Full disclosure: Until I started reading LightStream reviews, I didn’t realize you could take out a loan to finance a hot tub. But LightStream promises its customers “loans for practically anything,” and it makes good on this commitment.
Through LightStream, a division of SunTrust Bank, you can get loans to purchase a car, finance a tiny home, buy a horse, or any number of other things.
LightStream offers low-interest, fixed-rate loans to people with good credit. Read on to learn about all the pros and cons of borrowing from LightStream.
LightStream review: Pros and cons
Through LightStream, you can apply for a personal loan in just a few minutes and get approved shortly after that. Some borrowers even get funds distributed into their bank accounts the same day they apply.
Besides its fast approval process, LightStream reviews point out a number of other benefits of its lending service.
Here are the main pros, followed by a few drawbacks of this service.
Pros of LightStream personal loans
- Easy and fast online application. LightStream’s online loan application is user-friendly and only takes a few minutes to fill out and submit.
- Potentially same-day funds. If you apply by 2:30 p.m. EST on a banking day, you could get the funds disbursed into your bank account by end of day.
- Competitive APRs and a Rate Beat Program. LightStream offers competitive APRs on its loans. Plus, it will adjust the APR on your loan if you find a better offer. It will beat any competitor by 0.10%, so you know you’re getting the best possible terms.
- Fixed rates. All LightStream personal loans have fixed rates. That means your rates won’t change. Plus, you can see what your interest rate will be if you get approved.
- Loans can be used for a variety of purposes. As you’ll read below, you can use a LightStream personal loan for almost anything. The lender does not, however, offer college or business loans.
- You can file a joint application. You can file a joint application with a spouse or someone with stronger credit or higher income.
- No fees, charges, or penalties for prepayment. There are no hidden fees or charges.
- A $100 customer satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your experience, LightStream will send you $100. You just have to answer a questionnaire within the first 30 days. With this guarantee, it’s no wonder LightStream reviews are so positive.
- Environmentally friendly, paperless process. You can apply and manage your loan entirely online.
Cons of LightStream personal loans
- Most loans require good or excellent credit. To qualify for the best rates, you’ll need a strong credit profile. LightStream doesn’t disclose a credit score minimum, so it’s tough to know upfront whether you’ll qualify.
- The longest loan repayment term is seven years. Repayment terms range from two to seven years. You’re out of luck if you’re looking for a longer repayment term.
- You can’t borrow for college or business. Although LightStream lends money for many reasons, college or business purposes aren’t included.
- No student loan refinancing options. You can’t refinance student loans with LightStream, as you can with many other online lenders.
- You choose a variable interest rate. If you want to take advantage of low market rates, you can’t with LightStream. All the rates on LightStream personal loans are fixed.
- The purpose of your loan will affect your APR. LightStream takes the purpose of your loan into account when determining your APR. Depending on what you’re using the loan for, you could end up with a higher APR.
- You must have a Visa or MasterCard to receive your loan. Before you’ll get funds, you’ll need to provide a Visa or MasterCard. LightStream won’t charge your credit card; it just uses it for verification purposes.
LightStream offers personal loans for a variety of uses. When you apply, you’ll indicate what you’ll be using the money for. Most of its personal loans are unsecured, but you do have the option of applying for a secured vehicle loan.
Secured loans can be useful for people with weak credit, but you have to be careful — if you’re not able to pay, the bank could seize your collateral.
Besides taking out an entirely new loan with LightStream, you can also refinance your existing auto loan or take out funds for debt consolidation. Here are some other potential uses for a LightStream personal loan:
- Vehicle loans: Auto refinancing, lease buyout, and loans for a classic car, new car, used car, or motorcycle
- Home improvement loans: Basement remodeling, home improvement, and financing for a hot tub, kitchen remodel, landscaping, solar panels, or swimming pool
- Recreation loans: Boat loans, boat refinancing, boat repair financing, destination club financing, RV loans, RV refinancing, and timeshare loans
- Family life: Adoption loans, dental loans, IVF/fertility treatment financing, medical financing, Pre-K through 12 financing, wedding loans
- Miscellaneous: Aircraft financing, debt consolidation, horse loans, horse trailer loans, jewelry financing, land purchase loans, and tiny home financing
As you can see, a LightStream personal loan could cover almost anything. If you want a LightStream personal loan to use for something not on this list, speak with LightStream about your financing options. Unless you’re looking for a student or business loan, LightStream will likely be able to meet your needs.
Using the LightStream online platform
Applying for a LightStream personal loan is a simple process. You’ll fill out a few pages of information with some basic information, such as your contact details, income, monthly housing payment, and Social Security number.
LightStream will give you an initial estimate of your monthly payment and APR. After checking your credentials, LightStream will confirm your loan offer.
Let’s take a closer look at each step of the application process for a LightStream personal loan.
