Are you looking for a great rate on a loan for . . . pretty much anything? LightStream (a division of SunTrust Bank) offers hard-to-beat rates on personal and vehicle loans. Plus, the lender doesn’t charge any fees (not even late fees), making them one of the best personal loan options on the market today.
Should you consider a loan from LightStream? We’ll explain how these loans work, and when you should consider one.
When looking for a personal loan, make sure you check out our list of the Best Personal Loan Companies. Depending on your situation, you might be surprised what's out there.
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- LightStream offers a wide variety of personal loans
- Very competitive rates based on loan purpose and credit history
- High borrowing limits and longer loan terms than most lender
What Loans Does LightStream Offer?
LightStream offers unsecured personal loans which can be used for home improvements, refinancing a car, financing a wedding, or consolidating debt.
Interest on these loans is higher than rates on secured loans, but if you default, LightStream cannot repossess an asset to compensate itself.
If you qualify for a loan from LightStream, LightStream can deposit funds into your account the same day. However, you are not under an obligation to accept loan offers from LightStream.
Who Qualifies for a Loan from LightStream?
To qualify for a loan from LightStream, you need good or excellent credit. The best rates will go to borrowers with at least five years of credit history and a variety of loan types (including credit cards and installment loans like student loans or auto loans). LightStream wants to see a great history of paying your bills on time.
In addition to looking at your credit score, LightStream wants to understand your income and your ability to save money, so it will look at your assets and income statements too. Most of LightStream’s customers will have a high income coupled with a high FICO score (700+).
What Are the Rates and Terms on the Loans?
LightStream offers loans from $5,000 to $100,000 with terms ranging from 24 to 84 months, with home improvement loans allowing you to have a term up to 144 months. The lender charges no fees (including late fees). However, to qualify for the best rate, you must sign up for auto-pay. Failing to enroll in auto-pay means that your interest rate jumps by 0.5%.
In terms of interest rates, you can expect:
3.49% - 19.99%* APR with AutoPay (rates as of 4/29/2020), depending on loan purpose.
All interest rates are fixed interest rates for the life of the loan.
Rate Beat Guarantee!
LightStream has low interest rates, but you might find a lower rate. That is, you’ll find a lower rate until you cash in on LightStream’s Rate Beat guarantee. If you find a lower interest rate on a matching personal loan (same terms, not subsidized by an employer), LightStream will beat the rate by 0.1%.
Customer Service Guarantee!
On top of the low rates and low fees, LightStream offers a customer service guarantee! If you take out a loan, but the customer service doesn’t meet expectations, LightStream will send you $100. You have to complete a questionnaire to receive the $100.
Is There Any Concerning Fine Print?
For the most part, loans from LightStream are simple, no-fee, fixed-rate loans.
One other small area of concern: LightStream doesn’t offer pre-approvals. If you want to walk into a dealership with a pre-approval letter, that’s not going to be possible with LightStream. You’ll have to show them the loan approval letter to negotiate for the best possible rate.
When Does a Loan from LightStream Make Sense?
LightStream is a bastion of low rates and no fees, but that doesn’t mean taking out a loan from LightStream makes sense. In fact, normally, you’ll want to avoid taking on unsecured debt for any reason. You can typically negotiate medical debts to payment plans with 0% interest, and paying for weddings, trips, and most vehicles is something you should do in cash.
Plus, if you’ve already taken out credit card debt, you can often (but not always) use a balance transfer credit card to achieve an interest rate of 0% for 12 to 24 months.
However, there are a few times you may want to consider a loan from LightStream. The following are those times.
You Don't Have a Balance Transfer Option
When consolidating and paying off credit card debt, a 0% balance transfer credit card is the ideal option. However, if you cannot qualify for one, you may want to consider a debt consolidation loan from LightStream.
You Cannot Afford to Pay for a Reasonable Vehicle in Cash
LightStream offers decent rates on loans for used cars, including cars you buy from an individual. If you need a car, and you don’t have the necessary cash on hand for it, a used vehicle loan from LightStream could make sense.
As long as you buy a reasonable car, and you drive it for a long time (shoot for a decade), this loan could prove to be a good financial move. Ideally, you’ll want a car payment to take up less than 20% of your take-home pay, and it should be paid off in four years or less.
LightStream can be a great option for a personal loan. They offer a wide variety of loan types for different purposes, with competitive rates, and no fees to take out the loan.
If you need a personal loan, LightStream can be a great choice.
* Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates without Autopay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.
Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.49% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.98.
SunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2020 SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved. SUNTRUST, LIGHTSTREAM and the LightStream logo are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by SunTrust Bank.
LightStream Personal Loans Review
- Rates and Fees - 80
- Application Process - 90
- Customer Service - 80
- Products and Services - 90
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.