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Personal Loans

Instant Approval Personal Loans

When you need quick funds, you might consider a personal loan. But how fast can you get cash?

Instant approval personal loans can offer funding as soon as the same day. You can apply online, complete a credit check, and get the green light for a loan almost instantly. 

It’s important to compare loan rates and terms so you choose the right lender. If you’re interested in personal loans with instant approval, read on to find out how they work and where to find them. 

Can you get a personal loan with instant approval? 

It’s possible to apply for a loan and be approved within minutes, but that isn’t the case with every lender. It may take several hours or even days to get a final decision on your application. 

Before submitting a complete application, you may prequalify for a personal loan. Prequalification means the lender reviews basic information about your financial situation, which you provide, to decide whether you’re eligible for a loan. Prequalifying means the lender doesn’t check your credit report—or lower your credit score—with a hard credit check. 

Lenders typically check your credit when you apply for a personal loan. Lenders most often use your credit reports and scores, along with other details about your income and debt, to decide whether to grant you a loan and on what terms. Prequalifying does not guarantee approval for a loan. 

What are the differences between prequalification and approval?

Here’s more about how the two differ:

Prequalification Approval
The lender estimates how much you can borrow based on the financial information you provide.The lender reviews the information on your loan application to determine whether to grant you a loan. 
Involves a soft credit check, not a hard credit pull. Most lenders require a hard credit pull. 
You still need to be fully approved. The lender agrees to give you a loan at the specified terms. 

Lenders that offer instant or same-day personal loan approval

In today’s fast-paced world, quick access to funds can be crucial when you need cash. We’ve researched and identified top lenders known for their instant or same-day approval for personal loans. 

Most of the lenders below offer the convenience of prequalification with a soft credit check, which won’t affect your credit score. The exception is LightStream—so we think this lender is best for borrowers with excellent credit who are confident they’ll be approved.

Click the lender’s name in the table to find out more about its instant approval personal loan.

Lender
Speed to approve
Speed to fundRates (APR)
CredibleSame dayNext dayStarting at 5.20%
LightStreamSame daySame day ⚡Starting at 7.49%
SoFiSame daySame day ⚡Starting at 8.99%
UpstartInstant ⚡Next dayStarting at 6.40%
Best EggSame day1 – 3 daysStarting at 8.99%

Credible – Best marketplace

LendEDU rating: 5 out of 5

  • See preapproved offers from multiple lenders
  • Simple application process
  • No impact on credit scores when comparing loans

Credible operates as an aggregator, presenting preapproved offers from various lenders in its network. This marketplace model allows borrowers to efficiently compare loan terms, rates, and amounts from different lenders in one place, streamlining the prequalification process.

Qualified borrowers can be approved the same day, and you could get funds as soon as the next business day.


LightStream – Best for excellent credit

LendEDU rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Same-day funding is available in some cases
  • Large loans for borrowers with excellent credit
  • Low interest rates for qualified applicants

LightStream tailors loans to each borrower’s needs. Instead of one personal loan, it offers many loans with unique rate ranges and repayment terms based on the use of the funds.

While not guaranteed for all borrowers, getting funds as soon as the same day is possible.


SoFi – Best for good credit

LendEDU rating: 5 out of 5

  • Quick prequalification and loan approval
  • Member benefits include career coaching and financial advising
  • Borrow between $5,000 and $100,000

SoFi is renowned for its digital experience, including quick prequalification and approval process. It caters to various financial needs with competitive rates and high loan amounts.

SoFi offers additional member benefits to support borrowers during repayment, including unemployment protection. If you lose your job due to no fault of your own, SoFi will modify your payments and help you find a new role.

SoFi offers same-day approval and same-day funds transfer.


Upstart – Best for thin credit

LendEDU rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Uses AI technology for a faster approval process
  • Considers more than just credit scores for approvals

Upstart stands out for its sophisticated approval process, which uses AI to evaluate borrowers. This innovative approach often results in faster approval times, making it an excellent choice for those seeking quick funding. Upstart’s eligibility considerations include more than just credit scores, which can benefit a broader range of borrowers.

Upstart stands out for its instant approval, and you can get funds as soon as the next day.


