There are many ways for home buyers to obtain a mortgage, including applying online or visiting a local bank branch. A popular bank for southeast mortgage customers is SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI), but consumer and industry reviews suggest that there are issues with its customer service.

About SunTrust Banks

SunTrust is a full-service commercial bank headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. As of March 31, 2016, SunTrust had $194 billion in assets and $152 billion in deposits. With branches located primarily in the southeast and mid-Atlantic states, the bank provides a number of services, including deposit, credit, trust, investment, securities, asset management, capital markets and mortgage services.

Mortgages Products Offered

SunTrust offers the same mortgage products as other commercial banks, including a fixed-rate mortgage, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), agency plus financing, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, construction-to-permanent loans, rural development loans and loans to doctors.

Mortgage Rates

Fixed-rate mortgages at SunTrust offer predictable monthly payments for the life of the loan. As of May 2, 2016, the interest for a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage was 3.49%, with 1.692 discount points, no origination fees and an annual percentage rate (APR) of 3.6991%. The 15-year fixed-rate is 2.8%, with 1.195 discount points and no origination fees.

SunTrust’s adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) track market rates. In other words, the monthly mortgage payment is dependent on market rates and is not fixed for the life of the loan. ARMs are ideal for those who can pay off a loan quickly or plan on selling a house within a few years. As of May 2, 2016, rates for 30-year ARMs were 2.8%, with 1.086 discount points, no origination fees and an APR of 3.41%

SunTrust’s agency plus loans provide financing for large loans in higher-cost areas. Jumbo, 30-year, fixed-rate loans at SunTrust are available for a rate of 3.750%, with 1.103 discount points, no origination fees and an APR of 3.88%.

VA loans are available to current or former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses. SunTrust VA loans provide 100% financing on the purchase of one- to four-unit dwellings, as long as they are used as a primary residence. The loan requires no down payment. The VA loan rate on 30-year mortgages was 3.375%, as of May 2, 2016, with an interest rate of 3.375% and discount points of 1.057. The APR is 3.6447%.

SunTrust’s construction-to-permanent loan program is designed with the flexibility needed for homebuilders. These loans are used to finance additions, renovations or even a brand new home. Rural development loans allow for 100% financing on homes in certain areas, determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. Home buyers may be able to borrow up to the value of their homes with no down payment.

The doctor loan program at SunTrust is specifically designed to meet the needs of licensed residents, interns, fellows, medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy. It also works for doctors of dental medicine, general dentists and psychiatrists licensed as medical doctors. Doctors may be able to receive up to 100% financing on monthly mortgage insurance payments. These loans are highly specialized, and rates vary. To obtain a rate on construction-to-permanent, rural development or doctor loans, the homebuyer must provide detailed information about his or her specific needs.

What Consumers Are Saying

ConsumerAffairs.com gave SunTrust a one-star rating as of May 2016, with one being the worst and five being the best. The rating is based on an average of 34 ratings from 303 reviews. Nobody gave SunTrust five stars; one person gave it four stars; two people gave it two stars; and 31 people gave it one star. The majority of the reviews fall into three complaint areas. Most people are unhappy with its customer service and loan servicing. Others reported errors in loan documents, including incorrect property tax amounts.

CreditKarma.com, another consumer review website, gave SunTrust 1.6 out of five stars in the same time period, with five stars being the best. Most people gave the bank a one, but 11% gave it five stars. The final score was based on 27 reviews. Reviewers gave the bank two out of five stars for the application process, 1.5 out of five stars for customer service and 1.5 out of five stars for loan holder ratings.

U.S. Bank Mortgage Overview (USB)

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