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How Long Does It Take To Get A Personal Loan?

Getting the money you need to make a purchase, pay a bill, or consolidate debt can be a challenging process. If you're thinking of applying for a loan for any kind of financing, you’re probably wondering how long it takes to get a personal loan.

Getting approved for a personal loan depends on several factors, such as the lender's requirements, your credit score, and the application process. In some cases, you might be approved the same day you apply; in others, it could take as long as a week.

At the Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal), we know how important it is for you to get your personal loan quickly, and our goal is to make it happen. If you'd like to learn more about what we can do for you, give CU SoCal a call today at 866.287.6225 to schedule a no-obligation consultation regarding our personal loans and other banking products.

Get Started on Your Personal Loan!

What Is A Personal Loan?

A personal loan is a loan granted to an individual from a lender to be used at the borrower's discretion. The loan is given depending on the borrower's creditworthiness, which indicates how well the person manages money and how reliable a borrower they are likely to be. An excellent credit score will help a borrower get the best terms and interest rates, and it could also speed up the approval time.

Personal loans are generally unsecured, which means that the borrower doesn't have to offer up anything as collateral. Instead, their credit score will be affected if they cannot make payments.

For more information, check out our article on What personal loans are and how they can help you.

What Can Personal Loans Be Used For?

Personal loans are versatile and can be used for almost anything. Borrowers commonly use personal loans to make large purchases, fund expensive events or even pay down other loans.

If you need some extra cash for an upcoming wedding or vacation, or you're looking to buy a new laptop for work, a flexible, low-interest personal loan from CU SoCal could help you out.

Other common personal loan uses include consolidating debt, building credit, and paying off medical bills.

How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For A Personal Loan?

Getting approved for a personal loan generally takes anywhere from one day to one week. As we mentioned above, how long it takes for a personal loan to go through depends on several factors, like your credit score.

However, one of the primary factors that will affect your approval time is where you get your loan from. Here are a few different lender options along with some thoughts about how long it takes to get a personal loan from each type of lender.

Online Lenders

Online lenders are one option for taking out a personal loan. Everything is done online, from application to approval to payments, so it's pretty convenient, especially if you prefer to use websites or mobile apps to manage your finances.

Applying is simple and can be done online in just a few minutes, and getting approved is just as fast. Once you are approved, you can expect to receive the funds in up to five days.


Banks are usually the first place individuals check out when looking for a personal loan since most people already have an account with a traditional bank. However, many banks have high standards for credit scores and also higher interest rates.

If you already have an account with a bank, it could take just one day to get approved for a loan and receive funds, though in many cases, it could take up to one week.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that help Members receive competitive terms and interest rates on all types of loans, including personal loans. To take advantage of the low interest rates and personalized service, you'll have to become a Member.

As with banks, it usually takes one to seven days to receive funds after approval. Approval itself is typically offered on the same day you apply, as long as you fit all of the requirements.

Payday Loans, Pawn Shop Loans, & Car Title Loans

If your credit score isn't great or if you need immediate cash for an emergency, payday loans, pawn shop loans, and car title loans are all options that can help you out in a pinch.

Getting a loan with any of these options is convenient and fast, but beware of the incredibly high interest rates. For example, payday loans have an average interest rate of 300-500%, car title loans an average of 300%, and pawn shop loans an average of 12-240%.

The good news is that these types of loans are generally offered the same day you apply, so they're great for emergencies. But due to the high interest rates and fees, you could find yourself struggling to pay it back, which will lower your credit score.

How To Get A Personal Loan Faster

Waiting for your approval to go through so you can receive funds faster is not the most enjoyable part of the personal loan process. The quicker the process is, the more peace of mind you'll have – especially when you see the money has gone into your account! Luckily, how quickly you can get a personal loan is somewhat in your control. Here are a few things you can do to get a personal loan faster.

Check Your Credit Scores

Before you even apply for a personal loan, you should check your credit score for any mistakes. Fraudulent or incorrect information on the report could get your application denied, which means you'll have to start the process over again once you get it corrected. It's best to check first and correct any errors before applying.  

Even if there aren't any errors in your credit score, knowing what it is will give you a good idea if you'll be approved or not. If your score is low, check out the CU SoCal Credit Builder Loan to see how it can help you raise your score.

Gather The Necessary Documents

To speed along the approval process, make it as easy as possible on your lender. This means providing all necessary documents that prove you will be a good borrower. Include proof of income, any current debt, personal information, etc.

Ensure that all the information, including personal details like your social security number, address, and birthdate, is correct on all paperwork to prevent any problems. If you've already applied for a loan and approval hasn't gone through after a week, these types of mistakes could be the reason why your personal loan is taking so long.


Pre-qualification is a sort of unofficial approval that your lender can do for you before applying for a loan. You'll need the same financial information as above. The main difference between this and pre-approval is that the financial institution doesn't perform an official credit check to verify your information. As long as you are as comprehensive as possible, you'll get a relatively accurate estimate of whether you'll be approved for the loan or not. If it looks like you’re in good financial shape, this will minimize how long it takes to get approved for a personal loan.

Apply Online

If your chosen lender offers the option to apply online for your personal loan, this is a great way to reduce your wait time for approval. All of the information you input will go straight to the lender's online system. In other words, you don't have to wait for someone to transfer all of your handwritten info from a paper application to the system. You'll also avoid having to wait for an in-person appointment to apply.

CU SoCal Personal Loans

At CU SoCal, we know that the waiting game is no fun. It's our goal to help our Members get approved as quickly as possible for their personal loans so they can get on with their lives. We offer personal loan financing from $500 to $30,000, making our loans perfect for just about any purchase you need to make.

Apply For A CU SoCal Personal Loan Today!

If flexible terms and competitive rates on personal loans sound like something you need, contact CU SoCal to check out what we can do for you.

Call us at 866.287.6225 for more information or apply for a personal loan today!

Get Started on Your Personal Loan!

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Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) is a leading financial institution empowering those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County to reach their goals and build strong financial futures. CU SoCal provides access to convenient money management services and offers competitive rates and flexible terms on auto loans, mortgages, and VISA credit cards—turning wishing and waiting into achieving and doing.


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