LightStream Personal Loans Review
LightStream offers borrowers with good to excellent credit score to get funded up to $100K with APR as low as 4.49%.
Whether you need some extra funds to cover an unexpected situation or you are looking to fund a larger project, you may be interested in applying for a loan. If you simply search online for loan options you’ll find hundreds of options and it may be overwhelming to sift through all of your options and find something that fits your situation and offers suitable benefits.
One of the options you may come across is LightStream - a reputable lender that offers great perks and boasts a solid customer experience. Read on to learn more about LightStream and see if it's the right fit for you.
What is LightStream?
LightStream is a division of SunTrust bank that offers personal loans that often feature low rates and no fees. Compared to other online loan companies, LightStream follows a more traditional banking route when it comes to it’s process but it’s most unique and appealing feature is surely the lack of fees that apply to loans that are taken out with LightStream. That means borrowers will not pay origination, prepayment, or late fees.
Note that SunTrust Bank is merging with Branch Banking and Trust Company to form Truist, so you may see that name instead of SunTrust depending on when you visit their website. Either way, it is the same site.
LightStream Terms & Rates
How Does LightStream Work?
LightStream is an online lender that offers borrowers loans between $5,000-$100,000. As part of SunTrust Bank, LightStream has perfected the process of lending and banking and pride themselves on providing customers with strong credit profiles with fantastic loan options.
Who Should use LightStream?
LightStream is an ideal option for anyone who wants a larger loan, competitive rates and has a good credit history. It’s also notably a great option for anyone who is looking for personal loans for things such as weddings, home improvement, and land purchases. Many borrowers do not know that most loans have limitations as to what they can be used for and while there are still restrictions on what you can do with a LightStream loan, you have more options then you’d have if you went with a similar service.
Is LightStream a Reputable Lender?
Yes, Lightstream is completely reputable and trustworthy. Since it’s a division of SunTrust Bank you can rest assured that your information will be handled responsibly and kept encrypted throughout the entire process. They also have a solid reputation in the financial world in general so you know they will be honest and transparent throughout the process.
Do I Need a Credit Check to Take Out a Loan With LightStream?
When you apply for a loan, LightStream will do a soft credit check. A soft credit check, also known as a soft inquiry or a soft credit pull, is always favored since it has no negative impact on your credit score because it is a generic inquiry. A hard credit check is a more specific and defined check that is tied to a specific line of credit - this is the type of credit check that will hurt your credit score.
Does LightStream Cost Any Money?
One of the many benefits of using LightStream is that there are no fees associated with using the service. You will not have to pay an origination fee to start your loan and you will not need to pay any late fees if they become relevant. You will also not need to pay any kind of penalty if you pay your loan off early. Some lenders do charge this but LightStream does not believe in penalizing borrowers for being proactive with their payments.
If you set up autopayments on your LightStream payments then you will find a .05% discount applied to your payments. This is simply because it costs LightStream more to process the payments and they share that with their borrowers.
LightStream Personal Loan Pros
One of the biggest benefits to using LightStream for your loan needs is that they do not charge fees. Anyone who uses their services will not need to pay an origination fee, a penalty for early payments, or any charges for late payments. Most lenders will charge borrowers at least one of those three types of fees at some point during the loan repayment process but with LightStream you know you will not need to worry about them.
LightStream is available to residents of all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Many loans have restrictions and certain blackout zones so those who live in a specific state may not get to enjoy the perks of using those services but as LightStream is a part of a larger and reputable bank they are able to provide loans to many.
If you are approved for a loan with LightStream you will get to choose what day you receive your funds. If you need the money now you may be able to receive funds the same day but if you are not in any rush you can schedule it for up to 30 days after you are approved. The benefit of scheduling a later payment is that you can select your payment date that will repeat every month and you can get some flexibility. If your loan is going to be for a home improvement project, for example, you may not need the money right away.
Another unique perk that comes with working with LightStream is that they offer a satisfaction guarantee. If you are unhappy with your experience and wish to end your loan, you can contact LightStream within 30 days of receiving the funds and get $100 back. You will of course have to return the funds but if you learn that you do not need the loan after all, this can be a great benefit to using LightStream’s services.
As mentioned above, you can get a .05% discount if you pay your monthly payments using autopay. This can add up and be a great benefit for anyone.
LightStream Personal Loan Cons
Although there are many positives to using LightStream, there are some factors that make it an unsuitable option. Firstly, you cannot pre-qualify for a loan using their website. You can apply for and receive a loan without pre-qualifying but you will not know what your options are until you submit all your information and they run a soft credit check on you. Pre-qualifying is not a necessary step but it can be very helpful for those who are weighing their options and are trying to avoid credit checks, even if they are soft.
To qualify for a loan through LightStream, you will need to have several years of established credit history. This is so they can verify that you have a demonstrated ability to pay back a loan and it is one of the factors that allows them to provide their borrowers with low rates and no fees. Regardless, this may make a LightStream loan impossible to qualify for.
While this isn’t a downside to using LightStream per say, there are some restrictions to using the funds received through a LightStream loan that may make it an unfitting option for you. While their terms cover obvious restrictions that you could probably guess such as using the funds for illegal activities, you also will not be able to use the money for college or post secondary expenses, fund business loans, refinance previously existing loans, and several others. If you are planning on using the loan money for anything other than home expenses, debt consolidation, weddings, or medical expenses you may still be able to but you should double check before you submit your application.
How to Apply for a Personal Loan with LightStream
When you apply for a loan through LightStream, the initial process is completely online and for many borrowers that is the extent of the process. However, you may need to speak with an agent on the phone to provide some additional information and if that is necessary they will give you a call shortly after you complete the online portion of your application.
To qualify for a loan with LightStream you need to have a minimum credit score of 660 and at least several years of credit history so that you can demonstrate some level of financial responsibility. You should also have multiple account types within your credit history to show diversity of your portfolio and that you can handle more than one loan.
You’ll also need a high enough income as LightStream will want to ensure that you can pay your current expenses as well as the monthly installments for your new loan.
Is LightStream Worth it?
In conclusion, LightStream is a well-regarded option that offers fantastic rates and will not charge you fees. If you have a decent credit profile and are looking to fund home improvement projects, land purchases, and weddings in addition to the typical loan catalysts like debt consolidation or medical debt, you will likely find a suitable option for you when you apply for a loan with LightStream.
Borrow $5,000 - $100,000
Low APR ranges from 4.49% - 19.99%
Excellent customer support
Loan term: 2-7 years
No origination or late fees.
Minimum credit score: 660
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