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How long does it take to get a personal loan?

It can take anywhere from one day to a few weeks, depending on the type of lender you go with.

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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.

How long does it take to get approved for a personal loan?

Getting approved for a personal loan can take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks, depending on the type of lender.

Provider typeTypical application timeTypical approval timeTypical funding timeTotal turnaround
Online direct lendersUnder 30 minutesA few minutes to a few business daysOne to two business daysOne business day to a week
Peer-to-peer lendersUnder 30 minutesA few minutes to a weekUp to one weekOne business day to two weeks
Banks and credit unions15 minutes to an hourA few business days to a few weeksUp to three weeksUp 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

  • Typically get approved in: A few minutes to a few business days.

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.

Peer-to-peer lenders

  • Typically get approved in: A few minutes to a week.

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.

Banks and credit unions

  • Typically get approved in: A few business days to a few weeks.

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.

How long does it take to get funds?

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.

Online direct lenders

  • Typically get your money in: One to two business days.

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.

Some lenders with fast approval times might take longer, however. For example, Upgrade can process your application quickly, but it can take up to four business days to get your funds.

Peer-to-peer lenders

  • Typically get your money in: One business day to a week.

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.

Banks and credit unions

  • Typically get your money in: The next day to a few weeks.

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.

What affects the turnaround time on a personal loan?

Aside from the type of lender you apply with, how long it takes to complete the personal loan process depends on your:

  • Preparedness. The more information you have in place at the time you apply, the faster the application process typically takes.
  • Source of income. Some lenders might take longer to process your application if you’re self-employed, since it can be more difficult to verify your income.
  • Personal credit. Lenders might ask for more information or documents if your credit score is less-than-perfect or you have a short credit history.

5 tips to speed up the application process

To get through the process as fast as possible, make sure you follow these five tips.

  1. Check lender’s eligibility. Applying for a loan you don’t qualify for means you’ll spend more time trying to find a loan in the long run. Also, if your lender uses a hard credit check, it’ll temporarily lower your credit score.
  2. Gather your documents. Find out what documents your lender typically asks for and compile them before starting the application.
  3. Have your information on hand. Having the exact numbers for your salary and monthly debt payments on hand can cut down on the time it takes to fill out the application.
  4. Ask questions. Not sure what details to include where? Asking a customer service rep can ensure you don’t make mistakes that could slow down your application. Some lenders even have a live-chat feature.
  5. Use a connection service if you have bad credit. Bad-credit borrowers might have a harder time finding a lender that they’re eligible for. Some online connection services can help you prequalify with multiple lenders even if you have a credit score as low as 580.

See top personal loan providers

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.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Turnaround Time Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
Credible personal loans
As soon as 1 business day
Fair to excellent credit
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Monevo personal loans
Varies by lender
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Fiona personal loans
Varies by lender
Get loan offers from multiple lenders at once without affecting your credit score.
LendingTree personal loans
If you apply during work hours on a business day you can get access to approved funds within 24 hours.
Good to excellent credit
Receive up to five loan offers in just minutes through LendingTree's simple online form.
SoFi personal loans
Up to 30 days
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
NetCredit personal loans
1 to 3 business days
No minimum
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
LightStream personal loans
Good to excellent credit
Borrow up to $100,000 with low rates and no fees.
Even Financial personal loans
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

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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