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

Updated on April 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • Traditional banks and credit unions have loan approval timelines ranging from days to weeks, requiring detailed applications and document verification.
  • Online lenders offer quicker decisions, usually within hours to days.
  • Payday loans process in minutes to hours but have high fees and interest rates. Speeding up approval involves checking credit reports, comparing lenders, organizing documents, and assessing affordability.

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How Long It Will Take For Your Loan to Be Approved

The window of time in which most personal loans are approved typically ranges from a few minutes to several weeks, depending on various factors. Here’s a breakdown:

Instant Approvals (a few minutes to a few hours)

Many online lenders have automated approval processes. If an applicant meets specific criteria, they might receive an almost immediate decision. These are usually pre-approvals and might still require additional documentation or verification.

Same-day to Next-day Approvals

Some online lenders and fintech companies specialize in speedy loan processing. If the applicant submits all required documentation promptly and meets the eligibility criteria, they can expect a decision within 24 hours.

Several Business Days (2-7 days)

Traditional banks, credit unions, and some online lenders might take a few days to review and process the loan application, especially if they require manual underwriting or review.

One to Several Weeks

Some traditional banks, especially for larger loan amounts or specialized loan types, may take longer due to rigorous underwriting processes, the need for additional documentation, or other internal review procedures.

On average, for most standard personal loans, the approval window is typically between a few minutes (for online pre-approvals) and a week. However, the entire process, from application to fund disbursement, might take a bit longer, especially if there are any hiccups or additional verifications required. Always consult with the specific lender about their typical approval timelines.

The 5 Factors that Impact Loan Approval Times

The approval time for personal loans varies widely. Below are some key factors that influence the duration.

1. Lender Type

There are two main types of lenders and the type you borrow from will impact how quickly the approval process plays out:

  • Online Lenders: Digital lending platforms can be game-changers. Many promise near-instant pre-approvals, with the overall process spanning from one business day to about a week once all documents are submitted.
  • Banks and Credit Unions: Traditional financial institutions can take longer. Expect a timeline ranging from several days to a few weeks, especially if more hands-on or in-person interactions are involved.

2. Application Completeness

A well-prepared application can significantly speed up the approval. Ensure all details are accurate and comprehensive to avoid any unnecessary delays.

3. Credit Score and Financial History

A pristine credit score can pave the way for a swift approval process. However, if there are discrepancies or issues in your financial history, anticipate a longer review period.

4. Loan Specifics

The nature and size of the loan can impact the approval time. Bigger amounts or unique purposes might necessitate a more in-depth review.

5. Lender’s Internal Policies

Different lenders have different paces. While some might process applications rapidly, others could have longer waiting periods due to various reasons, such as internal procedures or backlog.

To sum it up, while the approval might take anywhere from a day to several weeks, being proactive and choosing the right lender can make all the difference. For those in a rush, consider online lenders renowned for quick turnarounds and ensure your application is spot-on.

Loan Approval Timeline at Banks and Credit Unions (Days to Weeks)

Traditional banks and credit unions usually take longer for loan approvals than online lenders:

  1. Application: Submit a detailed form with financial information, including income and debts.
  2. Review: The institution evaluates creditworthiness, considering credit score and debt-to-income ratio.
  3. Documentation: Additional documents like pay stubs may be requested for validation.
  4. Underwriting: An underwriter assesses lending risk, analyzing credit score, debt, and repayment ability.
  5. Loan Details: Upon approval, you’re presented with documents detailing rates, schedules, and fees.
  6. Funds Release: After signing, funds are disbursed, but there might be a few days’ wait for bank transfer.

Loan Approval Timeline for Online Lenders (Hours to Days)

Online lenders typically offer quicker loan approvals than traditional institutions:

  1. Application: Fill out an online form with personal and financial details.
  2. Submission: Submit on the lender’s site.
  3. Credit Review: Lenders conduct a credit check.
  4. Offer: Upon approval, you’ll get a loan offer to review.
  5. Sign: Electronically agree to the terms.
  6. Funding: Funds are usually transferred within a few business days.

Loan Approval Timeline for Payday Loans (Minutes)

Payday loans are processed swiftly but come with high interest and fees, potentially leading to debt cycles:

  • Application: Submit personal, income, and loan details.
  • Documentation: Provide items like pay stubs and ID.
  • Verification: Lenders confirm income and employment.
  • Approval: If okayed, you get a loan agreement to review.
  • Sign: Agree to the terms.
  • Funding: Receive funds in various formats, often immediately.

Speeding Up Your Loan Approval Process

Now that you understand the factors that can impact the timeline of your loan approval, here are some strategies to expedite the process and increase your chances of getting approved quickly:

Double-Check Your Credit Report

Review your credit report not once, but twice. Look for any discrepancies or issues that could raise red flags for lenders. Address and resolve any anomalies to present a pristine credit history that enhances your chances of swift approval.

