Skip to Main Content

LightStream Personal Loans: 2024 Review

Updated on March 22, 2024

At a glance

Bankrate 2024 Awards Winner: Best personal loan for home improvement

Find my best rates
Check rate with Bankrate
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
Caret Down
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

Bankrate’s take

LightStream’s loans are among the best for borrowers with strong credit, featuring generous amounts and repayment terms, low APRs and no fees.

Lender Details


Loan amount



APR from

7.49%-25.49% *with AutoPay

Clock Wait

Term lengths

24 to 84 months

Credit Good

Min Credit Score


LightStream is best for excellent credit borrowers looking to consolidate debt or finance a home renovation

LightStream is a 2024 Bankrate Award winner for both best home improvement personal loan and best excellent credit personal loan. It offers loans of up to $100,000 — among the highest in the personal loan industry. Repayment terms are capped at 84 months, which is higher than the standard 60-month limit offered by most lenders. The lender also offers a low starting APR, along with a no-fee policy and a rate beat program, making its loans relatively low cost.

Good-to-excellent credit is required for approval. But for qualified borrowers, LightStream is a prime choice for large purchases and costs, such as home improvement projects and debt consolidation.

LightStream personal loan purposes

LightStream offers generous loan amounts and a range of repayment terms. These features make its loans a great option to finance large purchases, home improvement projects, costly medical procedures and even tiny homes.

LightStream’s loans are also a good option for debt consolidation given their low starting APR, autopay discount and rate beat program, which can result in bigger savings.

That said, borrowers can’t use the loan proceeds to cover post-secondary education expenses or refinance student loans. Borrowers are also prohibited from using the funds to invest in the stock market, contribute to any retirement, life insurance or education savings plan or to refinance an existing LightStream loan.

Where LightStream personal loans stands out

  • Low rates: LightStream’s lowest APR is currently 7.49 percent, including a 0.50 percent autopay discount.
  • Rate beat program: If an approved borrower gets a better rate elsewhere, LightStream will beat the competing offer by 0.10 percent.
  • No fees: LightStream doesn’t charge any fees, not even an origination fee.
  • Fast approval and funding: Borrowers may receive funds as soon as the same day they apply with LightStream, which is great for time-sensitive needs.

Where LightStream personal loans falls short

  • Minimum loan amount is high: While many personal loan lenders let you borrow as little as $1,000, LightStream’s minimum is $5,000. This could be too much for some borrowers.
  • Requires a long credit history: LightStream borrowers should have several years of credit history with a variety of account types, so it’s not a good choice for borrowers just starting out on their credit journey.
  • No prequalification available: Borrowers must submit a formal application to get tailored rate information, which can temporarily lower their credit score.

LightStream customer experience

Customer support

LightStream offers customer support Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. ET. While LightStream’s website doesn’t provide a phone number, borrowers can get in touch via email at

Digital experience

LightStream offers a smooth application process that is completed 100 percent online, from start to finish. Online account management is also available and borrowers can contact customer support from their profile or via email.

What people are saying about LightStream

The lender’s website features over 26,000 5-star reviews, collected via Bazaarvoice, as of June 13, 2024. Most consumers cite ease of application, fast funding and competitive rates as the main reasons for their positive experience.

"I used Lighstream for my home improvement project and couldn’t be more pleased. This was my first time using an online service. The process was easy, straightforward and quick. Once I was approved, I received a phone from a representative to see if I had questions and he was able to answer them and quickly changed my funding choice from a wire to an ACH deposit so I wouldn’t have to pay my bank’s fees for the wire."

Bazaarvoice User

However, comments on third-party review site Trustpilot tell a different story. With 74 reviews on its page (which LightStream hasn’t officially claimed), the lender averages 1.6 of 5 stars. Reviewers mentioned being offered high rates despite clean credit histories. One reviewer said, in part:

"I have excellent credit and never been late on any of my payments. That didn't matter and you offered me credit card interest on a personal loan. Just because everyone is offering high rates right now doesn't mean you should take advantage of your loyal customers."

