How Long Does It Take To Get A Personal Loan?

The amount of time you have to wait to get a personal loan is crucial when you need money quickly. If you have to pay rent, schedule an emergency surgery for your dog or cover unexpected car maintenance costs, you often can’t wait more than a few days. Unfortunately, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer: it can vary depending on the lender.

Here’s what we know about how long the process—from application to funding—takes.

How Long It Takes to Get a Personal Loan at a Glance

The process to get a personal loan depends on the type of lender you’re using and if you have a straightforward application or if you have any extenuating circumstances, like being self-employed or having a high debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.

While most types of lenders share a similar application process, each individual lender has its own approval process, which can vary the time it takes to get a personal loan. Here’s an overview of how long it takes, on average, to get a personal loan with a bank, credit union and online lender.

Online Lender

Online lenders typically offer fast approval times and a simple application process. However, it still may take up to five business days to receive your money. Some of the best online personal loans lenders, however, do offer same-day approval and funding.

Read more  Can You Use a Business Loan to Buy Rental Properties?

If you don’t have a lot of time to shop around and compare loans from different types of lenders, an online lender will typically have the quickest process, from application to approval to funding.


Traditional banks are a solid option if you don’t need funds immediately and have an existing relationship with an institution. If a bank already understands your reputation as a borrower and you hold your accounts under that institution, it may help speed up the approval and funding process. Once approved, personal loans from traditional banks typically take up to seven business days to fund.

Credit Unions

Credit unions cater toward people within their communities because membership requires you to live in a specific area. If you’re not in immediate need of personal loan funds and are already a member of a local credit union, consider applying for a personal loan through yours. It typically takes up to seven business days for the funds to hit your account once approved.

How Long It Takes to Get a Personal Loan From Top Providers

3 Tips for Quick Personal Loan Approvals

Follow these three tips to get your personal loan funded quickly.

1. Clear Up Any Credit Report Errors

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), about one in five people have an error on their credit report that can affect their ability to qualify for a loan. Before applying for a personal loan, check your credit report with all three credit bureaus to see if there are any mistakes. If you spot an error, you can dispute it directly with the credit bureau.

Read more  Can I get a car loan if I’m unemployed?

You view your credit report from the three credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion—on Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you can receive free weekly credit reports through April 20, 2022. Normally, you can check it only once per year.

It’s crucial to check your credit report from all three bureaus because the information can vary. If you only check one or two, you may not see a mistake on the third bureau’s credit report.

Related: How To Dispute Credit Report Errors Easily

2. Know How Much You Need to Borrow

When you prequalify for a loan, the lender will ask for your desired loan amount. If that amount changes after you prequalify, the lender may need more time to run your application based on the new loan details.

Make sure you know exactly how much you need to borrow and the monthly payment you can afford before applying for a personal loan.

3. Choose the Right Lender

Lenders typically have minimum income and credit score requirements, and it’s crucial to understand these requirements before you apply.

If your income is below its minimum, you likely won’t qualify.

If you don’t meet their credit score requirements, you can ask someone to co-sign on the personal loan. A co-signer becomes legally responsible for the loan if you default, reducing the risk you pose to the lender. Applying with a co-signer will make it easier to get a lower interest rate, which could save you hundreds over the life of the loan.

Bottom Line

When you need money quickly, finding the right place to get a personal loan matters. An online lender may be your best bet if you need the funds as soon as possible, otherwise, compare your options with a bank or credit union.

Read more  Westlake Financial vs. Autopay: Which offers better auto loans?