LightStream is an online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank. The company prides itself on providing a revolutionary lending experience to borrowers with good credit for any possible type of consumer lending need. Visiting their website, you’ll find that they even make loans for jewelry, horse, and tiny home purchases.
SoFi is an online financial company working off the idea that their business model can create efficiencies which pass savings down to the customer. In addition to different types of loans, SoFi offers a variety of other benefits to its customers. SoFi is focused on not only lending once to a customer but also in creating a lifelong relationship for career development and wealth management.
LightStream vs. SoFi: Comparison
|Rates (APR)||4.99% – 16.99%||5.74% – 16.99%|
|Loan Terms||2 – 7 years*||3 – 7 years|
|Loan Amounts||$5,000 – $100,000||$5,000 – $100,000|
|Fees||No origination or prepayment fees||No origination or prepayment fees|
Costs and Fees
LightStream offers personal loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. The term depends on the amount borrowed but can range from two to seven years. Interest rates depend upon the term and purpose of the loan as well as the borrower’s credit score, but they currently range from 5.34% to 16.99%. There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties on the loan, and in some cases the money can be disbursed the same day. LightStream, however, only lends to borrowers with a credit score of at least 680. The lowest rates at LightStream are reserved for secured personal loans used for a vehicle purchase.
SoFi offers personal loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. Depending on the loan amount, borrowers can choose a three, five, or seven-year loan term. Interest rates currently vary from 6.26% to 14.87%. There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. Once a borrower is approved, it can take several days for the funds to be disbursed. Like LightStream, SoFi is selective in its approval process and prefers borrowers with a credit score of at least 680.
LightStream really stands behind its mission to provide the best lending service experience to the most qualified borrowers. They have some of the lowest advertised interest rates, and they also claim they will beat any other lender’s qualified rates. In addition, they have a $100 guarantee that they provide the best lending experience. If borrowers don’t have an excellent loan origination experience, they can contact customer service and get $100 cashback in the first 30 days.
For borrowers looking beyond the one-time borrowing experience, SoFi offers its customers some really interesting and innovative benefits. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, SoFi offers unemployment protection for your loan. They suspend your loan payments and provide assistance to help you find a new job through their Career Advisory Group. Their professional career and salary guidance services are available for free at any time to customers.
SoFi borrowers can also attend financial planning and career advisory events, and receive free financial advisory services. SoFi seems like a great option for borrowers looking for more than just a loan, but also a place to begin thinking about financial planning and wealth management services.
In order to be eligible for a SoFi personal loan, borrowers must be of majority age in their state and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien. Borrowers must have verification of employment, income, or proof that employment will begin within the next 90 days. SoFi personal loans are not available to residents of Mississippi and Nevada.
Although the minimum amount for a personal loan through SoFi is $5,000, some states have higher minimum amounts. The minimum loan amount is $10,001 in Arizona, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The minimum loan amount is $15,001 in Kentucky. There may be other interest rate restrictions in your state.
To be eligible for a LightStream personal loan, borrowers must have excellent credit, a low payment-to-income ratio, and be able to prove their willingness to repay a variety of credit account types (installment loan, mortgage, credit card) over multiple years. Borrowers also need to have assets that show an ability to save.
Although LightStream advertises personal loans for any purpose, they do not lend for post-secondary or college education expenses. Also, you cannot refinance an existing LightStream personal loan or a loan for college and post-secondary education expenses with the proceeds from a LightStream personal loan. Personal loans are only available to individuals and not businesses.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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