Margin accounts and interest rates

Trade your strategy with maximum efficiency and save costs with margin rates as low as 9.25%

Margin rates

Margin borrowing is only for experienced traders with a high-risk tolerance. You may lose more than your initial investment. Rates are effective as of December 14, 2022. Contact us to learn about premium margin rates.


Debit Balance

  • 11.75%

    $0 - $49,999

  • 10.75%

    $50,000 - $249,999

  • 10.00%

    $250,000 - $499,999

  • 9.5%

    $500,000 - $999,999

  • 9.25%

    Over $1,000,000

Margin fees comparison

See how we compare

Trade on some of the most competitive rates in the industry. Based on published rates, December 14, 2022

Trade stock, options and futures

Lightspeed offers active and professional traders with highly accurate market data and superior executions with many order routing destinations.

Margin account types

Regulation T Margin

A Reg T account allows you to borrow up to 50% of the total purchase price of a security.

Learn more about margin

Portfolio Margin

A Portfolio Margin account may increase your leverage beyond the 4 to 1 intraday or 2 to 1 overnight margin available in a Reg T account.

Learn more about PMA margin requirements.

Margin rates

Frequently asked questions

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about margin.

Please use the online application and designate the account type, or you can download the appropriate application.

The minimum balance to maintain trading priviledges is $2,000. You would need to maintain a balance above $25,000 to be a pattern day trading margin account.

Please send an email request to newaccounts@lightspeed.com. A new account application and margin agreement may be required.

Please submit a new email request to service@lightspeed.com. Additional paperwork and approval will be required.

The formula for calculating margin on futures is:

Initial Margin Requirement = Number of contracts * initial margin rate set by the exchange

For example:

An account with Available Funds = $50,000

Let’s begin with the assumption that a futures trader has been approved to trade futures, and they intend to put on an opening position and fund their futures account with an initial deposit of $10,000.

To put the initial futures position on, the approved futures account must have enough buying power to cover the Initial Maintenance Requirement for that specific contract.

For example, if the initial maintenance requirement on the S&P E-Mini contract is $13,200, then an account with $50,000 of available funds will be able to purchase or sell short up to 3 contracts on a standard margin

To continue holding the position, the Maintenance Requirement, which is usually lower than the Initial Maintenance Requirement, must be maintained. Let’s continue our example with the S&P E-Mini contracts which have a Maintenance Requirement of $12,000. This means that the account must maintain $36,000 in buying power to hold the original 3 contracts. If the position incurs a loss and the amount of equity in the account falls below the $36,000 maintenance margin, it will trigger a margin call and a deposit of additional funds or liquidation of part, or all the open futures positions will be required.

The above calculations, which is the full margin calculation, apply to positions that are held overnight.

However, for intraday day traders, i.e., those that go home flat (close all positions by the end of the day), it is possible to get additional leverage.  This is granted by the Futures Clearing Member on an account-by-account basis as well as may be restricted to certain futures symbols.  The intraday leverage is usually set at 2:1 and thus at 50% of the overnight initial margin rate for most symbols and can be as high as 4:1, thus 25% of the overnight initial margin rate.  Note that intraday margin may not be available for highly volatile futures at the discretion of the FCM .

To continue with the above example, if the account was a day trading account and did not carry the positions overnight, and was afforded 2:1 intraday leverage, then the per contract initial margin rate would be 50% * $13,200 = $6,600, and thus with $50,000 in the account would be able to buy or sell up to 7 contracts.

The initial and maintenance margin rates are set by the exchange and can be adjusted as needed based on several factors including the notional value of the contract and volatility.

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Equities, equities options, and commodity futures products and services are offered by Lightspeed Financial Services Group LLC (Member FINRA, NFA and SIPC). Lightspeed Financial Services Group LLC’s SIPC coverage is available only for securities, and for cash held in connection with the purchase or sale of securities, in equities and equities options accounts. You may check the background of Lightspeed Financial Services Group LLC on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.