LightStream Personal Loans Review [2023]: Pros and Cons

Young woman creating a budget after reading my full LightStream personal loans review.
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Need money – like, now? Then it might be time to consider a personal loan. 

There are currently 21.1 million personal loans active in the United States. 

That means a lot of people decided that a personal loan was right for them. It might be right for you, too.

Wondering how to get a personal loan? Well, the first step is to research potential lenders.

I’ve found a lender that’s seriously worth considering: LightStream.

In this LightStream personal loans review, you’ll learn: 

  • What LightStream loans are like
  • Who qualifies
  • How you can apply

What You Need to Know About LightStream Personal Loans

LightStream Personal loans are consumer-friendly and simple to apply for online. They can be big – offering up to $100,000 – and they also have low-interest rates. 

That makes them perfect for anyone who:

  • Wants to consolidate debt
  • Needs to pay for a major home improvement project
  • Faces some other big expense

There are plenty of reasons to consider using LightStream for a personal loan. 

For one, they don’t charge any fees. 

LightStream personal loans come with zero fees!
LightStream charges zero fees on their personal loan options
Source: LighStream

Yes, “no fees” sometimes means “hidden fees,” – but not here. Other than interest payments, you won’t be charged a dime. Seriously.

Another advantage is that getting a LightStream loan is quick and easy. You can apply online, and some people even get their money the same day. 

If you dread spending weeks buried in paperwork – and who doesn’t? – then this simple online application will be a dream. 

This LightStream personal loans review tells it like it is. 

So, I’ll be clear about the biggest downside: To get a LightStream loan, you need good or excellent credit. That means having a few years of credit history and a credit score in the high 600s. 

Meet those requirements? Then a LightStream personal loan could be perfect for you. 

Image of homeowner using LightStream personal loan to complete home improvement project.
LightStream personal loans are great for funding home improvement projects
Source: Unsplash

How to Qualify for a LightStream Personal Loan

To qualify for a LightStream Personal Loan, you need solid credit and a stable income. Your credit score should be in the high 600s. Also, you’ll need a few years of credit history to fall back on. 

What counts as credit history? 

It could include:

  • Credit cards 
  • Mortgage for a house or property
  • Auto loans

As far as income goes, you’ll need to show that you’re making enough to pay the new LightStream loan AND any debts you already owe. This income should be steady and stable – so sudden influxes of cash won’t cut it. 

LightStream also examines other factors like liquid assets, retirement savings, and credit card debt. 

The company uses this information to determine your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, a key factor in deciding whether someone qualifies for a loan. 

Basically, if you earn a lot and owe just a little, your chances for approval go up.

And what about co-signers and co-applicants? Well, it’s a mixed bag. 

The bad news: LightStream doesn’t allow co-signers. 

The good news: They DO allow co-applicants. That means you can apply alongside someone else, and the company will consider both of your credit histories as it makes its decision.

How to Apply for a LightStream Personal Loan 

Applying for a LightStream personal loan is quick and easy.

View of LightStream’s personal loans mobile app
LightStream has an easy-to-navigate mobile app for access to your loans on the go!
Source: LightStream

Step 1 – Make Sure You’re Eligible 

This means checking your credit score and considering your income.

Step 2 – Decide the Terms You’re After 

Figure out how much you can pay each month – and then determine the APR (annual interest rate) and loan duration that will give you that monthly payment. 

Step 3 – Get Your Documents Together 

You’ll need proof of address, your social security number, and proof of income (pay stubs, W2, etc.). 

Step 4 – Begin Your Online Application

This is where you’ll enter your desired terms and say whether you’re applying alone or with a joint applicant. 

Step 5 – Enter Your Personal Information

Details include your date of birth, your full name, and your sources of income. 

Step 6 – Submit the Application

You’ll likely need to attach some supporting documents like pay stubs or proof of address. 

Step 7 – Wait for Your Response

Consumers often hear back from LightStream the very same day!

One thing to remember: Even after your application has been approved, your due diligence as a consumer isn’t over. The next step? Make a solid plan for paying back the loan. Missed payments will hurt your credit score – so it’s best to avoid them.

Person filling out a LightStream personal loan application online using their laptop
One benefit of LightStream is that you can fill out your entire application online.
Source: Unsplash

Are LightStream Loans Legitimate?

LightStream loans are a legitimate option for anyone who needs money right away. 

I get that LightStream isn’t yet a household name – and that can make people nervous. I’m also wary when it comes to dealing with little-known financial institutions.

But in this case, everything checks out. 

For one thing, LightStream is part of Truist – a massive bank that’s even traded on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Also, many online reviewers seem happy with their loans. Combine a trustworthy institution with a track record of satisfied companies – and you’ve got a lender you can count on. 

I know the terms seem too good to be true – but that’s why it’s tough to qualify. Not any person can get a LightStream loan. 

You need good to excellent credit – with a steady income.

And if you have those credentials? Then you’ve found yourself a legitimate option for killer terms on a personal loan. 

Is LightStream Safe?

All the evidence suggests that LightStream is safe and reliable. 

