The original $349 billion allocated through the CARES Act was exhausted in under 2-weeks, and it’s likely that this next round will go even faster. While originally the only SBA approved lenders included large and local banking institutions, the SBA has now made multiple fintech firms, such as Intuit and PayPal official lenders. This means that there are now more options available for you to apply to, with some of them potentially being better options if you already use their service.
You’ll want to be sure that you have your application prepared before the funds are available and that you’re already in communication with your chosen lender. Even more ideal is if you have your application submitted and are just waiting on approval. Read on for updated info on what to expect from the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program, how to apply, and who your options for lenders currently are.
What is the Paycheck Protection Program?
The Paycheck Protection Program provides 2-year, 6-month deferment, 1% fixed-rate loans to help small businesses cover payroll and other operational expenses.
Your business qualifies for a PPP Loan if:
- Your business was in operation before February 15, 2020
- Your business has 500 or fewer employees (Or) falls under a certain size standard
- No pending loan applications (aside from Economic Injury Disaster Loans)
- The loan request is seen as necessary
Loans are available for up to 2.5 times your average monthly payroll, with a maximum of $10 million if applicable. Up to 8-weeks of payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities and up to 100% of the loan will be forgiven if payroll is maintained. For a full rundown of everything regarding the PPP, including how to calculate your loan forgiveness, check out our full writeup.
How to Apply for a Paycheck Protection Loan
The SBA has provided this standardized downloadable loan application, that you will need to fill out and submit to an SBA approved lender. Depending on your lender, you’ll need to provide some or all of the following documentation with your application:
- Tax returns for at least 2019, but if you have 2 years of tax returns easily available, get those ready.
- Payroll reports that show clearly how you achieved your total loan amount.
- Legal company formation documents or organization legal structure/setup, ownership, etc.
- Verifiable payroll expense documents.
- Payroll summary report with corresponding bank statements.
- Breakdown of payroll benefits.
- Certification that all employees live within the United States and a list of employees who do not live in the U.S. and their salaries.
- Most recent mortgage or rent statement and utility bills.
- Documentation as to how COVID-19 has negatively impacted your business (comparing 2019 to 2020 sales is an easy way to do this.)
Where to Apply for a Paycheck Protection Loan
Originally, PPP loans were only available through banks and credit unions that were already designated SBA partners. Now, several fintech organizations have been approved to accept applications and provide PPP loan funds. Each option comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so you’ll want to be sure that the lender makes the most sense for your business and will allow your application to be processed quickly.
The most recent addition to the list of SBA approved lenders may also be the most promising in terms of functionality and ease of use when applying. The only drawback, similar to larger banks, is that if you don’t currently have an account and utilize financial services through the company, the likelihood you’ll be able to apply any time soon is very unlikely. Additionally, there may be additional limitations regarding the amount you’ll be able to borrow and while many companies have been approved as lenders, not all have rolled out an application just yet.
If you plan to apply through a fintech company we recommend that you do it through one that you already have an account through. This will prioritize your application and ensure that the automated process has enough info to accurately pull from and better your chances of being approved. Check the list below for which companies are currently (or soon will be) accepting PPP applications, and we will continue to update this article as more are confirmed.
If you’re a QuickBooks Payroll customer, you should have been notified as soon as Intuit started accepting PPP applications. The loans are being funded through QuickBooks Capital and provide an automated application process that pulls in the necessary info for those that have an account. The company has also launched Intuit Aid Assist, to help small businesses determine how much aid they’re eligible for, as well as Stimulus Registration to determine if and when you’ll receive a non-business stimulus check.
One of the first to be approved as a lender, PayPal already has a live application portal up and running. PayPal is partnering with WebBank as the primary lender for its PPP loan program and no previous history with PayPal is required to apply. You will need to have additional tax, payroll, and other bank statements ready to upload, and if approved, the official loan documentation will be sent to you via email to sign.
Funding Circle’s PPP Loan application is a hybrid between a do-it-yourself online system and a directly managed application. You’ll start the process by filling out basic information through their new PPP loan portal, which will then be handed off to a Funding Circle account manager who will reach out to you to help complete your application and any necessary supplementary documents. Being handled by an actual person is a nice touch, but depending on how many account managers are available, this may slow down the application process. Additionally, Funding Circle is working with multiple funding partners to process the loans, which may mean you’ll be transferred to one of them if deemed necessary.
