LightStream is among the best if you’re a highly qualified borrower looking for low rates, long-term repayment, and large loan amounts. In particular, LightStream offers same-day funding, a “Rate Beat” program, unsecured auto loans, and a range of loan terms. J.D. Power ranked LightStream number one for customer satisfaction in its 2020 Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study.
- Product Specifications
- Pros and Cons
- Company Overview
- APR Range 2.49% to 16.99% with autopay
- Loan Amounts $5,000 to $100,000
- Loan Terms 24 to 144 months
- Recommended Minimum Credit Score 670
Broad repayment terms
Rate Beat program
Generous autopay discount
Can’t change the monthly due date
No pre-qualification option
High minimum loan amount
- LightStream charges zero fees on its personal loans.
LightStream is the online-only consumer loan division of Truist Bank, which formed in 2020 after a merger of SunTrust and BB&T. It offers fixed-rate loans for a variety of uses, up to $100,000. LightStream supports reforestation by planting a tree for every loan sold.
Pros of LightStream Loans
- No fees: You won’t pay an origination fee, pre-payment fee, or late fees.
- Broad repayment terms: LightStream loans range from 24 to 144 months, making LightStream the only major personal loan lender with loan terms longer than 84 months.
- Rate Beat program: If you get approved for another loan that has a lower APR than LightStream’s, they will beat that rate by at least 0.10%. This ensures you’re getting the lowest rate available.
- Same-day funding: If you apply and get approved before 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, your loan may fund the same day.
- Generous autopay discount: LightStream’s 0.50% discount for using autopay is better than discounts offered by competing lenders.
Cons of LightStream Loans
- Can’t change the monthly due date: Once you’ve received your funds, your due date is the same every month.
- No pre-qualification option: There’s no way to check if you qualify for a LightStream loan without applying first. Your application requires a credit check (“hard inquiry”) that could affect your credit score, albeit modestly.
- High minimum loan amount: LightStream doesn’t offer personal loans under $5,000. If you’re looking for smaller loans, other lenders may be a better fit.
LightStream Personal Loan Rates & Terms
LightStream’s personal loans have fixed-rate APRs ranging from 2.49% to 16.99%, depending on your credit profile, assets, income, how you’ll use the money, and if you sign up for autopay. Unsecured new-car loans, for example, have different rates than debt consolidation or medical loans.
If you have a solid credit history, you could qualify for loans as low as 2.49% if you sign up for autopay. Overall, LightStream’s lowest rate is excellent compared to other personal loan lenders.
LightStream’s repayment terms range from 24 to 144 months, depending on which type of loan you take out and how much you borrow. Only home improvement loans have repayment periods longer than 84 months. If you need to repay your loan over a long period of time to keep monthly payments low, this is a great benefit.
You must sign up for autopay before LightStream funds your loan to get the 0.50% rate discount.
How Much Can You Borrow With LightStream?
You can borrow as little as $5,000 or as much as $100,000. Your loan amount depends on the type of loan you’re getting, your repayment term, and your financial profile.
LightStream Personal Loan Fees
LightStream doesn’t charge any fees when you take out a personal loan. You also won’t be charged a pre-payment fee if you pay off the loan early, or late fees (though late payments could be reflected in your credit report).
How to Get a Personal Loan From LightStream
If you’d like a personal loan from LightStream, complete an online application (on your own or with a joint applicant). You’ll enter the purpose of your loan—for instance, medical expenses, home improvements, or education-related costs—as well as personal and financial information.
If you haven’t checked your credit report before applying, you won't know if you’re eligible for a LightStream loan. Remember that there’s no pre-qualification option, so once you complete the application, you’re giving LightStream permission to pull your credit report, which may cause a slight ding to your credit score. If you’re denied, you’ll have to apply elsewhere.
If approved, funds may be deposited into your account as quickly as within 24 hours, or as slowly as within 30 days. If you don’t need cash right away, but would like it within one to two weeks, other lenders may have faster turnaround times.
If you aren’t satisfied with the loan experience, you can earn a $100 payment from LightStream by filling out a questionnaire explaining why you’re unhappy.
LightStream’s no-fee model, along with repayment terms as long as 84 or 144 months (depending on loan purpose) make it a great option for many borrowers. If you need at least $5,000 dollars and can meet its credit standards, LightStream could be a good fit.
If you don’t have a solid credit history, you may not qualify for a LightStream loan, and you won’t know if you qualify until you apply. This is because LightStream lacks a pre-qualification option—meaning a loan application will result in a hard inquiry on your credit report. And if you need to borrow less than $5,000 (Lightstream’s minimum loan amount), consider looking at lenders who have lower minimums to avoid borrowing more than you need.
We look at 40 data points from dozens of financial institutions to evaluate lenders for our personal loan reviews. Because a loan’s APR can dramatically impact the total cost you pay, we weight that feature the heaviest. But since a great APR usually requires at least a good credit score, we also give points to lenders who may have a higher potential APR but offer loans to people with less-than-perfect credit scores.
Along those lines, we favor lenders who allow you to see if you prequalify before applying for a loan, so you won’t harm your credit score just by applying. Origination, prepayment, and late fees all get counted in our assessment. And lastly, we deduct points from the ratings of lenders with restricted access—for instance, those who require you to first have another type of account with them or to join a nonprofit organization.
J.D. Power "Consumer Lender Satisfaction Hinges on Trust, Ease of Access, Now More Than Ever, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed April 6, 2021.