LightStream Personal Loans: 2020 Review

LightStream logo

LightStream offers high borrowing amounts and low rates on its unsecured personal loans, which can be used for nearly any purpose, including home improvement projects, debt consolidation and adoption financing.

LightStream charges no fees on its personal loans and is even willing to beat competitors’ rates by 0.1 percent (with some restrictions). Plus, it offers to send you $100 if you’re unsatisfied with the loan process. If you have a strong credit history and plenty of assets, this lender could be a good fit.

LightStream is the online lending division of Truist (formerly SunTrust Bank).

LightStream snapshot

Loan amount $5,000 – $100,000
APR 3.49% – 16.79%
Minimum credit score 660
Time to receive funds As soon as same day

Pros and cons of LightStream personal loans

Here’s a breakdown of some of the benefits and drawbacks of LightStream personal loans.

Pros:

  • Low rates: LightStream loan APRs start at 3.49 percent, which is very competitive. To qualify for the lowest rate, you’ll need to enroll in autopayments to receive a 0.5 percent discount. Your APR will differ based on the loan purpose, amount, term length and your credit.
  • No fees: LightStream doesn’t charge any fees on its loans.
  • Fast approval and funding: Approved borrowers can be approved and receive their funds as soon as the same day.

Cons:

  • Minimum loan amount is a bit high: The smallest loan amount available with LightStream is $5,000. If you’re looking for a loan below that amount, you’ll have to find a different lender.
  • Requires a long credit history: LightStream customers typically have several years of credit history across different account types such as major credit cards, auto loans and home mortgages.

Lending terms

The typical LightStream customer has a minimum FICO score of 660. The lender also considers your:

  • Credit score and credit history.
  • Requested loan amount.
  • Requested loan purpose.
  • Repayment term (two to 12 years, depending on the loan purpose).
  • Available assets.
  • Payment record on all loans and credit cards.

Most LightStream loans come with two- to seven-year terms, though its loans for home improvement, swimming pools and solar financing may extend to 12 years. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000, and the fixed APR ranges from 3.49 percent to 16.79 percent.

If you find a better APR with a different lender, LightStream will beat the rate by 0.1 percent if you can show you were approved by the competitor for the same type of fixed-rate loan for the same amount, term, purpose and payment method.

Other lenders might offer lower loan amounts, shorter terms or more limitations on how borrowers can use the loan funds. LightStream does have a few restrictions, though. You can’t use a LightStream personal loan to:

  • Fund college or post-secondary education expenses, though you can use LightStream loans for preschool and K-12 expenses.
  • Refinance previous college or post-secondary education loans.
  • Refinance existing LightStream loans.
  • Fund loans for businesses.
  • Fund a cash-out refinance loan.
  • Purchase stocks or bonds.

Fees and penalties

LightStream charges no origination fees, prepayment penalties or late fees, and there’s also no fee if you set up an automatic ACH debit through your bank account. You will not receive the 0.5 percent autopay discount if you pay manually.

How to apply for a loan with LightStream

LightStream’s application process is quick and straightforward. Here are the details you’ll need to provide:

  • Loan purpose, amount and term.
  • Payment method.
  • Personal information (including your address, phone number, email address and Social Security number).
  • Employment information.
  • Current monthly housing payments, such as rent or mortgages.

Once you’ve submitted the loan application, LightStream will review it, conduct a hard credit pull and email you with the status of your application. If approved, you can sign your loan agreement and set up your funding date and payment information online.

Once approved, the lender will disburse funds to your account. That can happen as soon as the day you apply, as long as your application is verified and approved before 2:30 p.m. Eastern on a business day.

Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. LightStream’s website doesn’t provide a phone number, but you can email your questions and a representative will respond during business hours.

How Bankrate rates LightStream

Overall score 4.6
Availability 4.2
Affordability 5.0
Customer Experience 4.7

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.