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Key Lender Steps Before Using the SBA’s PPP Forgiveness Platform

Mary Ellen Biery
August 11, 2020
Read Time: 0 min

The SBA PPP Forgiveness Platform opened Aug. 10.

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The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) PPP Forgiveness Platform opened to lenders on Aug. 10, paving the way for borrowers to begin getting their loans taken off the books of lenders if they have met all requirements.  Lenders can manually enter forgiveness applications into the PPP Forgiveness Platform, but many plan to use PPP forgiveness software that connects via an API (Application Programming Interface) to send the decisions in batch.   The good news is that unlike the PPP origination phasewhich closed on Aug. 8lenders aren’t dealing with a race against funding running out, so they should not face the same scramble as they submit forgiveness decisions to the SBAAs a reminder of the PPP forgiveness timelineonce a borrower submits a completed loan forgiveness application to the lender servicing their loan, the lender has 60 days to issue a decision on loan forgiveness to the borrower and the SBA. At that point, the lender can request payment from the SBA. The SBA has 90 days to reimburse the lender for the forgiven amount plus interest that has accrued through the payment date (but less any Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance amounts)  Indeed, with Congress still negotiating on potential changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, some borrowers might be reluctant to get a lender decision until details are clear on such industry-backed proposals as simplified forgiveness applications or so-called “blanket forgiveness” for loans under $150,000. Through Aug. 6, $523.4 billion in PPP loans had been approved through 5,461 lenders, according to the SBA’s latest data. The average loan size was $101,459. 

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Credentialing for the PPP Forgiveness Platform

Regardless, lenders should make sure they have the proper credentials for the new PPP Forgiveness Platform. They should also ensure they have prepared the required documentation for any applications they are getting ready to forward 

Authorizing Officials (AOs) of PPP lenders who are currently in the CAFS/E-Tran system should have already received a welcome email from the SBA ([email protected]) with instructions on how to access this new platform.  If not, it’s time to contact your local SBA representative or the SBA PPP Lender Hotline at 833-572-0502 to make sure you get the credentials 

According to the SBA’s Forgiveness Platform User Guide (opens as PDF), AOs can create up to 10 additional users and can grant the following four levels of access 

  • Admin: Has administrative functions such as activating and deactivating users and resetting passwords; providing the institution’s ACH information to the SBA for forgiveness payments; reporting functions on the SBA dashboard and the payment dashboard; and servicing functions such as submitting decisions and documentation, withdrawing documentation and looking up the status of decisions and of disbursed PPP loans. 
  • General: Does not have administrative functions, but can submit and withdraw forgiveness decisions, access the message center, and look up the status of decisions and disbursed loans.  
  • Read Only: Can only look up the status of a decision or the PPP disbursed loan status on the PPP Forgiveness Platform.  
  • API UserCan only use the API to submit a decision or documentation, withdraw a decision, view the message center, and view the status of decisions and PPP disbursed loan status. 

Checking documentation for PPP forgiveness decisions

Another “must do” before submitting forgiveness applications to the new SBA PPP Forgiveness Platform is to make sure borrower applications and documentation are completeThe lender must include the following sections of the PPP borrower application when it issues its decision to the SBA: 

For forgiveness applications using SBA Form 3508: 

  • PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form (Form 3508 or lender equivalent), including the signed certification document by the borrower 
  • PPP Schedule A 
  • PPP Borrower Demographic Information Form, if the borrower submitted it to the lender 

For forgiveness applications using SBA Form 3508EZ: 

  • PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3508EZ (or lender’s equivalent form), including the signed certification document by the borrower 
  • Borrower Demographic Information Form, if the borrower submitted it to the lender  

The Platform User Guide says lenders are permitted to submit supporting documentation, such as payroll and non-payroll records and receipts, along with the application via the platform to provide further justification for their decision to the SBAThey are only required to submit the documentation to the PPP Forgiveness Platform along with their decision if the SBA notifies them that a review will be performed. 

Having application information correct is imperative because once a decision is submitted, it cannot be editedInstead, the decision would have to be withdrawn within the first 24 hours after submission.

Lenders will be classifying their decisions to the SBA in four categories:

  • approved in full
  • approved in part
  • denied
  • denied without prejudice due to SBA review. 


About the Author

Mary Ellen Biery

Senior Strategist & Content Manager
Mary Ellen Biery is Senior Strategist & Content Manager at Abrigo, where she works with advisors and other experts to develop whitepapers, original research, and other resources that help financial institutions drive growth and manage risk. A former equities reporter for Dow Jones Newswires whose work has been published in

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About Abrigo

Abrigo enables U.S. financial institutions to support their communities through technology that fights financial crime, grows loans and deposits, and optimizes risk. Abrigo's platform centralizes the institution's data, creates a digital user experience, ensures compliance, and delivers efficiency for scale and profitable growth.

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