LightStream is a bit of a quirk in the auto loan business. Its car loan rates keep popping up in different comparisons by state, not providing the absolute best option but sitting in good competition for second or third place in the current rate offerings out there. The company is not a fly-by-night operation either. It's a bona fide lender backed up by a registered bank.
LightStream is currently offering car loans for 4-year and 5-year periods between 2.7 and 3 percent for cars under $25,000. Cars under retail value of $50,000 are being financed at 2.7 to 2.9 percent, depending on the duration of the loan period. The rates are established as fixed rates, and tend to be cheaper the more expensive the car is that is financed.
LightStream operates as a lending subsidiary of Sun Trust Bank, with a primary focus on only generating new financing. Unlike traditional banks, LightStream does not offer other common banking services such as savings accounts or checking. Instead, the company is primarily focused on generating loans for customers for autos, real estate, specific medical financing, education, and certain specific business ventures.
If a borrower isn't too caught up on the specific nuances of a lender's operation, LightStream offers an alternative approach to auto financing versus what is offered through a traditional credit union or bank. However, customers do need to have excellent credit to qualify for the best rates available. The lender does not make its loan products and lower rates available to just everyone who may apply.