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LightStream

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100 User Reviews

6.5

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: September 16th, 2021

LightStream, a division of SunTrust Bank, offers its customers highly competitive fixed-rate financing for a variety of needs, including credit card or debt consolidation from the convenience of a computer or mobile device.

LightStream advertises a hassle-free loan that rewards customers for their credit, providing same-day loan approval and funding. Thus, qualification requirements are strict and favor those with excellent credit, a solid credit history, and a low debt-to-income ratio. 

LightStream customer reviews are primarily 1-star, providing customer accounts of transparency issues and qualification difficulties, even with good credit.

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Highlight: LightStream personal loan rates and terms

  • APR range — 2.49%–19.99% (with AutoPay discount)
  • Loan amounts — $5,000–$100,000
  • Loan terms — 24–144 months
  • Minimum credit score — 680

Keep reading for pros and cons, and LightStream reviews from real customers.

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The Good

  • Flexible Loan Terms
  • High Max Loan Amount
  • Competitive Rates
  • Direct Lender
  • Quick Application Process
  • Loans for a Variety of Financing Needs
  • No Loan Origination Fee or Prepayment Penalty
  • LightStream Mobile App

Flexible Loan Terms

LightStream has various loan terms available for customers. The maximum loan term offered through LightStream is a 144-month (12-year) loan, which is higher than the average loan term of 60 months. 

There are also several other term options available through LightStream. Customers can select to have a repayment term as short as 24 months (two years). 

High Max Loan Amount

LightStream allows customers to borrow as little as $5,000 or as much as $100,000, higher than many other lenders in the industry. 

However, to qualify for this maximum amount, an excellent credit score (700+) is required, which may not be possible for every borrower.

Competitive Rates

LightStream offers competitive annual percentage rates ranging between 2.49 percent to 19.99 percent* (with the AutoPay discount). It is important to note that rates vary by loan type and loan term.

With such a wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms available, borrowers have the ability to select a loan that will best fit their needs and financial situation.

However, with such competitive rates, LightStream requires a credit score of 680, which is much higher than some of its competitors. And to qualify for the lowest interest rate, you must have an excellent credit score.

Direct Lender

Unlike many of its competitors, all of the funding for a LightStream loan is provided in-house, which means immediate loan funding upon the close of a consumer's loan. This also means that there are no third parties involved in the process, resulting in no transfer of personal information. 

This is good news as there is less of a chance that a consumer will fall victim to scams, predatory lending, or other forms of illegal activity such as identity theft.

Quick Application Process

A LightStream personal loan can be approved with funding transferred within the same day of application, which is faster than other competing online lenders. This is great for borrowers who need funds as soon as possible.

However, same-day funding is only possible if a borrower is approved by 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on a banking business day, and has completed the loan agreement process.

Loans for a Variety of Financing Needs

LightStream offers loans for numerous financing needs and provides fixed rates and terms for each loan type on its website. These options include:

  • Auto
  • Kitchen or Bath Remodel
  • Debt Consolidation
  • Swimming Pool
  • Medical
  • Wedding
  • Timeshare
  • Boat

It's important to note that signing LightStream's contract means you are agreeing to spend the loan only on the specified loan purpose in your application. There are many competing lenders who do not have such strict stipulations and allow borrowers to use their loan to fund whatever they'd like.

No Loan Origination Fee or Prepayment Penalty

LightStream does not charge an origination fee or prepayment penalty fee. This means you will not have to pay an additional fee to fund your loan, and you can pay it off whenever you want without penalty. The option to pay off the loan early allows you to save a great deal of money in interest.

Additionally, LightStream does not charge a late fee if you miss a monthly payment. This is unique in the industry, but LightStream provides itself with some assurances that borrowers will make their payments on time by requiring a high minimum credit score.

LightStream Mobile App

To easily manage your loan, you can download the LightStream app, available on both Android and iOS. Through the app you can check payment due dates, make payments, monitor your balances, and even apply for a new loan if needed.

