Key takeaways

  • Fast small business loans can be secured as quickly as within 24 hours
  • Fast small business loans still require the submission of documentation but often have a streamlined underwriting process
  • While fast business loans provide speedy access to funds, you may find better terms with other options

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.

Before you apply for a fast business loan, compare top lenders that offer the turnaround time 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 it take to get a fast business loan?

The length of time you can find a fast business loan depends on the lender. Some lenders that offer fast business loans can deposit funds to your business bank account within 24 to 48 hours of an approved application. The fastest lenders tend to be online.

For fast business loans, expect a simple application process, such as an online or one-page application that doesn’t require much documentation.

Bankrate insight
While you can get a fast business loan in as little as 24 hours, traditional business loans take longer. You can expect most business loans to take at least a week or longer to process and fund. If you’re going for an SBA loan, you can expect the SBA loan process to take 30 to 90 days.

How to get a fast business loan

To ensure a fast business loan process remains fast, you’ll want to make sure that you match the lender’s requirements for applying. Lenders typically have set requirements for minimum time in business, credit score and annual revenue. You’ll also want to take care to upload the exact documents the lender requests.

If you run into any questions or problems during the application process, you can reach out directly to a representative to find a solution quickly. The following steps should help you get a fast business loan as quickly as possible.

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.

The documents you need to apply include:

  • Business information
  • Owner details
  • Business financial statements
  • Personal finances
  • Collateral
  • Personal guarantee
Bankrate insight
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. Use a business loan calculator to find the most affordable option.
  • 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.
Bankrate insight
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 business loan 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 speed up the small business loan process

While applying for a fast business loan can help you get a business loan quickly, it may not always be the best option for your small business. Even if you go with a different type of business loan, you can still speed up the process by:

  1. Checking 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. Comparing 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. Comparing 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. Preparing 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.
Bankrate insight

It’s important to consider the terms of the agreement when applying for a fast business loan, as you’ll want to shop around to find the best lender for the amount you need. Pick the best fast business loan lender for your situation. For example: 


  • Credibly offers small loan amounts and a one-day turnaround for approval 
  • Bluevine offers simple interest rates
  • Funding Circle offers longer terms for loans

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, including alternatives to fast business loans, and find the best interest rate before signing an agreement.

Frequently asked questions

  • A fast business loan is a business loan granted by a lender — often by online lenders — typically within a week or less, often offered through a streamlined online application process.
  • You can typically get approved for a fast business loan in as little as a week and sometimes as fast as 24 hours.
  • It depends on the lender and type of loan you apply for. Online lenders offer fast business loans that can be funded within 24 hours. Banks and credit unions may take a week or longer. SBA loans can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days from the application being submitted.