Rocket Loans vs. LightStream: Which Personal Loan Is Right for You?

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Edited byMargarita Barresi
Edited byMargarita Barresi

Updated: December 6, 2023

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Rocket Loans and LightStream are great options if you need money fast. LightStream personal loans are ideal for borrowers seeking larger loans of up to $100,000, while Rocket Loans are best for borrowers needing smaller loans under $5,000. LightStream may also be beneficial for those seeking more flexible repayment terms. However, the best personal loan lender will depend on your circumstances.

MoneyGeek compares Rocket Loans and LightStream and provides comprehensive, up-to-date information so you can choose the best personal loan option.

Key Takeaways

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Rocket Loans and LightStream are popular U.S. personal loan providers offering quick funding to those with good-to-excellent credit.

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When choosing a lender, borrowers should consider its APRs, credit score requirements, loan amount range, repayment terms and disbursement period.

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Lenders usually calculate your APR based on your credit score. By understanding how your lender determines your APR, you can make the best decision based on your credit history.

Rocket Loans or LightStream: Overview

LightStream offers a more extended payment range than Rocket Loans, but Rocket Loans has lower credit score requirements. The personal loan lender that's right for you will depend on your needs and circumstances. Rocket Loans and LightStream have different APRs, credit scoring requirements, loan amounts and repayment terms, so it is important to compare them carefully before choosing a lender.

Rocket Loans


  • Rocket Loans

    Small- to medium-sized loans with same-day funding available


    • 5.97% to 29.69%APR Range
    • 640Minimum Credit Score
    • $2,000 to $45,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds

    Rocket Loans allows you to borrow between $2,000 and $45,000 and repay the loan within 36 to 60 months. It requires a minimum credit score of 640 and conducts a soft credit check, so your credit score won't be affected. Those who enroll in autopay get a 0.5% discount.

    You can use a Rocket Loans personal loan to consolidate debt, make home improvements, finance travel expenses, purchase cars and make other large purchases. Rocket Loans disburses funds the next day after your application is approved.

    Pros

    • 0.5% autopay discount
    • Requires only fair credit score
    • Conducts a soft credit check that doesn't affect credit score
    • $2,000 minimum loan amount

    Cons

    • 1%–6% origination fee
    • $45,000 maximum loan amount
    • High credit requirements compared to other lenders
    • Loan amount: $2,000 to $45,000
    • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months
    • Minimum credit score: 640
    • Time to receive funds: Next day
    Rocket Loans

LightStream


  • LightStream

    Same-day funding for borrowers who need large loans


    • 4.49% to 20.49%APR Range
    • 660Minimum Credit Score
    • $5,000 to $100,000Loan Amount Range
    • 24 to 84 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Same DayTime to Receive Funds

    Those looking for a quick way to finance more expensive projects or purchases will like LightStream's personal loans. The lender offers same-day funding of up to $100,000 and flexible repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. Borrowers can pay off the loan early without incurring a penalty charge.

    Although LightStream has a broad range of APRs, it requires a credit score of at least 660, so applicants with bad or no credit might want to consider other options. In addition, LightStream has a minimum loan amount of $5,000, so you may want to look elsewhere if you need a smaller loan.

    Pros

    • Loan amount up to $100,000
    • Offers a discount for automatic payments
    • No prepayment penalties
    • Has a mobile app

    Cons

    • Does not offer loan pre-approval
    • Loans of less than $5,000 not available
    • High credit requirements compared to other lenders
    • Limits use of funds
    • Performs hard credit inquiry that impacts credit scores
    • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
    • Repayment terms: 24 to 84 months
    • Minimum credit score: 660
    • Time to receive funds: Same day
    LightStream

APR Range

Lender
APR Range

Rocket Loans

5.97% to 29.69%

LightStream

4.49% to 20.49%

APR stands for annual percentage rate, which is the yearly interest rate you pay on your loans. You should factor in the APR when evaluating potential loan costs. Generally, lenders offer borrowers with good credit scores lower APRs. The type of loan you take out, the amount and the payment terms will also affect your APR.

Although getting a low APR is important, it’s one factor among many to consider when choosing a personal loan lender.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

When it comes to APRs, LightStream beats Rocket Loans with a lower minimum and maximum. The lower the APR, the lower the overall cost of your loan.

Nevertheless, you should look for more than just a low APR when selecting a lender. A lender's repayment terms, loan amounts and credit requirements are also important factors to consider. By comparing quotes from different lenders, you can find the best lender for you.

