LightStream Personal Loan Review
LightStream is an online lender designed to accommodate and reward borrowers with fair-to-good credit scores. The application is quick, interest rates are low, and in some cases, you can receive your loan the same day you apply.
Many or all of the companies featured provide compensation to LendEDU. These commissions are how we maintain our free service for consumers. Compensation, along with hours of in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear on our site.
- LightStream is an online-only lender that offers a broad variety of personal loans.
- LightStream is our #1 rated personal loan lender receiving a LendEDU Rating of 5/5.
- LightStream doesn’t charge any fees or prepayment penalties.
- If your credit score is under 660, you should consider other lenders.
LightStream offers personal loans with highly competitive rates and a simple application 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 Overview
- Pros & Cons of LightStream
- Application & Eligibility
- LightStream Alternatives
LightStream Personal Loans Overview
|Min credit score||660+|
|Loan amount||$5,000 – $100,000|
|Term lengths||24 – 144 months|
|Fixed APRs||3.49% – 19.99%|
|Fees||None for any reason|
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 your 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 you can use the rate chart to determine how different lending scenarios impact the rate and terms.
One thing you will want to consider is the impact that AutoPay has on your rates. To receive the best rates, you must agree to monthly automatic payments when you apply. Failure to do so will increase rates by .50 percentage points across the board.
Pros & Cons of LightStream Loans
- LightStream offers some of the lowest rates in the industry.
- Unlike most lenders, LightStream charges no fees whatsoever.
- You can potentially secure the funds on the same day you apply—a real plus for unexpected expenses.
- LightStream offers the Rate Beat Program, in which they will beat any competitor’s rate you are offered by 0.10 percentage points.
- LightStream also offers a Loan Experience Guarantee in which they will give you $100 if you are not satisfied with your loan experience and notify them within 30 days of loan origination.
- Since LightStream is specifically designed to accommodate the needs of borrowers with credit scores of at least 660, it may be hard for some borrowers to get approved. If you have a lower score, you can check out our guides to fair credit loans and bad credit loans.
- LightStream doesn’t do soft credit inquiries, so you will have to submit to a hard credit inquiry to apply, which could affect your credit score.
>> Read more: Hard vs. Soft Credit Inquiries Explained
Getting a LightStream Personal Loan
To apply for a LightStream loan, you can visit the LightStream website and begin the online application process.
- You 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, you must select a repayment method by selecting either AutoPay—which will result in an automatic monthly payment—or Invoice—which requires you to make manual monthly payments. Selecting Invoice will automatically increase the interest rate by .50 percentage points.
- Once the loan application is submitted, you can typically expect a same-day response if you apply within normal business hours; otherwise, you may not receive a response until the following business day.
- If approved, you can e-sign your loan agreement and set up your funding preferences (e.g., banking info, funding date, etc.). In some cases, if the loan is approved and you sign the agreement by 2:30 p.m. EST, you will receive your funds on the same day. Funds can either be deposited via ACH or wire transfer.
As a company that specializes in lending to consumers who have fair, good, or excellent credit scores, eligibility factors are a bit more stringent than some other lenders.
To be eligible for a LightStream loan you will need the following:
- A credit score of 660 or higher.
- 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 a credit score under 660 or some financial blemishes (e.g., delinquencies, inconsistent income, etc.), LightStream may not be for you.
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.
*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.
5.00 LightStream Personal Loans
LightStream is our top-rated personal loan lender
3.49% – 19.99%
$5,000 – $100,000
Author: Jennifer Lobb