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IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS

LightStream Review: Personal Loans

I. Mitic Image
ByI. Mitic
June 15, 2022
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LightStream is a premier online consumer lender that offers fixed-rate loans from $5,000 to $100,000 for a variety of purposes. It’s the online lending division of the Truist Financial Corporation, a bank created through the SunTrust Bank/BB&T merger and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. 

With a fast and easy application process, excellent rates, and flexible terms, LightStream is a perfect choice for anyone looking for personal loans for debt consolidation, home renovations, or covering other large expenses. Give our Lightstream review a read to see if this lender is the right fit for your needs.

Loan amounts:
$5,000 to $100,000

APR 3.49% to 19.99%, min. credit score 660

Get Your Rate

Fortunly Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

LOAN AMOUNT:
$5,000 to $100,000
MIN. CREDIT SCORE:
660+
APR:
3.49% to 19.99% (with AutoPay)
LOAN TERM:
2 to 7 years (20 years for home improvement loans)
BBB RATING:
A+
FUNDING TIME:
Up to 30 days (90 days for home improvement)
ORIGINATION FEE:
$0
Availability:
All 50 states
pros thumb up Strengths
  • Straightforward online application
  • $100 satisfaction guarantee
  • Low rates
  • No origination, prepayment, or late fees
  • Funding within the same day
  • Excellent Android and iOS app
pros thumb up Weaknesses
  • Requires long credit history
  • No soft credit pull
  • No financial education

Overview

Founded in 2012, LightStream is an online lender that provides unsecured personal loans to borrowers with strong credit histories. The lender is a division of Truist Bank, which offers consumer and commercial banking, insurance products and services, and asset management.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, the company operates in all 50 states and holds a stellar A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. LightStream loans’ reviews on TrustPilot, however, paint a different picture, as the rating is only 1.8. That’s why we're here - to offer an unbiased assessment of LightStream loans.

LightStream offers a wide range of personal loan products to meet the individual needs of borrowers with a good credit score. Whether you need funds for a home improvement project, a wedding or special event, or simply want to consolidate your high-interest debt, LightStream has the tools to help you accomplish your financial goals.

To get started, you can apply for a personal loan online in minutes and receive an instant decision on your application, provided you fulfill LightStream's credit requirements. Once approved, the funds are directly deposited into your bank account as early as the same day. 

The lender offers loans that range from $5,000 to $100,000. The APR can be as low as 3.49% or go up to 19.99% for applicants who use AutoPay discount prior to loan funding. Without AutoPay, the APR is 0.50% higher. There are no origination, prepayment, or late fees, and loan terms typically range from two to seven years but can go up to 20 years for home improvement loans.

How do LightStream personal loans compare to others?

LightStream Logo
LightStream
APR:

3.49% - 19.99% (with AutoPay)

Loan term:

2 to 7 years (20 years for home improvement loans)

Get Your Rate
SoFi Logo
SoFi
APR:

6.99% - 21.78%

Loan Term:

2 to 7 years

Get Your Rate
Best Egg Logo
Best Egg
APR:

5.99% - 35.99%

Loan Term:

3 to 5 years

Get Your Rate

Application Process

Most online reviews of LightStream personal loans further underscore the simplicity of the application process. The first step involves providing your personal details through an online application, including your Social Security number, income details, employment status, and current address. You also need to specify if you want an individual or joint loan application. A response to your application will come during business hours. 

Finally, once you receive approval, you need to choose a repayment plan that works best for your needs. E-sign your loan agreement and wait for your funds. Of course, LightStream reviews your application before sending the amount you requested to your account. 

Some applicants can expect the funds on the same day as the approval. LightStream also offers more flexible options, allowing borrowers to choose their own funding date. But if the funds aren’t transferred to your account within 30 days or 90 days for home improvement loans, you’ll have to reapply.

Overall, the LightStream application process is relatively straightforward and streamlined and can be completed via iOS and Android apps on the go. 

LightStream Personal Loan Basics

The next part of our LightStream review delves deeper into the loan types. LightStream offers unsecured personal loans, which means that your loan is not backed by any collateral. That’s why applicants need a years-long credit history and a minimum credit score of 660 to get approved.

Aside from credit requirements, you need to be a US citizen or a permanent resident. You also need to be 18 or above to apply for LightStream personal loans.

Once you get approved, you can use the money for various purposes, such as home improvement or debt consolidation. The money can also serve as an auto loan or help recipients get their hands on a boat. Furthermore, the unsecured LightStream loan can fund the construction of a new swimming pool in your backyard, cover the costs of a wedding, or finance PreK-12 education. Currently, you won’t be able to use your loan proceeds to fund college or post-secondary education or refinance an existing LightStream loan. 

