Editor's choice: Credible personal loans
- Loan range: $1,000-$100,000
- Personalized rates in minutes
- Funds as soon as 1 day
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It can take anywhere from a few hours to over a month to get a personal loan. It depends on the type of lender and how easy it is to verify your personal information. Online lenders are usually the fastest, while banks and credit unions are known for being slow.
But there is one exception. If your bank or credit union already has all the information it needs to process your application, it can quickly approve your loan and instantly deposit the funds into your account.
While each application is different, the type of lender you borrow from tends to affect your turnaround time more than anything else.
|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
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
Getting approved for a personal loan can take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks, depending on the type of lender.
Online and peer-to-peer platforms 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 new applicants.
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 platforms 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. Here, online lenders are also often the fastest. But banks you already have an account with can deposit the funds instantly.
Once you’re approved, online lenders just send the money to your bank account with an ACH transfer. 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 over a week. But it’s possible to find peer-to-peer options that don’t take as long. For example, LendingClub can get you your money within four business days.
Banks often rely on ACH transfers to deposit the funds, and in many cases it takes just as long as an online lender to receive the funds. But if it's not initiated right away, it could take a few weeks after approval. It's often much faster if you have an account, however. Banks and credit unions tend to prioritize current customers and don't need to initiate a transfer. You may even be able to get your money as soon as the same day.
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.
Common questions about personal loan turnaround times.
In some cases you can get a personal loan the same day you apply. Look for lenders that offer same-day funding like LightStream or Rocket Loans. Or, ask your bank or credit union if they offer same-day funding on personal loans for current customers.
It depends on the lender, but generally you need to be over 18, a US citizen or permanent resident and have a credit history to get a personal loan. But to qualify for the best options, you usually need a personal loan over 760, a full-time job and few personal debts. Factors like your monthly cashflow, career and level of education can also affect your ability to get approved for competitive interest rates and loan terms.
Pay advance apps like Earnin often offer instant approval and same-day funding — though often for a fee. Technically, these are not personal loans, however. They're advances on the wages you've already earned at an hourly job, which you can receive in exchange for a monthly membership fee or optional tip.
Since your employer already owes you the money you receive through a pay advance app, it's often easier to get approved quickly than a personal loan.
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