Minimum Credit Score
24 to 144
No origination fee
on LightStream’s secure website
LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More
Fees and penalties
LightStream has no fees across the board and offers highly competitive interest rates. These two variables add up to a very affordable loan, if you can qualify. According to LightStream, you can borrow money for “practically anything.” Here are some examples of things you can finance with a LightStream loan:
- Debt consolidation
- Dental work
- Home improvements
- IVF/Fertility treatments
- K-12 education
- Medical bills
- Tiny homes
The list of ways you can use a LightStream loan is exhaustive. However, there are a few instances where you can’t use a LightStream loan. You can’t use one to finance a post-secondary education or commercial vehicle. LightStream does not offer financing to businesses either. You can only apply for a loan as an individual.
‘The Rate Beat’ program
Here’s more incentive to shop around and compare rates: LightStream will beat competitor rates by 0.10% APR. You must show proof that you’ve been approved by a lender for a lower rate and meet other eligibility criteria before LightStream will beat the competitor rate.
Here are the terms and conditions for the Rate Beat program:
- The lower interest rate you find with another lender can’t be because of an employee discount or other special that’s not available to all customers.
- The lower rate can’t be through any rate-subsidized programs.
- The lower rate you get from a competitor lender must be for a loan that has the same amount, loan term, and loan purpose.
- You must show proof that another lender is willing to give you a lower rate by 2 p.m. EST on the business day before your loan is funded.
Consider shopping for other loans before seeing what LightStream has to offer you so you can take advantage of the Rate Beat program. This way you can have documentation proving you got a lower rate elsewhere ready and waiting to show LightStream.
‘Loan Experience Guarantee’
The next benefit that LightStream has is the Loan Experience Guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the loan process, LightStream will give you $100 for completing a satisfaction survey within 30 days of receiving your loan.
- Minimum credit score: LightStream seeks candidates with “good credit.”
- Minimum credit history: LightStream looks for borrowers who have several years of credit history, a mix of accounts, stable income, few (if any) delinquencies, and a proven ability to save money.
- Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Varies
LightStream is clear about offering loans to borrowers with good credit, although a specific credit score minimum isn’t listed. What constitutes good or excellent credit is subjective. However, a credit score of 700 or above is generally considered good. A 750 or above is generally considered excellent.
Despite not offering a minimum credit score or maximum debt-to-income ratio, LightStream does outline some key characteristics of borrowers that tend to qualify for a Lightstream loan.
- Borrowers have many years of credit history (excellent borrowers tend to have five years or more of credit history)
- Borrowers have a credit history with many different accounts such as credit cards, installment loans, and mortgages
- Borrowers show evidence of being able to save through liquid assets, retirement savings, etc.
- Borrowers have few late payments (excellent borrowers tend to have credit with no deliquences at all)
Applying for a personal loan from LightStream
The LightStream application process is straightforward. You apply online which requires a hard pull. There is no pre-approval with a soft pull available. LightStream first asks for the purpose of your loan, how much you want to borrow and which loan term length you need. The next step is to tell LightStream your personal information.
You should receive a response quickly if you apply during business hours. After an approval, you can e-sign your loan documents. LightStream will request credit card information to verify your identity and then you’ll receive your funds. You can get money as soon as the same day if your application is approved and all required steps are completed before 2:30 p.m. EST on a business day.
Who’s the best fit for a LightStream personal loan?
The most competitive interest rates are given to people with good credit for a reason. Lenders are willing to offer loans with the lowest interest rates to borrowers who are less likely to default on a loan.
In this case, LightStream is clear that they focus on rewarding prime borrowers with loans that have no fees and low interest rates because they’ve shown demonstrated ability to manage debt responsibly. The LightStream loan is one that you should consider putting at the top of your shopping list if you have good credit or better because of the price and perks.
Besides the cost,LightStream lets you borrow high amounts of cash for almost any reason as long as it’s not for a student loan or commercial vehicle. The benefit of a long loan term is the possibility that you can stretch out your payments. But keep in mind, the very lowest interest rates are available for unsecured loans of $10,000 to $24,999 with loan terms of 24 to 36 months. You can borrow a high amount for a longer period, but it may cost you more money.
What stands out as a potential downside of this loan is that a hard pull is necessary to check rates. However, don’t be so afraid of hard inquiries that you don’t shop around for the very best deals with this lender, or any other one, that doesn’t offer pre-approvals with a soft pull. Ultimately, consenting to a hard inquiry and temporarily losing about 5 points to check rates may be worth the savings you could gain from qualifying with a low-cost lender likeLightStream. We have discussed the impact of credit inquiries in this post — the effect on your credit may be minimal considering the potential benefit.
If you meet the conditions of what’s considered good or excellent credit, this is one of the best personal loans that you can find online. Check out other top personal loan options here to compare products. This roundup includes many loans that allow you to check rates with a soft pull.
Alternative personal loan options
Here are some loan alternatives:
No Minimum FICO Score
Minimum Credit Score
36 to 84
No origination fee
SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More
Fixed rates from 5.950% APR to 14.740% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.825% APR to 14.365% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of May 18, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.825% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.90% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account.
SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of IL is 8.99% APR, for residents of AK, OK, and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, KS, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, IL, OK, TX, VA, WY.
Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
SoFi is another lender that offers no-fee personal loans with competitive interest rates that you can use for a variety of reasons. You can borrow large amounts with SoFi — $5,000 to $100,000.SoFi doesn’t have a rate match program like LightStream, but there are some other perks, like access to financial advisors and unemployment protection for borrowers.. You can check rates with a soft pull.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
Minimum Credit Score
36 to 72
No origination fee
on Marcus By Goldman Sachs®’s secure website
Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information.... Read More
Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is another personal loan that has absolutely no fees. You can borrow up to $40,000, and get approval within five minutes and funding within five days. Checking loan options doesn’t require a hard inquiry. Interest rates are typically higher for the longer term loans, and borrowers with excellent credit will get the lowest rates.
Minimum Credit Score
36 or 60
1.00% - 6.00%
on Upgrade’s secure website
Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.96%-35.97%. All loans have a 1% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay. For example, a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 17.97% APR (which includes a 5% origination fee) has a required monthly payment of $343.28. Upgrade is available in all states except: Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia.
Upgrade is the only lender included in this review that charges an origination fee. This lender will also likely have a lower barrier to entry, as the credit score minimum is just 620. You can borrow up to $50,000 from Upgrade. You can also check your rate without a hard inquiry. Upgrade can send money to your bank account in as fast as one day after your personal information is verified.