According to Finder, as many as 44 percent of Americans rely on an auto loan to pay for their vehicles. Procuring a loan makes sense, too, especially if you do not have the immediate financial resources to purchase the car in cash. Borrowing money also has added benefits, such as building up your credit score.

Not all auto loans are equal, though. The products will differ based on a range of factors, including whether the car is new and the state of your finances.

Here is everything you need to know about the auto loan provider LightStream to ensure you have the information at hand to make wise financial decisions.

Table of Contents:

  • How Does LightStream Work?
  • Is LightStream Safe?
  • How Much Can You Borrow?
  • What Is The APR?
  • Are There Any Fees?
  • Pros & Cons

How Does LightStream Work?

lightstream auto loans logoLightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank. The arm is best suited for customers with “good” or “excellent” credit ratings, who want a straightforward auto loan process. If you would like to be considered for a loan, all you have to do is fill out an online application.

LightStream will respond to your application in as little as a day. Additionally, customers may be eligible for certain perks, such as the Rate Beat and Loan Experience Guarantee programs.

This stage does come with a hard credit check, however, and there is no preapproval process for prospective customers.

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Are LightStream Car Loans Safe?

LightStream is a reliable source for car loans. The company is progressive and customer-forward in its loans with accessible online applications and proprietary technology. They also have a range of different auto loans to service various vehicular needs.

LightStream has a respectable financial track record. Its parent company, SunTrust Banks, maintains positive scores from the heavyweight credit rating agencies, ranging from BBB+ to A as of December of last year. SunTrust Banks has a lower to upper-medium grade as an institution.

How Much Can You Borrow From LightStream?

You will have a variety of options when it comes to APR, loan size, and other terms.

Borrowers can receive anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 with loan terms from 24 to 144 months.

What Is the APR with LightStream?

The annual percentage rate or APR is the interest rate per year associated with a loan. The APR is an essential part of researching auto loans as it includes fees and other additional costs. Put another way, the rate will tell you how much money it will cost you to take out a loan.

According to ValuePenguin, the average auto loan APR falls between three and ten percent. The figure will fluctuate on several factors, including credit history, annual income, job history, and the final terms of the loan. For instance, if you have a low amount of debt and a high salary, you will receive more favorable conditions.

Depending on the type and length of the loan, APR will be as low as 3.99 percent.

Current APR rates you can expect with LightStream:

  • New dealer purchase: 3.99% to 8.34%
  • Used dealer purchase: 3.99% to 8.34%
  • Refinance: 3.99% to 8.34%
  • Private party purchase: 4.99% to 9.19%
  • Lease buyout: 4.99% to 9.19%

Are There Any Fees?

There are different types of loans, depending on whether you are purchasing a new or used vehicle, or if you want to refinance your current one. When you look into auto loans at LightStream, each one lists the terms beneath the APR table. Each of these points includes the phrase, “no fees or prepayment penalties.”

LightStream also does not have fees for the origination of the loan or late payment. There are no other extra expenses either. When you combine the absence of fees and their competitive interest rates, LightStream comes through as a worthwhile option for anyone in need of a car loan.

Pros & Cons of LightStream


  • Flexibility: The most significant benefit of working with LightStream is its flexibility on both sides of the aisle. For instance, the loan terms with various ranges of length, APRs, and amounts to borrow. Applicants do not face restrictions when it comes to the make, model, or mileage of their vehicle.
  • Available in All Fifty States: No matter where you are in the United States, you can work with LightStream. The company is a worthwhile option for customers with strong credit scores (typically above 660), and those who want a competitive interest rate. Customers also have access to LightStream services if they purchase or own a car in Washington, D.C.
  • No Fees: LightStream does not have any prepayment, origination, or late payment fees. The same cannot be said of other loan providers, especially when it comes to refinancing a vehicle. You and your wallet can rest easy.
  • Discount: There is even a 0.5 percent discount rate for people using the autopay feature.
  • Convenience: LightStream has set up the auto loan process to be as simple as possible for its customers. That includes an intuitive online application with responses that come as quickly as one day later. If you prefer to fax or complete your form in person, this pro may be a con.
  • 30 Day Review Period: Customers have the opportunity to review their loan offer for up to thirty days. Applicants do not have to accept the terms of the offer, though. If they do, they can receive a direct deposit to their bank account within 24 hours.
  • Co-Signer Option: LightStream allows for co-signers as a way to bolster the applicant’s credit strength and improve their overall terms.


  • Hard Credit Check: When you apply for an auto loan with LightStream, they will perform a hard credit check. Also known as a “hard pull,” this process is a way to thoroughly access a lending decision on the part of a lender. Hard credit checks can lower your credit score potentially, so it is an incentive for buyers to have an active interest or commitment to LightStream as opposed to shopping around for rates. This step may also deter people who are on the fence about whether their credit score is “good enough” to qualify for an auto loan from LightStream.

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