LightStream Personal Loans Review

If you have great credit and need fast funding, a LightStream loan might be an affordable, flexible option.

This review of LightStream personal loans covers everything you need to determine if you qualify for a Lightstream loan and if the platform will meet your lending needs.

Table of contents

LightStream personal loans review: best lender for loan variety

When it comes to personal loan offerings, LightStream provides more types of financing than just about any other lender. On its website, you’ll find more than 30 different loan types. Its few restrictions include college or post-secondary educational expenses, purchase of stocks or bonds, and cash-out refinance.

LightStream is the online lending division of Truist Financial Corporation. Its online unsecured personal loan offerings are available to those with good-to-excellent credit in any U.S. state. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000, which is higher than most other lenders. It has competitive rates and offers flexible repayment terms from 24 to 144 months (two to 12 years), depending on the loan type.

LightStream doesn’t charge any fees and customer reviews are generally positive, noting the online lender’s terms and user experience.

All of this contributed to Money naming LightStream one of the best personal loan companies of 2024.

LightStream personal loans: pros and cons

Pros

  • Variety of loan types and terms
  • Same-day funding available
  • No fees

Cons

  • Rigid due dates
  • Requires strong credit history
  • Can't pre-qualify

Pros explained

Here are the pros of applying for a LightStream personal loan:

Variety of loan types and terms

LightStream is willing to provide personal loans with tailored terms for a variety of personal uses, including common things like home improvements and vehicle purchases — but it also provides specific funding for horses, tiny homes, IVF treatment and many other more rare but major expenses.

Same-day funding available

If you complete the loan application process and submit all required documentation by 2:30 p.m. EST on a business day, LightStream can typically fund your loan that same day. How quickly the funds are available in your account will depend on your bank.

No fees

With a LightStream personal loan, you won’t have a hefty origination fee deducted from your loan proceeds before they ever reach your bank account or get charged a prepayment penalty if you choose to pay off your loan early. You also won’t pay a late fee if you forget to make a payment or an automatic payment doesn’t go through for some reason.

Cons explained

Here are a few cons to consider before applying for a LightStream personal loan:

Rigid due dates

Your loan due date is established when you accept and finalize your loan. Unlike with some personal loan lenders, you can’t change your due date for any reason during the life of the loan.

You also must be careful when you send your payment. If payment is received 18 or more days before the due date, it is credited as an extra payment rather than your next monthly payment.

Likewise, payments can’t be processed the same day. You must submit your payment at least two business days beforehand.

Requires strong credit history

In addition to a good-to-excellent credit score, LightStream requires several years of credit history demonstrating a habit of on-time payments and few or no delinquencies. You have a better chance of approval if you have a credit history that shows responsibility with various account types, such as auto loans, major credit cards and installment loans.

While co-borrowers are allowed, LightStream considers both applicants equally, unlike many other lenders who tend to set the loan terms based off the applicant with the better personal finances.

Can’t pre-qualify

LightStream doesn’t offer pre-qualification to potential borrowers. There will be a hard inquiry of your credit score during the application process. A hard inquiry may ding your credit score — and there’s no guarantee you’ll be approved.

LightStream personal loans: plans and offerings

LightStream offers a broader range of loan terms and amounts than many other personal loan lenders. Here’s a quick overview of income requirements, how much you may be able to borrow, the terms on offer and what your loan will cost you.

Loan amounts

LightStream fixed-rate loans start at $5,000, and you may be able to borrow up to $100,000 depending on how you intend to use the funds. (Refinancing is not allowed.)

Loan terms

Loan terms vary by loan type. Home improvement, solar, swimming pool, RV and boat loans have a term length of two to 12 years since these loan types have higher borrowing limits. All other loan types have terms of two to seven years. Longer loan terms typically come with a higher APR, although the monthly payment will be lower.

As of March 2024, LightStream’s APR range runs from 7.49% to 25.99%, all discounts included (more on that below).

Fees

Unlike many personal loan lenders, LightStream doesn’t charge any of the following fees:

  • Origination fees
  • Late fees
  • Prepayment penalty fees

Discounts

The rates that are advertised on LightStream’s website already include its autopay discount of 0.5% APR.

LightStream also has a “Rate Beat program” that would beat any comparable loan offer from a competitor by 0.10% APR.

Income requirements

LightStream doesn’t disclose income requirements on its site. However, it considers your debt-to-income ratio and how much you have in deposit and retirement accounts to determine whether you have sufficient income to meet your current debt obligations and a new loan.

LightStream personal loans: pricing

LightStream provides fee-free loans, so borrowing will cost you nothing but the interest you’ll pay throughout the life of the loan. LightStream personal loan rates are lower than some other lenders, depending on your creditworthiness. Further, some LightStream loans have better APRs than others. For instance, a home improvement loan may have a lower APR than a debt consolidation loan.

Choosing a shorter loan repayment term may also help you get a lower APR. Sign up for automatic payments, and you’ll get an APR discount. LightStream’s Beat Rate Program will also provide a rate discount if you’re approved for a loan with a lower interest rate from a competing lender offering the same loan terms with similar credit profile requirements.

LightStream personal loans: financial stability

LightStream is a part of Truist, formed when BB&T and SunTrust banks merged. According to the Federal Reserve, Truist Bank is one of the 10 largest commercial banks in the U.S., and it provides consumer and commercial banking products, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgages and insurance products and services.

