Editorial Review

LightStream Personal Loans: 2019 Review

Low rates and high loan amounts make LightStream an option for consolidating debt or financing home improvements or other large purchases.

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: LightStream targets strong-credit borrowers with no fees and low rates that vary based on loan purpose.

Lightstream

on LightStream's website

on LightStream's website

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

3.99-16.99%

Loan Amount

$5,000-$100,000

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No fees.

  • Co-sign option.

  • Low starting rates.

Cons
  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

Compare to Other Lenders

Lightstream
SoFi
Earnest
Est. APR

3.99-16.99%

Est. APR

5.99-16.79%

Est. APR

6.99-18.24%

Loan Term

2 to 7 years

Loan Term

2 to 7 years

Loan Term

3 to 5 years

Loan Amount

$5,000-$100,000

Loan Amount

$5,000-$100,000

Loan Amount

$5,000-$75,000

Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Credit Score

680

Min. Credit Score

680

Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders

Compare Rates

Full Review

To review LightStream, NerdWallet collected more than 30 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives and compared the lender with others that seek the same type of customer or offer a similar personal loan product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.

LightStream, the online lending arm of SunTrust Bank, offers personal loans that can be used for almost any purpose, including debt consolidation, home improvement, auto or boat purchase, and medical and dental costs.

Interest rates vary based on the loan purpose as well as the loan amount and your credit profile.

How to qualify: 

  • Minimum credit score of 660.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on loan purpose.

Best of 2019: NerdWallet recognized LightStream among our list of Best Personal Loans of 2019 in the categories of good credit and home improvement.

Home improvement loans: Borrowers with excellent credit looking to finance a home improvement project may qualify for extended loan terms up to 12 years, with no appraisals or home equity requirements. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000, with interest rates starting around 5%.

Longer repayment terms can make monthly payments more affordable on expensive home projects, such as a kitchen remodel, swimming pool or solar panel installation.

Hard credit check: LightStream does a hard pull on loan applications that originate on its website. However, the lender uses a soft credit check to pre-qualify applicants if you apply through NerdWallet.

Rate beat program: LightStream says it will beat a competitor’s interest rate by one-tenth of a percentage point, assuming you can show you are approved by the competitor for a regular fixed-rate loan with the same amount, term, purpose and payment method.

Satisfaction guarantee: LightStream offers $100 back for unhappy borrowers who have had their loan for less than 30 days. You must contact the company and fill out a questionnaire to receive the $100.

Before you shop for a personal loan

Pre-qualify on NerdWallet

NerdWallet recommends comparing loans to find the best rate for you. Click the button below to pre-qualify on NerdWallet. You may receive personalized rates from multiple lenders that partner with us, including LightStream. Pre-qualifying will not impact your credit.

Apply on LightStream

When you apply for a loan on LightStream’s website, you’ll be asked to select your loan purpose. You can then view the range of potential interest rates you might receive for that purpose. You can apply on your own or with a co-signer. Applicants receive a dedicated customer service phone number and email address if assistance is needed.

on LightStream's website

Personal Loans Rating Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus, and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.