Looking for a personal loan can be time-consuming. But if you need a loan fast, time spent researching might not feel helpful — especially if you don’t know how long getting a personal loan can take.
So how long does it take to get approved for a personal loan? That depends on where you go. Here are a few things to look out for when trying to get a personal loan fast.
What do you need to get a personal loan?
When you apply for a personal loan, you’ll need to check your credit score. Generally, a credit score of 700 or above is good. The better your credit score, the more likely you’ll get approved for a loan since it shows you’re responsible with credit.
Lenders often will do a soft credit check when pre-qualifying you for a loan. During that process, you’ll provide some personal information, such as income and employment verification. Check your credit report to make sure there aren’t many derogatory marks that might hurt your chances of getting approved.
It’s also good to have an idea of how much money you’ll need to take out. You don’t want to take out too little and risk going back for another loan. At the same time, you don’t want to take out more than you need and end up having to pay it back with interest.
How long does it take to get approved for a personal loan?
When you’re looking for a place to take out a personal loan, you’ve got a few options. Nearby, you’ve got banks and credit unions. Online, there are many private lenders that offer personal loans. But not all lenders are equal when it comes to how much time they take to disburse your loan.
Banks and credit unions
If you’re looking to get a loan from a group you’re familiar with, you might try a bank or credit union near you. Richard A. Muskus Jr., president of Patriot Bank, said that if you have everything the bank requires, approval shouldn’t take long.
“When dealing with a highly automated lender, the approval process can be instantaneous,” he said. “Alternatively, some lenders may need to collect information and have a formal loan approval process that could take more time.”
Credit unions take about the same amount of time as banks, but you might be able to get a lower interest rate if you’ve been with a credit union for a while. If you’re looking for a fast loan, banks and credit unions might not be your best bet. Approval can take anywhere from a day or two to a couple of weeks.
There are a lot of online personal loan lenders, but it can be overwhelming to vet them all. Some of the best personal loan lenders offer low interest rates, minimal fees, and flexible repayment schedules.
Online lenders might be a good choice since approval time can be fast. Some lenders deposit money into your account within a day of your approval. Online lenders can be friendlier toward borrowers who have low credit scores. A few even offer personal loans if you’ve got bad credit.
When browsing for personal loans, you might look into payday loans. These are loans you take out and repay by your next paycheck. Usually, these loans are for small amounts, such as $500 or less.
But be cautious of these types of loans. If you can’t pay back a payday loan, you could be charged high fees on top of monstrous interest rates. With a payday loan, you could face an APR of up to 400%. To put that amount into perspective, the average APR for a personal loan ranges from 10.00% to 28.00%, according to ValuePenguin.
Prepare to get approved for a personal loan
So how long does it take to get approved for a personal loan? Muskus said the more you do to prepare yourself, the less time it’ll take to get approved. Here are a few of his recommended steps:
- Assess your personal need. Determine how much money you should request in your loan application.
- Understand the balance. Your approval rate is based on how much you’re requesting, your creditworthiness, and the personal information you provide.
- Check your credit history. Make sure it’s in tip-top shape before you apply for a loan.
- Determine what you can afford. Your income and employment history impact your monthly payment.
- See if you can make payments. Go over the projected interest rate and loan terms to make sure you can afford to make payments on time.
While you might need to get a personal loan as fast as possible, do your best to prioritize one that suits your needs. Loans that offer the lowest interest rates and friendly repayment terms are good places to start. Make sure you know what you’re applying for and what’s required of you before agreeing to a personal loan.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Rates (APR)||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
|7.73% – 29.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|6.15% – 15.37%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|6.87% – 35.97%*||$1,000 - $50,000||Visit Upgrade|
|8.00% – 25.00%||$5,000 - $35,000|
|4.99% – 29.99%||$10,000 - $35,000||Visit FreedomPlus|
|5.99% – 18.99%2||$5,000 - $50,000||Visit Citizens|
|15.49% – 34.49%||$2,000 - $25,000||Visit LendingPoint|
|5.99% – 35.89%||$1,000 - $40,000||Visit LendingClub|
|5.49% – 18.24%||$5,000 - $75,000||Visit Earnest|
|9.95% – 35.99%||$2,000 - $35,000||Visit Avant|