Suntrust Student Loans
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.
Category: Bank loan