As part of the national effort to combat the devastating economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act was signed into law on March 26, 2020. The Act authorized the creation of the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a loan program meant to provide loans to businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Sadly, this program was beset with problems from the start. Small businesses seeking relief have had to deal with a confusing application process, banks that have been unwilling to accept loan applications from “new” customers, delays in the disbursal of loan funds, and a creaky SBA computer system.
On December 27, 2020, a new COVID-19 relief package was signed into law. This package allots an additional $284 billion for a second round of PPP funding, allowing business owners to receive a first or second loan. Applications for this round of funding started the week of January 11, 2021, and will continue through March 31, 2021. Only time will tell if the program has improved in terms of the application process and the disbursement of funds.
In the meantime, though, it’s important to know how you can keep tabs on your PPP loan status. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of waiting to learn about the status of your PPP loan application, here’s what you can do.
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Two Ways To Check Your PPP Loan Status
Contact Your Bank Or Lender
Each lender has its own policies surrounding how PPP loans are tracked, so you will need to contact your specific lender directly for more information. Fortunately, though, many banks and lenders have provided online information and portals to make tracking your PPP loan quick and easy. Here’s what to expect from some of the biggest lenders participating in the PPP program:
- Wells Fargo (FAQ page): Wells Fargo will keep borrowers updated on PPP loan statuses through email or mailed letters. The bank has a PPP section on its website that includes FAQs, contact numbers, and links to additional PPP resources.
- Bank of America (FAQ page): Per Bank of America, all correspondence surrounding PPP loans will occur online and through email. This includes submitting an application, requesting and submitting documentation, and tracking the loan status. PPP updates are provided through the Small Business Assistance section of the website, and general questions are answered through the bank’s PPP FAQs.
- Chase (FAQ page): According to Chase’s PPP FAQs, applicants will receive an email once the loan application is submitted and an additional email when a loan decision is made.
- US Bank (FAQ page): US Bank has a PPP Customer Assistance portal that provides updated information on the PPP program, eligibility criteria, applying for loan forgiveness, and other FAQs.
- PNC Bank (FAQ page): PNC Bank will notify users online with updates regarding their PPP loan status. The bank also provides a variety of resources and FAQs surrounding the application process, requirements, and loan forgiveness.
- Lendio (FAQ page): If you have questions about your PPP application, you can contact a Lendio rep through a toll-free number Monday through Friday. Lendio also has a dedicated PPP section on its website that also includes FAQs about applying for a loan, funding turnaround times, and applying for loan forgiveness.
- SmartBiz (FAQ page): If you have any questions about the status of your PPP loan, the application process, or other funding options for your business during the pandemic, you can contact a Smartbiz loan consultant Monday through Saturday for more information.
- BlueVine (FAQ page): BlueVine has a dedicated page for PPP requirements, important dates, FAQs, and program updates. You can check this page for more information on tracking the status of your loan.
- Credibly (FAQ page): According to Credibly, a borrower should reach out to their lender or potential lender to inquire about the status of their loan.
- Fundera (resource page): Fundera has a PPP Hub that offers the latest news, requirements, and information about applying for and obtaining a PPP loan.
- Funding Circle (FAQ page): If you apply for a PPP loan through Funding Circle, you can contact your Funding Circle Account Manager to inquire about the status of your loan.
- Celtic Bank (FAQ page): On its PPP application, Celtic Bank provides a contact number that can be used when applicants have questions about PPP loans.
- SBA.com (contact page): If you submitted an application through SBA.com and were connected to a lending partner, the site offers step-by-step instructions for checking the status of your loan through its partners’ online portals. SBA.com also provides program updates and additional resources for borrowers.
Each PPP lender will have a somewhat different process for checking the status of your loan application. Asking your lender about the status of your application through normal processes such as contacting a bank branch directly or contacting a customer care center may not work due to the volume of applications being processed. Instead, you’ll have to follow the specific instructions of your bank or lender concerning PPP loan applications.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen reports from business owners who have not been provided any means of checking on the status of their PPP loan application by their lender. If this happens to you, keep trying to contact your lender about the matter through any channel the lender provides. You may eventually find someone who can point you in the right direction.
Contact The SBA Directly
Given the extraordinary volume of SBA loan requests and the problems the SBA has had with meeting business demand for emergency assistance, this option may not bear fruit immediately. Simply put, the institutional capacity of the SBA to effectively respond to a disaster of this magnitude has been inadequate — and that’s putting it charitably. Nonetheless, I’ve seen a few reports from business owners who were able to get meaningful information from an SBA representative concerning the status of their PPP loan application.
What You’ll Need To Check Your Status
The information you’ll need to check the status of your PPP loan application will depend on how you applied for the loan in the first place. If you applied through SBA.com, you’ll need to enter your login information for the application portal. You should also have whatever information you provided in the application process on hand when you check on the status of your application in case a representative asks for it.
If you applied for a PPP loan directly from your bank or other lender, you’ll need to follow the specific steps listed by your lender in order to check your application status. As a rule of thumb, when checking on your application status through your bank or another lender, you should have whatever information you provided on your original application on hand in case your lender asks for it again. You’ll also likely need to provide your login information to access the online portal that you used to submit your application.
FAQs About Your PPP Loan Status
As we all try to navigate our way through this unprecedented crisis, business owners seeking relief have been dealing with the additional stress of finding that, in short, nothing is working as intended.
If you’ve applied for a PPP loan and have tried checking the status of your application, we’d love to hear about your experience, whether successful or not. Please leave us a comment and tell us all about it!
Check out Merchant Maverick’s COVID-19 hub for more resources, guides, and advice to help your business survive this disaster.