Trustpilot User

Outlinked content may contain views and opinions that do not reflect the views and opinions of Bankrate. Please see the issuer’s website for updated terms and conditions.

How this lender compares

Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
7.49%-25.49% *with AutoPay
Loan Amount
Term Length
24 to 84 months
Min Credit Score
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
8.99% to 29.49%* with autopay
Loan Amount
Term Length
24 to 84 months
Min Credit Score
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
8.99% – 35.99%
Loan Amount
$2,000 – $50,000
Term Length
36 to 60 months
Min Credit Score

LightStream vs. SoFi

LightStream and SoFi loan offers are quite similar. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000, with competitive APRs and good or excellent credit is needed to qualify. Both lenders also accept joint applications and have no mandatory fees.

The main difference is that LightStream doesn’t offer prequalification, while SoFi does. This means borrowers can check their rate with SoFi without having to submit a formal application. SoFi also offers a variety of member-specific perks, like referral bonuses and a rewards program, that LightStream currently lacks.

Read a full comparison of LightStream vs. Sofi

LightStream vs. Best Egg

LightStream and Best Egg couldn’t be more different. Though they’re both online lenders, Best Egg has APR ranges that are higher and loan amounts that are lower than what LightStream offers. Best Egg also charges an origination fee, in addition to other lender fees, making its loans more expensive across the board.

However, borrowers with imperfect credit may have a harder time qualifying for LightStream’s loans. Best Egg, on the other hand, has a minimum credit score requirement of 600, which is low compared to many personal loan lenders.

Read a full comparison of LightStream vs. Best Egg

Do you qualify for a LightStream personal loan?

Like other lenders, LightStream requires borrowers to provide their contact information, date of birth, physical address and Social Security number to apply. The lender doesn’t list specific credit requirements on its website, but according to a representative, borrowers need a minimum credit score of 695 to qualify.

LightStream also considers the requested loan amount, purpose and repayment term in addition to their credit history and financial situation for approval.

How to apply for a personal loan with LightStream

LightStream’s application process is quick and straightforward. It’s done completely online and should take less than 15 minutes to complete.

  1. Get a quote: Because LightStream doesn’t offer prequalification, it’s best to check your score before applying. If you have a strong credit score and income, decide how much you need to borrow and apply.
  2. Add information and finalize your application: Have all the required paperwork on hand, including copies of pay stubs and proof of identification.
  3. Review the loan details: Once you’re approved, read your loan agreement carefully. If everything is in order and you want to go forward with the loan, sign it. You will also need to provide your funding preferences and banking information to get the funds. LightStream states that borrowers can get same-day funding if they complete these steps before 2:30 p.m. ET.

How Bankrate rates LightStream

Overall Score 4.7 Explanation
Availability 4.8 Same-day approval and funding, but no income requirements listed.
Affordability 5.0 Competitive APRs, rate beat program and no fees.
Customer Experience 4.6 Range of customer support hours, but limited to email.
Transparency 4.5 Rates are listed but credit requirements are vague.


Bankrate's trusted personal loans industry expertise


years in business


lenders reviewed


loan features weighed


data points collected

Bankrate considers 20 factors when reviewing lenders. Credit requirements, APR ranges, fees, loan amounts and flexibility are all taken into account so that ratings are representative of how competitive lenders are for a wide range of credit profiles and budgets. The Bankrate Score for personal loans consists of four categories:

  • Availability: What the minimum loan amounts are, its eligibility requirements and loan turnaround are considered in this category.
  • Affordability: The interest rates, penalties and fees are measured in this section of the score. Lower rates and fees and fewer potential penalties result in a higher score.
  • Customer experience: This category covers customer service hours, if online applications are available, online account access and mobile apps.
  • Transparency: This category is measured by how accessible credit requirements, rates and fees are on the lender's page. We also considered whether prequalification was available, as all these factors are key for consumers to make an informed decision.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by 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.