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The Bad

  • No Pre-Qualification Option on Website
  • Fund Stipulations
  • Loan Refinance Stipulations
  • High Minimum Credit Score
  • Negative Customer Reviews

No Pre-Qualification Option on Website

LightStream does not provide a pre-qualification option on its website, a service that most other personal loan lenders provide, allowing you to see rates and terms based on your credit score and personal information without any impact to your credit score. 

Fund Stipulations

When you apply for a LightStream loan you will be required to specify the loan purpose, whether that be an auto loan, a debt consolidation loan, or a loan for medical expenses or home remodeling. Although you can lose your loan for a variety of needs, funds must be used specifically for the reason stated when applying for the loan or it is void. These are basic terms of the agreement and apply to each and every processed LightStream loan.

Loan Refinance Stipulations

LightStream doesn't offer refinancing on existing LightStream loans. This is a common practice in the industry - lenders not providing refinancing on their own loans - and Best Egg, for example, has the same refinancing stipulation. However, LightStream does refinance loans from other lenders.

High Minimum Credit Score

LightStream's estimated minimum credit score is approximately 680, which is high in comparison to other online lending companies. This high minimum requirement allows the company to offer competitively low rates and high loan amounts.

However, LightStream does claim to be a personal loan company that rewards its customers for excellent credit, meaning that you can access competitive rates and terms if you have a strong credit history and assets, demonstrating your ability to save money.

Negative Customer Reviews

LightStream finance reviews from customers reflect a number of low-star reviews with around 64 percent of its reviews recorded as one star. The main LightStream complaints voiced by consumers highlight unclear financial guidelines, and a low acceptance rate even for those with an excellent credit score. 

It should be noted that there are currently less than 100 LightStream reviews. Take note of the anecdotal reviews that you read, but keep in mind that limited reviews offer a limited perspective on a company and its overall loan experience.

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The Bottom Line

As a direct lender, LightStream offers personal loans through SunTrust Bank. With a high minimum credit score, LightStream is ideal for individuals with good to excellent credit, a strong credit history, and a good debt-to-income ratio. Consumers with little to no credit will have a difficult time receiving a personal loan from LightStream, and current customer reviews express this difficulty.

A LightStream loan can be used for a variety of needs, including debt consolidation, the most common use of a personal loan, but LightStream requires that you use funding on what you listed in your loan application, which can be limiting. Other top-ranked lenders provide more flexibility in how borrowers can use their loans. 

We advise you to read customer reviews below and compare the lender against other top-rated personal loan companies before making your decision. 

*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Lowest rates require excellent credit. At least 21% of approved applicants applying for the lowest rate qualified for the lowest rate available based on data from 1/01/2021 to 3/31/2021. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points 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 2.49% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $288.57.

Maximum APR for a LightStream loan is 20.49%.

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Star Rating

2.3

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100 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

31%

4 grade

2%

3 grade

0%

2 grade

2%

1 grade

65%

Sentiment Criteria

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Quality

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star star star star star

Gaius Gracchus Reno, NV

I see that some people are having trouble getting a loan with Lightstream even with reasonable credit scores. We had no trouble getting several loans from them with the lowest rates on the web site. It seems like they do require a fairly high credit score (my guess is around 750+, usually), but they also look at other things like your current assets. Our FICO scores are in the 800's and we have assets of something like a couple of million (mostly retirement accounts and home equity - house is worth 900K and almost completely paid off). Our debt to income ratio is maybe 6 or 7% (we don't owe anything except a tiny house payment). We gross maybe $18000 a month or so. I would say the people they want to lend money to probably don't really need the money all that much - but since it is an unsecured signature loan, it makes sense they would be pretty picky about who they lend to. The advantages of borrowing from them are that if you are approved, they don't require much documentation since they aren't asking for information on any item of collateral, and they fund your account super fast, and generally their rates are really low (for unsecured loans, that is).

