Based in San Diego, Light Stream is the online consumer lending division of SunTrust Banks, Inc. Since Light Stream is a lender, it doesn’t lease or install solar equipment. Light Stream offers loans for a variety of things, including jewelry, horses, school tuition and solar energy.
Solar loans: Light Stream provides solar loans from $5,000 to $100,000, with loan terms of up to 84 months. The company offers loans to those who have been turned down for home equity loans or who’ve had their home equity line of credit frozen.
Paperless application: LightStream’s application is entirely digital, meaning you won’t have to print, fax or mail anything. Review of and response to applications takes less than one business day, and LightStream aims to deposit your money on the same day.
Loan experience guarantee: If you’re dissatisfied with LightStream’s loan process, it will give you a $100 reward for filling out a complaint questionnaire. This offer expires in the first 30 days of receiving your loan.
Rate Beat Program: LightStream will match any other lender’s interest rate (APR) by 0.10 percent if the loan is for the same amount, term and purpose. You must be approved for the other lender’s loan for this program to work. Details can be found on the “About” page.
States available: Since LightStream is an all-purpose lender, it is not limited by location.
Based in Teaneck, New Jersey, Sunlight Financial is a solar financing company providing residential solar loans. The company also partners with solar suppliers and installers to offer its loans as a third party.
Solar loans: Sunlight Financial’s solar loans have terms of 10 to 25 years, with interest rates ranging from 2.49 to 6.99 percent.
Partner program: Sunlight Financial partners with solar brands, which bring Sunlight’s loans to homeowners. Sunlight provides customizable loan products for each brand.
No risk to your home: Sunlight Financial’s solar loans are secured by the solar energy system, not your home, so defaulting on a solar loan does not put your home at risk.
Phone or online applications: Sunlight Financial emphasizes the speed and simplicity of its applications, which can be done through the phone or online.
States available: Sunlight Financial serves consumers in all 50 states.
VERT Solar Finance
Based in Houston, VERT Solar Finance is a solar financing company that funds large-scale solar energy projects. The company advises and funds property owners, developers and investors creating solar energy in North America.
High-dollar portfolio: Since 2009 (as VERT Investment Group before 2015), VERT has advised on over 50 transactions totaling more than $20 billion. The company has transacted on more than 7,500 megawatts of power.
Long-term support: VERT’s financing system supports the entire lifecycle of a large-scale solar project. The company offers technical and project management expertise to clients.
High profile projects: In 2012, VERT Solar Finance provided tax equity to FLS Energy to create the nation’s then largest solar farm, with more than 2,100 solar panels, in St. Pauls, North Carolina.
Solar playbook: VERT Solar Finance’s e-book, The VERT Solar Playbook, is available at no cost on its website. The e-book offers guidance to those who want to get involved in the solar industry: investors, property owners and developers.
States available: VERT Solar Finance is available throughout North America.
Based in Oakland, California, Mosaic is a solar financing company that provides solar loans to homeowners and partnerships with solar installers. The company operates in more than 30 states and offers a loan with no money down.
Power Switch Loan:
Mosaic’s Power Switch Loan lets you borrow the upfront capital so you can finance a solar energy system with no money down. The interest is simple instead of compounded, meaning that you’re not charged on interest that has already accrued.
Mosaic portal: Mosaic’s online platform helps you connect with your Mosaic contractor. The portal allows you to submit information, sign documents and contact customer support.
Rolling solar loan: Mosaic has the option to roll your solar loan into your existing mortgage. This requires you to refinance your home and allows you to consolidate your mortgage payments and solar loan payments into one payment.
Solar battery: Mosaic’s solar financing comes with an option to finance a solar battery, which cooperates with your electric grid and can use more battery power during peak usage times, when grid electricity is more expensive.
States available: AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, MA, ME, MI, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, UT, VA, WA, WY
Affordable Solar works exclusively with solar contractors to help them with financing, equipment and distribution. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the company works on both domestic and international projects.
Financing: Affordable Solar uses GreenSky, a credit and financing company, to help contractors offer solar loans to their customers. GreenSky provides credit limits as high as $65,000.
Equipment: With distribution centers across the United States, Affordable Solar sells wholesale solar panels, turnkey solar systems, solar inverters and racking.
Elite Installer Program: Affordable Solar’s certification system, the Elite Installer Program, gives contractors the ability to partner with the company and receive benefits such as a line of credit, equipment financing, product training and automatic procurement.
Cash flow: Through an online portal, Affordable Solar helps installers finance solar jobs with an unlimited line of credit. The installer sells a job, submits the information through the online portal, receives the equipment from Affordable Solar and documents it for proof.
Solar tools: Affordable Solar has many useful tools and links for contractors on its website. The company’s Off-grid Estimator can estimate how much power a home would need to run on purely solar energy, while more technical tools like the Inverter Sizing Guide and the Wire Sizing Charts can help contractors with complex measurements.
States available: Affordable Solar is available across the United States and has distribution points in California, New Mexico and Puerto Rico.
In business since 1997, REC Solar is a solar solutions company targeting the agriculture, commercial, enterprise, utility and public sectors. The company offers financing, engineering support, operational support and storage.
Financing: REC Solar’s financing options include PPAs (power purchase agreements), leases, cash or loan options. The company’s leases have terms from seven to 10 years, while their PPAs have terms from 20 to 25 years.
EPC: REC Solar offers engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) support for large-scale solar projects. It provides support for roof-mounted panels, ground-mounted arrays and carport-mounted systems.
Operations and maintenance: REC performs repair, cleaning and monitoring once your system is installed. These services are rendered over the 25-plus-year lifespan of your solar energy system.
Energy storage: REC uses solar batteries and system monitoring to ensure that your battery kicks in when grid rates are high, saving you money when energy prices spike.
States available: AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, PR, TX, UT, VA,