PERSONAL FINANCE BLOG

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Lightstream Lender Review
8 Jul 2018

Lightstream Lender Review

The number of Americans taking out personal loans in recent years has jumped by thirty percent. If you are considering taking out a personal loan, consider Lightstream.

If you have a strong credit score and repayment history you should consider Lightstream for your personal loan. They have some of the largest loan amounts and longest repayment terms.

Continue reading for our in-depth review of Lightstream personal unsecured loans.

Who is Lightstream?

Lightstream is a division of SunTrust that is focused on online consumer lending. The purpose of Lightstream is to provide competitive unsecured loans to lenders with excellent credit scores.

The Basics

If you have good credit and are looking to consolidate your debt then Lightstream loans would be a good option. Lightstream offers loan amounts in the range of $5,000 to $100,000.

You can expect to have an APR of 3.09% to 14.24% if you choose autopay. If you don’t choose autopay your APR will be 3.59% to 14.74%.

There are no origination fees. In some cases, they will perform a soft credit check.

The typical repayment term is two to seven years. Once approved, you can receive your funding as soon as the same day of approval.

Example of a Typical Loan

Let’s assume a borrower with excellent credit agrees to a $30,000 loan. The repayment term is 48 months at an annual interest rate of 13.9%. They could expect to pay $774 a month for repayment.

How to Apply

The first thing you’ll need to do is apply for your loan on Lightstream’s website. You will be required to put in the intended purpose of the loan.

During the application process, you will be informed of the potential interest rate range that could be awarded to you for your particular purpose. If you intend to have a co-signor be sure to apply with them.

A hard inquiry will be pulled for your credit score with Experian and Equifax. They will review both credit reports and make a decision based on the individual facts.

  • Bonsai Finance

    Our take: Online marketplace that searches through lenders to find the best offer for your personal situation Show more
    Credit ScoreLoan Size/AmountLoan TermAPROrigination Fee
    All can apply$100 - $15,0001 - 604.99% - 1.386%Varies by lender
    Credit ScoreAll can apply
    Loan Size/Amount$100 - $15,000
    Loan Term1 - 60
    APR4.99% - 1.386%
    Origination FeeVaries by lender

Managing Your Loan

Once your loan has been processed and you have received your funds you can manage your repayment online. Your online portal will let you review payment history, make extra payments, update your information, and apply for another loan.

Interest Calculation

Interest is calculated on a daily basis based on the outstanding loan amount. This is a simple fixed interest rate. When you make a payment you pay the accrued interest first, then the principle.

Loan Funds Availability

Once you are approved for your loan you have thirty days to accept the funds. If you do not transfer the funds to your account in that time your approval expires and you will have to reapply for your loan.

Payment Options

You have the choice of choosing between invoice or AutoPay. If you choose AutoPay, Lightstream will automatically withdraw your monthly payment from your bank account.

Invoice payment will result in Lighstream sending you a bill each month that you will then pay. Invoice payment plans have an APR that is .5% than AutoPay. If you want to make a one-time payment on either repayment plan you can through your online account.

The Pros

Lightstream personal loans standout among its competitors by giving favorable unsecured loans to those with excellent credit. These loans can be used for almost any purpose.

They offer higher loan amounts than the industry standard. Their repayment terms are some of the longest to accommodate the higher loan amounts.

They have no minimum debt to income ratio required for approval. There is also no minimum income required for approval.

Is It a Good Fit for You

You need to have a credit score of at least 660 or higher. You will also need to have at least a few years of positive credit history.

Your credit profile needs to have a variety of credits accounts with regular on-time payments. You need to show you have a stable income plus assets.

If you don’t meet these requirements, you still have a chance. Lightstream allows you to have a co-signer who does meet the requirements.

What Can You Use the Money For

You can borrow the money for almost any purpose. This would include debt consolidation, home improvement, auto purchase, refinancing, medical bills, or education.

Recreational purposes also qualify for Lightstream loans. This would include financing for a hot tub, RV, boat, timeshare, or destination club.

Unusual Loan Purposes

If you want to buy something more unusual you may have a hard time finding a willing lender, this is where Lighstream steps in. If you are looking to borrow money for an aircraft, horse, horse trailer, jewelry, or tiny home you have found your lender.

Rate Beat Program

If you are like most people, you are going to shop around before you decide which lender to borrow from. Lightstream guarantees that they will beat their competitors interest rate by .10%.

You will have to show that you are approved by the competitor. The loan will also need to be for the same amount, term, use, and payment method.

Home Improvement Loan Perks

If you are looking to do work on your home, you can get an extended repayment term. The repayment term could be up to twelve years.

You will save money by not being required to obtain an appraisal or home equity. The longer repayment term means your monthly payments are more affordable.

Projects that qualify for home improvement are kitchen and bathroom remodels or swimming pool work. You can even use the loan for solar panel installation on your home.

$100 Loan Experience Guarantee

Lighstream guarantees that their loan application and approval process is the easiest you’ve ever experienced. They put you in control of everything by deciding your own loan amount and terms.

Once you have completed the application process and receive the loan amount you can let Lighstream know if you were not completely satisfied. They will send you $100 as compensation. ‘

Forest of Dreams

The entire loan application process is online, eliminating the large amount of paperwork that typically happens. Lighstream has teamed up with American Forests in an effort to help restore America’s forests.

For every loan that is funded, Lightstream donates a tree. So far this has totaled 1,000 acres of trees.

The Cons

The interest rate you pay is based on what you are buying, not your creditworthiness. This is a unique business model as all other lenders base your interest rate on credit history.

Auto Loans, Home Improvement, and Debt Consolidation Rates

Unsecured auto loans have interest rates that start at 3.09%. Home improvement loans start at 4.99% APR.

A debt consolidation loan has a starting APR of 4.99%. Your specific rate may be different based on a few factors such as the loan amount you borrow, the term, and your credit history.

The higher interest rate on debt consolidation is because Lighstream states that loans to pay off debt tend to be riskier. Loans to buy a new car tend to have a lower risk profile.

Recreational Loan Rates

If you are purchasing a tiny home or aircraft your APR will start at 4.04%. Land purchases and jewelry purchases have one of the highest starting APR rates at 5.49%.

Horse purchases start at an APR of 5.49%. While the trailer to transport your horse will have a lower starting APR at 4.04%.

Loan Funds Restrictions

You must use the money for what you told them it was for when you applied. Lighstream does not offer loans to business or for commercial vehicles.

While you can borrow money for Pre K through 12-grade education, you cannot borrow for college or post-secondary education. You also cannot refinance loans through Lightstream whose original purpose was higher education.

Hard to Get Approved

For those who are self-employed, it can be difficult to get approved. even though the loan is unsecured, if you don’t own assets this can be a hindrance.

They are invasive about what you want the money for since their APR is based on the intended use. They are also strict about wanting only those borrowers who have high credit scores.

Hard to Contact

A common theme among Lightstream loan reviews is that the company is difficult to communicate with. There is no readily accessible 800 number for you to call.

The Lightstream Verdict

If you are still wondering if Lightstream is legit, here is your definite answer, yes it is. The catch is that you need to be a desirable borrower to qualify for a loan.

If you have the credit score, repayment history, steady income, and assets you will have no problem obtaining a loan. You will need to disclose the purpose of the loan and that will affect your interest rate.

They guarantee the process is easy and will pay you if you aren’t satisfied. Plus you get to feel good about helping the planet knowing a tree will be planted in honor of your loan.

Find out if you qualify for a personal loan today.