If youâ€™re in the market for a quick, affordable and hassle-free way to finance your next car, a LightStream auto loan should definitely be on your radar. Itâ€™s particularly well-suited for deal-seekers with good credit who donâ€™t mind working with an online company when it comes to financing their cars. If youâ€™d rather work with a local company that can offer in-person support, however, you might want to skip this lender.
LightStream offers a wide range of options for financing your next ride, including:
LightStream offers the same starting rate whether youâ€™re buying a new or used car from a dealer, something you donâ€™t see at other lenders. But keep in mind that the lowest rates go to those with the best credit who opt for the shortest loan terms possible and use autopay to make their car payments.
If you see a lower rate elsewhere, LightStream will beat any verified offer with a rate that is .10 percentage points lower. It also promises a $100 guarantee within 30 days if you arenâ€™t satisfied with your loan experience.
The only way you can apply for a LightStream auto loan is through its online form. It is an online lender, after all, so you should be comfortable with handling your business details â€” including the loan application â€” online. Youâ€™ll need to:
Youâ€™ll also need to have a Visa or Mastercard credit card to apply, which LightStream uses during the verification process.
You will be asked to provide:
From there, LightStream may contact you for more details and documentation. If approved, youâ€™ll need to sign your loan documents electronically and provide LightStream with your bank account details. The money will then be deposited into your bank account, which means youâ€™ll need to pass it along to the seller, whether thatâ€™s a dealer or private seller. LightStream will not send the money to the seller directly.
Itâ€™s important to note that LightStream doesnâ€™t offer any preapproval options, but if you apply and are approved for a loan, you are under no obligation to accept the loan.
LightStream requires good credit at a minimum, but looks for excellent credit when giving the best rates. It defines excellent credit as:
LightStream offers the convenience of an online lender with the backing of a brick-and-mortar bank as the online arm of Truist, the bank created by the merger of SunTrust Bank and BB&T. But itâ€™s important to weigh all of your options carefully when choosing an auto loan. Itâ€™s one of the biggest purchases youâ€™ll make, after all.
If youâ€™d like a bit more of a guided approach to the car-buying process, Capital Oneâ€™s Auto Navigator loan options might be better for you. Rather than sending you cash directly that you can use on whatever car you want to buy, Capital Oneâ€™s Auto Navigator service lets you first get prequalified for financing, and then shows you which dealers in your area may offer based on the type of car you want to buy and the financing you can afford.
If any of the offerings pique your interest, you can then finish the application and buy the car. Itâ€™s still a good idea to compare the offer with other new and used car loan rates.
Carvana works similarly to Capital One Auto Navigator in that you can prequalify for financing and browse real cars in your area that you may then be able to buy. Itâ€™s important to remember that Carvana only sells used cars and its financing is only available on Carvana cars. But it is possible to finance here with poor credit â€” Carvana requires borrowers to be 18 years old, have no active bankruptcies on their credit report and earn at least $4,000 per year.