Lightstream offers unsecured personal loans for just about any purpose, but it’s not your run-of-the-mill online lender.
If you need to borrow money but you don’t want to get stuck paying a ton of interest, check out what www.lightstream.com has to offer.
Lightstream is the online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank, which has corporate offices in both Atlanta, Georgia and Richmond, Virginia. In 2012, SunTrust acquired the assets of FirstAgain LLC, an online consumer lender, and relaunched it as Lightstream. Loans issued through Lightstream are funded by SunTrust.
Applying for a loan
To qualify for a Lightstream loan, you’ll need good credit and a steady source of income.
You don’t need to be a SunTrust customer to get approved. Some of the factors Lightstream wants to see before approving a loan include:
- Several years of credit history.
- A credit history with a variety of account types, such as major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), and installment debt (car loans).
- A good payment history.
- An ability to save, as demonstrated by ownership of stocks, bonds, bank deposits, or retirement savings. Previous cash down payments on real estate and payments on revolving credit card debt.
- Stable and sufficient income and assets to repay current debts, plus the new loan from LightStream.
To apply, you’ll need to complete the online application which takes just a few minutes. You’ll need to tell Lightstream how much you want to borrow, how long of a loan term you need and what you plan to use the money for.
Once you plug that in, you’ll get a quick estimate of what range your rate and monthly payment will fall into.
If there are no snags with your application, it’s possible to get approved and have the loan funded in the same day. Funds are deposited into your bank account electronically and you’ll need a valid Visa or MasterCard for verification purposes to get the money.
Rates, terms and fees
You can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 with Lightstream — quite a bit more than many online lenders allow. As of December 2015, interest rates start between 1.99 percent and 11.99 percent, depending on what you need the loan for. For example, the 1.99 percent APR applies if you’re buying a car. But if you’re using the money to consolidate debt, rates start at 5.99 percent.
Loan terms start at 24 months and go up to 84 months, based on how much you borrow. The rates are fixed and according to the website, Lightstream doesn’t charge fees of any kind for its loans, including prepayment penalties.
Lightstream’s parent company, SunTrust, has an A+ rating from the Richmond, Virginia chapter of the Better Business Bureau.
Some of the factors that contribute to its high rating include the length of time the company has been in business, the volume of complaints filed relative to its size and how SunTrust has responded to and resolved those complaints.
In all, 812 complaints have been resolved within the last three years, but the BBB doesn’t specify how many of them were filed in connection with Lightstream. There were a dozen customer reviews listed, but none involved Lightstream or its loan products.
We checked other review sites to see what borrowers are saying and the feedback positive overall. In particular, Lightstream earned praise for how quick and easy its application process is.
The bottom line
Its higher lending limits and lower rates set Lightstream apart from the crowd and the lack of fees only adds to its appeal. The only caveat about getting a loan from Lightstream is that you’ll need a higher credit score to qualify. If your credit score is in the average range you may need to look elsewhere.
Compare rates and terms offered by multiple, vetted lenders at Credible.com.
Rebecca Lake is a writer and blogger who specializes in all things finance. She likes writing about debt, credit, investing, retirement, taxes, college planning, insurance and real estate.