Some online lenders can fund loans in less than a week — some in as little as a single business day. These lenders have streamlined processes that require minimal documentation. By contrast, while some banks are becoming faster, many still have applications that can take weeks or months to fully process.

Compare top fast lenders that offer the turnaround you need and have all your information prepped before you apply. This will help ensure a quick response and a fast turnaround on your next loan.

How long does getting a fast business loan take?

Lenders that boast fast approval speeds are able to process and fund your loan within a week. Their quick underwriting process means they are able to disburse funds as soon as your loan paperwork is signed.

Step 1: Applying

Depending on the lender, it may take less than thirty minutes to apply for a loan. But this assumes you have prepared ahead of time. If not, this portion of the application process can be the most grueling.

Fast lenders may still require important documents and information like your business plan, profit and loss statements, tax returns and bank statements. Gather these before you get started to move swiftly through the process.

Before you start an application, explore the types of fast business loans available to you. It’s never one-size-fits-all funding, and there are plenty of options that are both fast and flexible.

Bankrate tip
Find lenders that offer competitive rates in addition to quick funding speed. The best way to do that is to know your credit score and business financials, which will also make submitting a few applications at one time a quicker, smoother process.

Step 2: Underwriting

Underwriting involves checking your business’s financial records and creditworthiness. It may also involve digging into each owner’s credit history and assessing your collateral, if applicable. This may be done by a human, but online lenders may use computer software to quickly go through the information you submit. Some lenders advertise near-instant funding decisions powered by their software.

For short-term business loans like invoice financing, a lender may simply need access to your bookkeeping software. For other loans, an underwriter will need a variety of documents.

To help the underwriting process move swiftly:

  • Request a smaller amount. By requesting a small loan, your business looks less risky to the lender — and is potentially in a better position for quick underwriting.
  • Double-check your documents. Always confirm the accuracy of everything you submit. If the underwriter finds errors or mistakes, you may add hours or days to the process.

Keep an eye on your email inbox. If the lender reaches out asking for more information or context, a quick response from you will mean faster underwriting.

Step 3: Funding

The typical business loan from a bank or credit union can take weeks or months to process. Fast business loans, on the other hand, may be funded within a week of submitting an application. Some lenders are able to assess and underwrite loans in a matter of hours and fund them within a day.

This isn’t a guarantee, however. Most lenders will still take a day or two to process your application, come to a funding decision and disburse your loan. Your bank will then need to process the deposit, which could also take a day or two. Plan for a wait of at least a week, even for the fastest business loans.

How to get the fastest business loan

To get a fast business loan, be prepared when you submit your application.

  1. Check your options. There are a variety of business loans out there, and not all are available quickly. For example, SBA loans could take up to 90 days to fully process. Short-term business loans can be processed within a day, but they are more expensive than slightly slower alternatives.
  2. Compare rates. Try to find three or four lenders that work with businesses like yours. Know your personal credit score and business finances to find a fast but still competitive lender.
  3. Compare timeframes. Look for lenders that state their funding period is within a few days since these should also have quick application and underwriting processes.
  4. Prepare your documents. Before you submit, have everything your lender will need. The easier you make things for the underwriter or underwriting software, the faster your loan can be funded.

The bottom line

Speed may be a big factor, but it should not be your only concern when choosing a lender. A quick loan isn’t worth the speed if your business can’t handle the repayment. Take a little extra time to compare options and find the best interest rate you can. Then prep before diving into the application.