LightStream Personal Loans Review: What to Know Before You Borrow

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GOBanking Rates Score

Our opinion : As one of the nation’s leading online consumer lenders, LightStream believes that if you’ve established good credit, you deserve a simple process and low rates when applying for a loan. LightStream offers its customers competitive fixed rate financing and a fast, paperless lending process. You can easily apply for a personal loan from your computer or mobile device, get approved, electronically sign your loan agreement, and receive your funds in just one day. If you want a fixed rate loan for just about anything you can imagine, a LightStream personal loan might be the best loan solution for you.
  • Rates and conditions
  • Loan process
  • Customer service
  • Availability of funds

How did we calculate this?

Advantages

  • $100 Loan Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Low and fixed rates
  • Automatic payment discount
  • Handy tool to find your rate

The inconvenients

  • Higher rates without automatic payment
  • Lowest rates require excellent credit
  • Clumsy uploading of documents
  • No phone number is listed on the site.

What is LightStream?

LightStream is a division of Truist — the result of a merger between SunTrust and BB&T. LightStream offers an attractive loan solution to customers with excellent credit. Borrowers can obtain funds for purchases that previously required collateral. LightStream has flexible borrowing terms and competitive fixed rates.

LightStream is a San Diego-based company that lends to borrowers across the United States. All of its services are fully digital, including paperless loan origination, underwriting and servicing.

You can borrow between $5,000 and $100,000, and the money can be deposited into your account the same day you accept your approved loan. LightStream is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating.

How do LightStream personal loans work?

It only takes a few minutes to apply for a LightStream personal loan. To receive the loan funds the same day, you must do the following before 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time on a bank business day.

For same day funds:

  1. Apply for your loan on the LightStream website. You will receive a prompt response within normal business hours.
  2. Review, accept and electronically sign your loan agreement documents.
  3. Provide your banking information and financing preferences in order to set up your loan.
  4. Complete the final loan verification process.

What can you finance with a LightStream loan?

You can use a LightStream loan to finance just about any type of purchase or expense, including the following:

  • Pre-K-12 education
  • Medical fees
  • Jewelry
  • Ship, VR and planes
  • Timeshare or condominium ownership
  • Home improvements
  • Car
  • Horse and horse trailer
  • Small house

LightStream Restrictions

You must use your LightStream loan funds for the purposes you selected in your loan application. Here are some specific restrictions:

  • You cannot use your loan funds to refinance an existing LightStream loan.
  • You cannot use LightStream Loans to finance or refinance college or post-secondary education costs.
  • Loans are only available to individuals, not businesses.
  • Loans are not available for cash refinances.
  • Your loan funds cannot be used to buy stocks, bonds or stock options or contribute to a pension, life insurance or savings plan.

LightStream Features

Here is an overview of some of LightStream’s main features.

Mobile app

You can easily manage your account on the go with the LightStream mobile app, which lets you do the following:

  • Make payments
  • Monitor your account balance
  • Check payment due dates
  • Apply for a new loan

Beat Rate Program

LightStream will offer a rate 0.10 percentage points lower than an approved and verified rate from a competing lender.

Loan Experience Guarantee

After receiving your loan funds, if you are not 100% satisfied with your loan experience, contact LightStream Customer Service. To help LightStream improve its services, Customer Service will email you a questionnaire to complete and explain your dissatisfaction. Once LightStream receives your completed questionnaire, it will send you $100 for your issue.

The $100 guarantee expires 30 days after we receive your loan funds and LightStream may discontinue the guarantee at any time.

Environmentally friendly practices

In partnership with American Forests, LightStream plants a tree for every paperless loan processed.

How much does a LightStream loan cost?

LightStream offers fixed rate loans. Simple interest accrues daily, based on the outstanding loan principal balance. With each payment you make, you repay accrued interest and the rest of the payment is applied to the principal.

Fixed interest rate ranges vary depending on usage and loan amount. The current range for a new $5,000 auto loan is 4.99% APR to 9.49% APR, for example, depending on your credit. The range for a $5,000 credit card/debt consolidation loan is 8.49% to 19.74%. The LightStream website has a rate calculator you can use to find rates for the type and amount of loan you need in three easy steps:

  1. Select your purpose for the loan.
  2. Enter your desired loan amount.
  3. Select “See my rate” for the result.

Loan offers, including APR, vary depending on the customer’s loan purpose, loan amount, term, and credit profile. Before deciding to apply for a LightStream loan, consider the following:

  • About 22% of approved applicants qualified for the lowest rate available between April and June 2021.
  • Rates are quoted with the automatic payment discount, which is only available before the loan is funded.
  • If you do not accept automatic payment, the rates are 0.50% higher.
  • Rates are subject to credit approval.
  • Rates are conditional and subject to change without notice.

Who is LightStream Loan for?

LightStream customers rave about the company’s exceptional customer service. With a LightStream personal loan, you can have the power to negotiate your next car purchase as a cash buyer. Even if you don’t have enough equity in your home or prefer not to tap into it, you can easily finance your home improvement projects with a LightStream personal loan.

LightStream rewards its customers for having good credit, making it a solid lending solution if you have a great credit history. Here’s how LightStream defines great credit:

  • A stable payment history with little to no chargebacks
  • Several years of various types of credit accounts, such as credit cards, installment loans, and mortgage debt
  • Stable and sufficient income and assets
  • The ability to save, which is manifested by the presence of liquid assets, real estate deposits, retirement savings and/or manageable revolving credit

Daria Uhlig contributed reporting for this article.

Rates and fees are subject to change.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by LightStream. Any opinions, analyses, criticisms, ratings, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or otherwise endorsed by LightStream.

About the Author

Kathy Evans is a freelance personal finance writer and entrepreneur with a background in technical writing and instructional systems design. She has a master’s degree in technical writing and information design and is currently a PhD student in instructional technology at Towson University. Through her experience working in the federal government as well as the commercial and nonprofit industries, she has focused her freelance writing on finance, investing, and economics content with a specialization in budget coaching.

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