Start Student Loan | PrivateStudentLoans
What are my private student loan options?

Start Student Loans

The Start Student Loan Offers the Following 

Start Private Student Loans
  • Rate Range1: 4.977% Variable APR – 10.353% Fixed APR
  • 0% introductory APR for the first six months (no interest will be charged during this time)2
  • Up to 0.50% interest rate reduction for auto pay3 (APRs shown do not include this reduction, which is available during full repayment)
  • Get the same 0% introductory APR2 offer on refinanced existing private student loan balances4
  • Cosigner release option available after making 36 on-time payments5

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Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Undergraduate and graduate students who:

  • Are enrolled at least half-time in a degree granting program
  • Attend an approved school, typically a 4-year public or private college or university
  • Are the legal age of majority, or at least 17 years of age at the time of application if applying with a cosigner who meets the age of majority requirements in the cosigner's state of residence6
  • Student and cosigner, if applicable, must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien. The Start Student Loan is not available to students or cosigners who permanently reside in Iowa or Wisconsin.

Loan Limits7

Minimum Loan Amount: $5,001

Annual loan maximum: $65,000

Total student loan debt allowed: $150,000

Repayment Options

  • In-School Deferment - Postpone monthly payments while in school8
  • 15 years9

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1 Interest rates and APRs (Annual Percentage Rates) depend upon (1) the student’s and cosigner’s (if applicable) credit histories, (2) the requested loan amount and (3) other information provided on the online loan application. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate applicable to your loan. Rates and terms are effective for applications received on or after 1/01/2020. The APRs assume a 0% introductory APR for six months from the first disbursement date, a 15-year $10,000 loan, with two-disbursements and full deferment. The variable rate for each calendar month except during the 0% introductory period is calculated by adding the current index (One-month LIBOR index) to your margin. LIBOR stands for London Interbank Offered Rate. The One-month LIBOR is published in the "Money Rates" section of the Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition). The One-month LIBOR index is captured on the 25th day of the immediately preceding calendar month (or if the 25th is not a business day, the next business day thereafter), and is rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of one percent. The current One-month LIBOR index is 1.875% on 1/01/2020. The variable interest rate will increase or decrease if the One-month LIBOR index changes or if a new index is chosen. The applicable index or margin for variable rate loans may change over time and result in a different APR than shown. The fixed rate assigned to a loan after the 0% introductory period will never change except as required by law or if you request and qualify for the auto pay discount.

2 The Start Student Loan has a 0% introductory APR, meaning that the loan will not accrue interest during the introductory period. The Introductory Period will begin on the first disbursement date of the loan and end on that date which is six (6) months from the first disbursement date. By way of example only, if the first disbursement date is August 15, the introductory period will end on February 15. The fist disbursement date means the date on which loan funds are first transmitted on the student’s behalf.

3Earn an interest rate reduction for making automatic payments of principal and interest from a bank account (“auto pay discount”) by completing the direct debit form provided by the Servicer. Earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you auto pay from any bank account and an extra 0.25% interest rate reduction when you auto pay from a SunTrust or BB&T checking, savings, or money market account. The auto pay discount will be applied after the Servicer validates your bank account information and will continue until (1) three automatic deductions are returned for insufficient funds during the life of the loan (after which the discount cannot be reinstated) or (2) automatic deduction of payments is stopped (including during any deferment or forbearance, even if payments are made). In addition, the extra 0.25% interest rate reduction for auto pay from a SunTrust or BB&T checking, savings or money market account will be discontinued if automatic payments are no longer made from one of the aforementioned accounts. In the event the auto pay discount is discontinued, the loan will accrue interest at the rate stated in your Credit Agreement. The auto pay discount is not available when payments are deferred or when the loan is in forbearance, even if payments are being made. Please note that SunTrust and BB&T have branch locations in certain states (visit or to determine locations). Most transactions can be performed online or over the phone, however some infrequent transactions may require visiting a branch. This is not a solicitation to open such accounts. Some products may have an associated cost.

4 Private student loans that can be refinanced with a new SunTrust private student loan are private student loans and private consolidation loans that the student applicant used for, or used to refinance loans used for, certain postsecondary expenses, not currently past due. Loans that cannot be refinanced into this loan are (1) private student loans for which the student applicant is not the primary borrower, (2) Federal student loans, and (3) student loans made by an educational institution. Loans being refinanced must have been used for "qualified higher education expenses" (defined by the Internal Revenue Code), which consists of expenses included in the Higher Education Act's definition of "cost of attendance". Learn more about the In-School Refinance Option.

5 A cosigner may be released from the loan upon request to the Servicer, provided that the student borrower is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, has met credit criteria, and met either one of the following payment conditions: (a) the first 36 consecutive monthly principal and interest payments have been made on-time (received by the Servicer within 10 calendar days after their due date) or (b) the loan has not had any late payments and has been prepaid prior to the end of the first 36 months of scheduled principal and interest payments in an amount equal to the first 36 months of scheduled principal and interest payments (based on the monthly payment amount in effect when you make the most recent payment). As an example, if you have made 30 months of consecutive on-time payments, and then, based on the monthly payment amount in effect on the due date of your 31st consecutive monthly payment, you pay a lump sum equal to 6 months of payments, you will have satisfied the payment condition. Cosigner release may not be available if a loan is in forbearance.

6The legal age for entering into contracts is 18 years of age in every state except Alabama (19 years old), Nebraska (19 years old, only for wards of the state), and Mississippi and Puerto Rico (21 years old).

7The maximum annual loan limit to cover in-school expenses for each academic year is determined by the school’s cost of attendance, minus other financial aid, such as federal student loans, scholarships or grants, up to $65,000. The loan amount must be certified by the school. If you choose the In-School Refinance Option, the maximum amount that you can refinance is $150,000 minus the amount that you are applying for to cover in-school expenses. [In any event, the loan amount cannot cause the aggregate maximum student loan debt (which includes all student loans and certain unsecured consumer debt) to exceed $150,000 per applicant (on cosigned applications, separate calculations are performed for the student and cosigner).

8Principal and interest payments are deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time at an approved school and during the six-month grace period after graduation or dropping below half-time status, but the total initial deferment period, including the grace period, may not exceed 66 months from the first disbursement date. Any accrued and unpaid interest after the first six months following the first disbursement will be capitalized (added to the unpaid principal loan balance) when repayment of principal and interest begins. There are no prepayment penalties. Making payments during in-school deferment (including the grace period) will not reduce the principal balance of the loan.

9Payment example (assumes 0% introductory APR for six months from the first disbursement date, a 45-month deferment period, a six-month grace period before entering repayment, no auto pay discount, and the Full Deferment Repayment option): 15 year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with, a 15-year repayment term (180 months) and a 8.513% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $139.85.

What are my private student loan options?