Student Loan Repayment

Learn the ins and outs of private student loan repayment.

Keeping up with student loan payments is an important, if sometimes challenging, responsibility. Find out ways to successfully manage the repayment of your private student loan from start to finish. Learn about repayment considerations:

When you apply and while in school.

Carefully weigh your loan repayment options up front.
One of the best things you can do to help manage your student loan payments happens before you even finalize your loan: the selection of the repayment options you want for your loan.

The repayment options you select will be among the most important loan decisions you make. Why? Because the length of the loan term, rate type (variable or fixed rate) and repayment option while in school (e.g., opting to defer your payments while in school vs. paying while in school) can greatly affect the amount of interest you pay in the long run. These options can also determine whether you are able to handle your payments on a monthly basis when you get out of school, for the life of the loan.

Try It Yourself: Compare different repayment options
Select a SunTrust private student loan below and use the Payment Comparison Tool to compare different loan options and see how it affects the total amount you would pay over the life of the loan. Not sure which loan to select? Compare SunTrust private student loans to learn more about each loan.

After you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time status.

Know when your payments start.
Unless you chose the Immediate Repayment option – making principal and interest payments during your in-school deferment period – you will start making principal and interest payments after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time status1. We want to make your repayment experience a positive one. Here are helpful information and resources to assist you with repayment issues and questions.

Be aware of the role of your loan servicer.

Many lenders partner with loan servicers to manage private student loans after the loan proceeds have been sent to the school. Servicers perform several tasks:

  • Process payments
  • Accept deferment requests
  • Maintain loan records and files

American Education Services (AES) is the servicer for SunTrust private student loans and manages contact with borrowers during in-school, grace and repayment periods. It is very important to inform AES of any changes in address, phone number and/or enrollment status. 

To contact your SunTrust private student loan servicer, AES:

  • Website: to securely access account information online, make online payments or sign up for auto-debit
  • Phone: 800.233.0557 for assistance

Prior to first payment due date borrowers will be sent information from the AES with monthly payment information (amount due, date due and where to send the payment).

Understand your private student loan borrower's responsibilities. 
The credit agreement (sometimes also called a promissory note) explains all borrower and cosigner obligations. Among them are the following:

Private student loan borrowers, and their cosigners, if applicable, are responsible for paying back the loan, even if the student borrower doesn't complete coursework, graduate from college or cannot find a job after graduating.

Private student loan borrowers and their cosigners should notify the lender or servicer if:

  • There is a change in name, address, phone number or Social Security number
  • The student drops below half-time enrollment status
  • The student graduates, withdraws or transfers to another school
  • Scheduled loan payments cannot be made as scheduled
  • Loan repayment needs to be delayed or put on hold with a deferment
  • The student or cosigner becomes an active service member within the military

In addition, borrowers and cosigners should open and read all mail related to any student loan

Know what happens if you miss a payment.

  • If you miss a payment, you may incur additional charges, such as late fees.
  • Missing a payment will cause your loan to be delinquent. If you fail to make payments for a specified period of time according to your loan agreement, your loan will be in default.
  • Defaulting on a private student loan can result in consequences for both you and your cosigner, if applicable. Your credit score and your cosigner’s credit score could be negatively impacted.
  • If you have difficulty making your payments as scheduled, you should immediately contact AES to discuss your available options.

If you have more questions, please contact us.

Important Information

Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. View and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans.

Union Federal is a federally registered trademark of Cognition Financial Corporation used by SunTrust Bank under license. The Union Federal Private Student Loan is funded by SunTrust Bank and is not offered in connection with any other lender or the federal government. Cognition Financial Corporation is not an affiliate of SunTrust Bank.

Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue these programs without notice. These loan programs are subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.


Principal and interest payments may be 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 will be capitalized (added to the unpaid principal loan balance) when repayment of principal and interest begins. There are no prepayment penalties. Making interest only or partial interest payments during in-school deferment (including the grace period) will not reduce the principal balance of the loan.

Having trouble making payments? Got questions?

We're here to help. Please contact one of our student loan specialists today.

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