LightStream Review

ByCaroline BentonDec. 31, 2020

This site is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and comparison features to our visitors. We accept advertising compensation from companies that appear on the site, which impacts the location and order in which brands (and/or their products) are presented, and also impacts the score that is assigned to it. Company listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our Terms of Use, all representations and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including pricing, which appears on this site is subject to change at any time.

In a Nutshell

LightStream provides new and used loans, classic car financing, and lease buyouts. LightStream also offers customers flexibility thanks to its broad repayment terms, loan amounts, and interest rates. This provider is a top choice for borrowers with good to excellent credit who seek a realistic and fair loan to buy a car.


  • A wide range of interest rates and repayment terms
  • The application to approval process can take less than a day


  • Requires good or excellent credit for loans
  • Higher rates if autopay not enabled

LightStream LightStream Visit Site

LightStream at a Glance

LightStream offers a variety of auto financing options including traditional car loans and new funds for new and used cars from both dealers and private parties. All options offer competitive interest rates, but the company stands out more for the flexibility of its loan amounts and repayment terms for new and used auto loans.

LightStream goes a step further by offering non-traditional loan options that include auto refinancing for customers looking to improve their financial situation with more favorable interest rates.

Additionally, these non-traditional auto loans include financing for classic cars whereby customers finance purchases of previously owned vintage cars. There are separate loans for classic and used cars sold from a private party so that borrowers can transact with private sellers instead of a dealership.

LightStream is the consumer lending branch of SunTrust Bank, a major U.S. financial institution. The company was formed to provide borrowers with good credit the most attractive possible loan and financing alternatives thanks to a simplified application and streamlined approval process. 

LightStream accomplishes these goals by exclusively providing online services, thereby eliminating the typical loan application bureaucracy. With an excellent website and simple approval process, customers can rest easy and focus on using their funds instead of filling out endless forms. LightStream is so confident in its services that it offers a $100 satisfaction guarantee. 

Suitable For?

LightStream is a good option for a variety of customers as it provides unsecured loans for new and used cars. LightStream only works with customers who have good to excellent credit, making it a better alternative if you have solid financial standing and are simply looking for a way to expedite the car buying process. Also, LightStream’s generous loan amounts and low interest rates are flexible. 

LightStream Features

LightStream offers loans for:

  • New cars
  • Used cars from a dealer
  • Used car from a private party
  • Auto refinancing 
  • Lease buyouts
  • Classic cars from a dealer
  • Classic cars from a private party

LightStream goes out of its way to ensure that you can find an easy and versatile financing solution for any type of car purchase. It has a variety of loan types—financing for new and used cars, classic cars, private party purchases, and even lease buyouts. Approval and funding can be completed within the same day because the process eliminates the paper application. You can even complete the process on your computer or mobile device. LightStream offers a rate beat program, whereby it will beat any comparable interest rate presented by competitors by 0.10%.

Some highlights include:

  • A fast application process
  • A variety of loan options
  • Flexible loan terms
  • Loan amounts up to $100,000
  • Secured and unsecured loans
  • Receipt of funds within the same day

LightStream Application Process

Getting started with LightStream is both efficient and painless. The company’s explicit goal is to help you avoid the red tape that accompanies conventional lending, and its online application process reflects this. LightStream works with customers that have good to excellent credit profiles, which is a major reason why it can offer competitive rates and terms.

Given the unique nature of each individual's credit profile, LightStream does not hold to a single definition of "good credit." Instead, it considers the following criteria:

  • Several years of the borrower’s credit history.
  • A credit history with a variety of account types, such as major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Amex), installment debt (vehicle loans), and mortgage debt, if applicable.
  • Payment history including any delinquencies or other problems repaying debt obligations.
  • An ability to save evidenced by some or all of the following: liquid assets (stocks, bonds, bank deposits), cash down payments on real estate, retirement savings, and manageable revolving credit card debt.
  • Stable and sufficient income and assets to repay current debt obligations and any new loan with LightStream.

Loan Types and Terms

LightStream offers a variety of loan options. Aside from traditional new car loans, you can opt for used car loans for both dealer purchases and private party financing, auto refinancing, and lease buyouts. These alternatives feature solid interest rates and term options to help you find the financing solution that matches your financial circumstances. All loan types offer amounts that range between $5,000 and $100,000, and range from 24 to 84 months.