1 month ago

star star star star star

TexasT Sherman, TX

LightStream is my favorite loan company. I have borrowed from them twice and they are the easiest and quickest company I have ever dealt with. If that isn't enough they have the best rates! I will definitely use them again in the future.

4 weeks ago

star star star star star

Nick Altizer Spring, TX

It seems that Lightstream is really only looking for very credit-worthy borrowers. They appear to look at not only your credit score but also your financial position, which is probably why their rates are some of the lowest available, and also why some with high credit scores may not necessarily get approved. Since they do a hard credit pull, you probably want to make sure that you have a great credit score, long credit history, demonstrated ability to save money, and - likely - a position that indicates that you are not in financial stress. My goal was to consolidate a couple of loans in such a way that allowed me to more easily meet a financial target 10 to 12 months away. As I read reviews, this appeared to me to be the kind of client Lightstream is looking for, at least in the way of debt consolidation loans. They fund loans for just about any need including boats, classic cars and aircraft. They say they don't do cash out refis or educational loans. The process was dead simple. It took about 10 minutes to fill out the application and within one business hour I had an email requesting a photocopy of my DL to verify my identity. That was it. And within a business hour of submitting that, the loan was approved at the advertised rate for the amount requested. It took another 10 minutes to complete the documentation process - all done online. In the documentation process, Lightstream offers the borrower a choice of funding dates as well as the date payment will be due. It really was as simple as they advertise.

1 year ago

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Blake Austin, TX

This appears to be the best place to complain if you can't get LightStream to give you money. I requested a small loan of 10k, make 40k a year, and have a 760 credit score. No run around, was approved right away and the money was in my account the day I scheduled it. I have been rejected everywhere else because I only have 2 years of credit history. My credit union that I've been with for 15 years wouldn't give me a better rate so I'm pretty happy with LightStream. If anything changes with my experience down the line, I will come back here and change this but right now it couldn't have been easier to get the money I needed for a car.

2 years ago

star star star star star

John Mobile, AL

Not sure what the rest of these folks are talking about but Lightstream was the easiest loan I’ve ever obtained at an incredible rate! 770+ credit score, debt to income 17% and make just under $120K so I wouldn’t consider it to have been a risky loan at all for them, but I am younger and don’t have 15+ years credit history like a lot of banks wants to see for a lower rate on an unsecured personal. Applied for $11K on a holiday and received an email of approval back within 10 minutes. Filled the rest out for my part and selected to have the money 3 days later (after the holiday weekend). Showed up this morning! 5 star experience easily!

2 years ago

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McIver Deadwood, SD

I was looking for a large loan to finance home improvements/garage-carriage house without going through the long application process of traditional banks. After finding Lightstream online, I applied for their $100,000 loan with a term of 144 months at 4PM. They messaged me for a few additional pieces of information, an hour later they asked to see 1 paystub, and the next morning I was approved at the lowest rate they offered. (funded soon thereafter) I do have a large income (over 300K) and low debt to income ratio, credit score around 755, however, that was by far the easiest and most respectable process I've ever been through. I've been at my career for over 20 years, and have worked really hard to get to where I am. It was nice to see a company recognize that and make the decision that I was worth the risk of such a large unsecured loan. I plan on paying it off in 2 years or less and definitely using them for any other financing needs in the future.

2 years ago

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David St Louis, MO

I have had 3 loans with them. I am on my third right now... I can honestly say this company/loan program is AMAZING. This is a unsolicited review, and a very accurate review at that. I was nervous about taking out my first loan. I took out a 5k loan to help pay for my wedding. Their rate was awesome, and their online website was SUPER easy to use and user friendly. I paid that off... I then decided to take out a loan to pay off cc. The rate I borrowed CRUSHED my CC rates. paid that off, and then decided to do a remodel with my home. I am paying this off. What's nice is... if you over pay it reduces what your monthly payment can be. It was EASY to get all 3 loans. Took no more than 10 minutes, and once linked up with my bank account it was signed up for auto draft. EASY PROCESS. I love this company. If your looking for a loan... this is the place.

