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LightStream and SoFi are both personal loan companies who offer low interest rates and autopay discounts, but there are some distinct differences between them.

Here’s a comparison of both lenders to help you make a sound choice.

 lightstreamsofi personal loans
Fixed rates4.99% - 16.79% APRCheck with lender
Loan amount$5,000 to $100,000$5,000 to $100,000
Loan terms2 to 7 years2 to 7 years
Min. credit score660680
Time to fundAs soon as the same business day3 business days
Origination feeNoneNone
Cosigners permittedYesYes
All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | LightStream payment example | Read more about Rates and Terms

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LightStream personal loans

Whether you’re looking for credit card debt consolidation or money to renovate your bathroom, LightStream has loans designed specifically for your needs. Depending on the use of the loan, you can qualify for a repayment term as long as seven years, and there are no fees (like an origination fee or prepayment penalty). You can borrow between $5,000 and $100,000.

Pros

  • Low interest rates: LightStream boasts low interest rates, and guarantees that it’ll outdo other lenders’ loan rates with their Rate Beat Program. If you find a qualifying lender with a lower rate, LightStream will beat it (terms and conditions apply).
  • Loan experience guarantee: You decide how much you want to borrow and your repayment term. If you’re not satisfied with your loan experience, LightStream will send you $100 (terms and conditions apply).
  • Quick loan disbursement: Depending on the type of loan you take out, you could get your funds as soon as the same business day.
  • Autopay discount: If you sign up for automatic payments prior to loan funding, LightStream will give you a 0.50% interest rate deduction.

Cons

  • Lowest interest rates only available for some loan purposes: Because LightStream offers loans for specific uses — such as weddings or vacations — interest rates vary. The lowest rates are reserved for only some specific loan purposes.
  • Loans only available to those with good credit: LightStream works with customers who have established good credit. If you don’t meet the minimum credit score requirements, you’ll likely need a cosigner, or you won’t qualify for a loan.
  • Loans can only be used for specified expense: With most personal loans, you can use the money however you want. But with LightStream, you must use the money for the expense you specified on your application.

Check out our LightStream review to learn more about its personal loan options.

SoFi personal loans

With SoFi, you can borrow up to $100,000 to make a large purchase or to refinance high-interest debt. There aren’t any origination fees, prepayment fees, or late fees; you only pay the interest on the loan. SoFi offers loan terms as long as seven years.

Pros

  • Unemployment protection: If you lose your job, you may qualify for SoFi’s Unemployment Protection program, which allows you to postpone making monthly payments for three months at a time, up to 12 months.
  • Variable-rate loans: SoFi is one of the few personal loan lenders that offer variable interest rate loans. Variable interest rates tend to start out lower than fixed-rate loans, but can fluctuate over time.
  • Flexible loan payment options: SoFi allows you to change your payment date, making it easier to schedule your monthly payments around when you get paid.

Cons

  • Low autopay discount: While LightStream offers a 0.50% autopay discount, SoFi only offers a 0.25% discount.
  • Funds take longer to disburse: With LightStream, you can get your money as soon as the same business day. But with SoFi, the application process can take longer, and it could take a few days before you get your funds.
  • Not available to all U.S. residents: SoFi personal loans are not available to residents in Mississippi.

For more information on its personal loans, check out our SoFi review.

Learn More: The Best Personal Loans

Choosing a personal loan lender

A personal loan can help you save money on large purchases or on high-interest debt. But before taking out a loan from LightStream or SoFi, make sure you compare offers from other personal loan lenders. By shopping around, you can ensure you get the best loan for your situation.

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The company above is one of Credible’s approved partner lenders. Because they compete for your business through Credible, you can request prequalified rates from them by filling out a single form. Then, you can compare your available options side-by-side. Requesting prequalified rates is free and doesn’t affect your credit score. Credible receives compensation if you close a loan with one of our partner lenders. The rates you receive and the fees you pay (if any) are not impacted by this compensation.


About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 3.99% - 35.99% APR with terms from 24 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 8%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.

About the author
Kat Tretina
Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina is an authority on student loans and a contributor to Credible. Her work has appeared in publications like the Huffington Post, Money Magazine, MarketWatch, Business Insider, and more.

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