This brings us to an important question: Does LightStream do a hard pull of the applicants’ credit reports? Unfortunately, as there aren’t loan pre-approvals, you won’t be able to avoid a hard inquiry. 

Loan Amount and APR Details

With LightStream, applicants can take out loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. Although there are lenders that offer less than $5,000, online LightStream reviews only serve to confirm that this is still a popular destination whether borrowers are looking for lower monthly payments or shorter terms.   

The actual loan amount that you're eligible for will be based on a number of factors, including your credit score, income, and debts. Both the interest rate and loan term will also depend on these factors. 

LightStream offers competitive rates, ranging from 3.49% to 19.99% if you use AutoPay and payments come directly from a bank. However, if you choose the invoice payment option, the rates will be 0.50% higher.

We love the fact that the lender offers joint applications, which can help you secure a lower interest rate and increase your chances of approval. 

Some reviews on LightStream loans echo our warnings about committing to payment schedules that you may not be able to fulfill. If you don't think you'll be able to pay off your loan on time, it’s better to shop around for lower interest rates and longer terms.

Loan Fees

Unlike its competitors, LightStream doesn't charge any fees. This is pretty impressive as most lenders charge some sort of origination, application, or late fee.

As we've already mentioned, borrowers who choose AutoPay will get an APR rate discount of 0.50%. Also, those who are not satisfied with their experience get $100 back after filling in a LightStream loans complaints questionnaire within 30 days from receiving the funds.

Repayment Terms

Paying back the money can be done in fixed monthly installments over a period of two to seven years for most loans. The maximum term is only available for home improvement loans, which go up to 20 years.

Keep in mind that the repayment terms largely depend on the loan amount and your creditworthiness. The better your credit score, the lower your interest rate and monthly payments. Finally, if you set up AutoPay, you won't need to worry about missing your due date as you can lean on the bank to take care of payments.

Customer Support

Online LightStream lending reviews are just another confirmation of our assessment of the customer service team. Simply put, the lender falls short in this department. While the website contains a decent amount of information in the “Questions” section, it can be hard to find what you're looking for. LightStream doesn't offer a comprehensive knowledge base or tutorials for its novice borrowers. To make matters worse, there is no live chat option on the site.

That said, LightStream's customer support is available via email five days a week, from Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST. On Saturdays, support agents work from noon until 4 p.m.

Why Should You Choose LightStream?

Our LightStream review focuses on both the perks and the rough edges, providing you with all the information you need to make the right decision. Based on all of the above, LightStream is your best bet if you're looking for a personal loan to cover one-time expenses and want competitive interest rates, no fees, and flexible repayment terms.

LightStream is a great choice for borrowers with a good or excellent credit score who want larger loan amounts, especially if they are looking to fund home improvements. The online application process is simple and can even be completed via iOS and Android apps. Finally, LightStream has swift turnaround times, and you can expect the funds in your account on the same business day that you get your approval.

Where Does LightStream Fall Short?

Most LightStream reviews and consumer reports share our conclusions about the main downside of this lender, which is its customer support. You can only reach the support team during business hours via email, and there's no live chat option. We would have also liked to see financial education resources for those who are new to personal loans and online borrowing.

You'll be disappointed to hear that the leader does not approve potential customers to pre-qualify on the website. You need to fill in a complete form and provide all the necessary documents first, which will affect your credit score.

Another thing to keep in mind is that its loans are not available to everyone. To qualify for a loan with LightStream, your credit score needs to be good or excellent, and you should have a long credit history. On top of that, its minimum loan amount is relatively high, which might not be ideal if you're looking for a smaller loan.

FAQ

Is LightStream a reputable company?

+

Yes, LightStream is a reputable company that has been offering personal loans to borrowers across the United States since 2012. It is part of the Truist Financial Corporation known for providing high-quality financial services with low rates and flexible repayment terms. The lender has an A+ rating with BBB and plenty of positive consumer feedback.

Does LightStream hurt credit?

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LightStream doesn't offer a prequalification process, which translates into a hard credit check once you complete the whole application process. This can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points as the platform assesses your creditworthiness. Of course, making regular payments will help you improve your credit score in the long run.

Is LightStream hard to get approved for?

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While LightStream does have specific eligibility requirements, it’s not exactly impossible to get approved. You must have good to excellent credit and a relatively long credit history. Some basic requirements include being a U.S. citizen or resident and having a steady source of income.

The application process is quite simple and can be completed entirely online. You just need to fill in a form providing your personal and financial information. Once LightStream reviews and approves your application, you can receive the funds in your account.