During a webinar hosted by Abrigo, Walter Lara-Figueroa, a Lender Relations Specialist from the North Carolina District Office of the SBA, said lenders should plan to book loans very soon after President Donald Trump signs the bill approving new funding.
Lenders already receiving notifications from the SBA should receive an email letting them know that E-Tran, the application portal for PPP loans, is open for business, Lara-Figueroa said. But those logged into E-Tran will also be able to tell by whether they are able to click on the box that allows them to start a PPP loan, he said. “My best estimate is that if he signs today, it will be available the next day,” he said. To sign up for lender notifications from the SBA, use this link.
Lara-Figueroa also recommended that lenders contact the SBA district office in their area to get information and training from lender specialists who can help them specifically.
Despite concerns that hundreds of thousands of applications from lenders are already queued up and will gobble up new funding immediately, Lara-Figueroa said that is not the case. “There is no queue,” he said. “All of the [lenders] are in a holding pattern, but it will be like rush hour in New York or Los Angeles. E-Tran might go through an overload period.”
The first round of funding left many lenders scrambling for guidance and the most up-to-date documents. During an Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA) briefing webinar, Paul Merski, Group Executive Vice President of Congressional Relations at ICBA, eased lenders’ fears that the second round of funding would have surprise stipulations. While there is no E-Tran queue, per se, lenders are sitting on a lot of applications, so “they don’t really want to change the clarifications now,” said Merski. Many lenders have outstanding applications that were unable to be processed before funding ran out, and others have continued to accept applications in anticipation of additional funding. “People who already filed applications should feel confident that their application is still good to go,” Merski said.
The one known change to the second round of funding is an earmarked $60 billion in PPP loans reserved specifically for community financial institutions. While it’s unknown at this time how the SBA will be tracking the allotted funds, $30 billion will be allocated to institutions with less than $10 billion in assets, and another $30 billion will be allocated to institutions with $10-50 billion in assets.
Lara-Figueroa said during the Abrigo webinar that he anticipates the SBA will be able to monitor the amounts going to various sizes of institutions as the loans are approved. “I’m sure they’ll have some type of software to track that,” he said.
Lenders using the application portal to enter loans have unique identification numbers.