LightStream Personal Loans Review

Excellent credit scores may qualify for no fees and low APRs

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Lightstream personal loans
overall rating
4.1

The online lending arm of Truist (the bank created by the SunTrust Bank/BB&T merger), LightStream offers personal loans for practically any need, which includes home renovations, credit card consolidation, auto refinancing, medical bills, and more. Its large loan maximum—$100,000, depending on loan purpose—ensures that you can cover nearly any major expense. And the generous repayment terms allow you up to 12 years to retire your loan.

Our LightStream personal loans review will help you determine if LightStream is the right lender for your personal loan needs.

  • Product Specifications
  • Pros & Cons
  • Fees
Product Specifications
  • APR Range 3.99% to 19.99% (includes 0.50% autopay discount)
  • Loan Amounts $5,000 to $10,000
  • Loan Terms 2 to 12 years
  • Recommended Minimum Credit Score 670
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No Fees

  • Joint Application Option

  • Autopay Discount

Cons
  • No Prequalification Option

  • Good or Excellent Credit Required

  • Inflexible Due Date

Fees
  • Origination fee: none
  • Prepayment penalty: none
  • Late fee: none

Pros Explained

  • No Fees – In an industry rife with fees (that’s how lenders make extra cash), LightStream loans come remarkably free of extra expenses. No origination, prepayment, or late fees are hidden in the fine print.
  • Joint Application Option – If you don’t think you’ll qualify for a LightStream personal loan on your own, you can try adding a co-applicant. This means your application will include your credit and someone else’s—usually someone with a higher credit score or a more established credit history—to help you clinch the deal.
  • Autopay Discount – LightStream lets you save up to 0.50% per month on interest when you sign up for automatic payments. In other words, you get paid for being prompt, and at a generous rate too—other lenders offer autopay discounts, but 0.025% is more the norm. 

Cons Explained

  • No Prequalification Option – Many online lenders will give you a sort of preview—a nonbinding approval and the interest rates you’ll get—before you formally apply for a loan. LightStream doesn’t, which means the only way to see if you qualify is to complete a full application. This triggers a hard credit check, which can cause your credit score to drop. And there’s a chance you could get denied, which means your score will drop and you’ll still need to find another way to take out a personal loan.
  • Good or Excellent Credit Required – LightStream applicants will need a credit score of at least 660 to be eligible for a personal loan.
  • Inflexible Due Date – Some lenders are flexible with when you make your monthly payment, but once you lock in your due date with LightStream, it stays that way. If you have unsteady income and don’t think you’ll be able to make payments on the day you’re given, you may want to look elsewhere for a personal loan.

COVID-19 Assistance

If you're a LightStream personal loan borrower facing financial hardship due to COVID-19, you can defer your monthly payment. Deferred payments will be added to your final payment amount and interest will continue to accrue.

You can defer up to six payments but you will have to make a new request every month. LightStream states that payment deferral will not negatively affect your credit score, but they will report it to credit agencies as a deferment affected by a natural disaster.

Types of Personal Loans Offered by LightStream

LightStream has great diversity in its personal loans, including vehicle loans, home improvement loans, recreation loans, family life loans, debt consolidation loans, pre-K to 12th-grade education loans, and more.

Time to Receive Funds

You can get your money on the same day your loan is approved.

LightStream Personal Loan Features

  • Online Application
  • Joint Application Available
  • Long Repayment Terms
  • Low APRs
  • Autopay Discount
  • Wide Range of Loan Amounts

Apply for a LightStream Personal Loan

To get a LightStream personal loan, you’ll need to get a few documents in order. Here’s what you have to provide on a LightStream personal loan application.

  • Co-Applicant Information – As LightStream offers individual and joint applications, you’ll need to share upfront if you’re going to have another person on the loan with you.
  • Loan Information – You’ll detail how much you need, your desired loan terms, and the purpose of your loan. For instance, are you using the funds to buy a new car or for debt consolidation? You’ll want to share that information.
  • Personal Details – Aside from your full name and address, you’ll need to indicate if you’re a citizen of the U.S., Cuba, Iran, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), Syria, Sudan, North Korea, or somewhere else. 
  • Work and Employment Information – LightStream wants to make sure you’re financially able to repay your loan on time every month. You’ll need to specify your annual income, work status, and any other way you earn money aside from your regular job. You’ll also be asked to share your monthly home costs, plus any money you have in your checking, savings, and retirement accounts.

After that you’ll create a login with LightStream, so you can track your application and, if approved, monitor your loan. Once you carefully review all your details, you’ll submit the application to LightStream.

Can I Refinance a Personal Loan With LightStream?

LightStream offers a variety of refinancing options. including loans for:

  • Automobiles  
  • Boats, RVs, Aircraft, and Motorcycles 
  • Timeshares 

In your application, you can select the best refinancing option for your needs.

Verdict

The lender touts its product as the “refreshingly simple LightStream loan,” and it lives up to that slogan with no fees, low APRs, and a one-day release of funds. Add in its impressive variety of loan amounts and types, with financing for nearly every purpose and occasion, and LightStream seems a good choice for many individual borrowers.

However, with no prequalification option, you can’t know in advance if you qualify for a LightStream personal loan. And LightStream is no lender of last resort: You have to have a solid credit score and history to qualify for its financing. Luckily, if your record is sketchy, you can use a joint application and enlist the help of someone with a better credit score to help boost your eligibility. 

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. We collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their needs.

Article Sources

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  1. LightStream.com. "FAQs: Pre-approvals." Accessed May 18, 2020.

  2. LightStream.com. "FAQs: Monthly Due Date." Accessed May 18, 2020.

  3. LightStream. "LightStream's response to coronavirus." Accessed May 18, 2020.

  4. LightStream. "Payment deferral FAQs." Accessed May 18, 2020.

  5. LightStream.com. "Learn more about how LightStream loans can be used to finance." Accessed May 18, 2020.

  6. LightStream.com. "FAQs: How It Works." Accessed May 18, 2020.

  7. LightStream.com. "Auto Refinancing." Accessed May 18, 2020.

  8. LightStream.com. "Aircraft Loans and Refinancing." Accessed May 18, 2020.

  9. LightStream.com. "Timeshare Loans and Refinancing." Accessed May 18, 2020.