Step 1: Make your loan request
For the first part of the application, you’ll make your loan request. Indicate how much you’d like to borrow and why you’re applying for LightStream loans. Review the loan repayment terms, which will be between 24 and 84 months.
You’ll also choose your mode of payment. By setting up autopay with a bank account, you’ll get a 0.50% discount on your interest rate.
After you fill out this form, you’ll see an estimate of your monthly payment. Although interest rates are fixed, you’ll only see your final APR offer after submitting the full application.
Step 2: Provide your contact information and other personal details
The second page of the application asks for your contact information. Provide your name, address, and Social Security number. You’ll also give information on your income, assets, savings, and monthly housing costs.
Step 3: Create your LightStream account
Your next step will be to create an account with LightStream. Pick a username, password, and security question. Make sure to choose a strong password to protect your sensitive financial information.
Step 4: Read over the agreement and hit submit
Finally, you’ll read over the terms and conditions and indicate your agreement. Once you hit submit, LightStream will review your application and give you a final offer.
If you decide to accept your offer for a LightStream personal loan, you’ll go on to provide your bank account information. You could get funds into your account the same day you apply.
LightStream interest rates and fees
LightStream offers competitive APRs on its various loans. Interest rates are fixed. APRs vary depending on your repayment term, credit history, and the purpose of the loan.
Typically, if you choose a shorter repayment term, such as 24 months, you’ll get a lower APR. But if you choose a longer repayment term, like 84 months, your APR will be higher.
The table below shows APR ranges for a LightStream personal loan. Rates are current as of the week of Aug. 14, 2017. You can get more specific estimates with LightStream’s loan rate calculator.
Loan Term (months)
|24 – 36||37 – 48||49 – 60||61 – 72||73 – 84|
|$5,000 to $9,999||3.09% – 14.34%||3.94% – 17.49%||4.14% – 12.84%||5.04% – 7.14%||N/A|
|$10,000 to $24,999||2.19% – 12.84%||2.59% – 14.09%||2.59% – 14.59%||4.04% – 12.29%||6.09% – 10.04%|
|$25,000 to $49,999||2.19% – 12.84%||2.59% – 13.99%||2.59% – 14.49%||3.64% – 14.79%||4.24% – 11.59%|
|$50,000 to $100,000||2.19% – 10.24%||2.59% – 11.34%||2.59% – 11.64%||3.44% – 12.14%||4.14% – 12.14%|
As you read above, LightStream will adjust the APR if you find a competitor with a better offer. Thanks to its Rate Beat Program, it will give an APR 0.10% lower than a competing offer. This matching program is another reason LightStream reviews tend to be so positive.
LightStream doesn’t charge any fees on its personal loans. There’s no origination fee when the funds are disbursed, and you won’t have to pay a penalty for prepayment. If you’re considering a LightStream personal loan, the APR will give you a realistic sense of the costs of borrowing.
LightStream eligibility requirements
To qualify for a LightStream loan, you must have good credit and sufficient income or assets to pay back your debt. Alternatively, you could file a joint application with someone who does.
LightStream offers secured auto loans for borrowers who need to put up collateral to qualify. The rest of its loans are unsecured.
Although LightStream does not disclose its credit score minimum, it does give a general definition of what it considers to be good credit. Its definition includes:
- Several years of positive credit history
- A variety of account types, such as a major credit card, installment debt, or a mortgage
- A good payment history with few or no delinquencies or defaults
- Evidence of your ability to save, whether it’s a retirement savings account or a well-managed credit card
- Steady income that will be enough to pay back your loan
If you have excellent credit, you’ll qualify for the most competitive rates. Again, LightStream doesn’t indicate a minimum credit score, but it’s looking for these factors:
- Five or more years of positive credit history
- Little, if any, credit card debt
- An income that shows you can “easily repay” a LightStream personal loan
LightStream says it looks at a variety of factors in your financial history when it considers your application. If the company is confident you can pay back the loan, you’ll gain approval and qualify for the most competitive rates.
LightStream customer service
The LightStream personal loan application process can be managed entirely online. If you have any questions or want to share your LightStream loans reviews, email customer service through this form.
Customer service is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST or Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. To follow company developments or read more LightStream reviews, check out its Facebook and Twitter pages.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Rates (APR)||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
|7.73% - 29.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|5.83% - 14.74%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|5.96% - 35.97%*||$1,000 - $50,000||Visit Upgrade|
|8.00% - 25.00%||$5,000 - $35,000|
|4.99% - 29.99%||$10,000 - $35,000||Visit FreedomPlus|
|4.99% - 16.24%2||$5,000 - $50,000||Visit Citizens|
|15.49% - 34.49%||$2,000 - $25,000||Visit LendingPoint|
|5.99% - 35.89%||$1,000 - $40,000||Visit LendingClub|
|5.49% - 18.24%||$5,000 - $75,000||Visit Earnest|
|9.95% - 35.99%||$2,000 - $35,000||Visit Avant|