Personal LoansReviews

LightStream Personal Loan Review

LightStream is the online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank — a financial institution that has stood the test of time and can trace its roots back to the late 1800s. With LightStream, personal loan applicants with good credit can borrow up to $100,000 with potentially low rates.

In this review, we’ll discuss LightStream’s personal loan product, including rates, available terms and fees. We’ll also look at a few personal loan alternatives.

LightStream personal loan highlights

  • Low rates: LightStream offers low, fixed interest rates to borrowers with good credit starting at 4.99%* APR.
  • Quick access to funds: Qualified borrowers may be able to access funds as soon as the day they apply.
  • No fees: LightStream charges no fees and no prepayment penalties.
  • Rate Beat Program: If another lender approves you for a lower rate, LightStream offers to beat that rate by 0.10 percentage points. To qualify for the Rate Beat Program, the other lender’s APR must meet certain conditions. For example, the rate must be fixed and available to all customers who share your credit risk profile.

LightStream at a glance

  • APR: 4.99% – 16.79%*
  • Minimum credit score: Not specified
  • Terms: 24 to 144 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee
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Terms Fees and penalties
  • Terms: 24 to 144 months
  • APR: 4.99% – 16.79%*
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Time to funding: Potentially as quickly as the same day.
  • Credit check: Hard Pull inquiry from Experian and Equifax.
  • Origination fee: No origination fee
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: None

*Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $299.66.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: Applicants should have good to excellent credit.   
  • Minimum credit history: An ideal LightStream borrower would have several years of credit history, a mixture of account types (e.g. credit cards, installment loans, etc.) and few to no late payments on present or past credit obligations.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified.

Although LightStream doesn’t disclose a specific debt-to-income ratio requirement, the lender does consider a borrower’s income and their ability to afford both current debts plus any new loans. Borrowers may be able to improve their approval odds by demonstrating an ability to save money through retirement savings, lower levels of credit card debt and liquid assets like stocks, bonds and bank deposits.

What borrowers are saying about LightStream

By and large, LightStream enjoys a good (though not perfect) online reputation among consumers. On LendingTree, the lender has a rating of 3.9 out of 5 possible stars. Out of 61 total LendingTree reviews, 42 consumers gave the lender a rank of 5 stars.

Shawn from Gainesville, Fla., commented that “The loan was easy to get and had no fees other than doc stamps. Very easy to work with…” There were a number of other reviews that followed this trend and praised the lender for being fast and easy to work with.

Yet not all applicants were pleased. LightStream received a rating of just 1 star from 14 consumers. Several applicants complained about the service they received when they called the lender during the application process. Justin from Haslet, Texas, for example, said he found LightStream difficult to work with. He continued: “I would not recommend anyone to send business their way. Found them very unprofessional and condescending from the start…”

Applying for a personal loan from LightStream

LightStream doesn’t have a preapproval process for applicants who are interested in their personal loans (or other lending products, for that matter). If you’d like to check your loan eligibility, you’ll need to complete a full application with the lender.

You may follow these steps to apply:

  1. Visit the lender’s website from your computer or mobile device. At this time, LightStream doesn’t accept applications over the phone.
  2. Select the loan’s purpose and set your preferred repayment terms (aka, how long you’d like to request to pay back the loan).
  3. Provide LightStream your personal information and submit your application.

If you’re approved, you can electronically sign your loan agreement online and enter your bank account information. Once you meet any required conditions, LightStream may be able to deposit your approved loan amount into your bank account as quickly as the same day.

Pros Cons
  • Low rates: For qualified borrowers, LightStream offers low, competitive interest rates on personal loans.
  • High maximum loan amount: LightStream’s maximum loan amount is $100,000 for qualified borrowers. That’s high compared to many competitors.
  • Lengthy loan terms: LightStream offers loans with repayment terms that stretch from 24 to 144 months.
  • No fees: The lack of origination fees, prepayment penalties and other charges helps to keep the cost of borrowing low and transparent for LightStream customers.
  • Rate Beat Program: LightStream is so confident in its ability to provide low rates to qualified borrowers that it may be willing to beat the rates of another lender.
  • No preapproval process: LightStream doesn’t offer a way to find out if you’re preapproved for a loan. The only way to assess your eligibility is to apply.
  • No phone applications: All loan applications must be completed online.
  • Good to excellent credit required: LightStream offers low rates to borrowers with good to excellent credit. However, if you have credit challenges, you’ll likely have trouble qualifying for a loan with the lender.
  • Tax for Florida borrowers: Florida loans are subject to a Documentary Stamp tax.

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

It’s no secret that people with good credit ratings are often able to qualify for attractive loan offers. The reason why this is true is because borrowers with higher credit scores represent less risk to lenders.

People with good to excellent credit ratings who want an affordable personal loan would generally do well to give a LightStream loan strong consideration. LightStream certainly isn’t the only lender to reward well-qualified borrowers with attractive rates and terms. Yet when you combine LightStream’s low rates, no fees, higher potential loan amounts and other benefits, it’s easy to see why the lender should probably be on your short list when you start to comparison shop personal loan options.

LightStream personal loans also offer a lot of flexibility and borrowers can use them for a wide variety of reasons. However, they won’t work for people who need student loans, business loans, or who want to refinance existing LightStream loans. Also, if you’re currently struggling to overcome credit issues, you may need to think about searching for alternative borrowing options.

Alternative personal loan options

Discover Personal Loans

  • APR: 6.99% – 24.99%¹
  • Minimum credit score: Not specified
  • Terms: 36 to 84 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

Discover offers qualified applicants personal loans up to $35,000. Like LightStream, this lender charges its customers zero additional fees, as long as they make their payments on time.

If you’re looking for a personal loan that can be applied toward business expenses, Discover may warrant a closer look. Unlike LightStream, this lender allows you to use a personal loan for your small business. Just keep in mind, if you opt to use this method of funding for your business, you’re accepting personal liability for the loan. That means if your business doesn’t pay it back as agreed, you (and your personal credit) will be on the hook.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

  • APR: 6.99% – 28.99%
  • Minimum credit score: Not specified
  • Terms: 36 to 72 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers fixed-rate personal loans of up to $40,000 to qualified borrowers. The lender does state that only applicants with excellent credit will qualify for its lowest available rates. However, the lender has no fees — not even late fees.

Another nice benefit that Marcus gives its customers is the ability to customize their monthly payment amounts and due dates. Plus, customers who pay on time (and in full) 12 or more times in a row are given the bonus option of deferring one payment.

Upstart

  • APR: 5.69% – 35.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • Terms: 36 & 60 months
  • Origination fee: Is Up to 8.00%

Upstart, an online lending marketplace, was founded by former Google employees. The platform helps qualified borrowers access between $1,000 and $50,000 in personal loan funds.

Like LightStream, if you qualify for a personal loan with Upstart, you may be able to access your funds quickly — potentially as soon as the next day. Unlike LightStream, checking your rate and eligibility with Upstart only requires a Soft Pull. This can be helpful and reassuring while you’re still in the process of rate shopping and searching for the best personal loan for your situation.

¹The APR ranges from 6.99% to 24.99% APR based on creditworthiness at time of application. Loans up to $35,000. Fast & Easy Process. Terms are 36 to 84 months. No prepayment penalty. This is not a firm offer of credit. Any results displayed are estimates and we do not guarantee the applicability or accuracy to your specific circumstance. For example, for a $15,000 loan with an APR of 10.99% and 60 month term, the estimated monthly payment would be $326. The estimated total cost of the loan in this example would be $19,560.

²Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans).Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions. For New York residents, rates range from 6.99% to 24.99% APR.

 

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