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LightStream: 2023 Auto loan review published 2023-01-01 at 00:00:00.

Writen by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the ways and pitfalls of taking out loans to purchase the car they want.

The edit was done by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to control their finances through providing precise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complex subjects into bite-sized pieces.

Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make better financial decisions by offering financial calculators and interactive tools that provide objective and original content, by enabling users to conduct studies and compare data for free to help you make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers, including but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The deals that are advertised on this site come from companies who pay us. This compensation can affect the way and when products are featured on this website, for example the order in which they appear within the listing categories and other categories, unless prohibited by law for our loan products, such as mortgages and home equity and other home loan products. However, this compensation will have no impact on the information we provide, or the reviews that appear on this website. We do not include the entire universe of businesses or financial deals that may be available to you.

About our reviews Editorial disclosure Reviewers are supervised by our staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely the opinions of the reviewer and have not been evaluated or acknowledged by any advertising company. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is correct at the time that the review was written. Check the data on the right, and the lender’s site for the most up-to-date details.

A quick look 4.1 Score: 4.1 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

Availability Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5

Affordability Rating: 4 stars out 5

Customers Experience Score: 4.6 five stars of five

Transparency Rating 3 5 stars.

Check auto loan rates

The loan amount is $5,000 to $100,000

Min. credit score Unspecified

APR starting at 8.99%

Funds are available as soon as the day you make your application

LightStream features. Take a look at these advantages and drawbacks of an auto loan with LightStream before applying.

PROS Good user experience

Quick funding timeframe

Loan terms up to 84 months

CONS Unsecured loan

The minimum loan amount

No prequalification

LightStream offers an online lender which offers secured auto loans for both used and new automobile purchases. It also offers auto loan refinancing and lease buyouts. All options can be completed the same day that you apply. Since the LightStream auto loans are secured and not secured by your vehicle, it is not utilized as collateral but it does offer an attractive rate and a range in repayment alternatives.

Do you qualify? LightStream doesn’t have any specific criteria for eligibility for its loans. However, they do consider borrowers with several years of credit background, a credit history that spans a variety of accounts types, a good payment history, an established ability to save and an income that is stable. The lowest rates go to those who have a good credit score. This is typically described as having an FICO Score above 740. What we like and what we do not like Below are a few advantages and disadvantages of LightStream auto loans. What we like Good user experience. LightStream is completely online, and its site is easy and simple to navigate. It is easy to use and can be completed with tablets, phones or PC. Quick funding time. You could receive your funds on the same day that you make an application for a loan using LightStream, and the money is deposited directly to the account of your bank account. The loan terms can be as long as 84 months. You are able to apply for terms of repayment ranging between 24 and 84 months, giving you the flexibility to find an affordable monthly payment. What we don’t like is an unsecured loan. LightStream’s auto loan essentially functions as an unsecured personal loan, so you don’t use your vehicle as collateral. This could result in more interest rates than you’d get from an lender that offers typical auto loans. High minimum loan amount. LightStream is much more expensive in terms of loan minimums than its competition. The minimum required to refinance or finance the purchase of a new or used car is $5,000 and LightStream won’t be a viable option if you’re looking to buy a cheap used car or refinancing just a few thousand dollars to pay off your existing auto loan. No prequalification. If you apply with LightStream it will go through an examination of your credit. Unlike with other lenders, it’s impossible to determine your credit score and rate prior to submitting an application. Contact information for LightStream LightStream LightStream offers customer assistance via an online form but does not have a phone number for general queries. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. ET and on Saturdays 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET. The information regarding the application process or loan can be found 24 hours a day on the website of LightStream or through the application.

Loan types for auto loan kinds offered LightStream offers auto loans for used and new vehicles. The company also provides loans to refinance and for buying out the lease.

Used and new auto loans

Loan quick facts Amounts: From $5,000 to $100,000 Terms: 24 to 84 months APR: Starting at 8.99 percent

While LightStream’s car loans are technically unsecured however, they offer decently competitive rates. You may be able to score a lower rate through a bank, however, LightStream could be the better choice for most customers than dealer financing. With terms as long as 84 months, you should be able to find a payment plan that works with your budget. Refinance

Loan quick facts Amounts: From $5,000 to $100,000 Terms 24-84 months APR: starting at 9.49 percent

LightStream’s refinance option has an lower start amount than a lot of banks- which makes it good for those who are at the end the term of your existing loan. However, the initial APR is quite high. So if you financed your car when the rates were less, then you may decide to delay refinancing unless you need more time to pay. In this case the 84-month terms offered by LightStream might be a good option but it’s likely to end up costing you more in interest. Lease purchase

Quick facts about loans: From $5,000 to $100,000 Terms of the loan: 24 to 84 month APR: starting at 9.49 percent

LightStream is among the more attractive alternatives when it comes to buying out your lease, especially as many banks and online lenders don’t provide it. Like with its new and used auto loans and refinancing programs, you will have flexibility in loan terms and the capacity to finance a substantial amount that can be beneficial in the event that you have leased an expensive model. How do you apply for the loan through LightStream The application for a loan using LightStream through its website. You might need to submit the necessary documents to complete your application. If you apply within the hours of business, you could get a response, then sign the loan documents electronically and receive funds the next day.

The required information for your application is whether you’re applying on your own or with a co-applicant primary loan purpose Your desired loan amount and repayment term Name, Social Security number and birthdate Home address and housing status Phone number and email address Driver’s license number Your employment and financial details

LightStream FAQs

Do I have the option of buying an automobile from an individual? Yes. LightStream offers loans for purchases by private parties that have the same terms and conditions as pre-owned automobile loans from dealerships.

What other financing options is available through LightStream provide? LightStream also has loans for classic cars and motorcycles, boat loans, RV loans along with financing options for aircraft.

How do you calculate the rate of Bankrate LightStream

Overall score




LightStream has a minimum loan amount, but allows you to select from a variety of repayment conditions.



While LightStream provides low rates on APRs it doesn’t disclose its eligibility requirements.

Customer experience


LightStream is distinguished by its quick funding timeframe However, it does not provide customer support via phone, and support hours aren’t as extensive.



Fees are posted on its website, but LightStream does not provide prequalification.

Methodology Bankrate considers 18 data points when evaluating auto loan lenders. Acceptance criteria, rates and fees are available and the APR range all affect lender scores. These scores are split in four different categories. Availability: Loan amounts and repayment options, dealership requirements, and availability in the state all contribute to this section. Affordability: This section contains APR ranges, acceptance criteria, fees and discounts. Customer experience: How long you’ll need to spend shopping, customer service accessibility, and whether there’s autopay or an app available are all covered in this section. Transparency: This section accounts for the availability of fees and rates as well as the availability of prequalification.

Disclosure of author Reviewers are supervised by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer , and are not reviewed or acknowledged by any advertiser. The information such as rates and charges provided in the review is correct as of the date that the review was written. Review the information in the upper right hand corner of the page, and the lender’s site for the most recent information.

Written by

Rebecca Betterton

Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers to navigate the details of borrowing money to purchase the car they want.

The edit was done by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are committed to helping readers feel confident to manage their finances by providing concise, well-researched and well-written information that breaks down complex topics into manageable bites.

Auto loans editor



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