Square is an approved SBA lender but has yet to announce when its application will go live. If you’re currently a Square Seller, you will be the first to be notified when Square officially starts to accept applications. If you don’t have a Square account, you can sign-up for the possibility to receive a PPP loan through Square Capital. More than likely Sellers will take precedent, so it may be best to avoid this lender unless you’re already utilizing their services.
Divvy’s application went live on April 6 in conjunction with their banking partner, Cross Bank. If you have a Divvy account, your account manager will work directly with you on starting your application, determining the amount you qualify for, and getting the necessary documentation in order. If you’re not a Divvy customer, they still help you submit an application to Cross Bank, just without all the extra assistance along the way. If you’re looking for help in submitting for a PPP loan and are already utilizing Divvy, this may be a great option for you.
Kabbage was one of the first fintech partners to be approved by the SBA and provides a relatively simple process that automatically calculates how much you should apply for. You will need to make a Kabbage account in order to apply and will have to manually input most of your information. One major drawback that isn’t found in any of the other non-bank lenders, is that Kabbage is only able to process loans of up to $2 million, which may not be nearly the amount needed for some small businesses.
Credibly’s platform makes it simple for you to submit a fast, complete, and secure PPP loan application. You can apply online in minutes and get the relief funding you need as soon as possible. Both existing customers and new customers are welcome to apply. If you’re concerned that funding for PPP will run out, they also provide other small business loans that may be a better option for you.
Lendio’s PPP application is available to those that do and do not have an account. If you have an account, all of the basic information and most of the business and financial information will be auto-filled. If you don’t have an account, you’ll have to add all of that information in yourself, and in both cases, you will need to upload additional documents to support your application. While the process is simple, keep in mind that those with Lendio accounts may take precedent over non-account holders during the approval process.
Banking institutions such as Chase, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank have experienced the greatest influx of applications, as well as the greatest amount of problems in processing them. Some of this is due to the volume, but much of the slowdown has to do with them prioritizing current customers and larger accounts over other applicants. Currently, most larger banks are only accepting form submissions regarding interest in PPP loans as they process applications that have already been submitted.
Applying for a loan through a larger bank is still a viable option, just be sure that you already have an account and have someone there to reach out to directly.
Small Banks and Credit Unions
If you currently work with a local bank or credit union, the likelihood that you’ll get to work with a real person that much higher. Similar to some of the fintech options, this means you have someone there to help answer any questions, assist with your application, and ensure that you are providing the necessary documentation to receive a PPP loan. The personalized process also means that you’ll have greater insight into the status of your application and if there are any red flags that may be stalling the approval process.
Even if you don’t currently have an account with a smaller bank, this may still be your best option. It may mean that you’ll have to transfer accounts to apply, but the waitlist to apply will most likely be shorter or non-existent compared to larger banks, and the quick, personalized service may mean the difference between you getting funds or not.
Other Loan Options to Consider
If you’ve already applied for a PPP loan or need additional funds to get your business through the COVID-19 crisis, you should also consider applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). With the passing of the CARES Act, the SBA has loosened the requirements for the loan and simplified the application process. Additionally, if you’re looking for immediate funds, once you apply for an EIDL you can request an immediate emergency grant of $10,000. This grant will not have to be paid back even if you aren’t approved for the loan.
Additionally, you can simultaneously apply for both the EIDL and PPP loans without fear of one disqualifying the other. The only thing to note is that if you receive the emergency grant, that $10,000 will be deducted from the amount of your PPP loan that can be forgiven.
Additional Crisis Planning Resources
If you’re looking for more insight into what you can do to help your business survive and thrive through this crisis, check out our recent write-ups listed below, as well as our COVID-19 Resource page for recent webinars, articles and up-to-date information.
How to create a plan to save your company in a crisis:
When facing an economic crisis, it can be difficult to think about the future of your business. The need to survive takes precedence over planning and that can lead to both short and long-term problems for your business. But there are steps you can take to save your business and pivot to recession-proof success. Read More.
Why You Should Update Your Budget and Forecasts in the Age of Coronavirus:
Don’t let times of uncertainty lead to panic and rushed decisions. Instead find ways to adapt and plan, starting with reviewing your budget and forecasts. Read more.
Paycheck Protection and SBA Disaster Loan Checklist:
Streamline the loan application process and get your emergency funding faster with the right documents and reports. We’ll show you exactly what you need today to win an SBA loan. Read more.
How to Manage Cash Flow in a Crisis:
Cash flow management in a crisis is absolutely vital. Check out our five tips to improve your cash flow and help your small business survive and thrive. Read more.