How long does it take to get a personal loan?

An advantage of personal loans is quick, convenient funding if you're approved. Many lenders let you apply online and process your application relatively quickly. Let’s look at how to apply for a personal loan and how long each step takes.

How to apply for a personal loan

The application process can differ somewhat between lenders, but in general, here's what it looks like to apply for a personal loan:

Put together the documents you need: To apply for a personal loan, you typically must supply proof of identity, address and income.

Lenders usually provide a list of acceptable documents for each category. For example, a passport, voter ID or government-issued ID may all serve as proof of identity; utility bills or rent receipts may work as proof of address and paystubs (usually your 2 most recent) or bank statements (usually your 3 most recent) can serve as proof of income.

Fill out the application: Attach the required documentation and complete an application form.

Submit the application: You can typically submit your application online or, if the lender has physical locations, in person.

At this point, all that’s left to do is wait to find out whether you’re approved.

How long does each step take?

Personal loan applications have a few stages: you typically apply, find out whether you’re approved and then receive funds if you’ve been approved. Let’s explore what each step entails and how long it takes.


Every lender has their own application process, but most need the same details – usually a form of ID, proof of address, proof of income and the application itself. If you have all your documents ready, the application usually takes a few minutes.


Some lenders let you know whether you’ve been approved the same day you apply (Citi personal loan applicants can receive a response in less than 60 seconds). Others may have longer timelines – sometimes up to 7 business days.

Receiving funds

As with the approval phase, the disbursement process can vary by lender. Some banks may send you the funds the same day you're approved. Others may take several business days. Timelines can differ depending on whether you’ve asked to receive the funds via direct deposit or check.

Citi offers existing accountholders same-day funds once their application is approved. Disbursement may take up to 2 business days for a non-Citi account when using direct deposit..1

Streamlining your personal loan application

Here are a few things that can make the application process go faster, like keeping the necessary paperwork ready and understanding requirements beforehand.

Know the requirements

Research the lender’s requirements before you apply. Check whether they have clearly-stated income, age or creditworthiness requirements and whether you meet them.

Have your documents and information ready

Double-check the documents and information the lender requires and have everything ready. You might need a photo ID, such as your passport, driver’s license or voter ID; your Social Security number; proof of income, such as paystubs or bank statements; and proof of address, like a utility bill or mortgage payment.

Check your credit report for errors before you apply

Your lender will likely pull your credit report before approving your loan application. One way to help speed up approval is to ensure that your credit report is error-free. Check your name, address, employment information and credit history carefully. Look for errors and report any issues as needed.

Citi offers personal loans to both existing Citi customers and new Citi customers that meet specific eligibility criteria, including an established credit and income history along with additional factors determined by Citi. If you think you could benefit from a Citi Personal Loan, apply online today.

1 If you are approved for a personal loan with Citi, you can get your funds the same day with a Citi deposit account, or up to 2 business days for a non-Citi account when using direct deposit. Or you can select to receive a check by mail in approximately 5 business days. 

Disclosure: This article is for educational purposes. It is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and is not a substitute for professional advice. It does not indicate the availability of any Citi product or service. For advice about your specific circumstances, you should consult a qualified professional.