How Long It Really Takes to Get Approved for a Personal Loan

 June 5, 2018
How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

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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.

Online lenders

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.

Payday loans

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:

  1. Assess your personal need. Determine how much money you should request in your loan application.
  2. Understand the balance. Your approval rate is based on how much you’re requesting, your creditworthiness, and the personal information you provide.
  3. Check your credit history. Make sure it’s in tip-top shape before you apply for a loan.
  4. Determine what you can afford. Your income and employment history impact your monthly payment.
  5. 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.

*ValuePenguin is an affiliate of LendingTree, Student Loan Hero’s parent company.

Interested in a personal loan?

LendingTree allows you to compare rates from multiple lenders by filling out one easy form. How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

RATES (APR)loan amount
7.99% – 23.43%1 $5,000 to $100,000
4.37% – 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000
7.46% – 35.97%* $1,000 to $50,000
99.00% – 199.00%2 $500 to $4,000
5.99% – 24.99%3 $5,000 to $40,000
7.99% – 35.99%4 $2,000 to $36,500
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NMLS #1136: Terms & Conditions Apply
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Sofi.

Sofi Disclosures

Fixed rates from 7.99% APR to 23.43% APR APR reflect the 0.25% autopay discount and a 0.25% direct deposit discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 8/22/22 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade.

Upgrade Disclosures

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 7.46%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 1.85% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.59% APR (which includes a 13.94% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $341.48. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,293.46. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s bank partners. Information on Upgrade’s bank partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/bank-partners/ .

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.

Opploans Disclosures

Direct Deposit required for payroll.

Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.

  1. To qualify, a borrower must (i) be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; (ii) reside in a state where OppLoans operates; (iii) have direct deposit; (iv) meet income requirements; (v) be 18 years of age (19 in Alabama); and, (vi) meet verification standards.
  2. NV Residents: The use of high-interest loans services should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction.

  3. OppLoans performs no credit checks through the three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Applicants’ credit scores are provided by Clarity Services, Inc., a credit reporting agency.

  4. Based on customer service ratings on Google and Facebook. Testimonials reflect the individual’s opinion and may not be illustrative of all individual experiences with OppLoans. Check loan reviews.

  5. Rates and terms vary by state.

3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Happy Money.

Happy Money Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.
4 Important Disclosures for Lendingpoint.

Lendingpoint Disclosures

Applications submitted on this website may be funded by one of several lenders, including: FinWise Bank, a Utah-chartered bank, Member FDIC; Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC; Midland States Bank, Member FDIC; and LendingPoint, a licensed lender in certain states. Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 7% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. Loans are offered from $2,000 to $36,500, at rates ranging from 7.99% to 35.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 72 months. Minimum loan amounts apply in Georgia, $3,500; Colorado, $3,001; and Hawaii, $1,500. For a well-qualified customer, a $10,000 loan for a period of 48 months with an APR of 24.34% and origination fee of 7% will have a payment of $327.89 per month. (Actual terms and rate depend on credit history, income, and other factors.) The $15,575.04 total amount due under the loan terms provided as an example in this disclaimer includes the origination fee financed in addition to the loan amount. Customers may have the option to deduct the origination fee from the disbursed loan amount if desired. If the origination fee is added to the financed amount, interest is charged on the full principal amount. The total amount due is the total amount of the loan you will have paid after you have made all payments as scheduled.