LightStream features

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

Pros

  • Low rates
  • No fees
  • Fast approval and funding

Cons

  • Minimum loan amount is a bit high
  • Requires a long credit history

LightStream is an online lender that specializes in a quick application process, fast funding and low APRs. Because it offers a relatively wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms, it’s good for borrowers who need to consolidate a lot of debt or take on expensive home improvement projects.

LightStream snapshot

Loan amount $5,000 to $100,000
APR 5.73% to 19.99% (with autopay)
Minimum credit score Not disclosed
Time to receive funds As soon as same day

Pros and cons of LightStream personal loans

LightStream is a good choice for many borrowers, but it’s not right for everyone. Here are some of the main benefits and drawbacks of LightStream personal loans.

Pros

  • Low rates: LightStream’s lowest APR is currently 5.73 percent. For borrowers with good credit, this could make LightStream a very affordable option for funding.
  • 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.

Cons

  • Minimum loan amount is a bit 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 must have several years of credit history with a variety of account types, so it’s not a good choice for borrowers just starting out with credit.

Lending terms

Loan amounts from LightStream range from $5,000 to $100,000, and the fixed APR ranges from 5.73 percent to 19.99 percent with the 0.5 percent autopay discount.

Many LightStream personal loans come with two- to seven-year terms, though loans for home improvement, pools and solar energy systems are available with terms of up to 12 years.

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

LightStream’s personal loans can be used for nearly any purpose, including debt consolidation and adoption financing. It does have a few restrictions, though. You can’t use a LightStream personal loan to:

  • Fund college or postsecondary education expenses, though you can use LightStream loans for preschool and K-12 expenses.
  • Refinance previous college or postsecondary education loans.
  • Refinance existing LightStream loans.
  • Fund businesses.
  • Fund a cash-out refinance.
  • Purchase stocks, bonds or stock options, or repay a loan against a stock option.
  • Contribute to retirement, life insurance or education savings programs.

Fees and penalties

LightStream charges no origination fees, prepayment penalties or late fees.

How to apply for a loan with LightStream

When evaluating your loan application, LightStream considers your:

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

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.
  • Income and balances of checking and savings accounts.
  • Stocks, bonds and vested retirement assets.

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 you’re 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. ET on a business day.

Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET. 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 LightStream got high marks for its same-day loan approval and funding. However, it doesn’t disclose its minimum income requirement, which makes it more difficult for potential borrowers to know if the lender fits their needs.
Affordability 5.0 LightStream’s low minimum APR and lack of fees earned it a perfect score for affordability.
Customer Experience 4.6 Customers can apply for loans and manage their accounts entirely online, though its customer support options are limited.

Methodology

Bankrate’s reviews of lenders that offer personal loans are based on Availability, Affordability and Customer Experience, evaluating features like how long it takes borrowers to get approved and get their money, minimum APRs and convenient online applications and account access.

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.