Lightstream Personal Loan: 2021 Revision
LightStream is a personal loan provider offering loans of up to $ 100,000 for applicants with good to excellent credit. This LightStream review contains quick facts, pros and cons, and an in-depth assessment so that you can confidently choose the best personal loan for your needs.
What types of loans does LightStream offer?
Here are the main facts that might help you decide if LightStream is right for you:
- The loan amounts range between $ 5,000 and $ 100,000
- The advertised range of APRs is from 3.49% up to 16.79% at the time of this writing
- Choose the loan term from 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96, 108, 120, 132 or 144 months. Terms over 72 months are reserved for those who borrow $ 25,000 or more
- Online sources suggest a minimum credit score of 660. But the lender says, “… we believe there is no single definition for ‘good credit’.”
- DTI * maximum unpublished and vary based on the purpose for which you are borrowing. Expect them to be generally low
- No prepayment fees: you can pay off your debt early without penalty
- Co-signatories and joint applications are welcome
- No pre-approval or pre-qualification. Apply and a hard credit application will be part of the process
- Fixed rates only
- No loan fees
* DTIs are debt-to-income ratios. They are the percentage of your pre-tax income that you pay to pay your debts and pay your rent or mortgage.
How does LightStream work?
LightStream is SunTrust Bank’s national online consumer loan division. So it’s a traditional (albeit high-tech) lender rather than a peer-to-peer one. This means it can make near-instant loan decisions, verify quickly, and get the loan proceeds into your bank account faster than almost anyone else, sometimes on the same day you apply.
Why should I apply with LightStream?
LightStream can be an excellent choice for those with big credit:
- No. 2 in the ranking of the JD Power 2019 Personal Loan Satisfaction Study: a real success
- Annual Percentage Rates (APR) that start at an industry-leading 3.49% and go as high as 16.79% (at the time of this writing)
- Loan amounts from $ 5,000 to $ 100,000
- Tax free
- Joint applications can be submitted – co-signatories are welcome
- Long-term availability – This can help you keep the payment low if the loan amount is larger
- Seriously Fast – In some circumstances, your money may be in your bank the same business day you apply
Just recognize that you will need solid finances and excellent credit going back several years to get the best deals.
How can I apply with LightStream?
Obviously you need to know how to apply. With LightStream, you can only do it online. However, you can ask a human for help for extended hours six days a week.
The company’s website describes a three-step application process. To quote:
- Apply online – You will receive an answer shortly during business hours
- Accept the loan agreement – Once approved, sign the loan agreement and set up your loan for financing
- That’s all! Use your loan – Receive your funds as soon as today!
Lenders are legally required to verify your identity. And most require proof of employment (paycheck or similar), recent bank statements, possibly recent tax returns, and so on. So you may prefer to have them on hand in case they are required and be ready to upload.
How soon can I get my money with LightStream?
LightStream is understandably proud of its ability to get you your funds quickly. Some borrowers receive their money the same day they apply. According to the small print on the lender’s website:
You can fund your loan today if today is a bank business day, your application has been approved, and you complete the following steps by 2:30 pm Eastern time:
- Review and electronically sign your loan agreement
- Please provide us with your funding preferences and relevant banking information
- Complete the final verification process
Few, if any, competitors can match that speed. So how long does it take to get your money? Really little time.
BBB LightStream rating
Things are a bit confusing around the Better Business Bureau’s listing for LightStream. But that’s no reason to be suspicious. LightStream is owned by SunTrust and recently merged with BB&T to form Truist. So all kinds of associated legal entities are just starting to settle down after the upheaval.
SunTrust itself has an A + BBB rating in Atlanta, Georgia, where LightStream is headquartered. EA + is as good as they get BBB ratings.
Consumer Financial Protection Office and LightStream
The federal regulatory authority, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, maintains a database of consumer complaints. And, for all of 2019, there were only four complaints against LightStream. Those were listed below SUNTRUST BANKS, INC after filtering for installment loans, which are personal loans.
MoneyRates editorial LightStream ratings
Star rating: 5 stars
With its extremely low interest rates, zero fees, fast turnaround times, and great customer satisfaction, we’re struggling to find something negative to say about LightStream. True, it is a shame that its exceptional offer cannot be available to those with less than good credit. But maybe you could take a less attractive loan, keep your debt in check and raise your credit rating, and finally refinance into a more rarefied loan like LightStream.
What are the alternatives to LightStream?
Of course, LightStream has competitors at the high end of the market. And some may get better deals from them, even though LightStream advertises the lowest rates. As always, the trick is to compare custom personal loan quotes to find your best personal offer.
Unfortunately, many who are less creditworthy may have little chance with this lender. So let’s explore some alternatives that may prove to be perfect for you, regardless of your credit score.
This might be a good bet if LightStream’s credit requirements are too rich for you. Because LendingClub considers candidates with scores up to 600. And it accepts joint applications, so you can make yours more attractive with a co-signer.
As the name suggests, Payoff specializes in repaying (consolidating) existing debts, especially credit card balances. Expect to pay an origination fee but not a late payment fee. If you are serious about getting out of debt, it provides helpful online advice and assistance to get there.
You’ll likely need a credit score of 640 to go the distance with Best Egg. But, if you cross that threshold, this lender has a good reputation for both competitive rates and getting you your money back quickly. Expect an issuance fee – and late ones if you don’t pay on time.
Again, chances are you need fair credit (620 or higher) to proceed with the upgrade. But you can use a co-signer if that’s a problem. Rates are competitive rather than exceptional, and source and delay fees apply. But there is a reassuring discomfort schedule if you find yourself in trouble down the line.
Prosper is another lender who can be useful to those with fair credit, although his minimum score is a score of 640. But, again, you can improve the attractiveness of your application with a co-signer. An origin tax seems inevitable. But you can avoid others if you pay on time every month.
On this list, SoFi has the closest offering to LightStream: large loans, no fees, and low rates. And you can pre-qualify on the SoFi website without hurting your credit score. So if you have a great score, why shouldn’t you get a quote from both of them?
How to find your best personal loan
It is very important to get quotes from multiple lenders so that you can compare personal loans. You may be shocked at the differences between the offers that are offered to you. This is because different lenders tend to specialize in different types of borrowers. And you have to find the one that favors people like you the most.
If your need for a loan isn’t urgent, you may be able to get a better deal making you a more attractive borrower. Working on your credit score and paying off your card balances are great ways to get started.
And you could thank yourself later if you match the term of your loan (the period it lasts) to the purpose of your loan. You may be fine with the final payment in five years if you have borrowed to be debt free and have achieved your goal by then. And in the long run they are often fine for things like home improvements or business start-ups. But you are likely to resent making payments 12 years after you return home from the vacation you borrowed to finance, even if it was special.