LightStream Personal Loans Review: Is It Right for You?

Christy Bieber is a personal finance and legal writer with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured on major outlets including MSN Money, CNBC, and USA Today.

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LightStream caters to borrowers with good credit and offers ample perks for those who qualify. The lender's promise to beat any qualifying rate, combined with a $100 loan experience guarantee, means borrowers eligible for a LightStream loan can't go wrong.

Ratings Methodology
Lending Partner Best For Min. Credit Score Loan Amounts APR Range

LightStream

Best For:

Borrowers with good credit

Min. Credit Score:

660

Loan Amounts:

$5,000-$100,000

APR Range:

5.49%-17.49%

Top perks

Low-rate guarantee: If you can provide evidence a competing lender offered a lower rate on the same terms, LightStream will beat it by 0.10 percentage points.

Fast funding: The loan application process can be completed online with timely responses during business hours. Approved borrowers can receive funds the same day.

A customer experience guarantee: LightStream customers who receive a loan but who weren't satisfied with their experience can complete a questionnaire and receive $100.

Flexibility: LightStream has very few restrictions on how borrowed funds can be used. Consumers can obtain loans for most purposes, including paying medical expenses, home improvements, weddings, buying a car, boat or an aircraft, or debt consolidation. You can't repay student loans, borrow to fund your education or buy stocks, or refinance existing LightStream loans. Loans are only available to individuals, not businesses.

No fees or prepayment penalties: You will pay no fees with LightStream, even if you want to repay your loan early.

Large loan amounts: LightStream offers between $5,000 and $100,000 in financing to qualified borrowers.

What could be improved

Strict qualification requirements: The lender is very restrictive in its approval process. It could offer loans to a wider pool of would-be borrowers, even if it had to do so at higher rates.

How to qualify for a LightStream personal loan

You'll generally need the following to qualify for a LightStream loan:

  • Good or excellent credit: You'll need several years of credit history and your credit report should include a mix of different types of accounts.
  • Substantial assets: Borrowers generally need to have some liquid assets such as retirement savings or real estate with equity.
  • Limited debt: Your revolving debt, including credit card debt, must be at a manageable level.
  • Proof of income: Your source of income must be stable and you must make enough to show you can repay the loan.
  • A strong payment history: You should have no delinquencies on your credit record.

LightStream's application process

LightStream's entire application process can be completed online in four steps:

  1. Select the type of application and loan purpose.
  2. Provide your personal information.
  3. You'll be asked a few security questions to confirm your identity.
  4. Review your information and submit your application.

Your application will receive a swift response if submitted during business hours. If approved, you'll need to e-sign your loan agreement, submit any additional requested documentation, and provide information on funding.

Once you've finished these steps, you can get funding as soon as the same day.

Alternatives to consider

LightStream is an option for you only if you want to borrow at least $5,000 and if you have good or excellent credit. If you want to borrow less or you're unable to qualify, you'll need to consider a different lender. Here are a few options:

  • If you need to borrow only a small sum, Upstart, Laurel Road, or LendingClub provide financing with loan amounts as low as $1,000.
  • If you don't have a long credit history or your credit score isn't high enough to qualify for LightStream, other lenders have more flexible approval requirements. OneMain Financial provides funding to borrowers with bad credit, albeit at high rates, while Upstart considers more than just your credit score, so you may be able to get approved based on your job history and education.

LightStream is right for you if:

  • You have the credentials to qualify and want both low rates and excellent customer service guaranteed.
  • You want to receive funding very quickly.
  • You need to borrow a larger sum, as LightStream provides loans of up to $100,000.

If LightStream doesn't sound like a fit for you, we'd suggest exploring your options among the best personal loans on the market now.

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