Minimum Credit Score

Lender
Credit Score

Rocket Loans

640

LightStream

660

Rocket Loans and LightStream require good credit scores, making them unsuitable lenders for people with bad credit. An individual's credit score is a measure of their ability to pay back debts on time. A higher credit score can lead to better loan terms, like a lower interest rate.

Many factors can affect your credit score, including your payment history, credit history length and debt-to-income ratio. To build your credit, pay your bills on time and avoid closing old accounts, which will shorten your credit history.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

Rocket Loans and LightStream have similar credit score requirements and are not suited to borrowers with bad credit. The higher your credit score, the better your loan terms.

Before choosing a lender, shop around and compare the terms different companies offer.

Loan Amount Range

Lender
Loan Amount Range

Rocket Loans

$2,000 to $45,000

LightStream

$5,000 to $100,000

The maximum loan amount refers to the highest amount a lender will allow applicants to borrow, while a minimum loan amount pertains to the lowest amount available.

LightStream offers loans up to $100,000, significantly higher than Rocket Loans’ maximum of $45,000. However, applicants can borrow as little as $2,000 with Rocket Loans. Rocket Loans is best for loans under $5,000, but LightStream is better for major expenses like debt consolidation or home renovation.

Regardless of the lender's maximum, the amount of your loan will depend on several factors, including your creditworthiness, the loan's repayment period, its purpose and other lender-specific criteria. Lenders with broader loan amount ranges offer more borrowing flexibility.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

Rocket Loans and LightStream offer vastly different loan amount ranges. With a maximum loan amount of $100,000, LightStream has an obvious advantage. However, those who need loans of less than $5,000 may prefer Rocket Loans.

The best lender for you will depend on your needs. Remember that loans cost money, so never borrow more than necessary.

Repayment Terms

Lender
Repayment Terms

Rocket Loans

36 or 60 months

LightStream

24 to 84 months

The repayment term is the amount of time the bank gives you to repay your loan. The shorter the term, the lower your interest rate, but the higher the monthly payments. However, shorter repayment terms are preferable if you can swing the higher monthly payments.

LightStream offers terms ranging from two to seven years, while Rocket Loans provides two options: three or five years. While LightStream offers greater flexibility, longer repayment terms cost more. Be mindful of this when evaluating lenders.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

Due to its repayment period of 24 to 84 months, LightStream offers borrowers a broader range of options to repay their loans. However, the longer the repayment term, the more interest you'll have to pay. So, if you can afford higher monthly payments, you're better off choosing a shorter repayment period.

Time to Receive Funds

Lender
Time to Receive Funds

Rocket Loans

Next day

LightStream

Same day

LightStream disburses funds on the same day it approves your application, making the lender a great option for people facing financial emergencies.

Applying online is the quickest way to get a personal loan. Many lenders allow customers to prequalify without affecting their credit scores. LightStream, however, performs a hard inquiry, while Rocket Loans performs a soft inquiry that won’t affect your credit score.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

LightStream wins in this category. When lenders release funds more quickly, borrowers can spend their money sooner. Disbursement speed is crucial if you need the money for an emergency. While quickly receiving money is a great advantage, also look at other factors like the interest rate before making a decision.

Final Thoughts

Rocket Loans and LightStream are credible lenders offering personal loans across the U.S.

LightStream features a broader range of loan amounts from $5,000 to $100,000, making it suitable for people who need a midrange or large loan. Borrowers can also choose repayment terms between two and seven years. Additionally, the lender disburses funds quickly, usually on the same day.

On the other hand, Rocket Loans allows borrowers to borrow amounts as low as $2,000. Additionally, unlike LightStream, Rocket Loans conducts a soft credit check that doesn't affect your credit score. And although both lenders have high credit score requirements, Rocket Loans has a lower minimum limit.

Ultimately, your individual needs will dictate which company is right for you. If you want the best deal, always compare multiple lenders before deciding.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loan Lenders

We answered a few commonly asked questions about personal loans so you can choose the best lender for your needs.

What documents do I need to provide to personal loan lenders?
How do I know what my credit score is?
Do lenders conduct a hard inquiry?
Are interest rates on personal loans the same for all lenders?
Do lenders charge fees for personal loans?
What are the advantages of applying for a personal loan online?
Is prepayment allowed on personal loans?
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The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.