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SunTrust Banks, Inc. is an American banking institution that prides itself on improving the financial well-being of individuals, communities, and businesses. SunTrust has recently entered into a merger agreement with BB&T Corporation to create Truist Financial Corporation. There are no merger-related changes in day-to-day banking, though, and both institutions encourage their customers to keep banking as they normally would. 

SunTrust offers a wide variety of financial services, including deposit and credit accounts as well as mortgages, investments, trust and estate planning, asset management, capital market services, and securities brokerage. SunTrust Bank was established in Atlanta, Georgia in 1891, and there are currently 1,221 SunTrust bank branches and 1,749 ATMs located throughout 10 southeastern states and the District of Columbia.

LightStream is SunTrust’s online lending division, launched in 2013 with the purpose of simplifying the loan application process for borrowers. Applying for a SunTrust auto loan is virtually paperless, with no need to fill out a plethora of paperwork, speak with a lending officer, or even step inside a bank. In fact, approved applicants may receive same-day approval and funding. Good credit is a critical qualification for securing a SunTrust LightStream auto loan. Qualified applicants typically must have a FICO score of at least 660, as well as a strong credit history that includes a variety of accounts over several years.

Approved applicants can use their funding freely, as there are few restrictions and limitations on vehicles you can finance. You can buy your dream car, no matter its make, model, year, or mileage. LightStream also offers a wide variety of other loans, including for motorcycles, boats, RVs, and motorhomes. You can also get secured and unsecured loans, as well as loans for medical reasons, home improvement, and pre-K-12 education.

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Contents of This Review:

Current LightStream Auto Loan Rates

 

With

AutoPay

Invoices

by Mail

New Car Loan

3.99%

4.49%

Used Car Loan

3.99%

4.49%

Refinance Car Loan

3.99%

4.49%

LightStream is currently advertising the same loan rate for new, used, and refinanced auto loans. You can lower your rate by 0.5% by signing up for AutoPay instead of receiving invoices by mail. With AutoPay, your monthly payments will be automatically deducted from your bank account or credit card.

These rates were found using LightStream’s auto financing calculator, and they are for illustrative purposes only. The rates on this page are accurate as of publication, and we do update them regularly. However, auto loan rates fluctuate over time, so you may see different rates as you shop for an auto loan. The rates you qualify for may differ from these depending on your credit history, income, and selected loan terms.

Is LightStream a Good Car Loan Company?

Yes, LightStream provides a good car loan if you have credit. Overall, LightStream’s APR range is better than those of a few rivals. Starting at 3.99%, LightStream has some of the lowest interest rates available. LightStream's interest rates are less competitive if you choose to receive invoices by mail. To get a lower rate by 0.5%, all you have to do is sign up for the automatic billing and payment system.

Still, LightStream’s rate doesn’t change or increase from there, while some other auto loan APRs can skyrocket to as much as 25 percent. LightStream also has a significantly longer loan term limit than every other competitor. While most other auto loan terms max out at six years, LightStream’s auto loans are available for up to 12 years. Additionally, SunTrust does not charge any fees or penalties for early or late payments. You can log in to your online account to make early payment or extra loan payments at any time.

You are unlikely to qualify for a LightStream auto loan if you have poor or fair credit, a short credit history, or little variety in the accounts attached to your credit. Consider other auto lenders like Chase and myAutoloan if you have blemishes on your credit, as they are more lenient on those with lower credit scores. However, these loans are likely to carry much higher interest rates than LightStream’s.   

Key LightStream Car Loan Info

 

New

Used

Refinance

Private Party

Available APR

3.99 – 4.49%

3.99 – 4.49%

3.99 – 4.49%

3.99 – 4.49%

Minimum Credit Score

660

660

660

660

Loan Length

24 – 144 months

24 – 144 months

24 – 144 months

24 – 144 months

Prepayment Penalty?

