How Long Does it Take to Get a Personal Loan?

The time it takes to get a personal loan in the United States can vary depending on several factors, such as your credit score and the accuracy of your personal information on the application. Let’s understand the details about getting a personal loan in the country.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Personal Loan
How Long Does it Take to Get a Personal Loan?
Getting a personal loan can be significantly helpful in unexpected financial circumstances, including consolidating debt or financing a home renovation. However, the time it takes to approve the loan can vary from lender to lender. Here's what you need to know!
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Whether you’re self-employed or have a high debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, if you are looking for a personal loan, many factors depend on the type of lender you’re using. Every lender has its own application and approval process, and how long it takes for you to get a loan depends on this approval process. Let’s understand how long does it take to get a personal loan in the United States, along with other factors influencing the loan approval time. 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Personal Loan?

Getting a personal loan can take a few working days. The lender will first examine and accept your application. Then, you’ll have to review and accept the loan agreement. After signing, you could receive your funds the next day, or it may take several business days, depending on the lender.

Factors Influencing Loan Approval Time

Here are some of the common factors that determine the time it takes for loan approvals: 

Credit Score and History

It would help if you did your homework well before you can zero in on a lender. The primary requisite is to have a credible browser profile so that it’s easy to borrow money from the lender. Your credit score and credit history offer a snapshot of your past financial behavior, and lenders consider them before granting you a loan. Your credit score is a testament to your trustworthiness.

On the other hand, a poor credit history or a low credit score may either slow down the loan approval process or result in a rejection. To help you obtain a loan as quickly as possible, you should regularly check and rectify any errors in your credit report, be punctual when paying your credit card dues, and avoid accumulating additional debt.

Income and employment verification 

Prove to lenders your capacity to repay the loan. Lenders need to confirm the reliability of your income and the amount you earn. Thus, a stable job with a consistent income can expedite loan approval. If you’re self-employed or earn other non-wage income, you may need to provide additional types of documentation, such as business tax returns or alimony records.

Loan Amount and Type

The time required for loan approval also depends on the loan amount and the type of loan you seek.  The type of loan means the loan structure, such as secured or unsecured, fixed or variable interest rate, etc. If your loan amount is higher, it will take a more scrutinous process and a longer approval time. Due to lower risks, smaller unsecured loans may be completed faster.

You may apply for a smaller loan amount or select a less complicated loan type if you want your loan approved more quickly. If you understand the loan products well and prepare your application carefully, the loan can be hastened.

Lender’s Internal Process

The time for a personal loan to be approved dramatically depends on the lender’s internal process and operations. If you are hunting for a quick loan, research well and choose lenders who follow a swift process. Each financial organization has an internal procedure for assessing and granting loans. If you have a tight deadline, look into and select lenders who have quick processing timeframes. 

A lender’s efficiency can be ascertained by reading reviews, comprehending their stated deadlines, and contacting customer assistance. Furthermore, ensuring your application is correct and comprehensive might help avoid needless delays brought on by back-and-forth clarifications. Reword

Requirements for Obtaining a Personal Loan

Lenders impose conditions to ensure you are creditworthy and can repay a loan before approving it for a personal loan. Applicants must reach or surpass the benchmark credit score set by lenders. This score lets Lenders learn more about your credit history and debt repayment reliability. While some lenders might provide loans to borrowers with poor credit, these loans often have higher interest rates.

Lenders typically have a minimum income requirement and credit considerations to ensure their borrowers can repay the loan. Usually, as evidence of income, applicants must submit tax records or recent pay stubs. In addition, you must provide proof of address, typically in the form of utility bills or a rental agreement, for your present abode to be verified. 

Lastly, to verify your identity and legal status, you must present appropriate identification, such as a passport or driver’s license. Gather these documents in advance to expedite the application process and increase your chances of approval.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Personal Loan

How Long Each Step Takes

Getting a personal loan involves three key steps: Applying, being authorized and receiving funding. The time required for each stage varies according to the lender you are dealing with.


Although each lender has different standards for approval, almost all applications will ask for the same kinds of data. As a result, applying for a personal loan takes only a few minutes. When you apply, ensure you have your most recent federal tax return, identification, W-2s, bank statements, and other financial and personal papers to expedite the process.


You should receive information about the status of your application in a matter of minutes if a lender offers prequalification. This is because lenders who provide this function usually depend less on loan personnel to make decisions and more on computerized underwriting for approvals.