3 years ago

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Sean Orsburn Los Angeles, CA

I have had one auto loan through LightStream, and just applied (and was approved within an hour) for a new loan. I noticed all of the crybaby reviews on here, and just wanted to help balance it out. Their process is quick and simple, and always offered rates well below what my local credit union (of which I have been a member for nearly 30 years) can offer. Additionally, LightStream will finance vehicles older than 10 years, which is hard to find with banks and credit unions. If you have good credit and adequate income, this is a great company to use. I can only speak to auto loans- not sure about any of their other products.

4 years ago

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Brandon-Dawson Warner Northbrook, IL

I used LightStream for an auto loan and I couldn't be happier with the process. It took less than 2 hours for me to be approved for the auto loan. They funded my checking account within 24 hours and I was able to pay off my previous auto loan within 2 business days. My interest rate reduced by almost 1 and a quarter percent and I will save almost $2,500 over the course of the loan. The process was extremely fast and efficient. Their website is relatively simple and user-friendly. At the touch of a button, I can easily adjust my monthly payments and get a quick schedule of the payments until the loan has been completely paid off. That way, I can easily gauge how much interest I'd save if I were to make additional payments each month. Honestly, I can't imagine using any other loan service going forward. Please note they offer unsecured loans which means applicants are approved (or declined) solely based on their credit score and current substantiated financial position. Since it's an unsecured auto loan, the underlying item is not deemed collateral. The good thing about having an unsecured auto loan is that you, as the buyer, receive the car title immediately. Your credit score and financial position gives LightStream confidence that you will not only make monthly payments timely but also resist the temptation to put your car title down on the craps table.

5 years ago

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Shauna L Round Rock, TX

My Score in the lower 700's. Income 150 yearly. Applied online, received an answer via email within the hour. Then was prompted to set up the deposit and monthly payment options. Money was in my account the following day after 2:30.

9 months ago

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Claud323 Hesperia, CA

Easiest and smoothest loan i have ever applied for. Approved within the hour and could've had funds deposited the very same day. Most other companies were charging me 17% interest or flat out not approving my loan even though my credit was at 720 with no neg marks and make 55k. Don't know why many have been rejected but might be because some are lying.

2 years ago

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Mark Plano, TX

I got a loan for 24K to refinance my Harley. I almost did not apply after reading the bad reviews. Glad I did. My FICO is 753 and salary 110K with clean credit report. Lighstream also asked for my current bank balance and investments balance. ??? Regardless, applying was painless and the funds arrived the next morning. Couldn't have been better.

2 years ago

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Robin Matthews, NC

I wanted to take out a loan for a RV. We do banking with Suntrust already (checking, savings, car loan, mortgage). Applied online and received a call a few hours later from a SunTrust rep. By that night at 10:00 pm (they are in CA) we had an email that we were approved. Picked a date to get it funded into my checking account. This morning the funds were there. So easy and got a great rate on a 3-year loan. Would highly recommend them.

2 years ago

star star star star star

Dino S. Coram, NY

Honestly I am reading reviews and cant believe the bad reviews, smh how this is possible, so my first loan was almost 2 yrs ago I applied on line never heard of them and boom a loan of $7000 with a 5.69%,easy peasy, loan today while still paying that one even more than the first one, boom approved 3 hours easy peasy. I mean the only bad thing is if questions no Customer service to speak with otherwise I cant believe how easy 2 loans were. 15 min application 3 hr approval next day deposit.

2 years ago

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Damon Wilson

Received a loan for a 1990 Nissan Skyline GTR through Lightstream and it was one of the most painless processes of any of my previous car loans. I received a decent rate as advertised with a 760 credit score. Once all documents were submitted I had funds in my account within a few hours. I was pleasantly suprised with how easy the process was that I am considering refinancing my other car loan through them.