Best Egg – Best for a secured loan

LendEDU rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Offers a secured loan for better rates and terms
  • Secured with items in your home
  • No impact on your credit score for checking rates

Best Egg distinguishes itself with its secured loan offering, which can appeal to borrowers who want to leverage items in their homes for better rates and terms. This secured option can lead to significant savings compared to the unsecured loan.

Funds can be available in as little as 24 hours.


Our expert advises

Erin Kinkade

CFP®

I would not recommend an instant approval loan unless you have no other option and are in an emergency with a need (not a want)—and the APR is below 15%. If you’ve established a financial plan, financial outlook, and a budget, repayment of the loan must be viable and built into your budget. This is critical. A line item should be built into your budget to develop your emergency fund or goal savings account. This can reduce your chances of needing loans in the future. To be clear, loans are not bad, but it’s essential to consider and research them before deciding. Consulting with a financial professional, friend, or counselor could help you make a wise decision to protect your financial condition now and in the future.

Ways to improve your approval odds for a personal loan 

Lenders can consider various factors when deciding whether to approve someone for a personal loan. If you’re interested in borrowing, these tips can help you increase the likelihood of getting a personal loan when you need one. 

  • Check your credit. Before applying for a personal loan, consider what the lender will likely see on your credit reports. Reviewing your reports can give you an idea of what’s helping your credit score and what may be hurting it.
  • Address credit report errors. Credit report errors could cost you points off your credit score. If you spot an error or inaccuracy on your reports, you have the right to dispute it with the credit bureau reporting the information. The credit bureau must investigate and correct or remove credit report errors when found. 
  • Hold off on applying for other credit. Applying for a loan or line of credit can show up on your credit reports as an inquiry. That can knock a few points off your credit score, and applying for multiple credit accounts in a short period could send the wrong signal to lenders. 
  • Calculate how much you need to borrow. It’s common for lenders to ask how much you want to borrow when you prequalify for a personal loan. Deciding on an amount can help you avoid applying for more than you need. 
  • Organize your documents. Lenders may ask for copies of your pay stubs, bank statements, or tax forms when you apply for a personal loan. Getting those documents together before you apply can save time and ensure you’re not leaving out any required information. 
  • Shop around. Comparing personal loan lenders is important for two reasons. First, it can give you an idea of where to find the best loan rates. And second, it’s an opportunity to see how well your credit scores and income match the lender’s minimum requirements. 

What credit score do you need for a personal loan? The answer depends on the lender. For instance, lenders specializing in bad-credit personal loans tend to accept borrowers with lower scores. So you might be able to qualify with a score of 620. 

But other lenders may expect you to have a credit score in the 670 range or higher. 


Tip

Credit scores and personal loan rates often correlate. The higher your score, the lower your interest rate is likely to be. 


Alternatives when you need cash fast

If you can’t get instant approval for personal loans, here are several alternatives to quick personal loans you might explore. 

  • No-credit-check loans. No-credit-check loans are what they sound like: loans you can get without a credit pull. The upside is getting cash fast, even with poor or no credit. The downside is these loans may charge sky-high interest rates and fees. 
  • Sell something. Selling items around the house is a simple way to make fast cash if you can find a buyer. You might sell belongings on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or in a local Facebook buy-and-sell group. Pawnshops will also buy valuable items for cash. 
  • Ask friends and family. You might be surprised at who is willing and wants to help. Our friends or family may be willing to extend a short-term loan, especially if you need a smaller amount. You might be able to work out an agreement for a larger loan. But remember, failing to repay it could damage the relationship. 
  • Consider a pawnshop loan. In addition to buying items outright, pawnshops can offer short-term loans, often 30 days or less. You can use your property as collateral for the loan. As long as you repay it on time, you can get your stuff back. However, if you don’t repay the loan as scheduled, the pawnshop gets to keep your items. 
  • Try odd jobs. If you have spare time, you might be able to make quick cash doing odd jobs. Cutting grass, raking leaves, putting furniture together, or helping someone move are all ways to earn extra money in a day. 

You might also consider a credit card cash advance, but know the caveats. For one, you’ll likely pay a cash advance fee, increasing how much you have to pay back. For another, cash advance APRs are often steep, and interest starts accruing on the amount you borrow right away. 

Weighing the pros and cons of these options can help you decide whether they’re suitable substitutes for a personal loan.