A company’s software, or technology that it pays to utilize assesses the data from your application and credit report when you undergo automated underwriting. If its investigation finds that you meet the lender’s standards, you will typically receive a conditional decision very quickly. However, the approval of the offer will still depend on the application data being verified, which may take a day or two.

Lenders who only use manual underwriting may need to add a few extra days to the process. This is so that the data can be compared to the underwriting guidelines after someone has reviewed it.


If authorized, funding usually takes two to five business days. If you choose direct deposit into a bank account, most banks and credit unions should be able to fund your loan within a week of your application; smaller banks and credit unions may take longer.

How can you speed up the personal loan process?

Follow these three tips to get your loan funded quickly.

Clear Up Any Credit Report Errors

The FTC states one in five people have credit report errors that can impact loan approval. Before applying for a personal loan, check all three credit bureau reports. Spot errors? Dispute them directly with the bureaus.

Know How Much You Need to Borrow

When you prequalify for a loan, the lender will ask for your desired amount. In light of the updated loan facts, the lender may need more time to process your application if the amount increases after you prequalify. Before applying for a personal loan, know exactly how much you need to borrow and what monthly payment you can afford.

Choose the Right Lender

Lenders typically require minimum income and credit scores, and it’s crucial to understand these requirements before you apply. You may not be eligible if your income is less than the minimum.

If you do not meet their credit score specifications, you can get someone to co-sign the personal loan. If you default on the loan, a co-signer assumes legal responsibility for it, lowering the lender’s risk. Applying with a co-signer will make getting a lower interest rate easier, saving you hundreds over the life of the loan.

Finding the right place to get a personal loan matters when you need money quickly. If you need the funds immediately, an online lender may be your best bet. Otherwise, speak with a bank or credit union to compare your possibilities.

Comparing Different Lenders’ Timelines

It is essential to realize that different lenders have varied turnaround times when applying for a personal loan. Let us look at the normal time frames for credit unions, internet lenders, and traditional banks.

Traditional Banks

Traditional banks are a solid option if you wait to need funds immediately and have an existing relationship with an institution. If you currently have accounts with a bank and they are aware of your creditworthiness, this could expedite the approval and funding procedure. Traditional banks typically take up to seven business days to fund personal loans after they are approved.

Some banks offer personal loans with funding timelines and quick prequalification of just a few days. If you already have an account, you may get better interest rates. Banks can automatically debit your checking account for payments, adding convenience. However, many banks take longer than online lenders to process applications and disburse funds. They have stricter credit requirements, making qualifying harder if your credit could be better.

Banks heavily rely on credit histories, disadvantaging customers with blemishes. Though banking relationships offer potential rate discounts if approved, the process is slower than online options.

Online Lenders

Online lenders offer fast approval times and a simple application process. However, receiving your money may take up to five business days. However, some of the best online personal loan lenders offer same-day approval and funding.

If you have little time to shop around and compare loans from different types of lenders, an online lender will give you the quickest process, from application to approval to funding. Most lenders will fund your loan within three business days of approval, but inaccurate application information or missing items can delay the process.

Online lenders commonly advertise same-day and next-day funding options. However, funding speed depends on when you apply and how quickly your bank processes deposits. Even with same-day approval and disbursement, the money may take two to three more business days to hit your account.

Credit Unions

If you apply through a credit union, approval takes one to three business days, and funding takes three or more business days.

Federal credit unions and smaller local/regional ones offer personal loans. Like banks, funding is slower with credit unions than with online lenders. However, having an account enables quicker direct deposit. Otherwise, picking up a check and signing in person adds days.

Credit unions have more lenient credit requirements than most banks and offer competitive interest rates. Unlike shareholder-owned banks, members own credit unions. Credit unions prioritize members’ financial success over profits and may offer better customer support than banks.


Getting approved for a personal loan depends on specific criteria, like your credit score, income level, employment status, and the lender’s specific criteria. It is relatively easy to get approved if you have a high credit score, a stable income, and a solid employment history. Search the internet, read reviews and talk to their existing customers. Advertisements are usually a great way to understand timelines. You can also contact customer service and enquire about the company regulations and approval process. Use Beem to check personalized rates and explore loan ranging from $500 to $100,000 without impacting your credit score.

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Fatema Yusuf

A passionate writer, who loves to write about anything and everything. She usually writes about finance and investment options. She enjoys talking about personal development and loves to help people grow. she loves to cook for kids and upcycle old stuff to give them a new life.


This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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