LightStream Review Personal Loans 4 2017-05-31 10:31:21

LightStream Review

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Rating:
Bottom Line:
Low interest rates and a satisfaction guarantee make this an excellent choice for those with excellent credit.

Full Review:
If you have excellent credit with a long-standing credit history and need to take out a loan, LightStream Lending — a subsidiary of SunTrust Banks Inc. — promises to deliver low interest rates and fixed monthly payments. LightStream offers some great perks, such as no fees whatsoever, and fast turnaround between applying for the loan and receiving your funds.


Types of Loans Available

LightStream's loans can be used for a myriad of purposes. Tailored toward those with the best credit and a higher income bracket, suggested loan uses include everything from weddings and medical expenses to horses, golf memberships and aircrafts. Custom landing pages for each type of loan show that LightStream is serious about helping customers obtain funds for whatever the specific purpose of their loan request. The only prohibitions on how loans can be used are for college expenses, refinancing existing college loans or using them for business purposes. Refinancing existing LightStream loans is also prohibited.


Borrowers can request loans in amounts from $5,000 up to $100,000 with terms between 24 to 84 months. Rates vary, clocking in as low as 2.19% for those with the best credit and as high as 17.49%, which is still quite low, compared to the rates of many other personal loan services. Rates, terms and the amount you are approved to borrow depend on your qualifications. Rates are fixed for the life of your loan, meaning you will always pay the same amount month to month until your loan is paid off.

These loans are unsecured, meaning you won't have to put up your home or other collateral to borrow money. However, if you apply for an loan to purchase an automobile and do not qualify, LightStream may offer you a second option that would allow you to take out a secured loan specifically for auto purchases.


Qualifying

If you do not have excellent credit, LightStream is probably not the lending service for you. When evaluating an application, LightStream looks for at least five years or more of significant credit history with a variety of account types, such as major credit cards and mortgage debt, to verify that there are no late payments or delinquencies in your payment history. Evidence of ability to save money, such as liquid assets or retirement savings as well as stable, sufficient income are also important in qualifying for a LightStream loan. While those with excellent credit and a substantial credit history are most likely to qualify, LightStream does consider those with good credit on a case-by-case basis.

When completing the application, LightStream requires you to list a major credit card for identity verification purposes. It also notes that if you are reliant on a spouse or family member for income, you must submit a joint application to prevent being rejected.


Application Process

The application process is simple and done entirely online. After completing your online application, you will be emailed with an approval decision. If approved, you will then electronically sign your loan agreement, provide information about your checking account, select a date to receive your funds and choose which date each month you want to make payments. On the selected date, the money will be transferred into your designated checking account. During LightStream's business hours, this process can happen "in minutes" after your application is approved.


Repayment and Fees

LightStream does not charge any fees, including late fees or missed payment fees. Payments can be made automatically through your bank account or you can choose to receive an invoice and pay by check each month. As an incentive for customers to choose the auto-pay option, LightStream offers a reduction of 0.50% on your interest rate. As noted previously, repayment terms can be as short as 24 months to as long as 84 months, and you can request the term you desire during your application period.


Trustworthiness

LightStream is an online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank, which is itself a subsidiary of SunTrust Banks Inc. SunTrust has an A+ rating with the BBB and has been accredited by the organization since 1967, which lends a definite air of confidence to LightStream Financial as a lender.


Customer Support

New and existing customers can contact LightStream through an email form on the website and expect an answer during the company's business hours, which are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

The lack of upfront phone support seems a bit odd for such an established company, but our emails were answered promptly. When we asked, the company's explanation for its nonexistent phone support was that it is more cost effective and helps keep interest rates low. However, they do offer a direct phone line to customers once they have applied for a loan which goes straight to a representative. LightStream does seem to make the customer experience a priority, to the extent of offering a $100 guarantee within 30 days if you aren't satisfied with your loan experience. This guarantee expires 30 days after you receive your loan, and to get the $100, you must contact customer service and fill out a questionnaire detailing your reasons for dissatisfaction.


Conclusion

LightStream's loans are designed for those with excellent credit to borrow money and fund whatever it is they need, be it a new yacht or a head start paying for their child's private K-12 education. The lack of fees and $100 satisfaction guarantee are great incentives to borrow from LightStream, but it is a bit disappointing that it doesn't offer phone support of any kind.

Apply for LightStream | Compare to other Personal Loan Services

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Service Details

Minimum/Maximum Loan Amount:$5,000 - $100,000
APR:2.19% - 17.49%* fixed with autopay

*Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $304.17.
Terms Available:24 - 84 months
Required Credit Rating:680+
Secured/Unsecured:Unsecured; Secured auto loans
Local Branches:No

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