LightStream Auto Loans Review

We like LightStream for its competitive rates and high transparency of the lending process.

APR Range
2.49% – 11.89% w/AutoPay
Loan Amount
N/A
Term
24–84 months
SimpleScore
4.2 / 5.0
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SimpleScore LightStream 4.2
New Car Rates 4
Loan Size 5
Used Car Rates 4
Customer Satisfaction 3
Fees 5
  • Competitive rates
  • Online application process
  • High loan amounts
  • Strict eligibility requirements
LightStream Disclosure

Disclaimer: 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 lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.

Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $299.66

© 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

If you are thinking about buying a car, LightStream auto loan can be an option to consider. To help you find the best auto loans on the market, we prepared this review of LightStream auto loans, which will walk you through LightStream auto finance options that are offered.

LightStream is a national online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank, one of the nation’s leading financial services companies. LightStream was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in San Diego, California, and now it’s known for loans for practically everything.

Check Your Auto Loan Rates

View our top-rated lenders and find the best rates today. It’s quick and easy.

In this article

    LightStream at a glance      

    LenderLoan AmountAPR RangeTermsKey Benefit 
    LightStream$5,000 $100,0002.49%–11.89%24–84 monthsCompetitive rates, quick, no collateral

    *Rates accurate as of September 17 and include an autopay discount of 0.50%

    What we like about it

    LightStream auto finance offers competitive fixed rates for borrowers with good credit. The lender backs the low rates with its unique Rate Beat Program, in which it will beat any similar auto loan offer from another company by 0.10% APR.

    The great thing is that there are no fees or charges and no penalties for early payment.

    LightStream is committed to superb online customer experience and has Loan Experience Guarantee to ensure customer satisfaction. It allows you to get $100 back if you’re not happy with your loan experience after receiving a loan.

    Things to consider

    LightStream car loans are geared towards borrowers with good credit, so if your credit history hasn’t been up to scratch, it makes sense to consider other lenders. To qualify, you’ll need good credit and sufficient income and assets to support your requested loan, also taking into account debt that you already have. This means five or more years of credit history with a proven track record of on-time payments on credit cards, installment loans and mortgages.

    What you need to know 

    Through an easy and hassle-free online experience, you can apply for a car loan and get a loan on the car you want as soon as the same day. 

    The lender is very transparent with rates published on the website. LightStream allows you to pre-check rates for new auto purchases, used auto purchases from dealers, used auto purchases from individuals and auto loans refinancing. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000 with terms from 24 to 84 months. The rates range from 2.49%–11.89% inclusive of AutoPay 0.50% discount. Keep in mind that individual rates will depend on your credit score but also on the term and size of the loan and car loan type — it will be higher if you’re buying a used car from an individual than from a dealership.

    Excellent credit is required for the lowest rate. For all combinations of loan amounts, loan uses, terms and resulting rates, make sure you visit the LightStream auto loan page, which is very informative and easy to use.

    The application procedure is quick and easy. When you apply online, you will get an indicative rate range based on the factors mentioned above. You will then receive a response shortly. Based on your particular credit profile, the lender will quote you the final rate. If you accept the loan, you e-sign it, which means that you can receive your funds as soon as the same day. 

    Collateral and criteria 

    LightStream offers a unique financing option that allows borrowers with strong credit to borrow money for purchases that had previously required collateral, or where few or no loan options exist. LightStream is committed to attracting customers with good credit and will do everything to keep them and make them happy. The lender’s philosophy is that when you have good credit, you deserve a low-interest, fixed-rate loan, so these customers can be confident that they’ll get competitive rates with LightStream as they are back with its Rate Beat Program. If they are not happy with the experience, they can file a complaint and get a $100 refund.

    Check Your Auto Loan Rates

    View our top-rated lenders and find the best rates today. It’s quick and easy.

    LightStream vs. Capital One

    Capital One auto finance offers auto loans from  $4,000 and with the terms that range from 36 to 72 months, while the rates are not published on the website. The maximum loan amount will depend on your income, key credit and loan characteristics, the vehicle you are purchasing, and the specific dealership where you’ll buy the car. It’s a good option if you don’t want to impact your credit score as the lender allows you to see if you pre-qualify for a loan in a few steps without any impact on your credit score. 

    LightStream vs. Consumers Credit Union

    With Consumers Credit Union, you can finance 100% of your car purchase at competitive, fixed interest rates with flexible terms if you qualify for a loan. The lender offers up to a 0.50% rate reduction for its members. You can refinance your existing auto loans or get a loan for new and used vehicles. The rates vary between 2.69% and 4.44%, including the member’s 0.50% APR discount and depending on your credit history and vehicle age. Loan terms are very flexible, ranging from less than a year to 84 months. Rates from Consumers Credit Union compare well to those from LightStream, so make sure you check both lenders to see the specific rates they quote you before making a decision.

    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the auto loans we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    We’ve created the SimpleScore™ to help you objectively compare products and services here at The Simple Dollar.

    Our editorial team:

    • Identifies five factors to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each factor
    • Calculate an average of those five factor scores to get one SimpleScore™

    We break down each of these five factors and their rating criteria for our review of the best auto loan companies of 2020.

    Why do some brands have different SimpleScores™ on different pages?

    Some brands like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase have different SimpleScores™ because they offer more than one financial solution — like auto loans, home loans, personal loans and banking.

    For instance, in our Bank of America Mortgage Review, we give the company a 3.8 out 5 based on our five rating factors for mortgages. In our Bank of America Auto Loans Review, we give the company a 4.4 out of 5 based on our rating factors for auto loans. By tailoring our SimpleScore™ to each financial solution, we’re able to give you a more accurate view of their services and how they compare to competitors’ services.

    Minimum new car rate

    Companies that look out for new car buyers with lower rates receive higher scores from us.

    Minimum used car rate

    We also give higher ratings to companies that look out for used car buyers by offering lower rates.

    Maximum loan size

    Having enough money to cover your auto loan is important –– that’s why companies with higher maximum loan amount receive better scores from us.

    Customer satisfaction

    We use the J.D. Power 2019 Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study℠ to find out how customers rate their experience with each company. (If a company is not included in J.D. Power’s study, we skip this rating factor and average the remaining factor scores.)

    Fees

    Fees can add up very fast –– that’s why we give a higher score to companies who have fewer fees.

    Aleksandra Deric

    Contributing Writer

    Alex Deric is a freelance finance and technology writer that brings in-depth investment knowledge and experience to her writing. Originally from Serbia, Alex has spent more than a decade working in the finance industry around the world, including London and New York. After having studied at Oxford and the London School of Economics, she is now working towards her Ph.D. degree. You will find her published work on sites such as The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, NetworkNewsWire, CQNet, FundingHQ, and CS Strategies. She’s an avid runner and a firm believer that financial education can make the world a better place.