LightStream personal loan review: Competitive rates for people with strong credit

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In a Nutshell

LightStream offers loans with competitive rates and possible same-day funding. But it may be tough to qualify without strong credit.

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Pros Cons
Competitive rates Need strong credit to qualify
Large loan amounts No option to prequalify for a loan
Possible same-day funding High minimum loan amounts

What you need to know about a LightStream personal loan

LightStream is the online loans division of Truist Bank. The lender offers personal loans with competitive rates for people with strong credit, including several years of credit history. LightStream says you’ll also need stable income, liquid assets and good payment history to qualify.

LightStream offers fixed-rate personal loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, depending on the loan purpose, which include debt consolidation, weddings, medical bills, family planning, home improvement and more. Our LightStream loans review will go over what to consider before applying.

Competitive rates with ‘rate beat’ program and autopay discounts

LightStream offers competitive APRs. And with its “rate beat” program, it promises to beat a competing lender by 0.1 percentage points if you qualify for a lower rate elsewhere and meet certain conditions.

You also may qualify for an autopay discount of 0.5 percentage points. The lowest interest rates aren’t available to everyone, though — the lender says you’ll need excellent credit to qualify.

Large maximum loan amounts — but small minimum amounts

LightStream offers personal loans of up to $100,000 for various purposes. This six-figure loan amount is higher than some competitors.

But keep in mind that even though LightStream offers large loan amounts, you don’t want to strain your budget and borrow more than you can pay back over a reasonable period of time.

On the other hand, LightStream doesn’t offer personal loans for less than $5,000 — so if you need a smaller loan amount, you’ll have to shop with other lenders.

Possible same-day funding

LightStream says it offers same-day loans, so it could be a good option if you need money fast. To get a same-day loan through LightStream, you’ll need to be approved on a banking business day. You’ll also have to sign your loan agreement, provide banking information and complete the final verification process before 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.

And keep in mind that the exact timing of when you receive your funds will depend on your bank.

No prequalification option

LightStream doesn’t allow you to prequalify with a soft credit inquiry before applying for a personal loan. That means if you apply for a LightStream loan, the lender may conduct a hard inquiry, which could result in a slight drop in your credit scores.

A closer look at a LightStream personal loan

Here are a few more things to know about LightStream loans before applying.

  • No fees — LightStream doesn’t charge origination fees, prepayment penalties or late payment fees.
  • Flexible loan terms — LightStream offers loan repayment terms ranging from two to seven years for most personal loans, or up to 12 years for home improvement loans.
  • Customer satisfaction guarantee — LightStream offers a 30-day loan experience guarantee. If you’re not happy, you may qualify for $100 after taking a survey.
  • Online-only application — You can’t apply in person, by phone, email or fax. LightStream only accepts personal loan applications online.
  • Limited customer service access — LightStream only offers customer service via email through a form on its website.
  • Several loan restrictions — You can’t use the personal loan for business expenses, college or student loan refinancing. You also can’t use the money to fund a retirement savings plan.
  • Need a credit card for verification — LightStream requires a valid Visa or Mastercard to complete the loan verification process.

Who is a LightStream loan good for?

LightStream loans can be a good pick for people with strong credit who are looking for competitive interest rates, no fees and potentially quick funding. Its loans may also be appealing if you need a large loan for home improvement projects and don’t qualify for a home equity loan or HELOC.

But if you don’t have good credit, skip the hard credit inquiry by shopping with lenders that allow you to prequalify first.

How to apply with LightStream

LightStream loans offer an online-only experience, and the company accepts individual or joint applications. There’s no ability to prequalify, and you should expect a hard credit inquiry when you apply, which can lower your credit scores by a few points.

To start the application, you’ll have to provide the following details:

  • Application type (joint or individual)
  • Loan purpose
  • ZIP code
  • Loan amount
  • Loan terms
  • Payment method (autopay or invoice)

If you apply during business hours, you’ll likely receive a quick response. LightStream says you may receive the funds the same day if you sign the agreement, provide funding preferences and complete the verification process by 2:30 p.m. Eastern time. But note that the exact timing depends on your bank.

Not sure if a LightStream loan is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • SoFi: A personal loan from SoFi may be a good fit if you want a lender with members-only perks.
  • Marcus: Marcus by Goldman Sachs may be a solid choice if you’d like an on-time payment reward.

About the author: Kate Dore is a Nashville-based personal finance writer and Candidate for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER<s… Read more.