Should You Try A LightStream Personal Loan? Review & Compare Here

Should You Try A LightStream Personal Loan? Review & Compare Here
Rebecca Hosley
on January 2, 2018
Read in 3 min

In the market for a personal loan? Consider applying with LightStream.

One of the oldest online lenders in the U.S., LightStream offers fixed-rate loans with APRs as low as 2.49%.

Today, it is a division of SunTrust Bank, but you don’t need to be a bank customer to qualify.

Keep reading our LightStream personal loan review to learn more about their interest rates, what criteria you need to meet to qualify for funding, and how to apply.

LightStream Personal Loan Review

If you are someone with excellent credit, then LightStream may be the perfect lender for you, as they offer extremely competitive rates on unsecured personal loans.

Borrowers can apply for loans ranging from $5,000 all the way up to $100,000.

One notable feature that sets them apart from other lenders is the fact that their interest rates are based on the intent behind the loan.

That means the rate you’ll pay isn’t necessarily dependent on your credit, but on what you plan to do with the money you’re borrowing.

No other online lenders we’ve seen are currently taking this type of intent-based approach to interest rates.

By basing rates on how the borrower plans to use the money, LightStream is providing consumers with the ability to apply for loans that previously would have required collateral, or fell into categories where there were either too few loan options – or they simply didn’t exist.

Unsecured personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes, although one of the most popular is to consolidate debt.

Instead of paying off multiple creditors at varying interest rates, a consolidation loan allows you to make one monthly payment – often at a significantly lower interest rate than your credit cards charge.

However, since a loan to pay off existing debt is viewed as riskier than, say a mortgage or car loan, the interest rate will likely be higher.

LightStream has done the math and created custom interest rates for a variety of specific borrowing needs, including:

  • installing a swimming pool,
  • remodeling your kitchen,
  • purchasing or refinancing a timeshare,
  • buying a boat,
  • paying off medical debt,
  • adopting a child,
  • financing a wedding or honeymoon,
  • & even buying a horse!

While there are several niche-financing plans to choose from, borrowers should be aware that the company does not offer loans for businesses or to pay for college tuition.

LightStream Personal Loans by the Numbers

Another advantage LightStream has over other lenders is the lower-than-average interest rates.

If you enroll in the company’s auto-pay program, you can expect an APR in the range of 2.49% to 17.49%.

Borrowers who prefer to skip the auto-pay option are looking at rates that typically fall between 2.79% and 17.99%.

LightStream is so confident in their competitive rates that they even offer to beat any qualifying interest rate from another lender by .10 percentage points.

Loan terms start at 24 months and go all the way up to 84 months.

Just remember that while it can be helpful to have more time to pay back the loan, it will also cost you more in interest, since the rate will rise along with the repayment period.

Unlike some lenders, LightStream does not charge fees for late payments, or if you pay off the loan early.

There are also no origination fees, which is an upfront fee some lenders charge when processing a new loan application.

Origination fees are a percentage of the total loan, which can add up to several hundred dollars, depending on the amount of money borrowed.

How to Apply for a Personal Loan from LightStream

Applying for an online personal loan with LightStream is easy, and only takes a few minutes.

One major plus is that there is no need to set foot inside a bank branch.

The application process is paperless and you can apply using your computer or mobile device.

When you start, you will be asked to choose from LightStream’s list of loan purposes.

Simply select the option that best describes how you intend to use the money, and answer a few questions, including details regarding your income, housing expenses and assets.

You can apply on your own, or with a co-signer.

When you apply, the company will do what’s known as a soft pull of your credit.

That means that it will not have a negative impact on your credit score like a hard pull does.

If you are shopping around for rates it will be viewed as a single soft pull as long as all of your credit checks are close together.

Credit bureaus typically grant consumers a timeframe of between 14 to 45 days to compare rates without their credit taking a hit.

Once you’ve applied, you should receive a decision on your application within a matter of hours.

If you’re approved and decide to accept the loan, you could receive the money as quickly as the same day.

LightStream is so confident in their ability to provide an exceptional borrowing process that they even offer a $100 guarantee that this will be your best loan experience, ever.

Is a LightStream Personal Loan Right for Me?

To qualify, you need to have a credit score of at least 660.

You’ll also need to show that you have several years of a solid credit history of making payments on time to accounts such as auto loans, a mortgage, and credit cards.

LightStream also considers whether you have other assets, such as a retirement savings account like a 401(k), stocks and bonds, or a savings account.

Basically, they are looking for proof that you can save money, and have a consistent history of paying off your debts.

There are no income requirements or minimum credit history.

However, if you don’t have a lengthy credit history or have a credit score below 660 you might need a co-signer in order to get approved.

We hope you found this LightStream personal loan review helpful.

Interested in a LightStream loan? See how this lender measures up against the competitors with our free loan comparison tool:

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Rebecca Hosley Finance Journalist

Rebecca Hosley is a content writer based in Chicago.

She frequently writes about small business, insurance and finance.

In her free time, she enjoys trivia, craft beer and disc golf.

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