Truist (SunTrust and BB&T) Mortgage Lender Review 2021: A Newly Merged Brand With a Solid Mortgage Menu

An image to accompany a review of Truist mortgages Illustration/NextAdvisor

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Truist Bank became the seventh-largest commercial bank in the U.S. after SunTrust Bank and BB&T Corp. merged in 2019. Truist is now based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is in the process of moving every product under one retail line. As a full-service bank, customers can find consumer banking services, mortgages, home equity products, credit cards, investment products, and several types of loans. 

Homebuyers can get a Truist mortgage loan in 47 states and Washington, D.C., and customers can apply online, over the phone, or at one of thousands of SunTrust and BB&T branches spread across the U.S. You can check mortgage rate quotes and find information about the homebuying process on both the SunTrust and BB&T websites. When you start an online mortgage application with either brand, you’ll be directed to the Truist Mortgage Origination platform where you’ll finish the process. Here’s what to know about Truist’s mortgages before applying. 

Pros and Cons of Truist (SunTrust and BB&T) 

Pros

  • Offers a full lineup of the major mortgage programs, including conventional and government-backed loans

  • Advertises sample mortgage rates on both the SunTrust and BB&T websites

  • Mortgages available in 47 states and Washington, D.C.

  • Applicants can submit an application by phone, by mail, or in person. They can also go to a physical BB&T or SunTrust branch to complete the application in person

Cons

  • Gathering mortgage product information is slightly confusing because of the merger

  • Mortgages not available in Hawaii, Alaska, or Arizona

Truist (BB&T and SunTrust): Loan Types and Products

Truist doesn’t offer reverse mortgages or renovations loans, though most borrowers will find what they’re looking for on the lender’s menu. Here’s what Truist Bank offers right now:

Construction-to-permanent loans allow homebuyers to finance the costs of building a new home. After the home is constructed, the loan converts into a traditional 15- or 30-year mortgage. This type of loan has become popular as home inventory is shrinking but housing demand is increasing. 

Truist also gives homebuyers an option between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your mortgage rate never changes. This could be a good option if you find a low rate and you prefer predictable payments. An ARM offers a fixed rate only for a certain amount of time. Then, based on market conditions, the rate may go up or down at specified intervals for the rest of the loan term. Truist offers ARMs with terms of 5/6, 7/6, or 10/6. So with a 5/6 ARM, for instance, the rate is fixed for the first five years then adjusts every six months. Truist’s ARMs are subject to rate caps per adjustment as well as life of loan.  

And if you have an existing mortgage, you can swap it out with a rate-and-term refinance, cash out refinance, FHA streamline refinance, VA cash-out refinance, VA IRRRL refinance, or USDA streamline refinance

Truist (BB&T and SunTrust) Transparency

SunTrust and BB&T are still merging under the Truist brand, so you can look at either website to find information — including rate quotes. Both websites are easy to navigate and offer several tools and resources to help borrowers through the mortgage process. You’ll find calculators, blog posts, videos, and detailed explanations of each mortgage program. You can also call, email, or visit a branch to ask questions, get preapproved, or start a loan application.

According to a Truist representative, a typical purchase closing with the lender takes between 30 and 45 days, while a refinance closing takes about 45 to 60 days.

Truist (BB&T and SunTrust): Rates and Fees 

You’ll find a detailed lineup of Truist mortgage rate quotes on both the SunTrust and BB&T websites. Truist advertises daily refinance and purchase rates for 15-year loans, 30-year loans, jumbo loans, VA loans, and FHA loans. You can adjust the quotes by including zero discount points, 1 discount point, or 2 discount points. A discount point, or mortgage point, is an optional upfront fee you pay in exchange for a lower interest rate. 

These rates can change every day and are based on a few assumptions. For instance, the 30-year fixed purchase rate quote assumes your credit score is higher than 740 and your down payment is at least 20%. So everyone won’t be able to qualify for the lowest rates. During the preapproval process, you’ll receive a more customized quote — including your potential rate and monthly payment — based on your financial situation, down payment, the mortgage program you want to use, and other factors. 

