LightStream Personal Loan Review

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What is LightStream?

LightStream is SunTrust Bank’s online consumer lending division. Headquartered in Atlanta, SunTrust Bank has branches throughout the southeast and mid-Atlantic states, in addition to having LightStream loans available online nationwide.

LightStream aims to help customers to streamline their loan process by making their loan applications online-only, allowing applicants to receive their funds as quickly as the same day. For those with less-than-stellar credit, LightStream offers secured loans if you intend to purchase a vehicle. LightStream wants to prove it’s among one of the best loan companies out there by offering a rate beat program and a $100 guarantee if you didn’t receive an excellent loan experience.

LightStream personal loan highlights

  • Competitive rates: LightStream has a rate beat program where the company offers to beat a competitor’s rate by 0.10%.
  • No fees: LightStream doesn’t charge any application, origination or prepayment fees.
  • Hard pull for loan application: LightStream does a Hard Pull on your credit when you apply for a loan.
  • Customer service guarantee: LightStream will send you $100 if you weren’t satisfied with your customer service experience, as long as you contact LightStream and fill out a questionnaire within 30 days of receiving your loan.
  • APR range: 3.99% – 16.99% (with autopay)
  • Credit requirements: 660
  • Terms: 24 to 144 months
LightStream Personal Loan Details
Fees and Penalties
  • Term lengths: 24 to 144 months
  • APR range: 3.99% – 16.99%(with autopay)
  • Loan amounts: $5,000
    – $100,000
  • Time to funding: Same day as loan approval
  • Credit check: Hard Pull inquiry
  • Origination fee: No origination fee
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: None

LightStream product details

LightStream’s rate beat program offers borrowers the opportunity to receive the most competitive rate from this personal loan company. If you were offered a rate from a competitor that’s lower than what LightStream offers, LightStream will beat it by 0.10%. However, the competitor rate needs to meet the following terms and conditions:

  • The competitor’s rate needs to be available to customers who have a similar credit profile. For example, special discounts or limited time offers don’t apply.
  • The lower rate can’t be supported by third-party arrangement or offerings.
  • The loan for both LightStream and the competitor needs to be the same — fixed-rate, type, purpose, term and payment method.
  • You need to be approved by the competing lender and provide documentation as proof, which can include an approval letter or a loan document stating the APR.

LightStream also offers a loan experience guarantee, meaning the loan company will give you $100 if you weren’t satisfied with your application experience. To qualify, you’ll need to contact customer service and complete a questionnaire LightStream will send you. This questionnaire needs to be submitted within 30 days from when you receive your loan or your guarantee expires.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

LightStream doesn’t mention any specific requirements in terms of age (though you’ll probably need to be the age of majority in your state), employment or location. In terms of your credit, the greater your credit score, the better. LightStream prefers applicants who also have a reasonable debt-to-income ratio. Borrowers can take out a loan for any purpose except to fund or refinance post-secondary or college loans, refinance existing LightStream loans and for business purposes.

You may need a credit card, as LightStream may ask for this information to as another way to verify your identity when you apply for a loan. Additionally, if you are applying for a secured auto loan, you’ll need to make sure the existing title is lien-free.

Applying for a personal loan from LightStream

To receive a loan from LightStream, start by filling out its online application form. Indicate whether it’s an individual or joint application, the purpose of your loan, your preferred term and personal details such as your address and employment information. Once completed, you’ll need to wait to receive a response from LightStream during its business hours.

If you’re approved, you’ll need to provide your credit card information — either a valid MasterCard or Visa — for verification purposes. You’ll also need to agree to receive electronic documents, e-sign your loan agreement and provide an account to receive your funds. LightStream will then deposit your funds as soon as the same business day if you submit all necessary information by 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Pros and Cons of a LightStream Personal Loan
  • Competitive rates: LightStream offers some of the lowest rates and offers a rate guarantee if you find a lower competitor rate.
  • High loan amounts: You can borrow up to $100,000.
  • No fees: There are no application, origination or prepayment penalties.
  • No clear credit requirements: Although LightStream prefers those with decent credit and a good debt-to-income ratio, there are no specifics as to what that is.
  • May require a credit card: You may need a valid Visa or MasterCard in order to complete the application process, which can be a hindrance if you don’t have one.
  • Hard pull required: LightStream doesn’t have a pre-approval process.

Who’s the best fit for a LightStream personal loan?

A LightStream personal loan is great for those looking for a competitive rate and can qualify for one (meaning they have great credit). That’s because this company offers some of the best rates out there or you can ask to beat a competitor’s rate, provided you meet its terms and conditions. It’s also great for those who want higher loan amounts or hate paying fees, as LightStream doesn’t charge any and offers loans up to $100,000, making it great for those who are looking to use the money for things like home remodels.

If you’re looking to borrow less than $5,000 or would rather go with a company that offers a pre-approval process, consider these other options for a personal loan.

Alternative personal loan options

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

  • APR: 5.99% – 28.99%*
  • Credit requirements: Varies
  • Terms: 36 to 72 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers a pre-approval process so there is Soft Pull to find out what your rate could be. Just like LightStream, there are no application, origination, late or prepayment fees. It doesn’t offer as much money — loans are up to $40,000 — but it does offer a fairly lengthy term of 36 to 72 months.

*For New York residents, rates range from 5.99% to 24.99% APR as of February 28, 2019


  • APR: 7.99% – 35.89%
  • Credit requirements: Minimum credit score of 620
  • Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Origination fee: 1.50% - 6.00%

Upgrade offers a lower loan amounts than LightStream for those looking to borrow $1,000 or more. It also offers a fairly quick funding process — as little as one business day — if you sign all necessary paperwork after loan approval. However, you can’t complete a joint loan application and the origination fee makes it a more expensive alternative to LightStream.


  • APR: 5.99% – 24.99%
  • Credit requirements: Minimum 640 credit score
  • Terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 5.00%

Unlike LightStream, Payoff does a Soft Pull credit check so you can see what your rate is before going through with the application process. You’re also not subject to common fees such as application, prepayment and late fees. However, loan amounts aren’t as high as LightStream — up to $1,000 — so this may not be a good choice if you want to borrow more.

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