Monday, October 13, 2014

LightStream Offers Alternative To Traditional Timeshare Financing

If you've purchased a timeshare, you are familiar with the financing that the resorts offer you.  Let's say they're not the most value driven.  The numbers can look something like this:

Loan Amount                                     $20,000

     Term of Loan                                     6 years (72 months)

     Interest Rate Charged                       15.9%

     Monthly Payment                              $432.74

     Actual Cost                                        $31,157.28

Until now, purchasers had limited alternatives to this.  Recently however, LightStream, a division of SunTrust Bank, has come on the market to offer timeshare purchasers who meet their requirements (such as a good FICO score) significantly lower than average resort-based financing in an simple, online format that generally takes no more than 24 hours.  Now the numbers can look something like this:                       

Loan Amount                                       $20,000

           Term of Loan                                       6 years (72 months)

Interest Rate Charged                          9.24%

Monthly Payment                                  $362.90

Actual Cost                                            $26,128.80

Savings Over Traditional Financing       $5,028.48

To find out more about LightStream, I sat down with Gary Pierce, VP of Business Development at SunTrust Bank
Gary, tell us a little bit about the genesis of the LightStream product and why SunTrust decided to include timeshare.
The online lending division of SunTrust Bank, LightStream is designed to serve clients who want the convenience and value of online banking.  For people who have good credit and a substantial credit history, LightStream can provide unsecured loans at fixed, competitive rates that can be used for virtually anything.  This allows Lightstream to fund purchases where---like for timeshares---loans have traditionally been difficult to find or have been offered at comparatively high interest rates.

What has the response been from the timeshare purchaser since you launched?

The LightStream experience has surprised and delighted timeshare customers.  They’re impressed with LightStream’s fixed loan rates, process ease, flexible terms, and excellent customer experience.  They also like that there are no fees, no appraisals, and no prepayment penalties.

Are there any timeshares or type of timeshares that LightStream is excluding?

No.  Funds can be used for any timeshare purchase in any location.  Loans for $5,000-$100,000 are available to qualified borrowers who have good credit and substantial credit history.  (Borrowers must be U.S.citizens).  Funds are deposited directly into borrower’s bank account, often as soon as the day they apply.  Not only can funds be used for the timeshare’s purchase, but also for associated costs such as insurance, travel, etc.
(EXCLUSIONS ·         Funds must be used for the stated loan purpose ·         Funds cannot be used to finance/refinance an existing LightStream loan)

Can a purchaser be preapproved for this financing before the sales presentation in much the same way someone would be pre-approved for a mortgage?

No.  LightStream does not provide pre-approvals.  However, many people prepare to go into the timeshare market with a LightStream loan already in place.  With funds in their bank account, they’re able to negotiate with the power of a cash buyer.

Because LightStream loans range from $5,000 to $100,000, they are able to be used for any timeshare purchase: primary market, secondary market, and refinancing of existing loans.

For more information, check out or their partner, the National Timeshare Owners Association at

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