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LightStream home improvement loans review

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Competitive financing with minimal fees — but you'll need good credit to qualify.

Rather than opting for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) — and bearing the cost of multiple fees and a variable APR — you might want to consider LightStream instead. Its home improvement loans come with minimal fees and competitive fixed APRs. But if your credit and savings aren’t up to par, you might not qualify.


Max. Loan Amount



Good to excellent credit

Min. Credit Score


Product NameLightStream Home Improvement Loan
Min. Loan Amount$5,000
Max. Loan Amount$100,000
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. Credit ScoreGood to excellent credit
Minimum Loan Term2 years
Maximum Loan Term12 years
Turnaround TimeVaries
Go to Lightstream's website

How does a home improvement loan through LightStream work?

LightStream, the lending division of SunTrust bank, offers home improvement loans that provide significant savings because of their low rates and limited fees. And because you don’t have to put up security, you’ll keep the equity of your home intact during the renovation process.

You can borrow between $5,000 and $100,000, and those with excellent credit may qualify for extended terms lasting between 85 months and 12 years.

If approved, you must transfer the funds to your bank account within 30 days. If you don’t, you’ll need to reapply. And no matter how much you borrow, your loan must be used for home improvement — LightStream has a general personal loan to fund other expenses.

How much will I pay for a home improvement loan through LightStream?

To start off, here’s a payment example: Monthly repayments for a $10,000 loan at 5.99% APR with a term of three years would result in 36 monthly repayments of $304.17.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at the interest rate:

  • The interest rate is fixed. It won’t change over the lifetime of the loan.
  • Interest accrues daily. The interest you pay is based on the unpaid principal balance of your loan. Your payment will be applied to interest first, and the remainder will go toward the principal.
  • Low rates. LightStream offers competitive APRs. Your rate is determined by the amount you want to borrow, your loan term and your credit profile.
  • You’ll save with AutoPay. If you choose to receive an invoice, your rate will be 0.5% higher.*
Go to Lightstream's site

What are the benefits of a LightStream home improvement loan?

From its potentially fast turnaround to its minimal fees, here are a few perks of taking out a LightStream home improvement loan:

  • Same-day turnaround available.You may be able to get your home improvement loan funds on the same day you apply. This type of quick turnaround means you can start your project on your schedule without having to wait days for your application to process.
  • Satisfaction guarantee. LightStream is so sure you’ll be satisfied with the loan process, it comes with a guarantee: After initiating a complaint and completing a questionnaire, you could receive $100§. Loans are also backed by LightStream’s Rate Beat Program, which promises to beat another lender’s APR by 0.10%.
  • Minimal fees. LightStream doesn’t charge any origination, application or prepayment fees. But you may still be on the hook for late fees if you miss a payment.
  • No equity required. Unlike home equity loans or lines of credit, LightStream doesn’t require you to use your home as collateral.
  • Easy online process. LightStream is an online lender, so you can complete the entire process in just a few minutes — without setting foot in a bank.

What to watch out for

LightStream’s loans do have a few faults. Most complaints are due to not being approved, but remember: You need good to excellent credit to qualify.

In addition, you should be aware of the following:

  • Higher APR for invoice payments. If you choose to pay by invoice, your interest rate will be 0.50% higher*. Select AutoPay on loan acceptance to avoid the higher rate.
  • You must have a valid Visa or Mastercard credit card. This is for verification purposes only, and no charges are applied.
  • You must use your loan for home improvement. When you apply for a home improvement loan, LightStream requires you to use your funds for home improvement on a specific property. If you use your loan to pay for anything else, you may void your contract.

Am I eligible?

Qualifying for a LightStream loan requires good to excellent credit, and you must have sufficient income to repay any existing debt in addition to the loan.

LightStream considers good credit to be:

  • Several years of credit history
  • Credit history with a variety of account types
  • Good payment history
  • Evidence of the ability to save

How to apply

Applying for a home improvement loan through LightStream is a simple online process that takes about 10 minutes. Typically, you should receive a response quickly if you apply during business hours.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Click the Go to Site button to be redirected to LightStream’s website, then click Apply Now.
  2. Read over LightStream’s basic requirements, then select your loan purpose, the amount you need to borrow and other details for your loan.
  3. Enter information about yourself, your finances and the property you want to improve if different from your primary residence.
  4. Create an account with LightStream by choosing a user ID, password and security question.
  5. Review your application and read over the fine print, including LightStream’s online privacy policy. Then click Submit.

If your application is approved during a business day and you want same-day funding,complete the following steps by 2:30 p.m. ET:

  • Review and electronically sign the loan agreement.
  • Provide LightStream with your banking information and funding preferences.
  • Complete the final verification process.

What information will I need to apply?

To apply, you’ll be asked to provide the following information:

  • Personal details. This includes your full name, home address, contact info, Social Security number, date of birth and driver’s license number, among other general information.
  • Income and employment details. This includes your work status, annual income, liquid assets and retirement assets.
  • Property info. This includes your total monthly housing costs, the estimated equity in your home, your address, occupancy type and property type.
  • Security info for account setup. You’ll need to select a user ID, password and security question and answer.

Go to Lightstream's site

I got a LightStream home improvement loan. Now what?

Before you begin shopping for the perfect hardware for your new kitchen cabinets, it’s important to understand how to make payments on your new loan and take advantage of its features.

When you applied for your loan, you opted for either AutoPay or invoice payments:

  • AutoPay. Repayments are automatically withdrawn from your bank account each month. Once you’ve set up this feature, you’re good to go. Selecting AutoPay results in a lower APR.*
  • Invoice payments. These repayments must be made through the mail — you can’t make payments at or through a SunTrust Bank branch. Invoice payments result in a slightly higher APR, so consider setting up AutoPay to avoid a higher interest rate.

Bottom line

Applying for a LightStream home improvement loan is a simple process for applicants with good to excellent credit. If your credit history enables you to qualify, this loan is a great option to finance your home renovation projects.

However, if you don’t qualify, you may want to compare your other home improvement loan options or check out the providers on the table below.

LightStream not right for you? Compare other providers

Updated February 26th, 2020
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
Credible Personal Loans
3.99% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Fiona Personal Loans
3.84% to 35.99%
Good to excellent credit
Get loan offers from multiple lenders at once without affecting your credit score.
LendingClub Personal Loan
6.95% to 35.89%
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
Monevo Personal Loans
3.49% to 35.99%
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Even Financial Personal Loans
3.84% to 35.99%
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
NetCredit Personal Loans
36% to 38% (Varies by state)
No minimum
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
Upgrade Personal Loans
6.98% to 35.89%
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
PenFed Credit Union Personal Loans
6.49% to 17.99%
With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.
SoFi Personal Loans
5.99% to 20.91%
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions

Important information

* 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 under the invoicing option are 0.50% 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 5.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $304.17.

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.

§ After receiving your loan from LightStream, if you are not completely satisfied with your experience, please contact them. They will email you a questionnaire so they can improve their services. When they receive your completed questionnaire, they will send you $100. LightStream’s guarantee expires 30 days after you receive your loan.

LightStream reserves the right to change or discontinue their guarantee at any time. Limited to one $100 payment per funded loan. LightStream and SunTrust teammates do not qualify for the Loan Experience Guarantee.

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