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If you’re planning to purchase a vehicle or refinance your current auto loan, you may be considering financial services from a company called LightStream. But is a LightStream auto loan the best option for you?

LightStream offers products and services that meet a variety of consumer needs, including purchase loans and refinancing for cars, homes, medical bills, and even weddings. In this review, we take a closer look at LightStream’s auto loans, explaining the application process, loan details, and LightStream’s customer reputation.

 

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About LightStream

LightStream is a subsidiary of Truist bank, which has operated for over 120 years. Recently, SunTrust merged with BB&T to become Truist Financial Corporation. Truist is currently the sixth-largest bank holding company in the United States, and through LightStream, borrowers can get loans for auto purchases, home improvement, debt consolidation, swimming pools, medical bills, weddings, timeshares, and boats.

LightStream is headquartered in San Diego. However, you can't get service in person at a branch. LightStream auto loans are only available online.

LightStream Pros LightStream Cons
Offered through a bank with an established reputation May not offer loans to those with bad or no credit
High loan amount limits Doesn’t have a shining customer service reputation
No fees  
Broad range of loans available  
 

LightStream Auto Loans: Borrowing Limits, Interest Rates, And Fees

You can use a LightStream auto loan to refinance your existing auto loan or to purchase a new, used, or classic car. LightStream funds your account directly, which means you can negotiate at the dealership as if you were paying with cash. Details about loan amounts, interest rates, and term lengths are outlined in the chart below.

LightStream Auto Loan Details
Loan Amount Range $5,000 to $100,000
Loan Term Length 24 to 84 months*
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) 3.99 to 10.49** percent (with AutoPay and Excellent Credit)
Origination Fee None
Prepayment Penalty None
 

Rate range as of 5/18/2022.

Your loan’s APR will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Your credit profile
  • Your loan purpose
  • The loan amount you choose
  • The payment term you choose
  • The payment method that you choose

With LightStream's autopay discount, you can save 0.5 percentage points off your APR if you choose to use autopay instead of making manual monthly payments.  

LightStream Loan Experience Guarantee

The LightStream Loan Experience Guarantee*** promises to send $100 dollars to any customer that is unsatisfied with their loan experience. To collect this money, customers need to notify LightStream of their dissatisfaction within 30 days of receiving their loan and complete a questionnaire by email.


LightStream Auto Loan Application Process

Anyone can apply for a LightStream auto loan online and expect to receive a quick response. Simply be ready to provide your social security number and work history information. After a loan is offered, you can electronically sign your loan agreement and complete the paperwork entirely online. Borrowers can apply for a loan and receive funds on the same business day.

There is no application fee, nor are there restrictions for vehicle age and mileage. While LightStream does not list a minimum credit score requirement for applicants, it does look for customers that have:

  • Several years of credit history
  • A demonstrated ability to save by having assets such as cash for a down payment, retirement savings, or a home
  • Stable and sufficient income
  • A good debt-payment history

Drivers with excellent credit or even good credit will most likely be approved, but those with extremely low or no credit may have to look elsewhere. As with other lenders, drivers with the best credit records will find the lowest rates.

 

LightStream Auto Loan Reviews And Reputation

LightStream is accredited by the BBB and holds an A+ rating. However, the company only has a 1.7 out of 5.0-star customer review score. That said, the company's BBB page only has a handful of customer reviews at this time.

LightStream has replied to all complaints on its BBB profile. Many complaints and negative reviews are from customers who were denied a loan. One customer seems to have encountered a scam impersonating LightStream, which offered them a fake loan and required various payments upfront. LightStream doesn't charge payment processing fees or payment insurance fees.

Below are examples of positive and negative LightStream reviews:

“[It was] basically the easiest loan with the best rate I have ever applied for. It took 23 hours from online application to cash in my bank.”

- Karen. via BBB

"I have submitted loan applications maybe two times to LightStream [...] My recent one was on ****** where I was denied again, and this is unfair as I have all of the requirements for the loan."

- Anonymous via BBB

There weren’t too many positive reviews posted to the BBB website, though some customers who had loans approved seemed pleased with the application process.


Our LightStream Rating: 3.5 Stars

LightStream loans are offered through an established and reputable bank. This allows the company to offer high loan amounts at relatively low APRs. LightStream is a direct provider of auto loans, so customers can have their loan applications processed quickly and even receive money the same day they apply (conditions apply).

Overall, here’s how we rate LightStream:

Motor1 Rating 3.5
Loan Details 4.0
Loan Availability 3.5
Application Process 4.0
Customer Service 3.0
 

The most concerning factor for LightStream is its parent company’s poor customer review profile. There are not many positive reviews online, and many customers seem to have difficulty receiving the service they want. However, given the size of Truist, the volume of complaints is relatively low.

 

FAQ: LightStream Auto Loans

Are LightStream auto loans fixed-rate?

Yes, all LightStream loans are fixed-rate installment loans. This means market fluctuations won't influence your auto loan rate. You'll pay the same interest rate for the life of the loan.

What credit score do you need for a LightStream auto loan?

LightStream does not explicitly list a minimum credit score. Borrowers with good to excellent credit can qualify. The best rates are available for borrowers with excellent credit.

Is it hard to get approved by LightStream?

LightStream's approval guidelines are a bit more strict than other lenders. LightStream prefers that you have built a good credit history over time and have a good score. LightStream also doesn't offer a preapproval process for a preliminary check.

How does a LightStream car loan work?

Instead of paying the dealer, LightStream pays you directly when you secure an auto loan. You can then take that balance to a dealer and negotiate as if you had cash, which can help you find a better purchase price.

Is LightStream.com legit?

Yes, LightStream is a reputable online lender and part of Truist bank. LightStream offers auto loans to buyers with good credit through an easy online process.

Disclaimer: Our research team aims to keep this information accurate and up to date, but you'll get the most recent information from financial institutions. Rates and terms vary according to applicant and market conditions. We do not offer warranties for any loan products or services discussed on the site, and we recommend you read through a financial institution’s terms and conditions carefully when making a decision on a loan product.

LightStream Disclosures

*Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.95 percent APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $303.99.

**Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for the lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50 percentage points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.

***Loan Experience Guarantee: After receiving a loan from LightStream, if not completely satisfied with the experience, the customer can contact LightStream. LightStream will email a questionnaire to the customer so LightStream can improve our services. When LightStream receives the completed questionnaire, they will send the customer $100. LightStream’s guarantee expires 30 days after the customer receives their loan. LightStream reserves the right to change or discontinue the guarantee at any time. Limited to one $100 payment per funded loan. Truist teammates do not qualify for the Loan Experience Guarantee.