I wouldn’t waste my time writing a LightStream personal loans review if I thought the product was dangerous! 

LightStream has a solid reputation – but that doesn’t mean a LightStream personal loan is the right choice for you. 

Taking on more debt only makes sense if you have the discipline to pay your way out of it. But, as far as the credibility of this lender is concerned, it seems you have nothing to worry about. 

Pros and Cons of LightStream Personal Loans

This LightStream Personal Loans review aims to be fair and balanced – which is why I’m laying out the pros and cons as clearly as I can. 

Yes, LightStream is a great option for plenty of people – but no financial option is perfect. 

Here are the pros and cons to consider:

Pros: 

  • Low-interest rates. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rates could be.
  • No fees. Even late fees aren’t a thing with LightStream (although you will face interest accrual if you miss payments).
  • Terms from 2-12 years. Want a short loan with lower interest rates? You got it. Need a longer loan, even if the rates are a bit higher? You can get that, too. 
  • Special features for home improvement projects. LightStream’s unsecured home improvement loans mean you can get funding for your next project without putting your home up as collateral. It’s a great option for swimming pools, solar panels, and other major projects. 

Cons:

  • No prequalification. That means they’ll do a “hard pull” to check your credit – a process that can cause a dip in your credit score. 
  • Minimum loan is $5,000. If you’re looking for just a modest loan, this isn’t the product for you.
  • Tough to qualify. You’ll need years of credit history and a good or excellent credit score.

LightStream Personal Loan Reviews 

So now you know what I think about LightStream. But what are other people saying about it? 

Well, a tour of LightStream personal loan reviews suggests that people are generally happy with the product.

On Reddit, a consumer asked what others thought of LightStream.

Person asking about LightStream personal loans user experience on Reddit forum
LightStream offers personal loans ranging from $5,000 up to $100,000
Source: Reddit

People responded by sharing their own positive experiences with the brand.

People responding to Reddit forum post discussing their experience using LightStream for auto loans
LightStream offers personal loan options for home, auto, debt consolidation, and more!
Source: Reddit
Person explaining on Reddit forum that they just got approved for a LightStream personal loan and set up autopay.
LightStream offers lower interest rates for users who sign up for autopay
Source: Reddit

Of course, every product gets some bad reviews, too. Rose, whose review on ConsumerAffairs appears below, was frustrated to see her application for a loan denied. 

LightStream customer is upset they were not approved for an additional personal loan.
LightStream personal loans can be difficult to get approved for
Source: ConsumerAffairs

Josh posted on Consumer Affairs to complain about a similar issue. 

Person leaving a negative review because they are upset that they were not approved for a LightStream personal loan.
LightStream runs a hard credit check when you apply for a personal loan
Source: ConsumerAffairs

Qualifying for a LightStream loan isn’t easy – and it’s normal for people to respond with anger when they’ve been rejected.

Commonly Asked Questions About LightStream Personal Loans

Does LightStream Ask for Proof of Income? 

Yes. LightStream asks applicants to prove their income. Before applying, make sure you have access to paystubs, W-2 forms, and other documentation that shows your earnings.

What Bank Owns LightStream?

Truist Bank owns and operates LightStream. Formerly called SunTrust Bank, Truist is the 7th-largest bank in the United States

What is the Interest Rate for LightStream Loans? 

Interest rates for LightStream loans are generally quite low. Rates vary by loan type:

  • Personal loans: 7.99%–23.99% APR. 
  • Home improvement loans: 6.99%–20.74% APR. 
  • Auto loans: 5.99%-15.14% APR.

All of these rates include the discount for using LightStream’s autopay feature. 

Does LightStream Give Instant Approval? 

LightStream gives approval the same day you apply – or the next day if you submit your application later in the day. 

LightStream Loan Requirements? 

Getting a loan from LightStream requires a credit score in the high 600s, several years of credit history, and a steady income that will allow you to make all your debt payments. Not sure your credit is at that level? Don’t worry! You can find other lenders that are ideal for bad credit

What Credit Company Does LightStream Use? 

LightStream says it uses TransUnion or Equifax to conduct a “hard pull” of an applicant’s credit history. What’s a hard pull? Equifax itself defines a hard pull or “hard inquiry” as a review of your credit history that has a negative effect on your credit score. 

Can LightStream Loan Be Paid Off Early? 

LightStream doesn’t charge prepayment penalties – meaning you can pay your loan off early. This is a great option if you can swing it. You’ll save serious money on interest – and enjoy the freedom of living without debt.  

Who is LightStream Best For? 

LightStream is best for people with good or excellent credit who need money quickly. It’s especially useful for consolidating debt or getting money for a home improvement project.

How Long Does LightStream Take to Approve?

LightStream offers same-day approval – as long as you submit your application in the morning. Otherwise, you might have to wait until the next day. 

Does LightStream Do a Hard Credit Check? 

LightStream uses a hard credit check to make sure applicants meet its requirements. This could have a negative effect on your credit score – less than 5 points, usually. Still, avoid applying for too many personal loans at once. The effects can add up quickly to really damage your credit score.