The head of the United States Small Business Administration, Isabelle Casillas Guzmandirected the agency to provide further deferral of principal and interest payments for COVID Economic Disaster Lending Program (EIDL) borrowers for a total of 30 months deferral from the start of all approved COVID EIDL loans.
The extended adjournment period will provide additional flexibility for small business owners impacted by the pandemic, particularly those in hard-hit sectors that are managing disruptions with recent variants, as well as recent supply chain and marketing challenges. inflation in a context of growing economic recovery.
Since its inception, the COVID EIDL program, a federal disaster relief loan, has allocated more than $351 billion in emergency assistance to 3.9 million borrowers, including the smallest of small businesses from historically underserved and disadvantaged communities.
“While our small business owners continue to fuel a historic economic recovery under the Biden-Harris administration, we must continue to do everything in our power to meet our small businesses where they are with resources to ensure they can recover and thrive,” SBA said. Administrator Guzman. “This extended deferral of principal and interest will provide financial relief to millions of small business owners – especially those hardest hit by the pandemic and related market challenges – so they can carry on. to pivot, adapt and grow.”
Key information regarding the postponement:
- This deferral extension is effective for all COVID-EIDL loans approved in calendar years 2020, 2021, and 2022. Loans now have a total deferral of 30 months from the date of the memo. Interest will continue to accrue on the loans during the deferral.
- Borrowers can make partial or full payments during the deferral period, but they are not required to do so. The SBA recommends using www.pay.gov.
- The SBA will not send SBA Form 1201 monthly remittance notices; however, the SBA will send regular payment reminders via email.
- Existing COVID EIDL borrowers can find account balances and payment due dates in the SBA Capital Access Financial System (CAFS) and learn how to create an account in the CAFS system by logging on to Capital Access Financial System (sba.gov).
- Deferrals may result in lump sum payments. The deferral will not stop any pre-authorized debit (PAD) set up or any recurring payments on the loan. COVID-EIDL borrowers with an SBA-established PAD should contact their SBA Service Center to stop recurring payments during the extended deferral period. COVID-EIDL borrowers who have established a DPA through Pay.Gov or any other bill payment service are responsible for ending recurring payments during the extended deferment period.
- After the end of the deferment period, COVID-EIDL borrowers will be required to make regular payments of principal and interest commencing 30 months from the date of the note.
In September 2021, Administrator Guzman announced major improvements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Key changes announced included:
- Increase in the COVID EIDL ceiling. The SBA has lifted the COVID EIDL cap from $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for all normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, equipment purchases and debt repayment.
- Implementation of a Deferred Payment Period. The SBA ensured that small business owners did not have to begin repayment of COVID EIDL until two years after the loan was issued so that they could continue operating during the pandemic without having to worry about joining. both ends.
- Establishment of a 30-day exclusivity window. To ensure Main Street businesses have more time to access these funds, the SBA has implemented a 30-day exclusivity window to approve and disburse funds for loans of $500,000 or less. . Approval and disbursement of loans over $500,000 began after the 30-day period ended.
- Extension of eligible use of funds. The SBA authorized the use of COVID EIDL funds to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal commercial debt.
- Simplification of membership conditions. To make the COVID EIDL application process easier for small businesses, the SBA has established simplified membership requirements to model those of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (FRR).
Improvements to the application process and fraud control
In addition to policy enhancements, the SBA has invested in optimized processes and increased capacity to improve the customer service experience for candidates. Led by Administrator Guzman to rapidly and radically improve COVID EIDL, the revamped leadership team implemented new processes and performance management, such as prioritizing staff for COVID EIDL and increasing the average number of candidacy decisions made. At the time, the SBA accelerated the daily processing of loan increases from nearly 2,000 applications to more than 37,000 applications. Loan officer productivity also increased from 1.86 requests per day to 15 requests per day. As a result of these increased loan review rates, the backlog of over 600,000 loans was cleared and new applications were processed immediately.
At the same time, and to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to support businesses that need COVID EIDL funding the most, the SBA has strengthened fraud checks and is working with the Inspector General of the SBA to closely monitor the program.
More details for SBA customers
Borrowers with questions can call the SBA’s COVID EIDL Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-833-853-5638 (borrowers who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment can dial 7-1- 1 to access Telecom Relay Services) or email [email protected] for further assistance. The center is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Multilingual representatives are available. Small business owners can also contact SBA’s resource partners by visiting www.sba.gov/local-assistance. For more information on COVID EIDL, please visit www.sba.gov/relief.