Waiting for student loans to reflect on your account can be a stressful time. You could be waiting for weeks on a loan before you get the financial assistance you need. A timeline telling you how long it takes to get a student loan can help you find the right time to apply for one.
The length of the student loan wait depends on what kind of loan you took out, whether federal or private. The entire process for both kinds of student loans can be time-consuming. Regardless of where you’re getting financial assistance from, you can’t avoid having to wait for a lender to process your loan application, approve it, and then disburse money.
See the following kinds of loans and how long it takes to get either type on average.
Federal Student Loans
It may take between two weeks to two months for the entire process to complete before you can get a federal student loan. Federal student loans are financial assistance you can get from the government. These loans begin when you fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Give two weeks to know what federal loans are available to you upon application. Digital applications may give you results within five days. Approval may take around three weeks after submitting your FAFSA. Once you’re approved, your school’s financial aid department will usually disburse funds at the beginning of the school’s term.
Note that every school has unique processes for disbursement. It won’t hurt to contact your school’s financial aid department regarding your case.
Private Student Loans
It may take three weeks before you receive funds from a private student loan. Consider up to three months if you expect delays. The best-case scenario would have you submitting complete application forms without any follow-up documents. Requirements vary between private student loan providers.
Some private lenders can process applications quickly, giving you only a few minutes to wait before approval. Depending on your background, the lender of your choice may require up to two weeks for further review before approval.
Regarding disbursement, you still need to coordinate with your school’s financial aid department. Standard protocol requires schools to certify your private student loan provider of choice before disbursement. This process may take two weeks. Another two weeks go to waiting for actual disbursement, although it may take two months depending on your case.
Be sure to consider all your options for private student loan providers before settling with one. Read your contract to understand exactly how long they take before granting financial aid.
Conclusion: How Long Does It Take to Get a Student Loan?
Give at most three months for your student loan application to complete. The entire process involves application, approval, and disbursement. Considering both types of student loans you can apply for, you’re looking at two weeks to three months of waiting before you get the funds to pay for your educational needs.
Federal student loans may take two weeks to two months to complete from start to finish. Private student loans may take three weeks to three months before you get any money. In both cases, you must coordinate with your school’s financial aid department. This office is in charge of disbursement.