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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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 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. That’s because online lenders tend to use algorithms to process your application, while banks and credit unions typically rely on staff for underwriting.
|Provider type||Typical approval time||Typical funding time|
|Online direct lenders||A few minutes to a few business days.||1-2 business days.|
|Peer-to-peer lenders||A few minutes to a few business days.||Up to one week.|
|Banks and credit unions||A few days to a few weeks.||Up to three weeks.|
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 tend to take longer overall than online direct lenders, but getting approved typically doesn’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.
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.
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 might be able to get your funds much faster than if you have one with a different bank. 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:
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, check out our personal loans comprehensive guide.
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