No

No

No

No

Income Requirements

Contact for amount

Contact for amount

Contact for amount

Contact for amount

Max Loan Amount

$100,000

$100,000

$100,000

$100,000

Min Down Payment

0%

0%

0%

0%

Minimum Loan Amount

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

Should I Get a LightStream Auto Loan?

Yes, you should get a LightStream auto loan if you have good credit and sound finances, and you want an easy, quick application process with fast funding. Approved customers can enjoy LightStream’s limited stipulations, rules, and restrictions compared to other auto loan companies. LightStream has no limits or requirements for your car’s mileage, make, model, or year – unlike some rivals. You can apply for an auto loan to finance a used, classic, or new car from any seller.

You can quickly apply for a loan online and receive a decision within a day – without ever having to make a trip to the bank. There's also a $100 guarantee that you will be satisfied with the loan application experience.

A SunTrust auto loan is ideal for borrowers who have a strong credit score and more than five years of credit history with timely payments. This is still a viable option for those with subpar credit, as long as you have a co-signer with a solid credit history and a good FICO score. If approved, you can get your money as soon as the same day.

You'll want to pass on LightStream and opt for a more forgiving auto lender if you have subpar or poor credit, a limited credit history with few types of credit, few assets, and a poor debt-to-income ratio. Nonetheless, LightStream considers each individual’s credit specifics and financial status before making a decision.

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How to Apply for a LightStream Auto Loan

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You can apply for an auto loan via the LightStream website. Low-interest and fixed-rate auto loans are available for used, new, and classic cars from any dealer or private seller.

Using the LightStream homepage, scroll down to the bottom and enter your personal details. First, select your application type: joint or individual. Next, choose the primary purpose for your loan. There are several options, including a new auto purchase from a dealer, a used auto purchase from a dealer, a used auto purchase from an individual, an auto lease buyout, and auto loan refinancing. Then, enter your zip code, the loan amount, and the loan term in months. Next, choose a loan payment method. Select AutoPay to have your payments automatically deducted from a credit card or bank account, or you can choose to pay via invoice, though your interest rate will be slightly higher.

After completing these steps, you'll get estimated ranges for your loan interest rate and monthly payments. Your exact interest rate and monthly payment amount ultimately depend on your finances, credit profile, and LightStream’s discretion.

After SunTrust checks your credit with Experian and Equifax, there will be a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can lower your credit score. To increase your chances of a loan approval, you should only apply when there are few other recent loan or credit inquiries on your credit file. A credit report with multiple inquiries within 45 days shows lenders that an applicant may be actively seeking additional funding, which can indicate financial hardship.

After reviewing your application, LightStream will send you an approval or denial. If you accept the loan agreement, you’ll be asked to sign it electronically. You may receive your funds as quickly as the same day. You are not required to accept a LightStream loan after approval.

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What Income Do I Need for a LightStream Auto Loan?

LightStream doesn’t specify an income requirement. However, to qualify for a LightStream auto loan, you must have adequate income and assets to cover the loan amount plus any other outstanding debt obligations. The most important factors in acquiring a SunTrust LightStream auto loan are having a good credit score and credit history.

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What Credit Score Do I Need for a LightStream Auto Loan?

Most qualified LightStream borrowers have a FICO score of 660 or higher. According to LightStream’s standards, applicants must have good credit to qualify for an auto loan. LightStream considers individuals to have good credit if they have several years of credit history, with a variety of account types that include major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard, installment debt like auto or personal loans, or mortgage debt (home loans).

Qualified applicants must have an excellent history of on-time payments with few delinquencies or other issues with loan repayments. Applicants should also provide evidence of a stable and sufficient income to cover the loan and other outstanding debts. Applicants should also be able to prove their ability to save money through all or some of the following means: liquid assets, cash down payments on real estate, retirement savings, and manageable revolving credit card debt. However, LightStream makes a loan judgement by assessing each applicant’s finances on an individual basis. The ultimate decision is based a determination of the likelihood that an applicant is capable of repaying a loan in full and on time.  

