LightStream to Leverage Platform for Shared-Mobility Models, Exec Says

LightStream’s unsecured loan offering is poised to support a shared-ownership model, said Business Development Officer Todd Nelson.

“We’re different, we offer consumers an unsecured loan, we let them buy whatever they want,” Nelson said yesterday at the 2017 Auto Finance Innovation event. “So, in the concept of fractional ownership, it’s fine for us, because we’re going to underwrite the consumer.”

LightStream, a subsidiary of SunTrust Banks, is able to offer unsecured vehicle loans because it lends to consumers with super-prime credit profiles, where “collections and expected losses are so low,” he said.

Historically, full-spectrum lenders are more comfortable with collateralized lending, “because if, at the end of the day, the consumer doesn’t pay, we can go grab that collateral, and sell it to get our money back,” Nelson said.

However, with the right credit profile, it “doesn’t really matter” what they are buying, because Lightstream is underwriting the consumer, not the collateral, he said. “If ‘Steve’ wants to borrow $50,000 for a shared-Faraday car, he’s got the right credit profile, so we’re good with that,” Nelson said.

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