Pros & Cons
- No fees.
- Competitive rates among online lenders.
- Offers 0.5 percentage point rate discount for setting up autopay.
- Special features including rate beat program and satisfaction guarantee.
- No option to pre-qualify on its website.
- Requires several years of credit history.
- Doesn't offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
Compare to Other Lenders
2 to 7 years
3 to 5 years
Min. credit score
Min. credit score
Min. credit score
Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders
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LightStream offers personal loans with low rates and no fees for borrowers with good to excellent credit.
Among its many consumer-friendly features, LightStream allows borrowers to choose when they receive their money. It can deposit funds into your account as early as the same day or up to 30 days after approval. Scheduling a later fund date can allow time to plan for your first payment or give you flexibility in aligning your loan with the start of a home improvement project or other large expense.
» COMPARE: Best personal loans
LightStream is best for borrowers who:
Have good or excellent credit (690 FICO or higher) and several years of credit history.
Are considering a personal loan for home improvement.
Want a large loan at a competitive rate.
LightStream at a glance
Key terms to know about personal loans
Where LightStream stands out
Low rates and no fees: LightStream offers low starting rates, but they vary based on loan amount, purpose, repayment term and the applicant’s credit profile, according to the lender. Excellent credit is required to receive the lowest rates, and borrowers who choose autopay can receive a rate discount of 0.5 percentage points.
LightStream also doesn't charge fees for loan origination, late payments or prepayment.
Term availability: LightStream’s wide window of available repayment terms (two to seven years for most loans) gives borrowers the option to prioritize less overall interest with a shorter term or lower monthly payments with a longer term.
Special home improvement features: Borrowers with good or excellent credit looking to finance a home improvement project may qualify for extended loan terms up to 20 years, with no appraisals or home equity requirements. Longer repayment terms can make monthly payments more affordable on expensive home projects, like a kitchen remodel, solar panel installation or swimming pool addition. The lender can also delay funding a loan for up to 90 days, which gives you more time to coordinate the remodel without additional interest.
Rate beat program: LightStream says it will beat a competitor’s interest rate by one-tenth of a percentage point if you can show you are approved by the competitor for an unsecured, fixed-rate loan with the same terms.
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.
» MORE: Best good-credit lenders
Where LightStream falls short
Hard credit check: LightStream’s loan calculator displays example rates based on your desired loan purpose and loan amount, but the lender only offers a hard pull to applications that originate on its website. However, it uses a soft credit check to pre-qualify applicants through NerdWallet.
No direct payment to creditors: Unlike other lenders, LightStream doesn't send payments directly to creditors when you consolidate debts with a loan. Instead, borrowers have to keep track of their own repayments.
Limited customer service options: Applicants who have questions are directed to an email form on LightStream’s website. According to the lender, once you become a customer, you are provided a phone number to contact customer service.
» MORE: Best online loans
How to qualify for a LightStream loan
Minimum credit score: 660.
Several years of credit history.
Multiple account types within your credit history, like major credit cards, a car loan or other installment loan and a mortgage.
Strong payment history with few or no delinquencies.
Investments, retirement savings or other evidence of an ability to save money.
Enough income to pay existing debts and a new LightStream loan.
Loan example: A four-year, $20,000 loan with an 11.2% APR would cost $519 in monthly payments. You’d pay $4,905 in total interest on that 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
You can fill out an application on LightStream’s website. After entering some personal information, you’ll be presented with loan options.
NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.
Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.
This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.
Frequently asked questions
LightStream can approve your personal loan application the same day you submit it, as long as you provide all the required information.
The minimum credit score to apply for a LightStream personal loan is 660. Borrowers with good or excellent credit are most likely to qualify.
LightStream is the online lending arm of Truist Bank. It offers personal loans for borrowers with good or excellent credit.