LightStream review


Best for: wealthy borrowers with strong credit who need fast funding, or to deal with their car purchase.

LightStream is a web-based lender division of Truist, resulting from the merge of SunTrust Bank with BB&T of North Carolina; the company aims to provide good to exceptional credit borrowers with affordable rates and a remarkably streamlined loan application.

With offices in San Diego, Light Stream was acquired from SunTrust Bank in 2012, and since then has funded hundred thousand loans for practically anything, among which vehicle loans: motorbikes, new, used, and classic cars, lease buyout, auto loan refinancing.

The company emphasized simplifying the whole process of obtaining a loan, and offering the best loan conditions to borrowers who demonstrate to be financially responsible: as such, you must exhibit a few years of credit history that can witness good debt management, and to grant its loans LightStream is clear about that it looks at your assets, savings, payments history, and requires a solid income. Indeed, qualifying for a LightStream auto loan may not be that easy.


Borrowable amounts, terms, minimum credit score, and requirements.


With a LightStream auto loan, you can borrow up to $100,000, with repayment terms from 2 to 7 years, and rates that can be considered among the lowest in the car loans scenario. Plus, there are none of the several fees that you might typically find when you embark on a car loan. Potential late fees are applied after 18 days of a missed payment at the due date, which is enough window to minimize the contingency.

LightStream can provide both unsecured and secured auto loans: the latter option is more suitable to you if your creditworthyness isn’t enough to qualify, or in case you want to access a more affordable rate. However, choosing a secured car loan is going to put some limitations as to the kind of vehicle to be financed; this means, your own car will be used as collateral in case you won’t be able to make repayments.

A “good” credit is a basic requirement for making sure you can actually obtain a loan from LightStream. Qualified candidates commonly have a good FICO score, which is of at least 670, just as a solid record as a consumer: your debt-to-income ratio must not ideally exceed 25%.

Once you are approved, you can use their funds for the specific purposes declared in your agreement during the application phase. There are nearly any limitations and constraints on vehicles: you can purchase your fantasy car, regardless of its make, model, year, or mileage.

Here is a prospect of the main general conditions of LightStream auto loans:

Loan amounts $5,000-$100,000
Interest Rate Type
Fixed only
Origination, application, prepayment fees
Good or excellent credit, enough income or assets to afford a new loan, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Credit score


On top of loans for a conventional new auto purchase, LightStream also offers a bunch of other financing options for your car:


  • Used car purchase from a dealer
  • Used auto purchase from a private party
  • Refinancing an existing car loan
  • Auto leasing.

LightStream optimizes the loan application procedure: it is basically paperless, with no compelling reason to round out plenty of desk work, talk with an officer, or even take a step inside a bank. In order to apply, you will need to provide: some personal details, information about income and kind of job, owned assets, and existing debt obligations. In most cases, approved candidates may get same-day subsidizing.

By the way, LightStream has one of the shortest disbursement periods among car lenders, settling on it an extraordinary decision on the off chance that you need to be funded quickly. This, joined with moderately high loan possible amounts is a great combo, to greater reason if you are about purchasing collectibles or fascinating vehicles.

Payments are made monthly, and if desired, you are allowed to make extra or early repayments, to reduce the payoff term.

Annual Percentage Rates (APR).

Your loan APR will be determined on a set of parameters, among which upon the term you choose. Generally, longer terms correlate with higher interest rates. With LightStream you can obtain a loan term for your auto financing as short as 24 months. If you want the lowest rate, the most ideal term you can take is 36 months, (based anyway on your own personal financial situation), but looking at a certain term it’s still useful in estimating where you stand as for getting the best rate.

LightStream car loans are quite versatile and can be crafted to fit your needs.

Here is a scheme about current APRs: these apply for new/used from dealer/refinancing auto loans.


Loan amounts $5,000-$100,000
Interest Rate Type
Fixed only
Origination, application, prepayment fees
Good or excellent credit, enough income or assets to afford a new loan, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Credit score



LightStream only offers a fixed rate. The above rates will include the 0.5% discount on the rate if you choose to set automatic repayments while completing your application.

