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 two types of loans - secured and unsecured. The first type of loan is a secured loan (which are loans you can use to purchase a vehicle or another asset). If you default on a secured loan, LightStream can foreclose or repossess the asset. These loans carry low interest rates, but offer fewer consumer protections. Only auto loans from LightStream are secured loans.
LightStream also offers unsecured personal loans which can be used for home improvements, 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. LightStream does also offer unsecured auto loans as well. The majority of loans from LightStream are unsecured loans.
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 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:
3.99% - 16.99%* APR with AutoPay (rates as of 1/15/2019), 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. However, auto loans from LightStream can be a little bit confusing. Some of these loans are secured, and some are not. You’ll have to speak with a representative to see if LightStream plans to place a lien on your vehicle or not. You can also learn about this by looking at your loan documents once you’re approved for a loan.
Basically, if you get a secured loan, you will be given instructions and paperwork to take to the dealership to handle the lien on the vehicle.
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 loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% higher. If your application is approved, your credit profile will determine whether your loan will be unsecured or secured. 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 3.09% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $291.21.
SunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved. LightStream and SunTrust are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by SunTrust Bank, member FDIC.