LightStream personal loans review
- Max. Loan Amount
- 7.49% to 25.49%
- Min. credit score
- Good to excellent credit
LightStream is best for good-to-excellent credit borrowers 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 autopay discounts and loan terms as long as 12 years. You also might 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 want to borrow less than $5,000, you'll have to look elsewhere. Also, unlike other lenders, LightStream doesn't have a customer service phone number listed on its website, which means you'll have to reach out via email with any questions.
Best for: Borrowers with good credit who need to borrow large amounts.
Rate Beat program guarantees lowest rate
May be able to get your funds the same day
No origination fee
No customer service phone number
No preapproval process
Large minimum loan amount of $5,000
|Min. Loan Amount||$5,000|
|APR||7.49% to 25.49%|
|Interest Rate Type||Fixed|
|Min. credit score||Good to excellent credit|
|Loan term||24 to 144 months|
|Turnaround Time||As soon as same day|
|Customer service hours||10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday
12 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET, Saturday
What makes LightStream shine
LightStream has several benefits to offer its customers.
Customer service focused
LightStream takes extra steps to make sure customers have the best possible experience. “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,” Todd Nelson, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, 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.”
This, in addition to its competitive rates and long terms, sets it apart from other lenders.
Rates that beat its competitors
LightStream also has some of the most competitive rates and will beat any other lender’s APR by 0.10% with its Rate Beat program, provided your loan meets specific terms and conditions. It also doesn’t charge origination fees or prepayment penalties on its loans. And you can get a 0.5% rate discount if you allow autopay repayments.
Choose your loan term
LightStream offers a wider range of repayment terms than your typical online lender, from 24 to 144 months. Opting for a longer term can help keep monthly repayments low — though you’ll pay more 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)|
Fill out the form and click on “Calculate” to see your estimated monthly payment.
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Based on your loan terms
Where LightStream falls short
LightStream has a uniquely high minimum loan amount of $5,000, meaning it’s not ideal for small expenses. The lender also seems to be very strict in how you use your loan — requiring you to state the loan’s use at the application stage and providing a list of what you can’t use the funds for, such as student loans or business expenses.
No preapproval process means LightStream doesn’t allow you to check your rate without affecting your credit. It pulls a hard credit inquiry from TransUnion or Equifax as part of its approval process.
And, for all its focus on providing excellent customer service, LightStream doesn’t provide a phone number. You need to email or contact a representative through social media with any questions.
How to qualify for LightStream
To qualify for a loan from LightStream, you need to meet a few basic criteria:
- Must have a good-to-excellent credit profile
- 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 considers. “One of the misnomers of lending is that credit score is everything that lenders care about. That’s really not true,” Nelson 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?”
How to apply
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 emails you with an approval decision. Depending on when you apply and what other documents are needed, you may receive your funds the same day.
LightStream doesn’t have a preapproval process, so checking your rate affects your credit score. If you want to shop for the lowest rate, consider applying with other lenders that offer preapproval with a soft credit check first.
How LightStream compares to other lenders
LightStream can be a great option if you have excellent credit and need a large amount of unsecured financing. But if you want to compare rates before you apply, consider another online lender first.
For example, SoFi offers similar loan amounts with competitive rates and perks like free career coaching — and allows you to prequalify without affecting your credit.
LightStream can also be difficult for some borrowers to qualify for — especially if you’re still in the first few years of building your credit history. In that case, a provider that also considers factors like your education and career path might be a better choice, like Upstart.
Use our table to explore your options by APR, minimum credit score and loan amount. Select the Go to site button for more information about a particular lender.
Or, read our guide to LightStream alternatives for more details on how it compares to other lenders.
LightStream personal loans
Finder rating 4.8 / 5
7.49% to 25.49%
24 to 144 months
$5,000 to $100,000
Min. credit score
Good to excellent credit
Best Egg personal loans
Finder rating 3.8 / 5
8.99% to 35.99%
3 to 5 years
$2,000 to $50,000
Min. credit score
PenFed Credit Union personal loans
Finder rating 3.6 / 5
7.99% to 17.99%
1 to 5 years
$600 to $50,000
Min. credit score
LightStream reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||1.3 out of 5 stars, based on 43 customer reviews|
|Trustpilot Score||1.8 out of 5 stars, based on 67 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||27 October 2023|
The company’s website hosts about 24,000 customer reviews, which are overwhelmingly positive. But on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, a handful of customers give it poor reviews, with a similar number of complaints registered. And LightStream’s parent company, Truist, gets overwhelmingly negative reviews on the BBB site.
Positive reviews report fast turnaround, competitive rates and a hassle-free process. As for the negative reviews, some complain about getting denied for a loan — even with good-to-excellent credit and minimal debts. Others report issues with rude or unhelpful customer service representatives.
While LightStream came in first place for the 2020 J.D. Power Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study, it didn’t land a spot on the 2021 list. J.D. Power’s annual consumer lender survey ranks lenders based on factors like the application process, terms and conditions and how the company manages repayments. LightStream came in seventh place in 2023.
Is LightStream legit?
Frequently asked questions
Does LightStream offer other types of loans?
Yes, you can also take out a new or used car loan, refinance your current auto loan, buy out your car lease, purchase a new or used RV and more through LightStream.
- New and used car loans. When you need a new car fast, LightStream’s quick turnaround times can help make it happen.
- Auto refinancing. When you’ve grown attached to your car but not to your current car loan, LightStream auto refinance can help make your payment more affordable.
- Auto lease buyout. If you don’t want to give up your leased vehicle, LightStream can turn that large buyout payment into one you can afford.
- Classic car financing. LightStream’s high loan amounts make it a good option for buying exotic or classic cars.
- Motorcycle loans and refinancing. Get special financing options for buying a new motorcycle or refinancing the loan on your existing ride.
- Private party auto purchases. Finance a vehicle purchase from a friend, neighbor or family member if you don’t want to go through a dealer.
- RV loans and refinancing. Purchase a new RV or trade in your current loan for one from LightStream with better rates, terms — or both.
- Boat loans and refinancing. Finance everything from a small used waverunner to a brand-new pontoon boat with a LightStream boat loan or swap out the high payments on your current boat loan with more favorable rates and terms by refinancing.
How do I contact LightStream customer service?
You can contact LightStream during customer service hours, which are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET on weekdays and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Saturdays. Keep in mind that this lender doesn’t offer customer service by phone, so these are the contact details:
- Email: email@example.com
- Twitter: @LS_Loans
- Facebook: @LSLoans
How can I use LightStream for debt consolidation?
LightStream enables borrowers to combine several debt payments into a single loan. But instead of sending payments to your creditors directly, LightStream sends funds to your bank account. Then, it’s up to you to contact your creditors and ask for a payoff amount.
This can take longer because you have to wait for two ACH transfers: one to get your money and one to send money to your creditors. Also, LightStream’s minimum loan amount is $5,000, which may make it less useful if you have a smaller amount of debt to consolidate. Other lenders like Lending Club and Upgrade offer loans starting at $1,000, although they charge origination fees.
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April 10, 2017
Need loan for a Ve hike $27,000
July 09, 2017
Thank you for your inquiry.
With LightStream Personal Loans you can apply for this loan as long as you can meet the following requirements.
– You are at least 18 years old
– You are an American citizen or a permanent resident of the US
– You have good or excellent credit rating
– Your income and assets can support your existing debt obligations as well as the desired loan amount
I hope this information has helped.
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