By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced additional deferment of principal and interest payments for existing Covid Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program borrowers for a total of 30 months from inception on all approved loans.
SBA administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said the extended deferment period will provide additional flexibility to small business owners impacted by the pandemic, especially those in hard-hit sectors managing disruption with recent variants, as well as recent supply chain and inflation challenges amid a growing economic recovery.
The Covid EIDL program, a federal disaster relief loan, has allocated more than $351 billion in relief aid to 3.9 million borrowers, including to the smallest of small businesses from historically underserved, disadvantaged communities.
Small businesses on Guam have received a total of $123.5 million, while their counterparts in the CNMI have received $24.1 million.
“This extended principal and interest deferment will provide financial relief to millions of small business owners – particularly those hardest-hit by the pandemic and related marketplace challenges – so they can continue to pivot, adapt, and grow," Guzman said.
Key information regarding deferment:
This deferment extension is effective for all Covid-EIDL loans approved in calendar years 2020, 2021, and 2022. Loans now have a total deferment of 30 months from the date of the Note. Interest will continue to accrue on the loans during the deferment.
Borrowers may make partial or full payments during the deferment period but are not required to. The SBA recommends using www.pay.gov.
The SBA will not send monthly SBA Form 1201 payment 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 set up an account in the CAFS system by logging in at Capital Access Financial System (sba.gov).
Deferments may result in balloon payments. The deferment will not stop any established Preauthorized Debit (PAD) or recurring payments on the loan. COVID-EIDL Borrowers with an SBA established PAD must contact their SBA servicing center to stop recurring payments during the extended deferment period. COVID-EIDL Borrowers who have established a PAD through Pay.Gov or any other bill pay service are responsible for terminating recurring payments during the extended deferment period.
After the deferment period ends, COVID-EIDL Borrowers will be required to make regular principal and interest payments beginning 30 months from the date of the Note.
In September 2021, SBA made key changes to the EIDL program:
The SBA lifted the cap from $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment, and paying off debt.
The SBA announed that small business owners did not have to begin Covid EIDL repayment until two years after loan origination so that they could continue operating during the pandemic without having to worry about making ends meet.
The SBA allowed Covid EIDL funds to be used to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
At the same time, and to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to support businesses that need COVID EIDL funding most, the SBA increased fraud controls and is working in collaboration with the SBA Inspector General to closely monitor the program.