LightStream Personal Loan Review
LightStream is an online lender designed to accommodate and reward borrowers with good-to-excellent credit histories. The application is quick, the interest rate can be exceptionally low, and in some cases, you can receive your LightStream loan on the same day you apply.
- LightStream is an online-only lender that offers a broad variety of personal loans.
- LightStream was rated our number one personal loan lender for borrowers with good credit, receiving a LendEDU rating of 5.00 / 5.00.
- LightStream doesn’t charge any fees or prepayment penalties.
- If your credit score is only fair (660s or lower), you should consider other lenders.
What we like:
Beat any qualifying rate
|Rates (APR)||5.34% – 16.99%* with AutoPay|
|Loan Terms||2 – 7 years* with AutoPay|
|Loan Amounts||$5,000 – $100,000|
|Fees||Origination fee: None|
Prepayment penalty: None
Application fee: None
LightStream offers personal loans with highly competitive rates and a simple borrowing process to borrowers with good credit.
These loans can be used to cover a wide range of expenses, including home improvement projects, debt consolidation, medical expenses, weddings, vacations, and more.
Instead of a blanket interest rate for a single loan product, LightStream bases rates, in part, on the purpose of the loan.
In this review:
- LightStream personal loans: At a glance
- Pros & cons of LightStream loans
- How to get a LightStream Personal Loan
- Where to find LightStream alternatives
LightStream personal loans: At a glance
|LightStream personal loan|
|Loan amount||lightstream-perl-40-amountlow – lightstream-perl-40-amounthigh|
|Fixed APRs||lightstream-perl-40-fixlow% – lightstream-perl-40-fixhigh%|
|Fees||No prepayment, origination, application, or annual fees|
LightStream is one of the top personal loan lenders online. The lender markets its personal loans for a broad variety of purposes, including:
- Auto/motorcycle loans and refinancing
- Boat/RV/aircraft purchase or refinancing
- Credit card debt consolidation
- Home improvements or pool/solar installation
- Medical/adoption expense loans
- Timeshare purchasing and refinancing
Generally, the bulk of borrowers should see figures within the limits listed in the table above. However, rates and terms are based on the purpose of the loan, the loan amount, and the desired loan term, as well as the applicant’s credit history, income, and other financial background information.
For example, a home improvement loan for $25,000 will likely carry an interest rate between 6.59% and 13.04% with loan terms as long as 144 months.
Typically, the longer the repayment plan, the higher the interest rate. Additionally, rates are typically lower for loans between $10,000 and $49,000, with loans below or exceeding that range frequently carrying higher interest rates.
Sound confusing? It can be, but fortunately, LightStream’s website is extremely easy to use and potential borrowers can use the rate chart to determine how different lending scenarios impact the rate and terms.
One thing borrowers will want to consider is the impact that AutoPay has on their rates. To receive the best rates, borrowers must agree, at the time of application, to a monthly autopay obligation. Failure to do so will increase rates by .50 percentage points across the board.
Pros & cons of LightStream loans
- Good credit borrowers can secure competitively low rates.
- LightStream is also an excellent option for borrowers hoping to avoid fees. The unsecured loans from LightStream come with little to no fees, such as late payment fees, prepayment penalties, and origination fees.
- Borrowers who need cash quickly can potentially secure the funds on the same day they apply, a real plus for unexpected, emergency expenses.
- LightStream offers the Rate Beat Program, which offers approved borrowers a .10 percentage point deduction if the annual percentage rate presented by another lender beats the rate offered by LightStream.
- LightStream also offers a Loan Experience Guarantee in case a customer is not satisfied with their loan experience and notifies LightStream within 30 days of their loan origination. If this is the case, LightStream will send the customer a questionnaire, and once completed and returned, the customer will receive $100.
- Since LightStream is specifically designed to accommodate the needs of borrowers with excellent credit, it may be hard for some borrowers, even those with good credit, to get approved for the lowest advertised rates.
- LightStream doesn’t do soft credit inquiries, so borrowers will have to submit to a hard credit inquiry to apply, which could affect their credit score.
>> Read more: Hard vs. Soft Credit Inquiries Explained
Getting a LightStream personal loan
To apply for a LightStream loan, consumers can visit the LightStream website and begin the online application process.
- To complete this application, borrowers must first specify the primary purpose for the loan (e.g., wedding expenses, home repairs, auto loan, debt consolidation, etc.), the total loan amount, and the desired loan term in months.
- Additionally, applicants must select a repayment method by selecting either AutoPay—which will result in an automatic monthly payment—or Invoice—which require the borrower to make manual monthly payments. Selecting Invoice will automatically increase the interest rate by .50 percentage points.
- Once the loan application is submitted, applicants can typically expect a same-day response if they apply within normal business hours; otherwise, applicants may not receive a response until the following business day.
- If approved, applicants can e-sign their loan agreement and set up their funding preferences (e.g., banking info, funding date, etc.). In some cases, if the loan is approved and the agreement is reviewed and signed by 2:30 p.m. EST, funds can be available on the same day. Funds can either be deposited via ACH or wire transfer.
As a company that specializes in lending partnerships with consumers who have very good or excellent credit scores, eligibility factors are a bit more stringent.
Lightstream defines excellent credit as having:
- Little to no delinquencies in your payment history.
- Evidence of the ability to save through the presence of liquid assets like stocks, bonds, retirement savings, and manageable revolving debt.
- Stable and sufficient income when paired with your loan request.
- A variety of financial accounts, like credit cards, personal loans, and mortgages, which are all in good standing.
Where to find LightStream alternatives
If you have excellent credit and are looking for a personal loan, then a trip to LightStream’s website is definitely worth your time.
The application process is quick and, in some cases, funds can be available on the same business day you apply. That said, if you have average credit or good credit with some financial blemishes (e.g., delinquencies, inconsistent income, etc.), LightStream may not be for you.
In this case, you should check out our picks for the best personal loans for fair credit borrowers.
Additionally, even good credit borrowers would be wise to get quotes from two or three different lenders to compare the rates they’re offered. Check out our guide to the best personal loan lenders to get started.
>> Read More: LightStream vs. SoFi Personal Loans
*Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 9.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $319.58. LightStream disclosures here.
Author: Jennifer Lobb
Your Guide to Financial Freedom
Money tips, advice, and news once a week
Join the LendEDU newsletter!Thanks for submitting!Please Enter a valid email
Personal Loans Information
Personal Loan Reviews