 Borrowers may also need to budget for closing costs, such as:

  • Appraisal fee
  • Credit report fees
  • Title search and title insurance
  • Recording fees
  • Escrow deposit
  • Prepaid interest
  • Discount points, if you choose to buy them

The minimum credit score required by Truist varies depending on the type of loan, but a representative didn’t provide specifics. It helps to know minimum credit score requirements by loan type, though. Conventional loans typically require a score of at least 620, while your credit score can be as low as 500 or 580 with an FHA loan, depending on your down payment. Both the VA and USDA don’t set credit requirements, though the lender might have a minimum. Of course, with any loan program, having a higher credit score can help you qualify for the best mortgage rates.

The Truist representative let us know that borrowers never pay prepayment penalties and can lock in a rate for free for up to 90 days. A lock-extension fee may apply, depending on the reason for the extension.

Refinancing With Truist (BB&T and SunTrust)

If you have an existing mortgage, you can refinance with Truist using these options:

  • Cash-out refinance allows homeowners to take out a mortgage for more than they owe, pay down their current mortgage, and keep the extra cash. The borrower then repays the new, larger loan over time and can use the money for any type of expense.
  • Rate-and-term refinance allows homeowners to change their loan terms, interest rate, or both. This can help you save money on your monthly mortgage payments, get rid of private mortgage insurance, or accelerate your payoff timeline.
  • VA interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL) helps homeowners refinance their VA-backed home loans to make their monthly payments more affordable. Applicants may get a lower interest rate or switch from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate.
  • FHA streamline refinance allows FHA loan holders to take out a new FHA mortgage with a lower interest rate, while filing minimal paperwork. Instead of going through a credit check and verifying income, homeowners may qualify if they’ve had a perfect on-time payment history.
  • USDA streamline refinance also allows homeowners to skip some of the typical credit and income verifications. If you have a USDA loan and you’ve made on-time payments for the last 180 days, you may qualify for a USDA streamline refinance to help you save money. 

Truist (BB&T and SunTrust) Compared to Other Mortgage Lenders 

Truist (BB&T and SunTrust)Rocket MortgageChurchill Mortgage
Minimum credit scoreNot provided620 for conventional; 580 for FHA620
Minimum down payment3% for conventional; 3.5% for FHA; 0% for VA and USDA 0% to 3.5%, depending on the loan program0% to 5%, depending on the loan program
Where does the lender operate?47 states and Washington, D.C.All 50 states and Washington, D.C.All 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Major loan typesConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, construction loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, several refinance programs, home equity loans, home equity lines of creditConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinanceConventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, USDA, various renovation loans, adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, refinance, cash-out refinance, reverse mortgages, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit

How to Shop Around to Get the Best Mortgage Rate

Mortgage rates can fluctuate every day and even by the hour, and every lender has its own way of setting rates for customers. So it’s important to research mortgage lenders and get multiple rate quotes to find a good deal. You’ll be able to compare closing costs and figure out how even a small difference in the interest rate can help you save hundreds or thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Take a look at one example: Let’s say you receive two mortgage rate quotes on a home worth $200,000 with a 15% down payment and 30-year term. 

Interest rateMonthly interest and principal paymentInterest saved
3.20%$735
3.00%$716$19 per month or $6,840 over the loan term

With a 3.2% interest rate, the monthly principal and interest payment comes out to $735. But with a 3.0% interest rate, you save $19 a month on interest costs. That might not sound like much, but it adds up to $6,840 in savings over 30 years. 

After submitting mortgage applications, make sure you receive a Loan Estimate from each bank. Even if you find a good deal, you can use this document to further negotiate. Send the best Loan Estimate to another lender, and ask them to give you a better interest rate or closing costs — or both. Lenders may be willing to compete for your business, especially if you have good credit.

Bottom Line

There are two drawbacks with Truist: You won’t be able to get a mortgage with this lender if you live in Hawaii, Alaska, or Arizona. And the process of transitioning all of Truist’s bank branches and retail products under one brand may get confusing over the next couple of years. 

But if you can work around those drawbacks, Truist is a great option for most borrowers. It offers all the major mortgage programs, including conventional and government-backed loans, construction loans, and jumbo loans. The lender is a full-service bank, which means you can conveniently handle your day-to-day banking and mortgage payments in one place, and there are thousands of physical branches where you can get in-person help. 

Because mortgage rates and borrowing costs vary with every lender, it’s still a good idea to shop around when buying a home.