Time Needed to Get a Personal Loan [And What It Depends On]


Ever had a situation where you badly needed a loan soon? One can never be sure when you may need some more money than you planned. But how long does it take to get a personal loan? Is there anything you can do to get it faster? We will answer these questions and also cover the following:

  • where you can get a personal loan
  • how long does it take to get a personal loan?
  • information and tips for getting approved quickly

Where Can You Get a Personal Loan?

The place you’ll choose to apply for a personal loan will greatly depend on which option offers the best interest rate, how long you will have to pay out the loan, and the terms of the loan contract. There are three options that people usually go with when applying for a personal loan:

Brick-and-mortar banks

Banks are for-profit organizations, which usually have higher interest rates than credit unions or online lenders. People see banks as solid financial institutions; that’s why many apply there for a loan. Usually, the personal loan application time in banks is by far the longest. However, If the money is not an issue right away, and you already have an account with the bank, this is a reasonable option. If you already have an account with a bank, the whole process could be quicker since they have a full understanding of your financial assets and scores. If you like the old-fashioned way of applying at a physical location, or you are not tech-savvy, then a bank could be your best option.

Online banks and lenders

Online lenders and banks let you search and apply for personal loans online. Applying for a personal loan online is an alternative to traditional banks that allows you to apply for a loan without setting foot in a bank. Also, personal loan processing is faster online. If you need the money quickly and don’t want to shop around and compare loans from different lenders – online lenders are the perfect solution.

Credit unions

If you’re wondering “where and how fast can I get a personal loan?”, credit unions could be one of the fastest options. They are small non-profit financial institutions that help support the needs of their members, while members pay a small membership fee. When wondering where to apply for a personal loan, credit unions could be one of the first options that come to mind because they offer lower fees and low-interest rates for their members. Additionally, they consider giving loans to people with good to fair credit scores.

DID YOU KNOW: During the pandemic, the overall personal loan debt owed by US citizens increased by $18 billion.

What Does This Period Depend On?

How long does a personal loan take to process, and what does it depend on? While all lenders share more or less the same application process, every lender has their own way they process personal loan applications. For instance, if you apply for a loan at a credit union and someone else applies for a loan in a bank, the chances of getting approved at the same time are minimal. The approval time will vary depending on the type of lender you choose. Additionally, lenders take into consideration your income, credit score, occupation, age, etc.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Personal Loan?

Personal loans are one-time lump-sum payments that first need to be approved before being transferred to your checking account. While most lenders have the same application process, the approval time could vary from lender to lender. Some may decide on same-day approval, while with others, you might have to wait up to a week.

Brick-and-mortar banks

How long does it take to get a personal loan from a bank? Yet again, it mostly depends on your financial situation, along with the bank approval time. In most cases, getting a personal loan from brick-and-mortar banks is by far the longest way to get the money. It takes five to seven business days for the application to be approved and another five to seven days for the loan money to be transferred.

Online lenders

Online lenders have designed their services to be fast and easily accessible. When applying for a personal loan with an online lender, be aware that the personal loan approval time frame could vary from one to five business days, which is faster than with any other type of lender. In some cases, a borrower may even be granted instant approval.

An important thing to remember is to review the personal loan application form to make sure that there are no mistakes or inconsistencies. The great thing is that everything is handled online, from applying for the loan (which takes only a few minutes) to getting the actual approval. Once you receive the money, you can then handle your finances online as well via websites or mobile apps.

Credit unions

How long does it take to get a personal loan from a credit union? Those applying for a personal loan with a credit union have to wait for one to five business days for the application to be approved. Usually, it takes up to seven days for the money to be transferred to your bank account.

Must-Know Information

  • Check your credit score

Your credit score is one of the most important factors lenders will look at when deciding whether to approve a loan. A higher credit score could not only get you approved but also make the personal loan approval time quicker.

But what to do if you’ve got a lower credit score? Don’t worry, even those with bad credit scores can get a personal loan. Many lenders focus on dealing with people with a less-than-stellar score. Also, there are ways, such as filing a pay for delete letter, that may help you repair your credit score.