You may still be approved for an auto loan if you have a co-signer or joint applicant with a good credit score that is higher than yours.

What Cars Can I Buy With a LightStream Auto Loan?

Those who finance a new, used, or classic car with LightStream can purchase their vehicle from a private seller or a dealer. The minimum loan amount is $5,000, and the maximum is $100,000. There are no mileage restrictions on cars purchased with a LightStream auto loan. LightStream auto loans have no brand restrictions, and you can purchase any make or model.

LightStream has just a few restrictions on cars. All vehicles must be lien-free, registered in your name (no business names), and purchased and owned within the United States.

What Down Payment Does LightStream Auto Loan Require?

LightStream auto loans do not require a down payment, but you still might want to consider making one. There are some benefits to making a down payment on a loan, and it shows your lender that you’re a reliable borrower with the means to make future payments. You can also potentially shorten the length of the loan, reduce your monthly payments, and lower your interest rate by making an upfront payment. The more money you spend initially, the less you’ll need to pay over time.

Does LightStream Auto Loan Have Prepayment Penalties?

There are no fees or penalties for early loan repayments. You can log in to your account online to make early payments or multiple payments at any time.

LightStream vs. myAutoloan

While LightStream is the ideal auto loan for people with a nearly spotless credit history, myAutoloan is the better option for those who have poor credit or have experienced a financial setback. LightStream’s approval depends heavily on having a good credit score. On the other hand, myAutoloan puts you in touch with lenders who approve loans for people with subpar credit scores. However, myAutoloan requires you to make at least $2,000 per month. MyAutoloan sends your application to a number of lenders, so loan agreements, APRs, and terms can vary widely.

 

LightStream

myAutoloan 

New Car Rates as Low as

3.99%

3.99%

Used Car Rates as Low As

3.99%

4.24%

Minimum Credit Score

660

525

Prepayment Penalties?

No

No

Minimum Monthly Income

Contact for amount

$1,800

LightStream vs. Capital One

Capital One and LightStream have similarly low starting APRs. If you have good credit, you’re likely to get a good interest rate from either company. It’s easier to get a loan with Capital One, as it only requires a credit score of 500. However, Capital One auto loans require a minimum monthly income of $1,500. Borrowers need a significantly higher score of at least 660 to qualify for a LightStream loan, but there is no minimum income requirement. A Capital One auto loan is a good option if you’re building your credit, you have steady income, and you want a competitive interest rate for a new car loan. However, keep in mind that Capital One’s highest APR is about double that of LightStream’s.  

 

LightStream

Capital One

New Car Rates as Low as

3.99%

3.99%

Used Car Rates as Low As

3.99%

3.99%

Minimum Credit Score

660

500

Prepayment Penalties?

No

No

Minimum Monthly Income

Contact for amount

$1,500

LightStream vs. Chase

Chase has one of the highest auto loan APR ranges available. Those with fair credit history could end up paying as much as 12.09% interest on an auto loan. Additionally, unlike SunTrust auto loans, Chase auto loans can only be used to finance vehicles sold by dealers. Unless you have poor credit or other accounts with Chase, you should consider other auto lenders first.

 

LightStream

Chase

New Car Rates as Low as

3.99%

3.84%

Used Car Rates as Low As

3.99%

3.94%

Minimum Credit Score

660

Contact for number

Prepayment Penalties?

No

No

Minimum Monthly Income

Contact for amount

Contact for amount

More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report

If you need to do more research, our rankings and reviews are a great place to start. If you’re ready to buy, check out our new car lease deals and purchase deals pages.

Our Best Price Program can also save you money. You can get a pre-negotiated price on your car at a local dealer. On average, buyers have saved more than $3,000 off MSRP using the Best Price Program.

In addition to savings off MSRP, getting the best interest rate on your car loan can save you thousands. Compare rates from up to four lenders with myAutoloan to get the best deal.

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