3 years ago

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TheCudaGuy Piqua, OH

I'm buying a classic Chrysler muscle car and was having a hard time securing reasonable auto loans through banks I've dealt with for years. I applied to LighStream with a score around 730 and was approved after answering 3 brief questions over the phone. Honestly the process was so incredibly fast and easy that I'm HERE reading reviews to figure out what the scam is... The only complaints I see are people getting denied, but for whatever reason, I'm not in that boat.

4 years ago

star star star star star

KG Dallas, TX

Received my pool loan through LightStream. It was an easy seamless process and this Summer we will be relaxing in our new pool! Thank you so much

5 months ago

star star star star star

Deborah K. Patchogue, NY

I applied for a credit card consolidation loan and in 2 days the money was in my account. I was very pleased with the easy process and how quickly I was able to get the funds. I got a good interest rate and an affordable monthly payment and will be debt free in 48 months! I highly recommend LightStream!!

1 year ago

star star star star star

John Malloy Levittown, PA

Home Improvement loan. Applied at 10am, faxed pay stubs in at 1pm and got the approval at 3pm. Absolutely no hassle. Set up a disbursement date for when the work will begin and set a payment date for the 15th when we get paid. Couldn't be happier.

1 year ago

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Mr P San Antonio, TX

Lightstream is the best, are you kidding me. Super fast answer. Same day funding. I have used them many times. Never disappointed. I always pay the loan off way before the maturity date. I would not use anyone else but Lightstream.

1 year ago

star star star star star

DAVID RUSSELL Portage, MI

The ONLY place that didn't have automatic declines that communicate with every consolidation company. I have a 730 score and every other place tried to get me to do a program that would destroy my credit with late pays. Lightstream is the easiest and will reap the benefits of my flawless pay history. Too bad to all of those other companies

1 year ago

star star star star star

Mrs Phil Philadelphia, PA

Applied for a pool loan, approved and secured funds within the same day! Delivered just as promised. The process was the simplest I have ever experienced when applying for a loan. The only down fall is you can't claim the interest on your taxes.

4 years ago

star star star star star

Nifer Sun Prairie, WI

Great experience with Lightstream. Auto loan approved right away and money deposited in our account before we even found the car. Lowest interest rate we could find anywhere. So convenient to check our balance anytime and make extra payments on line. We will be using Lightstream again in the future.

4 years ago

star star star star star

Isaac Moreno Whittier, CA

Fast, easy and great service. Best interest rate given for my last minute pool project. Got my $$$ same day without any issues. There email online service is the best so far I've ever dealt with. Only people complaining is probably the ones with real bad credit.

4 years ago

star star star star star

Carol Indianapolis, IN

Have used Lightstream for 2 loans now. Both times have been a VERY smooth, easy, and fast process. So fast, in fact, that funds were approved within the hour! I highly reccomend this company.

2 years ago

star star star star star

hockeyeast Plattsburgh, NY

Pretty flawless on a small 7K loan. Interest rate can't be beat, after screwing around with local banks getting denied time after time with a exceptional credit record , lightstream was refreshing. Just simple and worked.

4 years ago

star star star star star

JDM Dalton, GA

Couldn't have been easier. Applied on a holiday. Approved on the holiday. $35K renovation loan approved within hours. Received the lowest advertised interest rate, competive with home equity loan. Easiest loan ever.

4 years ago

star star star star star

Douglas Jennings

Very very impressed. Went very smooth and fast response to approval. I will tell others. Repeat customer right here for sure. Thanks again LightStream.

4 years ago

star star star star star

Reginald Newark, DE

Easy as pie! Very simple process. I got the lowest interest rate I've had on a vehicle ever. Extra buying power at dealerships when the money is already in the bank.

4 years ago

star star star star star

Instantxkarma Denver, CO

Great rate, easy to deal with, quick experience. Almost all online, one phone call to confirm identity, rep was polite and efficient. A+ experience!

3 years ago

star star star star star

Richard barkley Rockaway, NJ

I have used lightStream for 2 loans for 10k each so easy get money fast highly recommended.

2 years ago

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