Shop Around

Don’t rush into the first loan offer you receive. Take the time to shop around and compare various aspects of different loans, such as interest rates, loan terms, and any additional fees. This careful consideration can lead to a loan that better aligns with your financial goals.

Organize Your Documentation

Gather all the necessary documents discussed earlier and organize them efficiently. When you’re in the loan application process, having your paperwork in order helps you appear well-prepared and reduces the risk of delays.

Evaluate Your Budget

Before committing to a loan, take a moment to assess your financial situation. Ensure that the loan you’re considering fits comfortably within your budget. Evaluate your ability to make timely repayments and explore alternative options if needed.

Best Personal Loans With Fast Approval

In today’s fast-paced world, waiting endlessly for loan approvals can feel like an eternity. Whether you’re faced with unexpected expenses or seizing a fleeting opportunity, speed is often of the essence. Fortunately, several lenders have tailored their processes to meet such immediate needs. If you’re on the lookout for a swift personal loan approval, here are some top lenders who have streamlined their systems to serve you faster, irrespective of your credit standing.

AmOne (Best for Okay to Good Credit)

For those with okay to good credit profiles, AmOne offers a blend of speed and reliability. Their digital platform is designed to connect borrowers with suitable lenders swiftly, enabling rapid decision-making. If time is ticking and you have a decent credit history, AmOne could be your express route to a personal loan.

AmOne Personal Loan

Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score


Fixed APR


Variable APR



  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Fixed APR: 3.99%-35.99%.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000.
  • Repayment: 1 to 7 years.


  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • While there’s no specific income requirement, a consistent source of income is essential for the applicant.


  • Suitable for individuals with lower credit scores.
  • No cost for the matching service.
  • Attractive loan rates.


  • Acts as an intermediary, not a direct lender.
  • Risk of multiple contacts from prospective lenders.
  • Lack of clarity on lender details.

Spring Loans (Best for Bad Credit and No Credit)

Credit blemishes or a lack of credit history can often slow down loan approvals. But with Spring Loans, that’s not the case. They have tailored their approval process to serve even those with not-so-stellar credit backgrounds, ensuring decisions are made quickly and without unnecessary hurdles. For a rapid response, irrespective of your credit standing, Spring Loans stands ready.

Spring Loans Personal Loan

Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score


Fixed APR


Variable APR



  • Minimum credit score: None.
  • Fixed APR: 27.00%
  • Loan amounts: $3,000.
  • Repayment: 48 months.


  • Demonstrate a recurrent income.
  • Minimum age prerequisite: 18 years.
  • Validate U.S. citizenship status with an SSN.
  • Provide a legitimate U.S. driver’s license or a state identity card.
  • Establish a functional bank account for incoming deposits.
  • Adhere to any specific demands by the loan provider.


  • Open to applicants with any credit background.
  • Four-year loan period aids in structured financial management.
  • The $3,000 offer addresses several short-term financial challenges.
  • Wide-reaching eligibility criteria invite a broad spectrum of applicants.
  • The focus on dependable income over job title benefits varied income sources.


  • The set 27% APR is higher than many alternatives.
  • Restriction to a $3,000 loan might not cover all financial outlays.
  • Possessing specific IDs is mandatory, sidelining some applicants.
  • A prerequisite for an ongoing bank account may limit certain users.

First Premier Lending (Best for Bad Credit)

First Premier Lending is cognizant of the fact that individuals with bad credit also require fast financial solutions. Their streamlined application process, combined with an understanding approach to credit histories, means that decisions are delivered promptly. For those with credit challenges seeking rapid loan approvals, First Premier Lending can be a lifesaver.

First Premier Lending Personal Loan

Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score


Fixed APR


Variable APR



  • Minimum credit score: None.
  • Fixed APR: 27.00%.
  • Loan amounts: $3,000.
  • Repayment: 48 months.


  • Maintain a consistent source of income.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Possess valid U.S. citizenship and a legitimate social security number.
  • Hold a current U.S. driver’s license or state-issued ID.
  • Keep an active bank account for direct deposit.
  • Satisfy any lender-specific criteria, such as credit rating, borrowing history, or place of residence.


  • No minimum credit score requirement allows accessibility for those with varied credit histories.
  • 48-month term provides clarity and allows for long-term financial planning.
  • Specific loan amount of $3,000 can meet many short-term financial needs.
  • Broad set of qualifications make the loan accessible to a wide range of people.
  • Emphasis on consistent income, not necessarily employment type, allows flexibility for borrowers.


  • A fixed APR of 27% is relatively high.
  • Loan amount is capped at $3,000, which might not cater to larger financial requirements.
  • Requirement of a U.S. driver’s license or state-issued ID could exclude some individuals.
  • Mandatory active bank account could be limiting for those who are unbanked.

Upgrade (Best for Good to Great Credit)

Upgrade, renowned for their efficient digital platform, is a go-to for those with good to great credit seeking quick loan decisions. Their automated system evaluates applications swiftly, ensuring borrowers aren’t left in the lurch. With their emphasis on transparency and speed, Upgrade makes fast loan approvals a standard feature.

