Last year, many small businesses were fed up with the Payroll Protection Program (or PPP) application process. Traditional banks struggled to handle the influx of loan requests, big businesses swooped in and gobbled up large chunks of the available funds (some eventually returned them), and many small businesses were left out in the cold.
But the additional $284 million, including at least $40 billion set aside for the smallest and minority-owned businesses, in Congress’ latest relief bill should help alleviate the funding problems experienced by so many small businesses.
Also different this time around is the presence of several online lenders, who have stepped in to fill the void and create a more seamless PPP application process online.
Several of them, including Square, PayPal, and Intuit have received permission from the Small Business Association to dole out these funds themselves. B
ut the better option for business owners may be the fintech companies which can work to find a lender on an applicant’s behalf.
We previously wrote a post detailing how to apply for a PPP loan, but here we’ll focus specifically on the best online lenders for the second round SBA loans.
UPDATE: Congress has approve additional funding for the Payroll Protection Program through the SBA.
5 Online Lenders Accepting PPP Applications
First off, we recommend checking with your local bank or current lender prior to turning to online platforms. But for those who have had trouble with their local bank – ahem, Wells Fargo – or just flat-out don’t have a business banking relationship, here is the best place to apply for a PPP loan and the online lenders equipped to handle your application.
Fundera is currently our top ranked option to apply for Payroll Protection online. They offer a user-friendly experience to apply for PPP loans online.
Built for the web, Fundera traditionally works with banks to acquire loans for its customers. An online broker, or middleman, Fundera takes the pain out of the oft-difficult and confusing process of applying for a loan. This postions them exceedingly well to handle the application process for PPP loans.
Fundera is currently working with two banks, Cross River Bank and First Home Bank, to process these loan applications.
We’re told they are well-equipped to handle the second round of PPP loans.
You can fill out the PPP application with Fundera right here .
You may not have heard of this one, but they are backed by ConnectOne Bank out of New York– one of the first banks to actually hand out a PPP loan. They have set up an impressive online portal to apply and have been extremely communicative with customers throughout the process.
Boefly’s customer service has been impressive. As a smaller platform, they may not be equipped to handle an influx of requests. But they are still accepting applications and have a clear signup process.
You can apply with Boefly right here.
PayPal is currently accepting Payroll Protection applications through their Loan Builder program. Back in April, they were processing loan requests in record time:
My daughter got her PPP loan in 8 hours. She applied through PayPal at 10:00am and the money was deposited into her business account at 6:08pm.
— Warren C. Warburton, Esq. Retired (@WarburtonWarren) April 16, 2020
Check out @PayPal to apply for the PPP! I applied through chase last week and didn’t hear anything back. Within 24hrs via PayPal I received a loan disclosure document to sign. 🤞
— Andrew Smith (@iSmitty12) April 16, 2020
There’s no reason to think things will be different this time around. PayPal has built up a robust infrastructure to handle and service the loans.
Loan applications are processed through WebBank, an FDIC insured lender, which has a process in place for applying for, and receiving, forgiveness for borrowers.
Square is one of the three fintech companies to be approved by the SBA to hand out PPP loans.
We expect them to have lower volume of requests than PayPal and perhaps Intuit, both have which has a large customer base, so they may be able to more expediently process loans.
However, they are not yet accepting applications. Their PPP page lists what is effectively a “coming soon” message.
While approved, Intuit still isn’t officially accepting PPP loan applications. But they do have a signup form to be notified when they will.
Those are the best bets right now. With funds set to run out any minute, the PPP will likely require additional funding from Congress to continue to operate. We expect these online lenders, and potentially others, to accept and process those applications.
Who Is Eligible For The Second Round of PPP?
The SBA has issued guidance for this latest round of funding, and there are a few caveats compared to the first go-around.
First-time borrowers only: The first two days of PPP funding, January 11 and 12, will only be available through community-based lenders focusing on underserved and minority communities. You will only be eligible to receive a loan during the first two days if you didn’t receive a Payroll Protection loan in 2020.
Second-time borrowers: Beginning on Wednesday, January 13, the PPP program will open up and become available to second-time borrowers who meet certain criteria:
- 300 or fewer employees
- must prove, prior to applying for a loan, business saw a 25% reduction in gross receipts during a quarter in 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019… unless seeking a loan under $150,000, at which point you can prove the reduction when applying for forgiveness
Not much has changed in the latest batch of funding. Businesses will still be required to use at least 60% of the funds on qualifying employee expenses (maintaining payroll) and the remaining 40% on operating expenses to qualify for forgiveness.
The program will be open until March 31, 2021.