The best alternative providers to LightStream for personal loans.
With this perk, it may seem like LightStream is a go-to choice for those with excellent credit, but some borrowers may want to look elsewhere if they have a short credit history or recent changes in income.
- Competitive rates
- Loans up to $100,000
- No fees
- $100 loan experience guarantee
- Cosigners allowed
- Available in all 50 states
- Excellent credit required
- No loans under $5,000
- Hard to reach out to customer service by phone
SoFi might be best known for student loan refinancing, but it also offers personal loans at competitive rates to young professionals with strong credit. While it might not offer LightStream’s financial incentives, it provides its borrowers with support to grow their personal finances through career counseling, mentorship programs and unemployment protection.
While SoFi offers its loans for a variety of purposes, LightStream extends its lending to medical treatment, IVF, adoption or PreK-12 education. Both offer the same amount of funds — $5,000 to $100,000 and neither charge any fees, including late fees. The two also have competitive rates, though SoFi offers a choice between fixed rates from 5.99% to 16.99% and variable rates from 5.74% to 14.70% — including an autopay discount.
2. Best Egg
This online lender might not have LightStream’s years of experience, but it’s had a meteoric rise since launching in 2014. It offers quick loans with competitive rates to customers with good or excellent credit.
Its requirements are a little more lax than some of the other lenders on this list, including LightStream. The minimum credit score required is 640 and borrowers only need to make $25,000 a year to meet its income requirements. And when it comes to loans under $5,000, Best Egg can help: Its loans start at $2,000.
Like LightStream, Best Egg’s rates are competitive, ranging from 5.99% to 29.99%.
This online lender is one of the first lenders to use blockchain technology, making the application process faster, more transparent and safer. In addition to personal loans, it launched an option for a personal line of credit. While LightStream is great for large purchases, Upgrade’s loans skew smaller: $1,000 to $50,000. It has slightly more relaxed credit requirements, with a minimum credit score of 620 to apply. And instead of an annual income requirement, borrowers must have at least $1,000 available a month after paying bills and other expenses.
Upgrade’s rates are competitive, but not as competitive as LightStream’s. The rates can be high for lower credit borrowers. APRs range from 7.99% to 35.89%, including a 1% to 6% origination fee. It also only offers a choice between two loan terms: 3 to 5 years.
Like LightStream, FreedomPlus lets you apply with a cosigner to meet requirements and qualify for a more competitive rate. It also offers a discount to borrowers who can prove they have more than $40,000 in retirement savings.
Looking for a loan to manage your credit card debt? This direct online lender offers personal loans for any use with an emphasis on debt consolidation. In fact, you’ll get a discount if you use at least half of your funds toward consolidating your debt. It’s part of Freedom Financial Network, which specializes in getting borrowers out of debt and includes Freedom Debt Relief and Bills.com.
FreedomPlus has a wide range of APRs from 5.99% to 26.99% — competitive if you have excellent credit, but could be pricy if you just make the credit score cutoff of 640. The APR includes an origination fee of up to 5%, which LightStream doesn’t charge. It also offers a much smaller range of loan amounts, from $7,500 to $40,000. Loan terms are also shorter, from 2 to 5 years.
5. Laurel Road
Formerly known as Darian Rowayton Bank (DRB), Laurel Road offers personal loans to professionals with strong personal finances. Like LightStream, Laurel Road offers some of the most competitive rates out there, even if you aren’t a medical professional, with APRs ranging from 8.01% to 16.30%. It also doesn’t charge any origination fees or prepayment penalties — though it does charge late fees. If you’re looking for a loan less than LightStream’s minimum $5,000, Laurel Road might be a better choice, since its loans start at $1,000.
Its loans are especially geared toward doctors and dentists: They can qualify for even higher loan amounts and special rates. And if you’re a resident or in a fellowship, you can make $25 monthly repayments until you’ve completed your program. Unless you’re a doctor or dentist, Laurel Road might not be the best option for big-ticket expenses. It caps its loan amounts at $45,000 and offers a shorter range of loan terms, from 3 to 5 years. You also need strong personal finances to qualify: It recommends that you make at least $60,000 a year, have a debt-to-income ratio of 40% or lower and requires a credit score of at least 680. Like LightStream, Laurel Road allows you to apply with a cosigner to increase your chances of getting approved with a lower rate.