You’ve seen the news about the next hot stock and decide that it is a can’t-miss buying opportunity. However, there is only one small problem: you don’t have a brokerage account. So you decide to download Robinhood, one of the world’s leading retail brokerage apps, to get in on the action ASAP.
But how long will it take for your Robinhood application to be approved?
Robinhood states that a decision on account approval or denial will take a few days. However, most users report that their account gets approved within a 24 hour time frame.
Given the high degree of automation used by the platform, account approval should be a very speedy process for users who have all of their personal information in order. Continue reading the following breakdown to get a detailed look at the Robinhood application process, as well as any factors that may cause a delay in account approval.
Robinhood Approval Process: How Long Does It Take?
Robinhood puts out a very conservative estimate, stating that a decision on an account application will be made “in the coming days.”
While complex or extenuating applications may take this long, the vast majority of applicants will get an approval email within 24 hours, with many getting a decision in as little as a few hours or even less.
As an entirely web-based brokerage, Robinhood uses a high degree of automation to run its platform. Therefore, as long as the applicant inputs all his or her information correctly, the software should not take long to approve the application and open an account.
How Do I Apply for Robinhood?
There are a couple of components to applying for Robinhood.
First, you need to determine whether or not you are a qualified applicant. To do so, you will need to check “yes” for the following four requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have a valid Social Security Number (this is completely safe to do)
- Have a legal U.S. residential address within the 50 states or Puerto Rico (possible exceptions apply for U.S. military stationed abroad)
- Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have a valid U.S. visa
If you can answer “yes” to all of the above requirements, then you can start the application process.
Applications can be submitted via iOS, android, and most web browsers. You will need to use the following steps:
- Go to the Robinhood sign-up page – the first part of the application will ask for basic personal information, such as name and email address. You will also be required to create a username and password for your account.
- Enter contact information – this section asks for information such as residential address and phone number. You will also be asked if you or any member of your family are employees of any stock exchanges or large stakeholders in publicly traded companies
- Identity verification – Robinhood will ask for your SSN and date of birth. You will also see some questions relating to citizenship status, marital status, number of dependents, etc.
- Choose a funding source – you will link your bank to your Robinhood account to fund your trading. Once your bank is verified, the information is encrypted, and Robinhood no longer has access to the account details.
- Submit the application – Robinhood will give you a chance to verify the accuracy of the information you provided and read through their terms of service agreement before submitting.
As mentioned, after submitting the application, you should get an email notification of approval within 24 hours. You will then log in to your account, make a deposit, and begin trading.
Why Would My Robinhood Application Not Be Approved?
Although most applications are approved in as little as a few hours, there are a number of reasons why an application may be denied, or why Robinhood may require additional information before granting approval:
- You already have an account – as each Robinhood account is tied to a unique SSN, opening two accounts under the same SSN is impermissible (I wrote an entire article about this here). Therefore, if you opened an account a long time ago, forgot about it, and want to start fresh, Robinhood will deny your application for a new account.
- Data entry error – incorrectly entering personal information will cause the system to flag your account and you will be contacted for further information.
- You have a white collar criminal record.
- You have family members with insider ties to the financial markets – you may have them and not even know it. Robinhood is thorough in its efforts to prevent insider trading
- You bank with a small bank – most major banks with a high degree of automation can usually get verified in a matter of hours or less. However, if you are using a smaller bank as your funding source, the verification process may take a little longer, especially if you submit your application over a weekend or holiday.
- System error – although extremely rare, there have been some users report that their application got denied due to a system error on Robinhood’s part. When this happens, Robinhood will contact the applicant and direct them on the proper course of action
What If My Application Isn’t Accepted?
If you can honestly answer “yes” to all of the prerequisites listed above, it is highly unlikely that you will get a flat-out denial. Generally speaking, Robinhood will request that you supply more information so that they can sort through the issue. This is usually accomplished through an additional document upload.
After taking these additional steps and your account still is not accepted, it may be necessary to contact customer support if you truly believe your application is being denied without basis.
A word of caution: although Robinhood claims to have 24/7 phone support, it can be very challenging to get a service rep on the line. Due to the vast number of accounts the platform services and the high degree of automation it employs, getting a live support representative can be frustrating.
Therefore, in the unlikely event that you have to go this route to get your application approved, the process may extend to a matter of weeks.
The Bottom Line: Robinhood Application Approval
Although Robinhood claims that application approval or a request for more information will arrive in a matter of days, the reality is that most applicants get an email notification of approval within 24 hours.
As such, as long as you meet all of the application requirements and have all of your personal information in order, there is a strong possibility that you can open an account and start trading within the same business day!
So not only is Robinhood great for short and long term investing (5 Reasons Why Robinhood Is Good for Long Term Investing), but it also have a very quick and seamless sign-up process.
Thanks for reading Geeks! I hope this article provided you with the information you were looking for.