How Long Does it Take to Get a Student Loan in the USA – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1-3 weeks

Many students depend on loans for their studies, not only in the United States of America but also worldwide.

Loans have helped a lot of people, especially the less fortunate in society, to acquire their studies and become successful people in the community as well as in society.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Student Loan in the USA


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How long does it take to get students loan?

Loan TypeTime
Federal Student Loan1 to 3 weeks 
Private Student Loan2 to 10 weeks 

You need to note that there are two types of loans, federal student loan money as well as private student loan money.

Additionally, both have a waiting duration before you get the money.

Therefore, private student loan takes a span of 2 to 10 weeks to be processed and for you to acquire while the federal student takes absolutely 1 to 3 weeks for you to get.

There are several steps you should follow to obtain a federal loan, such as:

Filling the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA)

The first major step you should consider while applying for your loan.

You can either apply digitally or in an analog way; therefore, it is upon you to choose your preference.

However, if you use the online application, it might be appropriate for you, especially if you have a valid email address.

Furthermore, you can finish the process of application in a very few minutes as opposed to other ways.

Wait for the procession of your FAFSA

After your application, all you have to do is to wait so that your FAFSA is processed.

Usually, the process never takes that long, and it takes a span of 3 – 5 days, depending on the method of application you might have used.

The report summarizes your family contribution expectations as well as you’re your free application for federal student aid.

Moreover, after it is processed, you will receive a student aid report. This is very vital as it determines how long it might take you to acquire your loan.

Receiving your award package

The financial office at your college will receive a FAFSA report to determine if you qualify to get the loan.

It will therefore prepare and issue a financial aid award letter at the end of March or early April.

Additionally, the letter will contain information on non-based loans as well as need-based federal student loans.

Signing your master promissory note (MPN)

You will be required to sign a master promissory note, and this covers a continuous process for ten years.

You might receive these 10 days from the beginning of your classes. However, a first-year might wait for as long as 30 days.

Steps for getting a private student loan

Usually, the steps for getting loans vary from time to time.

It is, therefore, necessary for you to follow the following steps to acquire a private loan, such as; researching your decision, make your applications, submit them to the right office as well as decide if Cosigner is necessary.

It is recommendable that private student loans should be your last option. This is mainly because private student loans are usually unforgiving, unlike federal loans.

Furthermore, they have higher interest rates.


How fast or slow you get your loan depends on you on your steps of application. This also explains why it might take you long or short to get your loan. Therefore, you need always to be smart to make a wise decision on matters about a student loan.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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25 thoughts on “How Long Does it Take to Get a Student Loan in the USA – (And Why)?”

    1. I agree! I’m glad it outlines the specific timeframes for both federal and private student loans.

  1. The article is useful but lacking information on varying loan interest rates and implications for borrowers.

  2. It’s a good piece. It emphasizes the importance of careful considerations in selecting loan options.

  3. Avatar of Marshall Daniel
    Marshall Daniel

    I found this article very helpful and practical. It’s a good starting point for students navigating the loan process.

    1. I have a different opinion; I think the article oversimplified the complexities of loan acquisition.

  4. Overall, the article is comprehensive and informative, offering valuable advice on navigating student loans.

  5. The article could have provided more data on the implications of loans and the future impact on students’ finances.

    1. I agree. It’s important to understand the long-term financial commitments associated with student loans.

    2. I disagree. The article adequately covers the basics and doesn’t need to elaborate extensively on financial implications.

  6. This article is very informative and helpful. It breaks down the loan application process into easily understandable steps.

    1. I am of the same opinion; this article simplifies a complicated process and makes it more approachable.

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