LightStream Personal Loan Review: Low Rates for Creditworthy Borrowers

LightStream Personal Loan Review: Low Rates for Creditworthy Borrowers

Get Personal Loan Rates

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If you have good to excellent credit, LightStream offers some of the lowest rates you can find for an online personal loan. You can also borrow up to $100,000 through this lender, which is higher than what many other personal loan companies can offer. Annual percentage rates (APRs) at LightStream vary by loan purpose and loan terms are between 2 and 12 years. One downside to LightStream is that you cannot use any of its loans for business purposes or postsecondary education.

LightStream Personal Loan Review: Should You Apply?

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LightStream is a good choice for a personal loan if you have a good to excellent credit score and/or you need to borrow more than the standard $35,000 to $40,000. Through LightStream, you can borrow between $5,000 to $100,000 for a variety of uses, including car purchases, debt consolidation, home improvement and wedding financing. APRs at LightStream differ depending on loan purpose with terms between two to seven years.

Good for...
Bad for...
  • Borrowers with good to excellent credit
  • Joint applications
  • Using funds for postsecondary education purposes

We think LightStream is a great choice for borrowers who are particularly fee conscious. There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. Furthermore, if you set up AutoPay on your account, you will receive 0.5% deduction to your APR. For example, if you take out a $10,000 loan with a three-year term and a 4.99% APR, each monthly payment would be $299.66. But if you elect to use AutoPay, your APR would be 4.49%, and each monthly payment would be $297.42. You would save $80.64 over the life of the loan.

For borrowers with good to excellent credit, LightStream can offer very competitive APRs. In addition to your credit history, your APR will be based on the loan purpose, amount and term with shorter term loans typically seeing lower APRs. When you apply for a loan, you will need to select whether to pay via AutoPay or invoicing. If you select AutoPay, your APR will be quoted with the AutoPay discount. If you select invoicing, the APR quoted will be 0.5% higher.

Another thing we like about LightStream is that you can get a better APR from this lender if you shop around and bring back a lower offer from another lender. LightStream offers a Rate Beat Program in which the lender will beat a quoted APR from another lender by 0.1% (conditions apply). For instance, if you are quoted a 10% APR on a $10,000 three-year loan from another lender, you could apply for the Rate Beat Program through LightStream to receive an APR of 9.9%.

You cannot use a LightStream loan to fund college or postsecondary education, refinance student loans, refinance an existing LightStream loan or to fund a business.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a LightStream personal loan, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Several years of credit history and variety of account types
  • Demonstrated ability to save
  • Low debt-to-income ratio

Meeting these criteria won't guarantee that you'll be approved for a LightStream loan, but it will improve your chances.

LightStream Personal Loan Terms and Requirements

LightStream offers a variety of personal loans catered to different needs: auto loans, debt consolidation loans, home improvement loans, wedding loans and more. The APRs are based in part on the loan purpose, amount and duration.

Loan Amount Range
$5,000 - $100,000
APR Range2.49% - 19.99%
  • No origination fee
  • No prepayment penalty
Loan Terms2 to 12 years*
Repayment OptionsMonthly
Direct Payment to CreditorsNo

*Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $304.17.

Application Process

To apply, you’ll need to begin by filling out some information about the loan: namely, how you will use the loan proceeds, how much you want, how many months you want to pay back and how you will pay the loan. You’ll then need to enter personal information, such as your address, Social Security number, employment and income information and any property information.

Application Process
Time to Get FundsVaries, same-day funding available (conditions apply)
Credit CheckHard credit check when you apply
Credit ReportingYes
Cosigners/Co-borrowers Allowed?Yes

You may be required to upload documents to verify your identity, employment and income. Once you submit your application, you should receive a quick response during business hours. If approved, you can login to sign the loan documentation and set a funding date. You’ll be able to specify how and when you receive funds (up to 30 days from approval), with possible same-day funding. To qualify for same-day funding, you’ll need to apply and get approved on a business day and complete a few steps by 2:30pm ET that day: review and electronically sign the loan agreement, provide LightStream with your funding preferences and banking information and complete the final verification process.

Image depicting application form on LightStream website
LightStream Application Process

How Does LightStream Compare to Other Lenders?

If you’re thinking about getting a personal loan from LightStream, it’s still wise to shop around. We take a look at how LightStream compares to some of its competitors.

LightStream vs. LendingClub

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LendingClub is a good option if you can’t quite meet the recommended credit requirements for LightStream. You’ll only need a credit score of 640 to apply for a LendingClub loan, which is lower than the recommended 660 credit score for a LightStream loan. LendingClub also allows direct payment to your creditors, which some borrowers may prefer if they are consolidating a lot of debt. However, you can only borrow up to $40,000 through LendingClub, so LightStream is a better option if you need more money or have better credit history.

LightStream vs. SoFi

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SoFi offers very similar rates, terms and features as LightStream for its personal loans, so we recommend creditworthy borrowers check their rate at both lenders. Similarly to LightStream, you'll need to have established credit history and a good credit score to qualify. One unique advantage SoFi does offer is unemployment protection. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, SoFi will suspend your monthly loan payments and even provide job placement assistance during this period.

LightStream vs. Discover

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If you need more than $35,000 or have an excellent credit score, you’ll likely get a better deal by taking out a loan with LightStream than with Discover. With Discover, you can borrow up to $35,000 for 3 to 3 years. APRs are a bit higher at Discover, ranging from 5.99% to 24.99%, but as with LightStream, there are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. To be eligible to apply for a Discover loan, you will need to have a good to excellent credit score (typically above 660) and minimum household income of $25,000.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.