Upgrade Personal Loan

Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score


Fixed APR

8.49% - 35.99%

Variable APR



  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • Fixed APR: 8.49% – 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment: 3 to 5 years (7 years on some larger loans)


  • Possess an active bank account.
  • Able to provide a legitimate email address.
  • Minimum age requirement: 18 years (19 for Alabama residents).
  • Credit score of 600 or higher.
  • Annual income of $25,000 or more.


  • Willing to accommodate borrowers with a credit score as low as 560.
  • Offers flexibility with a range of loan amounts from $1,000 to $50,000. This can be suitable for both small and large financial needs.
  • Provides options for repayment, allowing borrowers to choose a timeline that best suits their financial situation.
  • Once approved, borrowers can access funds in just one day, which is useful for urgent financial needs.


  • Origination fees can go as high as 9.99%, which might add a significant cost to the loan.
  • Apart from the origination fee, there are fees for late payments and failed payments, which can add up if one is not careful.
  • While there is an option to extend repayment for larger loans up to 7 years, it’s not standard for all loan amounts.

BestEgg (Best for Good Credit)

BestEgg has built its reputation on simplicity and speed. Their platform is intuitive, making the application process a breeze for those with good credit scores. Most applicants can expect a decision in a matter of minutes, making BestEgg an excellent choice for those in need of quick funds without the long wait.

BestEgg Personal Loan

Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score


Fixed APR


Variable APR



  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Fixed APR: 8.99-35.99%.
  • Loan amounts: $2,000-$50,000.
  • Repayment: 3 to 5 years.


  • Targets borrowers with good to excellent credit; fair credit may qualify.
  • Minimum credit score of 600.
  • At least two years of credit history.
  • Minimum annual income: $3,500 from various sources like employment, alimony, and more.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: 40%, or 65% when including a mortgage.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen.


  • Soft credit check available for pre-qualification.
  • Offers a diverse spectrum of loan amounts.
  • Provides options for secured loans.
  • Direct payments can be made to creditors for debt consolidation.
  • Late fees are not charged.


  • Charges an origination fee.
  • Doesn’t offer rate discounts.
  • Initial payment date isn’t customizable.
  • Lacks a dedicated mobile app for loan management.

Read More

Final Thoughts

Personal loans offer financial flexibility for various needs, including debt consolidation, major purchases, emergencies, and life events. Understanding the process, credit requirements, and collateral’s role is essential. Tips like checking credit reports, comparing offers, and organizing paperwork boost approval chances, empowering individuals to manage finances and pursue goals.

Frequently Asked Questions About Loan Approval Timelines

Understanding loan approval timelines is crucial when you need financial assistance. In this FAQ, we address common questions about how long it takes to get a loan approved, what factors affect the timeline, and how you can expedite the process.

How long does it typically take to get a loan approved?

The time it takes to get a loan approved can vary significantly depending on the type of loan, the lender, and your individual circumstances. In general, online lenders tend to offer quicker approvals, often within a few days, while traditional banks may take a week or more. Mortgage loans can take several weeks due to their complexity.

What factors influence the approval timeline?

Several factors impact the approval timeline, including your credit score, the completeness and accuracy of your application, the lender’s processing speed, and the type of loan you’re applying for. Higher credit scores and well-prepared applications tend to result in faster approvals.

How can I speed up the loan approval process?

To expedite loan approval, you can:

  • Maintain a good credit score.
  • Prepare all necessary documentation in advance.
  • Choose lenders known for quick processing.
  • Opt for online lenders, as they often have shorter approval times.
  • Respond promptly to any requests for additional information from the lender.

Do secured loans generally have faster approval times than unsecured loans?

Yes, secured loans, which require collateral (such as a car or property), tend to have faster approval times because they pose less risk to the lender. The collateral provides security in case of default, making lenders more inclined to approve these loans quickly.

Can loan pre-approval expedite the process?

Yes, obtaining loan pre-approval can speed up the process when you’re ready to make a purchase. Pre-approval involves a preliminary credit check and provides you with a conditional loan offer. When you find the right opportunity, having pre-approval can help you move swiftly to secure the loan.

Are there any situations where loan approval might be delayed significantly?

Yes, several scenarios can lead to delays, such as errors or discrepancies in your application, a lender’s backlog of applications, or complex loan types like mortgages. Additionally, lower credit scores or incomplete documentation can extend approval times.

Can I improve my chances of loan approval even if I have a low credit score?

While a low credit score can make approval more challenging, you can still improve your chances by applying with lenders that specialize in bad credit loans, offering collateral, or having a co-signer with good credit vouch for you. Demonstrating a stable income and repaying existing debts can also help.

What should I do if my loan application is taking longer than expected?

If your loan application is taking longer than anticipated, consider contacting the lender for an update. Ensure you’ve provided all requested documentation and address any issues that may be causing delays promptly. It’s also wise to have alternative financing options in mind in case of further delays.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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