Those are reference ranges, and your exact final rate will be highly dependant on your credit profile: LightStream offer borrowers with a good or better credit rating among the best rates in the industry

APRs are different in the following cases:

• Used Auto Purchase from Individual: 3.49% to 10.49%

• Auto Lease Buyout: 3.49% to 10.49%

• Motorcycle Purchase or Refinance: 4.29% to 11.89%

LightStream offers a program called “Rate Beat” for unsecured loans. This is kind of like an APR matching program with an added promise to do 0.10% better (once certain conditions are met both from you and other lenders). This way, the company strives to stand out from its competitors.

In summary, understand if LightStream suits you:


  • Competitive starting rates
  • No fees.
  • 0.5% rate discount for automatic payments
  • Quick disbursement
  • Plenty of vehicle purchase modalities available
  • Auto loan refinancing available


  • Does not offer pre-qualification.
  • Lots of financial requisites, several years of credit history

The pros of LightStream car loans


Low rates for anybody with good to excellent credit


In case you are in good standing (high credit score over 660, a blend of credit account types, varied assets, few or no deficient installments, and a consistent income), Lightstream loan rates could be difficult to beat.

Starting from 2.49% is likely to be relevant to you since this is a lower base than most online lenders requiring a 660 or higher credit score.

LightStream may offer a rate of 0.1% lower than what’s offered to you by a contending bank. To exploit this perk, you should show proof that you were endorsed for another loan with similar terms offered by LightStream around the same time. To see accurate terms visit their Rate Beat page.

No expenses

LightStream doesn’t need any further costs, such as application and origination fees. Moreover, there’s no prepayment penalty for paying off the loan early. Residents of Florida should pay a state stamp charge, notwithstanding.


The Cons of LightStream car loans


Just accessible to customers with great credit

A credit score of 670 is a base prerequisite. Lightstream likewise precludes borrowers with a restricted history of taking out loans or utilizing credit cards. To even qualify, LightStream requires at least five years of credit history and no deliquent records.

Not possible to get a rate quote, with a hard credit check on your application

Despite its low rates, it must be mentioned that, unlike most lenders, LightStream doesn’t include a pre-approval stage, where you can see an estimation of your final rate, but you will have to go through the final application, which will impose a hard inquiry on your credit score.

On the other hand, LightStream declares its APRs, so that you know how much your loan will cost: there is great transparency, which not necessarily you will find elsewhere.

How do you apply for a LightStream car loan?


What will be available to you is all dependent on getting approved. Thankfully the application process is easy: done entirely online, it takes just a few minutes, and you may get the response in a matter of hours. Gaining access to funds is also fast and can happen within the same day of approval. This makes the whole process relatively painless.

In order to help smooth out any issues that might occur during this delicate phase, the company also offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy about the service within 30 days of getting approved, LightStream will send you $100.

Customer service

On the lender website, you will find a comprehensive FAQ page, and the customer service team has a good rating among its users.

LightStream isn’t evaluated by the Better Business Bureau. However, its parent organization, SunTrust Bank, got an A+ rating from it, which in short means a very good capability to deal with complaints. Truth be told, you will find an overall subpar reputation among online customers who left their reviews, although there is little online feedback, and this scarcity of reviews can be misleading. In essence, there is quite a common dissatisfaction from customers who saw their application denied for unclarified reasons, so it seems that satisfying financial requisites isn’t easy. On the other hand, borrowers from LightStream who finalized their loans appreciate ease and speed of application, are comfortable with rates and experience with the company, claiming to never have faced any problem.


Final verdict

LightStream is a great option if you are a good-standing borrower who needs to be funded fast and you value saving, thanks to rates that can be considered affordable, along with available discounts. If you rely most on other customers’ words and prefer to live by an impeccable experience, then it is likely better to consider other car lenders. And if don’t have good creditworthyness, chances are that you will be cut out.