LightStream personal loans review
Borrowers with excellent credit may qualify for loans up to $100,000 at competitive rates.
finder.com’s rating: 4.9 / 5.0
Bottom line: LightStream offers one of the most competitive deals available online. But it’s only available to prime borrowers and doesn’t allow you to check your rate without affecting your credit.
Max. Loan Amount
Good to excellent credit
Min. Credit Score
- May receive funds on the same day you apply
- Competitive rates
- High 0.5% autopay rate discount
- Borrow up to $100,000
- Get $100 if you’re not completely satisfied with your borrowing experience
- Rate Beat Program beats competitor rates by 0.1%
- Ranked #1 in 2020 J.D. Power Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study
- High minimum loan amount
- Tough credit requirements
- No preapproval process
- No customer service line listed on website
Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
LightStream is ideal if you’re looking to take out a large loan, want a long loan term or need funds fast. It offers personal loans up to $100,000 at competitive rates — with loan terms as long as seven years. You also might be able to get your funds the same day you apply if you meet specific criteria.
But you need to have good to excellent credit to qualify. And if you’re looking to borrow less than $5,000, you’ll have to look elsewhere. LightStream also doesn’t have a customer service phone number listed on its website, meaning you’ll have to reach out via an online form with any questions you might have.
Not sure LightStream is for you? Compare your other options below.
LightStream rates, fees and terms
LightStream has some of the most competitive rates out there and doesn’t charge any origination fees. There’s also a wide range of loan terms, from 24 to 84 months. Opting for a longer term can help keep monthly repayments low — though you’ll pay more in interest in the long run.
To see how much borrowing from LightStream might cost you, use this calculator to enter your desired loan amount, loan term and APR.
Monthly repayments calculatorCalculate how much you could expect to pay each month
|Loan terms (in years)|
How LightStream compares to other lenders
Here’s how LightStream’s costs, loan amounts and requirements hold up against two of its top competitors.
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How to qualify
To qualify for a loan from LightStream, you need to meet a few basic criteria:
- You must have a good to excellent credit profile
- You must be a US citizen or a permanent resident with a valid green card
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Credit card verification requested upon loan approval
- Must have a valid US address
While your credit score matters, it’s not the only factor that LightStream looks at. “One of the misnomers of lending is that credit score is everything that lenders care about. That’s really not true,” Nelson, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, says. “A score is supposed to be kind of a placeholder for someone’s relative creditworthiness.”
“But what we find to be more interesting and more telling is really the depth and breadth of someone’s credit history and how they’ve used credit in the past. Do they have more debt than their income can support? Do they have money that they put away for retirement or a rainy day fund?”
Can I get a LightStream loan during COVID-19?
Yes, LightStream is still offering loans during the coronavirus outbreak. It might be a little more difficult to qualify, but this lender always had tight credit standards.
“We’re not making loans to people who, generally speaking, are suffering financial stress — it’s just not our target customer,” Nelson says. “So while we’re a little tighter from a credit perspective today, we’re still very much open for business.”
LightStream reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||1.03 out of 5 stars, based on 221 customer reviews|
|J.D. Power ranking||Ranked No. 1 in J.D. Power 2020 customer satisfaction survey|
|Trustpilot score||2.6 out of 5 stars, based on 6 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||16 October 2020|
It’s a mixed bag. Despite being around for almost a decade, LightStream doesn’t have very many customer reviews on its Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Trustpilot pages. Those that are positive praise the lender for its fast turnaround, competitive rates and hassle-free process.
A lot of the negative reviews seem to be spam, though there are a few that appear legit. A few people complained about getting denied for a loan — even with good to excellent credit and minimal debts. Others had issues with rude or unhelpful customer service representatives.
LightStream ranks No. 1 in 2020 J.D. Power Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study
LightStream came out in first in the J.D. Power’s annual consumer lender rankings in 2020 — and reached second place the year before. Consumers ranked it first based on factors like the application process, terms and conditions and how the company managed repayments.
How the application works
LightStream has a simple four-step online application that should only take a few minutes to complete. After you’ve filled out the form and sent it in, LightStream will email you with an approval decision. Depending on when you apply and what other documents are needed, you may be able to receive your funds the same day.
Does LightStream have a COVID-19 hardship program?
Yes, LightStream will work with current customers who have been hurt by the coronavirus outbreak. “We’re offering customers the ability to defer payments if they’re suffering from some kind of financial hardship, whether they lost their job or their hours have been cut back or their source of income has dried,” Nelson says.
“We’ve actually built out self-service capabilities so that they can log into their LightStream account and defer payments on their own. Then, once they regain their income, they can start making additional payments, or they can wait and pay it all off at the end.”
What sets it apart
LightStream’s Rate Beat Program ensures that you get the most competitive APR available. LightStream will beat any other lender’s APR by 0.1%, provided the other lender’s APR meets certain terms and conditions.
In addition, “If you take a loan from LightStream, and you’re dissatisfied with any part of it, we’ll pay you $100 to tell us about your experience,” Nelson tells Finder.
“It’s not that we don’t make mistakes — we do on occasion, and we certainly want to know when we do. But by and large, we know we’ve got a great experience and we’re willing to put our money where our mouth is.”
LightStream is now a product of Truist
SunTrust and BB&T have recently merged to become Truist, the sixth largest bank in the US. Because of this transition, previous loans will now be serviced by Truist. If you already have a loan, reach out to Truist for more information. If you’re thinking about borrowing, don’t worry: Loan terms haven’t changed, just the name behind LightStream.
Frequently asked questions
How does LightStream calculate interest?
Like most personal loan providers, LightStream calculates interest using the simple interest formula. It’s one of the least-expensive types of interest, in which lenders calculate it daily based on your loan balance between repayments.
Can I use a LightStream personal loan for business purposes?
No, unlike some personal loan providers, LightStream doesn’t allow you to take out a personal loan for business purposes.
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monthly payments of $303.99.
Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.
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