SunTrust Small Business Loans Review


What is SunTrust?

Founded in 1985 and headquartered in Atlanta, SunTrust Bank is one of the country’s largest banks with $205 billion in assets and total deposits of $162 billion. SunTrust provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage and capital market services with bank branches in 11 southeast and mid-Atlantic states and Washington D.C.


Lender highlights

Variety of loans. SunTrust offers multiple options for types of funding and term lengths from traditional term loans (both long and short-term) to lines of credit along with several Small Business Administration loans.

Longer turnaround time. Like most traditional banks, the application and loan approval process will be much more involved than with online lenders. SBA loans, in particular, require business owners to provide a lot of documentation and meet multiple criteria. SunTrust, however, does offer an SBA Express Loan or Line of Credit, which cuts down on the amount of paperwork.

Secured or unsecured. For qualified business owners, SunTrust will offer some unsecured loans, likely with higher interest rates because they are riskier for the lender.


What SunTrust offers?

SunTrust offers unsecured, secured and Small Business Administration lending products for new businesses to well-established companies. Fees and APR structure are aligned with industry standards. Most repayments are monthly and are structured to fit the needs and cash flow of the business. The details of repayment, like the percent of principal repayment, will be outlined in the lending contract and reviewed with the business owner before funding.

Loan product Loan amount Loan term APR range/ factor rate Fees Time to funding
Term loan Not provided by the lender Up to 20 years Fixed or variable Origination fee Not provided by the lender
Business line of credit Pre-authorized to borrow up to a specific amount Not provided by the lender Rate varies. Interest only accrues on outstanding balance Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender
SBA 504 loan Up to $10 million or more Up to 25 years Competitive fixed None Varies
SBA 7 (a) loan $5 million 5-7 years for working capital, up to 25 years for real estate, 10 years for all other loans Plus, no balloons SBA charges a fee to guarantee the loan Varies
SBA Express loan or Line of Credit $250,000 10 years Competitive variable or fixed None Varies
Export Express Up to $500,000 Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender 0.25% fee for maturities less than 12 months, 2% fee on amounts less than $150,000, 3% fee on amounts greater than $150,000 Not provided by the lender
Export Working Capital Up to $5 million Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender 0.25% SBA fee Not provided by the lender
Equipment financing $250,000-$50 million Variable Dependent on the type of equipment Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender

Rates current as of 6/06/2018

The SBA 504 loan and SBA Express Loan or Line of Credit require a minimum 10% down payment from the business owner.


Eligibility requirements

Loan product Annual revenue Min. business credit score or personal credit score Time in business
Term loan Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender
Business line of credit Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender
SBA 504 loan $15 million in net worth and $5 million in net income Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender
SBA 7 (a) Loan $15 million in net worth and $5 million in net income Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender
SBA Express Loan or Line of Credit $15 million in net worth and $5 million in net income Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender
SBA Export Express Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender 1 year
SBA Working Capital loan Not provided by the lender Not provided by the lender 1 year

Additional eligibility factors

With long-term and intermediate-term business loans, collateral is required. Usually your company’s equipment can be used for collateral.

SBA loans don’t require a specific level of collateral, but personal assets may be required if the assets being financed are not enough to secure the loan. Only for-profit businesses that meet the SBA’s business size and standards criteria are eligible for SBA loans.
SunTrust offers both secured and unsecured business lines of credit. A line of credit can be secured by any or all of a business’s assets. Some owners, though, won’t want to offer all their business assets as collateral and can consider an unsecured line of credit. This option will probably only be reserved for people with the best credit scores and might come with a higher interest rate.

Businesses that are not eligible for SunTrust loans:

Brand new businesses are not eligible for some SBA loans. Businesses also must be for-profit and meet size and standards guidelines for SBA loans.


Additional eligibility factors

With long-term and intermediate-term business loans, collateral is required. Usually your company’s equipment can be used for collateral.

SBA loans don’t require a specific level of collateral, but personal assets may be required if the assets being financed are not enough to secure the loan. Only for-profit businesses that meet the SBA’s business size and standards criteria are eligible for SBA loans.
SunTrust offers both secured and unsecured business lines of credit. A line of credit can be secured by any or all of a business’s assets. Some owners, though, won’t want to offer all their business assets as collateral and can consider an unsecured line of credit. This option will probably only be reserved for people with the best credit scores and might come with a higher interest rate.

Businesses that are not eligible for SunTrust loans:

Brand new businesses are not eligible for some SBA loans. Businesses also must be for-profit and meet size and standards guidelines for SBA loans.


How to apply for SunTrust financing

Applications can be handled by phone or in person at a SunTrust bank branch. The documents required will depend on the type of loan.

Documents to apply for some SBA loans

  • Drivers license or State ID
  • Business information and history form
  • Three years of federal business tax returns
  • Three years of personal federal tax returns
  • Current (dated within 90 days) interim financials (balance sheet, profit and loss, etc.)
  • 4506-T request for transcript of federal tax returns
  • Personal financial statement form (signed by spouse, if applicable)
  • Attestation statement
  • SBA form 1919 individual application
  • Management resume, resume or curriculum vitae

Pros/Cons

Pros Cons
 Provides funding to start-up businesses   More paperwork and longer approval process, in particular for some SBA loans
  Offers multiple funding options, term lengths and repayment options   Longer time to funding for most loans in comparison to online lenders
  Lower interest rates than most online lenders   Favorable credit scores a big decider in loan approval and interest rates

Who is the best fit?

As a more traditional lender, most SunTrust loans are geared toward financially healthy businesses and owners with solid credit scores. SunTrust, however, does offer some funding products to startup businesses, which is more unusual for a bank, and has several types of SBA loans, which can be extended to “riskier” borrowers because the SBA guarantees a large portion of the loan.

Most of the loans offered by SunTrust will take more time to process, approve and fund than with an online lender, so business owners with immediate capital needs might have to look elsewhere. But SunTrust offers an SBA Express Loan or Line of Credit which is geared toward business owners looking for an easier application process and quicker access to funding.


Fine print

SunTrust offers detailed information on the types of loans it offers and the best uses for those loans on its website. Most interest rates and terms are not listed and will depend on credit history, business revenue and the type and terms of the loan. As a traditional lender, SunTrust generally offers lower interest rates than most online lenders, but credit history and the financial health of the business will play a larger role in which businesses are approved for a loan and what interest rate they receive.

SBA loans can take a long time to secure and come with a lot of paperwork and legwork, but they offer solid options, especially for shorter terms than more traditional loans. SunTrust ranked 30 in the Top 100 most active SBA lenders in the United States as of March 31, 2018, so they are accustomed to handling SBA loans.


The bottom line: How SunTrust stacks up

SunTrust offers a number of funding options that will meet most business owner needs, although businesses with poor credit histories and cash flow may be unlikely to be approved for a loan. Providing funding for startups, an express SBA option and the option of an unsecured loan, rounds out the type of business owners who they can service.

SunTrust says its fees and APRs are aligned with industry standards, but it’s worth looking at other banks to make sure you’re getting the best interest rates and terms. Always ensure you know if there are any additional fees involved in a loan, when your payments are due and how much is due. A loan marketplace like LendingTree makes this simple because we offer a short online form that asks a few basic questions and gives you a chance to get multiple loans in one place.

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