LightStream Review

Sarah BadaniBySarah BadaniApr. 22, 2019

In a Nutshell

LightStream offers a user-friendly, online, personal loan platform that is good for borrowers with excellent credit who need large loans fast. It provides personal secured and unsecured loans of up to $100,000 with few limitations to what you can spend your loan on and APRs vary accordingly.

pros

  • Large loans available quickly
  • Very few restrictions on the purpose of your loan

cons

  • Only on offer to applicants with good or excellent credit

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LightStream at a Glance

Loan types
Unsecured and secured short-term personal loans
Loan amount
$5,000-$100,000
Repayment terms  
24-144 months*, depending on purpose
APR
4.99% - 16.79% w/AutoPay* 
Best for
Borrowers with excellent credit who need a quick loan

Overview

Lightstream provides personal secured and unsecured loans of up to $100,000, higher than what most lenders offer. Unusually, APRs vary according to the purpose of your loan and not just depending on your financial profile, but there are very few limitations to what you can spend your loan on. LightStream’s low APR and flexible terms are highly appealing but only open to borrowers with good or excellent credit.

Highlights

  • Unsecured short-term loans
  • Borrow up to $100,000
  • Quick approval process with funding coming through the same day**
  • Flexible terms and repayment schedule

Best For?

Borrowers with good credit

LightStream combines an attractive APR and flexible terms with a fast application and loan approval process that could see the funds arriving in your account as soon as the same day. This makes it appealing to any borrower, but the loans are only on offer to customers with good or excellent credit ratings. LightStream makes a point of rewarding borrowers who have worked up a good credit history with its innovative lending products and proprietary technology, allowing it to offer highly competitive, fixed rate financing.

Large loan amounts

LightStream also offers a much larger maximum borrowing amount than most online lenders, making it ideal for borrowers with good or excellent credit who need a large loan amount in a hurry.

Loan Features

  • No loan fees, including no prepayment or overpayment penalties
  • High maximum loan amount so that your entire financial need can be covered by one loan
  • Use a LightStream loan for any purpose, including Pre-K to 12th grade education, boat financing, and timeshare financing
  • Funds are available fast, arriving in your bank account as soon as the same day**
  • Simple, online application process
  • Rate Beat Program
  • $100 Loan Experience Guarantee

LightStream doesn’t charge any fees for its loans. That includes no origination fee, application fee, or early prepayment penalties. You can make extra payments and pay off your loan as early as you’d like without extra charges. LightStream also offers a high maximum loan amount of up to $100,000. If you’re facing an emergency or need funds to cover a large purchase, a loan from LightStream is likely to cover all of your needs without leaving you to search for top-up funding elsewhere.

Although you do have to tell LightStream the purpose of your loan and you are obligated to only use the funds for that purpose, there are very few restrictions. LightStream includes loans for home improvement, boat financing, timeshare financing, and pre-K to 12th grade education. LightStream’s entirely online loan approval process is fast and simple, so even large loans can be available in your bank account on the same day that you apply.

LightStream is confident that it offers competitive rates that can't be beaten, and as an example, as part of its Rate Beat Program LightStream says it will beat any APR presented by any other lender by 0.10 percentage points. Each loan page on the website displays rate ranges and potential monthly payments depending on loan amount and terms length before you apply or submit sensitive information so you won't be in for any surprises. Also, if after you receive your loan you are not completely satisfied, LightStream promises to send you $100.

The Application Process

LightStream’s application process is simple, fast, and entirely online. You’ll answer a series of guided loan questions that ask for the following:

  • Your personal details
  • How much you want to borrow
  • The purpose of your loan
  • Your existing income and assets 

It takes just minutes to fill out and you’ll get a response quickly.

Once you’ve received your loan agreement you just need to sign it and send it back to set up your loan. Funds can arrive in your account the same day. LightStream permits joint applications too.

How Much Can You Borrow?

