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If you don’t have the cash saved in the bank to cover a major cost, taking out a personal loan can be a good idea.
Here’s how long it takes to get a loan and what you need to know about the different personal loan options available.
In this post:
- It usually takes 1-7 business days to get a loan
- What you need to apply for a loan
- Taking out a personal loan doesn’t have to take a long time
It usually takes 1-7 business days to get a loan
In general, you’ll get the money you requested within one to seven business days once you’re approved. But how long it takes for a personal loan to be disbursed is dependent on the type of lender you’re working with and the individual company.
It’s important to shop around and compare offers from multiple personal loan lenders. Disbursement time can vary from lender to lender, so some may be able to disburse the loan faster than others.
There are three main options when it comes to taking out personal loans:
- Online lenders: Typically less than 5 business days
- Banks: Typically 1-7 business days
- Credit unions: Typically 1-7 business days
Online lenders: Typically less than 5 business days
If you need money right away, working with an online lender to take out a personal loan is likely your best option.
Online lenders allow you to complete a loan application in as little as five minutes. In most cases, you’ll receive a decision instantly. If approved, your money can be disbursed quickly — often in as little as one business day. But there are some lenders that are even faster. For example, Lightstream may be able to disburse your loan as soon as the same business day.
However, not all online lenders can send your money that quickly. Some online lenders can take up to seven days to disburse your loan, so keep that in mind when comparing lenders.
|Lender||Time to Fund|
|As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)|
|Next business day|
|As soon as the next business day|
|As soon as the same business day|
|Many Marcus customers receive funds in as little as five days|
|As soon as 2 - 5 business days after verification|
|On average, within 5 days of accepting your offer|
|3 business days|
|Within a day of clearing necessary verifications|
|As soon as 1 - 3 business days6|
Banks: Typically 1-7 business days
Going through a traditional bank like Wells Fargo or Citizens Bank is a popular option for personal loan borrowers. If you already have a checking or savings account with the bank, the application process can be completed quickly. And, you may be able to borrow more than you could with an online lender. You can often apply for a loan online or in-person at a branch location.
The application process is typically simple. However, banks can take the longest to disburse your loan. While you can get you your money in one business day, some lenders have a more rigorous review process, and it may take up to seven days for your loan to be disbursed.
Credit unions: Typically 1-7 business days
Taking out a personal loan from a credit union can be a good idea. They are nonprofit organizations, so they often offer lower interest rates than traditional banks. They might also have less stringent requirements, so you’re more likely to qualify for a loan from a credit union than from another lender, but you’ll need to be a member to get a loan from a credit union.
Like banks, the disbursement time for a personal loan from a credit union can range from one to seven business days.
You can visit MyCreditUnion.gov to find a credit union near you.
What you need to apply for a loan
To speed up the application process, it’s a good idea to prepare ahead of time. Lenders will ask you for basic information, so be ready to provide them with the following:
- Social Security number
- Phone number
- Proof of identity, like a driver’s license or passport
- Annual income
- Proof of income, like a pay stub or W-2 form
Getting a personal loan from an online lender is the fastest way
If you’re facing a financial emergency like an unexpected car repair, you don’t have much time to wait to get the money you need. However, don’t let the time crunch cause you to make a costly decision. While payday loans and quick-access loans exist, their interest rates are astronomical, forcing you to pay back far more than you originally borrowed.
Instead, it may be a better idea to take out a personal loan from a reputable online lender. You could get the money you need in as little as one business day, so you can handle the emergency and move on with your life.