All loan amounts for all auto loans now extend from 24 to 84 months. New and used car loans for dealer purchases start at 3.49% APR for customers who use LightStream’s AutoPay option. Loans higher than $10,000 and lower than $24,999 have starting interest rates as low as 3.49% APR with AutoPay for a 24 and 36-month term.

For used car loans from private parties, interest rates start slightly higher at 4.99% APR with AutoPay. Refinancing offers interest rates as low as 3.49% APR with AutoPay for loans between $10,000 and $24,999 with terms of 24 to 84 months.

All loans from LightStream are unsecured and fixed-rate. Additionally, LightStream does not charge any prepayment penalties or charge other fees related to loan underwriting. Overall, it offers an outstanding variety of loan amounts, terms, and interest rates. 

How Safe is It?

LightStream emphasizes the protection of customer information. It goes beyond the industry standards for security and uses Norton Security tools to protect against the most common attacks including phishing, malware, and identity theft. Moreover, LightStream is transparent about the information it collects from customers and how it shares that information with third parties, if at all. All customer information is protected by layers of encryption, firewalls, physical security measures, and redundancies. 

Repayment Options

LightStream offers a vast range of repayment terms and alternatives. You can choose to manually pay your loan by receiving invoices, or you can opt for the AutoPay service, which will reduce your interest rates by 0.50%.

For repayment terms, LightStream offers an excellent spectrum. All repayment terms are up to 84 months.

Help & Support

Representatives from LightStream support are available via email and respond to inquiries during business hours Monday through Friday and Saturdays on a shortened schedule. LightStream does not offer telephone support or live chat. However, LightStream does offer an insightful and easy to navigate FAQ section that covers most common questions that may arise during the process.  

LightStream LightStream Visit Site

Final Word

LightStream’s broad range of services include new and used loans, classic car financing, and lease buyouts. The lender provides all customers with the right financing solution to meet their unique circumstances. The company also offers flexibility thanks to its broad repayment terms, loan amounts, and interest rates. In addition to helpful customer support and a simple application process, LightStream is a top choice for borrowers looking to purchase or refinance a car and with good to excellent credit.

Physical Address

SunTrust Bank

303 Peachtree Street NE

Atlanta, Georgia


* See LightStream disclosures here. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.49% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.98.

LightStream customer testimonials

AverageReviews 8
TrustPilot is the world’s most powerful review platform, free and open to all.
  • author
    Feb 01, 2021
    Hard to get refinance with great credit

    I have perfect credit and had a hard time to get an auto refinance. The company did not offer a better APR as suggested. They could not beat my current rate. They told me it is possible only if I try again to refinance with another company and see if they can beat that rate. I did not understand their logic.


  • author
    John Culbertson
    Dec 08, 2020
    Lightstream doesn't care about the consumer!

    Terrible customer service and an unwillingness to work with the consumer. My company recently moved my pay dates back by 2 days. I called Lightstream simply to move my auto debit back to align with these new dates. They not only are unwilling to move this date back by two days, they are increacing my rate by .5% if I cancel my autopay. Horrible customer service, especially in the middle of a pandemic. Avoid this company at all costs!


  • author
    Jul 03, 2020
    Really bad company - bait + switch tactics

    Really bad company - bait + switch tactics - had previously been approved for a rate of around 7%, then now it's over 10% despite have far better credit history etc. This company has bait and switch, they publish great rates, but then for someone with a 800+ FICO, with lots of extra cash, capital, etc. They then only approve a rate of 10.19% when they publish a 6.39% headline rate. Misleading. Not happy.


  • author
    Jun 18, 2020
    SCAM Lender, Consumer beware!

    SCAM! CONSUMER BEWARE! I have excellent credit and wanted a debt consolidation loan. Lending Tree said I was Pre-Approved through several lenders. I choose LightStream under the pretense that I was pre-approved because BOTH LENDING TREE AND LIGHTSTREAM websites said I was pre-approved. But atlas, my loan application was denied. I would've never applied had the websites not said I was Pre-Approved. Absolute SCAM. Stay away!


  • author
    Matt Hurley
    May 01, 2020
    You'll regret it!

    Cheap now, Pay later! Easy process of getting money....downhill from there. Look elsewhere! All reviews are from them processing payments, but have you ever seen a review afterward?! Min $100 payments, some payments take up to 4 days to pull and they charge you interest in the meantime! There system messed up, called in for final payoff, clicked the "payoff final amount", and my loan is still having problems! Rep told me to just make another payment and ask for a refund later! Seriously!