LightStream is an American online lender that is a division of Truist Bank.[1] Truist was formed in December 2019, as the result of a “merger of equals" between SunTrust Bank (of which LightStream was a division) and BB&T.[2]

Company typePublic
IndustryFinancial technology
Founded2012; 12 years ago (2012)
HeadquartersSan Diego, California
Area served
United States
ProductsPersonal loans
Number of employees

Debuting in March 2013, LightStream is a financial services technology company that provides unsecured, personal loans to people with good credit rating, through a digital process.

On April 20, Truist announced that it will fold LightStream into its broader consumer business, a move designed to reduce the costs of operating a separate brand.

Predecessor companies histories


PeopleFirst Finance LLC


PeopleFirst was established in 1995, by founders Gary Miller and Dave G. Zeller, who had backgrounds in the auto finance and banking industries. Based in San Diego, California, the company began offering direct-to-consumer auto loans through the internet in 1997. People applied online and when approved, quickly received a so-called "Blank Check" loan by mail. By 2003, PeopleFirst had grown to be the nation's largest online vehicle lender.[3]

Capital One


Capital One purchased PeopleFirst in 2001.[4] In 2003, the PeopleFirst brand name was changed to Capital One Auto Finance.[3]



FirstAgain was started by the founders of PeopleFirst along with W.R. (Randy) Ellspermann. Launching in 2005, FirstAgain expanded its online financing to include purposes beyond vehicle loans, giving unsecured loans for practically any purpose to consumers with excellent credit. This has since been adopted by others in the fintech industry.[5]

SunTrust Bank


SunTrust Bank purchased FirstAgain in 2012.[6] It was rebranded and launched as LightStream in 2013.[7]


  1. ^ SEC. "Bb&t Corp 2019 Current Report 8-K". Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  2. ^ "BB&T and SunTrust receive regulatory approvals for merger of equals to form Truist". Truist Newsroom. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  3. ^ a b "PeopleFirst Changes Brand to Capital One Auto Finance". Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  4. ^ "FORM 10-K". Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  5. ^ "FirstAgain Reports Rapid Rise of Online Unsecured Personal Loans as the Alternative to Ever-Shrinking Bank Lending Options". PRWeb. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  6. ^ "SunTrust Acquires Online Lender FirstAgain". American Banker. 2012-01-23. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  7. ^ "Podcast 73: Todd Nelson of Lightstream". Lend Academy. 2016-09-02. Retrieved 2021-05-27.