Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
Updated on Wednesday, March 10, 2021
|LightStream personal loan rates and terms|
|APR range||2.49% - 19.99%|
|Loan amounts||$5,000 - $100,000|
|Loan length||24 to 144 months|
|Minimum credit score||Good to excellent credit required|
|Time to funding||Same day your application is approved|
Who’s the best fit for a LightStream personal loan?
A LightStream personal loan may be a great option for borrowers who have excellent credit. The ability to receive funds the same day you’re approved, lack of fees and low starting APR make this an affordable and convenient form of financing. Like other personal loans, you can also cover a variety of costs with your LightStream personal loan, from remodeling your kitchen to planning your wedding.
LightStream describes its customers as having solid credit histories, which means their accounts have been open for several years and reflect a balanced mix of credit cards, mortgages and installment loans (such as car loans). They also have a history of saving money and making on-time debt payments and have a steady income.
24 to 144*
No origination fee
LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More
*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.
Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $295.20.
Pros and cons of a LightStream personal loan
- Minimum credit score. LightStream borrowers typically have good to excellent credit.
- Minimum credit history. Borrowers with good credit who use LightStream typically have several years of a credit history, while those with excellent credit have a minimum of 5 years.
- Maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Excellent-credit borrowers generally have little-to-no revolving debt, while good-credit borrowers have “manageable” revolving debt, according to LightStream.
As with any personal loan lender, the higher your credit score is, the greater your odds for LightStream loan approval. In addition to good or better credit, this lender looks for a strong payment history and stable income that can cover your monthly loan payments, as well as proof of good financial management. Retirement savings, cash reserves or proof that you’ve been able to make a down payment on a house are indicators of good financial management, according to the lender.
Due to strict eligibility requirements, LightStream is unlikely to be an option for someone with fair or bad credit.
Applying for a personal loan from LightStream
LightStream does not offer prequalification with a soft credit check. If you want to see loan offers, you’ll need to submit to a hard credit check, which will result in a small and temporary ding on your credit.
Here is how the application process for a LightStream loan works:
- Fill out the online application. Expect to be asked about how much you’d like to borrow and for what purpose, in addition to your income information. You’ll submit to a hard credit check at this step of the process.
- Wait for a loan decision. If you apply during business hours, expect a quick loan decision.
- If approved, accept and e-sign the loan. Be sure to review the offered loan terms to ensure they are affordable for you before signing. (A personal loan payment calculator can help you with this.) If you apply and are approved before 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time on a business day, you may receive your loan proceeds the same day.
- Claim your funds. You will be responsible for initiating a bank transfer. You’ll have 30 days to claim the money and initiate a transfer to your bank.
LightStream consumer reviews
LightStream loan reviews on LendingTree confirm what you’ll see on the lender website: For customers who qualify, the application and borrowing process is quick and easy. One borrower praised the company’s customer service, the “clear and concise” communication and the fast transfer of funds. Others said they received competitive rates and that the process was fast and seamless.
However, other LightStream reviews noted how difficult it is to get approved. Several claimed to have credit scores higher than 700 and said they were still denied for personal loans. They complained of having a hard credit inquiry on their reports with no new loan to show for it.
If you’re concerned about being denied or have a spotty credit history, you may want to consider other personal loan companies that have more flexible lending criteria.
LightStream does not specify a minimum credit score for borrowers. Instead, the company looks for individuals with at least good credit.
You can apply for a LightStream loan for educational expenses related to pre-K through grade 12. But the company does not offer funding for college or post-secondary education, nor does it provide refinancing options for student loan debt.
LightStream borrowers do not pay any fees on their loans.
LightStream says customers will receive a response “shortly” after applying online, if they’ve submitted their applications during business hours.
LightStream loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including dental bills, home improvements, adoption expenses and horse ownership. The company requires that you use the money from the loan for the purpose you indicated in your application. You are not allowed to use the loan to refinance an existing LightStream loan, pay for college tuition or post-secondary education or buy stocks and bonds.
LightStream does not offer prequalification for loans. Potential borrowers must fill out the online application to see if they’re approved. This will require a hard credit check.
LightStream is considered SunTrust Bank’s online lending division. Borrowers do not have to be account holders at SunTrust Bank to qualify for a loan from LightStream.
Alternative personal loan options
If you’re unsure whether you’d qualify for a LightStream personal loan, there are several other lenders you might consider with competitive terms. Their application and lending processes are similar in that you can apply online and typically receive funds quickly, although you won’t necessarily see the same-day turnaround you can with LightStream.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs® vs. LightStream
36 to 72
No origination fee
Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers personal loans for up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation. ... Read More
Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information. To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. The availability of a loan offer and the terms of your actual offer will vary due to a number of factors, including your loan purpose and our evaluation of your creditworthiness. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions.
Like LightStream, personal loans from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® have no fees. However, you can only borrow up to $40,000, though most borrowers will find that a sufficiently high borrowing limit.
When applying for a Marcus by Goldman Sachs loan, you can check rates without a hard credit inquiry and be formally approved in as little as five minutes. Expect your personal loan to be funded within five business days after verifying your bank account, as well.
Compared to LightStream, Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loans have a higher minimum APR and a less flexible selection of repayment terms. That said, this is still a viable option for strong-credit applicants.
SoFi vs. LightStream
Minimum Credit Score
24 to 84
No origination fee
SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More
Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.85% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of January 19, 2021 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. 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. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
SoFi is another lender that offers no-fee personal loans with competitive, fixed interest rates that you can use for a variety of reasons. As with LightStream, you can borrow large amounts with SoFi — $5,000 to $100,000. Perks offered by SoFi include access to financial advisors and unemployment protection for borrowers. You can check rates with a soft pull, as well.
However, LightStream offers a broader range of allowed uses for personal loans. Both SoFi and LightStream allow you to apply with a cosigner if you cannot qualify on your own.
Upgrade vs. LightStream
Minimum Credit Score
36 or 60
2.90% - 8.00%
Upgrade is an online lender that offers fairly priced personal loans for a term of either 36 or 60 months.... Read More
Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor. Personal loans issued by Upgrade's lending partners. Information on Upgrade's lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.
Upgrade is the only lender included in this review that charges an origination fee. This lender may be an option for people with less-than-stellar credit, as the credit score minimum is just 620. The lender also specifies that it will consider borrowers with insufficient credit histories to produce a FICO Score.
Upgrade has flexible borrowing limits — you can borrow from $1,000 to $50,000. Another perk is that you can check your rate without a hard credit inquiry. Upgrade can send money to your bank account in as little as one business day after your personal information is verified, as well.