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SunTrust Banks, Inc. is an American banking institution that offers financial services to individuals, communities, and businesses. These financial services include deposit accounts, credit, trust and estate planning, investments, mortgages, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. SunTrust Bank, the company’s corporate parent, was established in 1891 in Atlanta, Georgia. There are currently 1,400 SunTrust bank branches and 2,160 ATMs located throughout 11 southeastern states and Washington, D.C.

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 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 good FICO score (700 minimum) and 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

3.34%

3.84%

Used Car Loan

3.34%

3.84%

Refinance Car Loan

3.34%

3.84%

LightStream currently has the same advertised loan rate for new, used, and refinanced auto loans. You’ll get the best savings by choosing the AutoPay option when applying for your loan. With AutoPay, your monthly payments will be automatically deducted from your bank account or credit card. Receiving invoices by mail adds an extra half of a percent to your rate.

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. LightStream’s interest rates start at 3.34 percent, which is one of the lowest rates available. You get the best rate when you sign up for the automatic billing and payment system. LightStream’s interest rate increases by half of a percent when you choose to receive your invoice by mail, and in this case, a few competitors’ starting rates better.

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. Those with blemishes on their credit should consider other auto lenders like Chase and myAutoloan, which are more forgiving of those with less-than-perfect credit. 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

3.34 – 3.84%

3.34 – 3.84%

3.34 – 3.84%

3.34 – 3.84%

Minimum Credit Score

700

700

700

700

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.

This loan also allows you to avoid the hassle of an in-person application process, as you can quickly apply online and receive a loan decision within a day. Additionally, LightStream offers a $100 guarantee that it will provide the best loan application experience you’ve ever had.

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 should not apply for a LightStream auto loan if you have subpar credit, a limited credit history with few types of credits, a poor debt-to-income ratio, and few assets. Still, LightStream considers each individual’s credit specifics and financial status before settling on a decision.

How to Apply for a LightStream Auto Loan

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.

Navigate to the LightStream homepage, then scroll down to enter your personal details. First, select your application type: joint or individual. Next, choose the primary purpose for your loan. Options include a new car purchase from a dealer, a used auto purchase from a dealer, a used auto purchase from an individual, an auto lease buyout, or an auto loan refinancing. You will then enter your zip code, the dollar amount for the loan, and your 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.

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After completing these steps, the site will display estimated ranges for your loan interest rate and monthly payments. However, your exact interest rate and monthly payment amount will be determined by your finances, credit profile, and at 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.

You will receive an approval or denial during business hours, shortly after your application is reviewed. 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. Having a good credit score and credit history are the most important factors in acquiring a SunTrust LightStream auto loan.

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

Most qualified LightStream borrowers have a FICO score of 700 or higher. Based on 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).

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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. That said, LightStream assesses each applicant’s finances individually when making a loan judgement. 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?

A LightStream auto loan allows you to purchase a new, used, or classic car. You can purchase a vehicle from a private seller or 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. An upfront payment can also potentially lower your interest rate, shorten the loan length, and reduce monthly payments. 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. However, if you have good credit and plan to purchase a new car, myAutoloan may offer you a lower APR than LightStream.

 

LightStream

myAutoloan

New Car Rates as Low as

3.34%

1.99%

Used Car Rates as Low As

3.34%

3.59%

Minimum Credit Score

Contact for number

500

Prepayment Penalties?

No

No

Minimum Monthly Income

Contact for amount

$2,000

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 700 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

3.34%

3.99%

Used Car Rates as Low As

3.34%

3.99%

Minimum Credit Score

Contact for amount

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 a poor credit history could end up paying as much as 24.99 percent 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

3.34%

4.29%

Used Car Rates as Low As

3.34%

4.29%

Minimum Credit Score

Contact for number

Contact for number

Prepayment Penalties?

No

No

Minimum Monthly Income

Contact for amount

Contact for amount

myAutoloan

APR Range: 1.99% - 27%

Loan Term: 24 - 84 months

Loan Range: $8,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska and Hawaii), with min. income of $1,800/month and min. credit score of 500

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer

myAutoloan presents up to four offers from a variety of participating lenders based on your specific loan requirements, offering a wide variety of choice and selections.

LightStream

APR Range: 3.34% - 17.49% (AutoPay Discount of 0.50% also included)

Loan Term: 24 - 144 months

Loan Range: $5,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

Must have good to excellent credit*

Vehicle Requirements:

No restrictions

LightStream caters heavily to applicants with very strong credit scores, offering a streamlined application process and a Rate Beat program that guarantees they'll beat any other qualifying offers an applicant receives.

Capital One

APR Range: 3.99% - 10.08%

Loan Term: 36 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

$1,800/month minimum income requirements, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska or Hawaii)

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Capital One network of dealers

Capital One offers a pre-qualification, which allows you to take your offer to any participating dealer within 30 days.

Chase

APR Range: 4.29% - 24.99%

Loan Term: 48 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Chase network of dealers, no older than 2008

After your application is approved, Chase will send the information to the dealer you choose. The offer is good for 30 days.

Bank of America

APR Range: 3.49+%

Loan Term: 12 - 75 months

Loan Range: $7,500 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama or Nebraska) U.S. resident

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer, valued at $6,000+, plus additional restrictions

Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients can receive an interest rate discount of 0.25-0.50% depending on their tier at the time of applying for an auto loan.

Company

Details

Requirements

Descriptions

myAutoloan

APR Range: 1.99% - 27%

Loan Term: 24 - 84 months

Loan Range: $8,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska and Hawaii), with min. income of $1,800/month and min. credit score of 500

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer

myAutoloan presents up to four offers from a variety of participating lenders based on your specific loan requirements, offering a wide variety of choice and selections.

LightStream

APR Range: 3.34% - 17.49% (AutoPay Discount of 0.50% also included)

Loan Term: 24 - 144 months

Loan Range: $5,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

Must have good to excellent credit*

Vehicle Requirements:

No restrictions

LightStream caters heavily to applicants with very strong credit scores, offering a streamlined application process and a Rate Beat program that guarantees they'll beat any other qualifying offers an applicant receives.

Capital One

APR Range: 3.99% - 10.08%

Loan Term: 36 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

$1,800/month minimum income requirements, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska or Hawaii)

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Capital One network of dealers

Capital One offers a pre-qualification, which allows you to take your offer to any participating dealer within 30 days.

Chase

APR Range: 4.29% - 24.99%

Loan Term: 48 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Chase network of dealers, no older than 2008

After your application is approved, Chase will send the information to the dealer you choose. The offer is good for 30 days.

Bank of America

APR Range: 3.49+%

Loan Term: 12 - 75 months

Loan Range: $7,500 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama or Nebraska) U.S. resident

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer, valued at $6,000+, plus additional restrictions

Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients can receive an interest rate discount of 0.25-0.50% depending on their tier at the time of applying for an auto loan.

Disclaimer: All information provided here is based on Annual Percentage Rate estimates from the websites of the individual lenders on 12/18/2018. It is not a binding or guaranteed loan offer. Individual auto loan rates will vary.

Notes: In compiling this data, we used new-car purchase rates for Virginia.

*To meet LightStream's standard for good credit, you must have several years of credit history with a variety of account types, including credit cards, installment debt (vehicle loans), and mortgages. LightStream also prefers to see few, if any, delinquencies and a history of savings, evidenced by things like deposit accounts and manageable revolving credit card debt. You'll also want to provide proof of stable and sufficient income to repay current debt obligations as well as any new loan with LightStream.

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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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