additional state restrictions may apply.

SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Review

  • Low interest rates - For well-qualified borrowers, SoFi offers some of the lowest rates we have found.
  • Strong customer service - It has more than 350 customer service reps available to help applicants through process.
  • Career coaching and networking - Perks include career services representatives who can help you find a job or negotiate a higher salary. SoFi also hosts networking events, happy hours and educational lectures on topics like buying a home in major cities around the country.
  • Unemployment protection - Borrowers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own may apply for Unemployment Protection. If approved, SoFi will suspend their monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during the forbearance period. These benefits are offered in three month increments, and are capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. Note that interest will still accrue while loans are in forbearance.

Find out what interest rate SoFi can offer you here.

#3 View More Details

For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need

  • APR: 2.48% - 6.25%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $500K
View More Details
Visit CommonBond View Loan Disclosure

CommonBond was founded in 2011 by three MBA graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who wanted to help their peers escape from high-interest student loan debt. Its original focus was on grad students, but it has since expanded to cover undergrads as well.

Of all the companies we reviewed, CommonBond has some of the best customer service. The company prides itself on being easy to reach by email, phone, or live chat. It offers networking events, expert panels, insider newsletters, and even has a program help borrowers who lose their jobs to find new ones. CommonBond also makes you feel good about choosing to refinance with them by donating money to an education nonprofit for each loan they write.

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance review

  • Unemployment protections - If you lose your job or decide to go back to school, you can delay your payments for up to 24 months.
  • Social promise - For every loan they fund, they also contribute to the education of a child in need.
  • Hybrid loan option - Offerings include a 10-year hybrid loan with fixed interest for the first five years, and variable interest for the final five.
  • Referral bonus - For every friend you refer who refinances their loans with CommonBond, you’ll earn a $200 cash bonus.
  • Qualification - Borrowers must have graduated at least 2 years prior if they want to apply without a co-signer. And borrowers in 6 states – Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Dakota, and Vermont – cannot currently refinance through CommonBond.

Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.

#4 View More Details

Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.

  • APR: 2.49% - 7.89%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Refinance up to $500K
View More Details
Visit Earnest View Loan Disclosure

Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.

  • Commitment-free 2 minute rate check
  • Client Happiness can be reached via in app messaging, email, and phone 
  • No fees for origination, prepayment, or loan disbursement
  • Flexible terms let you pick your exact monthly payment or switch between fixed and variable rates
  • Skip a payment and make it up later
  • Online dashboard is designed to make it easy to apply for and manage your loan

Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.

#5 View More Details

Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender

  • APR: 2.50% - 7.02%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • No refinancing amount maximum
View More Details
Visit Laurel Road View Loan Disclosure

Laurel Road is a national online lender with customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Many of our non-bank competitors are not able to lend in all 50 states.Laurel Road has grown to be the second largest player in the student loan refinancing space in large part because of our reputation as the go-to low rate provider.

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance Review

  • National reach - Online lender that is available in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • No fees & the lowest rates in the space - Laurel Road is the most transparent about the rates they provide customers, and offer the lowest rates where it counts. Our customers will save more than $20,000 over the life of their loans on average. 
  • Customer service reputation - Laurel Road's customer service representatives are no rookies. With 19 years of experience on average, Laurel Road’s Customer Service team delivers an experience that is best in the industry. They work to build meaningful, life-long relationships with our valued customers to improve their overall financial wellness.
  • The stability & security of a bank - They are a division of Darien Rowayton Bank, a stable and secure FDIC-insured bank, regulated by the FDIC and the Connecticut Department of Banking.

Get your personalized, pre-approved rates in less than 5 minutes.

#6 View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • APR: 3.10% - 7.84%
  • Minimum credit score: 670 w/cosigner
  • Refinance up to $350K
View More Details
Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 3.25% fixed APR which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.

  • Low interest rates – especially for graduate students
  • No application or origination fees. No prepayment penalties.
  • Co-signer release program - you can apply for a cosigner release form your loan after 12 months of on-time payments
  • Specialty product for doctors in training with low monthly payment

Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.

I reduced my student loan payment by $152 per month, by refinancing thru Nitro

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