LightStream Personal Loan Review: You Can Finance Anything You Want

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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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 products

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.

LightStream personal loan application

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.

LightStream loans reviews

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)

Loan Amount

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!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 6.990% APR to 14.865% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.255% APR to 12.555% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 1, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.255% APR assumes current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 4.425% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

    To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.See Consumer Licenses.
  2. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  3. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  4. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 4.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 4.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan of $15,000 with a term of 24 months, and qualify for at least two of the following discounts: (1) add a co-borrower who has sufficient income; (2) use at least fifty percent of the loan proceeds to directly pay off existing debt; or (3) show proof of having at least forty-thousand dollars in retirement savings – contact FreedomPlus for further details.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 15.49% APR to a high of 34.49% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.16% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% and the average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer.


7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33


* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
6.26% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
6.99% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%2$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
4.99% – 29.99%3$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%4$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%5$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
6.16% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Published in Loans, Review