  • Build your credit score

Although you can qualify for a personal loan with any credit score, remember that the better the score, the lower the interest rate. Two types of scores are used to determine your creditworthiness – the FICO score and VantageScore. According to the FICO score, a good credit score starts at 670, whereas a good VantageScore begins with 661. By boosting your credit score, you could get great deals on personal loans. So, before applying for a personal loan, make sure that you take steps to improve your credit score. You can build your credit score by paying down debt or checking for inaccuracies in your credit report.

  • Collect all the necessary information

Make sure you check the lender’s website to get accurate information about the documents necessary for obtaining a personal loan. Gathering all the correct documents could expedite the personal loan processing. You’ll most likely need your ID, proof of income, and your monthly expenses.

  • Make sure everything on your documentation is correct

Making mistakes on the application is the surest way to delay the approval process. To prevent this, make sure that you have all the documents error-free and ready to be sent. If you’re not sure about something in the application, ask the lender or a financial advisor. It’s important to find out exactly what does it take to get a personal loan with the lender.

  • The approval time is not the same as the funding time

While it may take only a few minutes to fill out the application, especially online, the approval time and the transfer to your bank account could take a lot longer than that. Usually, it takes around a week for the funds to be deposited.

  • Some companies let you check the application status online

Some have the option of checking your application status online. You can also find out how long does it take for a personal loan to be approved on these platforms.

  • Many loan applications may affect your credit score, especially if the lenders do a hard check

For most people, when applying for a personal loan, the lender wants to know how they have dealt with paying off their debts in the past and take a look at their financial situation at one stroke. For that, a hard inquiry is noted in your report. However, applying to more than one lender over a period of time could reflect badly on your credit score, because with every check the credit score gets lower and lower.

The hard inquiry will remain on your record for two years, while its effect diminishes over time. To minimize the damage, apply for a loan in a time span of 45 days, or ask the lender to pre-approve your loan. And since pre-approval counts as a soft check, you can expect fewer drastic changes in your score.

Key Takeaways

You have three options to apply for a personal loan: online lenders, brick-and-mortar banks, and credit unions.
The approval period mostly depends on your financial situation.
Personal loan disbursement time after approval can vary from one to two days.
Till the time comes to apply for a loan, you can slowly gather the documents needed as electronic records.

Personal Loans vs. Fast Personal Loans

While there is little to no difference between personal and fast personal loans, there still is something to keep in mind. When applying for a personal loan, you might experience a delay of two to five days for the application to be approved and the money to arrive on your account. Usually, personal loans are approved quickly for those who have a great credit record, because this way lenders can see that the borrower will be able to repay the loan in a timely manner.

Fast personal loans allow you to receive funds quicker.

But, how long does it take for a personal loan to be approved when applying for a fast personal loan? Usually, a fast personal loan is either approved on the same day or, if you’re lucky, you can even get instant approval.

DID YOU KNOW: Fast personal loans usually have a loan term from 1 to 5 years.


When in need of quick cash, getting a personal loan is one solution. No matter the situation you are in, you should consider all the options available to you. Before applying, check the approval time, and don’t forget to watch out for potential scams and high interest fees.


How to get a secured personal loan?

To get a secured personal loan you need to have collateral so the lender can somehow protect himself in case you can’t repay the loan.

How long does it take to get a personal loan from Bank of America?

If you are wondering how long does it take to get a personal loan from this bank – stop right there. Bank of America does not issue personal loans. Instead, it offers many other types of loans that could serve as an alternative.

How long does it take for a personal loan to be deposited?

From the moment a loan gets approved, it usually takes one to seven days for lenders/banks/unions to transfer the money, depending on your bank and checking account type.


I learned a lot about finance after working for a digital marketing company specializing in investing and trading stocks, forex, etc. After that, I got exposed to other verticals such as wealth management and personal finance, which further improved my understanding of the financial world.

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