Editor's choice: LendingClub personal loans
- Coapplicants welcome
- Check your rate without affecting your credit
- May qualify with a credit score of 640
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When you need extra money, knowing how long the lending process takes from start to finish helps you manage your expenses. But often lenders don’t tell you this up front.
While each application is different, the type of lender you borrow from tends to affect your turnaround time more than anything else.
Getting approved for a personal loan can take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks, depending on the type of lender.
|Provider type||Typical application time||Typical approval time||Typical funding time||Total turnaround|
|Online direct lenders||Under 30 minutes||A few minutes to a few business days||One to two business days||One business day to a week|
|Peer-to-peer lenders||Under 30 minutes||A few minutes to a week||Up to one week||One business day to two weeks|
|Banks and credit unions||15 minutes to an hour||A few business days to a few weeks||Up to three weeks||Up to six weeks|
Online and peer-to-peer lenders can approve your loan in as fast as a few minutes, while banks and credit unions can take as long as a few weeks. This is because online lenders tend to use algorithms to process your application, while banks and credit unions typically rely on staff for underwriting.
Online direct lenders are generally the fastest option for getting a loan. Filling out the application often takes no more than 15 minutes if you have your information and documents on hand. With some lenders, you can get approved within a few minutes. Others might want to review your application before they request documentation.
Although they tend to take longer overall than online direct lenders, peer-to-peer lenders typically don’t involve anything extra. Like with direct online lenders, approval can take a few minutes if you have all of your information and documents ready. However, some lenders might require more time.
One of the drawbacks of borrowing from a bank or credit union is that getting approved for a personal loan can take much longer. There are a couple reasons for this. For one, banks often have higher credit standards than online lenders and might take more time reviewing your application to make sure you meet their criteria.
Also, both banks and credit unions often don’t have the technology to process applications quickly. Many rely on staff to underwrite their loans, which generally takes more time.
You can get your funds as soon as the same day or within a few weeks, depending on your lender. Since application times vary from borrower to borrower, lenders often can’t give a very accurate idea of how long it takes to get approved. But most can give an estimate of how long it takes to get your funds.
Once you’re approved, the lender just transfers your funds to your bank account. Typically that kind of transfer takes around one business day, though some can get you your funds as soon as the same day if you’re approved that morning.
Since peer-to-peer lenders rely on investors to fund their loans, getting your money can take a little more time, sometimes as long as a week. But it’s possible to find peer-to-peer options that don’t take as long. For example, Upstart can get you your money as soon as the next business day.
If you already have an account with the bank or credit union you’re applying with, you might be able to get your loan funds much faster than if you have an account elsewhere. That’s because it doesn’t involve a transfer between banks, which can take some time. You may even be able to get your money as soon as the next business day.
However, since banks and credit unions aren’t automated like online lenders, some can take as long as a few weeks to get you your funds.
Aside from the type of lender you apply with, how long it takes to complete the personal loan process depends on your:
To get through the process as fast as possible, make sure you follow these five tips.
Have all of your information on hand? Select your credit score range and state of residence to find lenders that you might qualify with today.
It can take anywhere from one day to a few weeks to get a personal loan from start to finish. Online direct lenders are typically the fastest overall, though you can sometimes find quick funding from even a credit union. Funding speed might not be the only factor to consider when getting a personal loan, however.
To learn more about how they work and compare lenders, read our comprehensive guide to personal loans.
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