LightStream vs. SoFi: Which is better?
LightStream has lower starting APRs and higher discounts, while SoFi provides unemployment protection and more flexibility with fund usage.
For borrowers looking for a personal loan, LightStream provides quick funding for cost-conscious borrowers. On the flip side, SoFi offers unemployment protection and flexible repayment options, catering to borrowers desiring financial protection.
LightStream vs. SoFi: A quick comparison
|Loan products offered
|Kitchen and bath remodel, landscaping, solar, swimming pool, aircraft, boat, credit and debt consolidation, wedding, medical, dental, education (K-12 only) and many others
|Personal loans for credit card consolidation, home improvements, family planning, travel, IVF, weddings and more
|7.49% to 25.49%
|8.99% to 29.99%
|$5,000 to $100,000
|$5,000 to $100,000
|As soon as same day
|Up to 2 business days
|Available in all states
|Available in all states
LightStream vs. SoFi: Which one’s better?
LightStream and SoFi both offer unsecured personal loans. LightStream serves as a more compatible fit for most borrowers due to its Rate Beat program, guaranteeing lower rates than competitors and 0.5% autopay discounts, which is larger than SoFi’s 0.25%.
LightStream, a subdivision of Truist Bank, is ideal for borrowers with good to excellent credit looking for the lowest minimum APRs. SoFi, which started later than Lightstream in 2011, might be a good fit for borrowers looking for financial assurance through unemployment protection and a suite of repayment options. Both might be a good fit, depending on your financing needs.
When to consider LightStream
LightStream is a compatible fit for borrowers who want:
- More rate options: If you get approved by another lender, two days before receiving the funds, LightStream provides a more competitive rate through its rate beat program.
- Generous discounts: LightStream offers a 0.50% discount on monthly payments if you choose an automatic payment via your bank account. This is slightly higher than SoFi’s 0.25%
- Customer service guarantee: After you receive your loan, LightStream sends you a questionnaire. Once you complete the questionnaire, LightStream reviews your feedback and sends you $100.
When to consider SoFi
SoFi is a great fit for borrowers who prefer:
- Loan usage flexibility: Besides some hard and fast rules about not using the funds for secondary school expenses, you don’t need to choose a specific use case for your loan like LightStream requires.
- Unemployment protection: If you lose your job or income, SoFi adjusts your payments and helps you find your next role.
- Ability to have two loans at the same time: Any US borrower besides Michigan residents can take out a second SoFi loan as long as they have made three consistent payments on the first loan.
While both SoFi and LightStream have different consumer ratings, both have an independent A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, prefer good to excellent borrowers and offer autopay discounts to lower your monthly costs.
Alternatives to LightStream and SoFi
Here are three alternative products similar to both LightStream and SoFi.
- Upstart: This lender may approve loans for borrowers with credit scores starting at 300.
- Avant: Ideal for borrowers with a fluctuating income, such as self-employed individuals.
- Upgrade: This lender may be a good option for borrowers needing smaller loan amounts, with a minimum loan amount of $1,000.
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