Increasing consumer awareness of its powersports lending product is at the top of LightStream’s priority list, according to Todd Nelson, the company’s business development officer.
“I think LightStream has a great product that serves the needs of many consumers in the powersports space, but very few people know about it,” he told Powersports Finance.
LightStream, headquartered in San Diego, is the online lending division of Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks. The company offers loans within the prime market for any powersport vehicle, and — with no application or origination fees — LightStream is a big believer in transparency.
“It’s very important to be as transparent as possible with customers — that’s really what it’s all about,” he said. “You can look at any loan purpose we offer and you can see all the rates and returns are all on public display,” which provides a better customer experience. “It’s certainly better from a regulatory compliance standpoint because there are not any surprises,” Nelson added.
The lender is also focusing on budding its dealer network, which has grown at a “very rapid clip,” Nelson said. LightStream makes loans for “a few hundred” powersport dealers and receives more than 10 inquiries per week from new dealers seeking to do business, he previously said.
Dealer inquiries include those who sell new and used OEM products, Nelson added. “They may have access to traditional indirect financing through those platforms, but they recognize there are limitations to the amount of funding they can get from their captive finance unit, or maybe some of those offers are not as competitive as the offers we can make.”
Most dealers “are looking for options, so we’ve seen hundreds of them contact us to provide something different for the customer,” he said. “There may be an advantage to that. For example, if you can show someone a good interest rate for a motorcycle, I think they will utilize that to try to attract more customers.”