According to the ratings firm Weiss Ratings, Truist Bank has a B- rating, falling behind the industry average on profitability, asset quality and capitalization. However, the bank received a perfect score for metrics related to stability and its balance sheet.

LightStream personal loans: accessibility

LightStream loan credit requirements are stricter than many other personal loan lenders. The following accessibility overview can help you determine whether you might be eligible for a LightStream personal loan, where you can apply and what to know about the application process.

Availability

Unlike many personal loan lenders, LightStream is available in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. LightStream’s minimum credit score requirements aren’t disclosed on the website. It merely states that it “only approves good-to-excellent credit profiles.”

LightStream loan credit requirements include the following:

  • An established credit history that displays a mix of major loan types, such as a mortgage, auto loan, major credit cards and installment loans
  • A mix of deposit and investment accounts that show an ability to save
  • A healthy debt-to-income ratio that supports your ability to repay your debt obligations
  • A history of on-time debt repayment with few problems or delinquencies

You won’t qualify for a LightStream personal loan if you have poor credit. If your credit is not in good shape, these recommendations for best personal loans for bad credit may help you find a lender.

Contact information

The only way to apply for a LightStream personal loan is on the LightStream website. You can’t apply through your local Truist branch. If you have questions or a problem during the application process, you can contact LightStream customer service via email. You will receive a response during its business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. EST.

You can also contact LightStream via mail at the follow address:

PO Box 117320
Atlanta, GA 30368-7320

User experience

According to the LightStream website, it only takes a few minutes to apply for a LightStream personal loan online. LightStream doesn’t pre-approve applicants, so if you apply for a LightStream loan, it will perform a hard inquiry of your credit report.

If you complete an application before 2:30 p.m. EST on a business day, you may receive same-day approval. If you accept a loan offer, complete any required paperwork and submit your banking information for funding, you might receive funds the same day as well, depending on your bank. LightStream’s quick approval and funding are two of the reasons we chose it as a top pick for best emergency loans.

If you apply for a LightStream loan, be prepared to provide the following information and documentation:

  • Loan purpose, amount and term
  • Personal and contact information
  • Social Security number
  • Payment method
  • Proof of income
  • Verified bank account information
  • Proof of legal residency, such as a driver’s license
  • Employment information
  • Current expenses, including monthly housing payments

You’ll be able to choose your loan repayment term. If you want a better APR, you can select a shorter term. If you need a more affordable payment, you can choose a longer repayment term with a slightly higher rate.

LightStream personal loans: customer satisfaction

Reviews of Light Stream on third-party consumer review sites range from a 3- to 4.5-star rating.

Several reviewers report borrowing from LightStream more than once and having a consistently positive experience. Positive reviewers liked the easy online application and approval process and quick direct deposit of funds.

Common complaints from applicants who gave LightStream lower ratings were that the lender denied a loan despite the customer having a high income and good credit score, asked the customer to provide excessive documentation during the application process and had unresponsive customer support.

However, if you report you’re unhappy with your experience within 30 days of accepting a loan, LightStream will pay you $100. You must complete and submit a questionnaire to help LightStream improve its customer service and better understand customer needs.

LightStream is an A+ accredited business by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

LightStream personal loans FAQ

Does LightStream give instant approval?

LightStream doesn't give instant approval. However, applicants who supply all requested application information by 2:30 p.m. EST may receive same-day approval and, in some cases, same-day funding.

Is it difficult to get a LightStream loan?

LightStream has stricter qualification requirements than many other lenders. While it doesn't disclose income requirements, it does state that you must have a good-to-excellent credit profile, a healthy debt-to-income ratio and a history of good credit and savings habits.

What bank does LightStream use?

LightStream is a part of Truist Bank. It was initially part of SunTrust Bank before BB&T and SunTrust merged to form Truist Bank.

How we evaluated LightStream personal loans

We reviewed LightStream based on the following methodology:

  • Plans and offerings: We researched the types of loans offered by LightStream, minimum and maximum loan amounts and repayment terms.
  • Pricing: We considered all associated fees and APR discounts.
  • Financial stability: We considered the size of the lender and the lender’s years in business.
  • Accessibility: We researched all borrower requirements and explored the efficiency of the application and approval process and funding.
  • Customer satisfaction: We looked at customer reviews on trusted third-party consumer review sites and the BBB.

Summary of Money’s LightStream personal loans review

LightStream is an online lending platform that offers unsecured personal loans to borrowers with a good-to-excellent credit profile. LightStream personal loan rates are competitive, terms are flexible and there are no fees. Depending on your loan purpose, you can borrow from $5,000 to $100,000 with repayment terms of two to 12 years.

You must show a credit history of good borrowing habits and financial responsibility to qualify for a LightStream personal loan. If your credit score is in the low-to-fair range, consider a lender from this list of best bad credit loans. However, if you can meet the requirements, LightStream’s quick funding, lack of fees and flexible terms make this a personal loan option worth considering.

© Copyright 2024 Money Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
This article originally appeared on Money.com and may contain affiliate links for which Money receives compensation. Opinions expressed in this article are the author's alone, not those of a third-party entity, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed. Offers may be subject to change without notice. For more information, read Money’s full disclaimer.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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