LightStream offers varying loan amounts from $5,000 up to $100,000, but only to borrowers with good or excellent credit scores. LightStream defines good credit as including:

  • Several years (at least 5 for excellent credit) of credit history
  • A credit history that covers a variety of account types (e.g. credit card debt, vehicle loans, mortgage debt)
  • A good payment history
  • Evidence of the ability to save via savings accounts, retirement savings, etc.
  • Stable and sufficient income or assets to repay all debt obligations

Repayment Terms

LightStream offers flexible repayment terms ranging from 24 months up to 144 months*, depending on the loan purpose and amount.

LightStream charges an APR* of from 4.99% - 16.79% w/AutoPay*. The lowest APR rates are available only to borrowers with excellent credit, which is not surprising. LightStream also gives the lowest rates to customers who pay using AutoPay – otherwise rates may be higher than quoted.

LightStream’s interest rates vary depending on the purpose of your loan, so using the loan to buy a car has a lower range of interest rates than a medical expense or credit card debt consolidation loan.

Because LightStream doesn’t charge any fees for extra payments or early prepayment, you can pay off your loan as early as you are able to.

Privacy and Security

LightStream shows a commitment to protecting borrowers’ security. The website is entirely covered using HTTPS technology and with Norton security protection. LightStream uses industry-standard encryption and firewalls to safeguard borrower information and only gives employees access to your data on an as-needed basis.

LightStream is open and transparent about what it uses your data for and won’t sell it to any third party or share it outside of its business partners. LightStream adheres to the COPPA regulations.

Help & Support

LightStream’s website is well organized and includes plenty of important information in an easy to find manner. The FAQs are extensive and easy to read. Customer service is available through phone and email during extended working hours but there is no 24/7 customer support or live chat. LightStream does sometimes struggle to communicate clearly with customers, such as when an application is straddling the line between rejection and acceptance.

How LightStream Compares

APR

 4.99% - 16.79% w/AutoPay* 

6.95% - 35.89% ***
5.73% - 16.59%
Minimum credit score
Good/Excellent
Fair/Good/Excellent
Good/Excellent
Loan amounts
up to $100,000
up to $40,000
up to $100,000
Loan term
24-144 months *
36-60 months
24-84 months
Best for
Excellent credit, flexible terms
Small loans
Borrowers with Excellent credit

LightStream provides loans with APRs from 4.99% - 16.79% w/AutoPay*, making it an extremely competitive choice compared to other top lenders in the industry, such as SoFi. While LightStream and SoFi are both geared toward borrowers with good and excellent credit, LightStream has slightly more flexibility with its minimum credit score requirement of 660. Both lenders offer similar loan amounts, but LighStream pulls ahead with it's lower minimum of 24 months. 

LightStream can't compete with LendingClub's minimum credit score, but it has more flexible loan terms when it comes to loan amounts, the length of the loan and also offers more attractive APRs. 

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Summary

LightStream helped to pioneer online lending in 2005, and is backed by SunTrust Banks, which has more than 125 years experience providing financial confidence. Overall, LightStream is a user-friendly, online, personal loan platform that is good for borrowers with excellent credit who need large loans fast. The flexibility of terms and loan purposes, and very competitive APRs, make it stand out among online lenders – but only for those who qualify.  

Physical Address

303 Peachtree Street NE

Atlanta, Georgia

30308

*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. If your application is approved, your credit profile will determine whether your loan will be unsecured or secured. 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. 


SunTrust SunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender.


SunTrust and LightStream are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. 


Lending services provided by SunTrust Bank.


** You can fund your loan today if today is a banking business day, your application is approved, and you complete the following steps by 2:30 p.m. Eastern time: (1) review and electronically sign your loan agreement; (2) provide us with your funding preferences and relevant banking information; and (3) complete the final verification process.

Sarah BadaniBySarah BadaniOct. 07, 2019
Sarah Badani has extensive research and review experience in the finance industry. With a degree in psychology and education, she brings a level of depth and understanding to her writing along with her own flavor to spice up each topic in a unique and inviting way.
LightStream