FAQ: SBA Paycheck Protection Program
Western Union Business Solutions clients and WU® Agents can apply though Western Union for the SBA Paycheck Protection Loan now.
When can I apply?
Applications are open now. However, funds are limited and distributed on a first come, first served basis. Because funding could run out quickly, it is important to apply as soon as you can.
Where can I apply?
Begin your application process online now.
Who can apply?
The program is available to active clients of Western Union Business Solutions and WU® Agents only, provided you meet program requirements.
Under the program requirements, all businesses – including non-profit, veterans organizations, tribal business concern, sole proprietors, self-employed individuals and independent contractors – with 500 or fewer employees can apply. Businesses in certain industries can have more than 500 employees if they meet applicable SBA employee-based size standards for those industries. For full details visit the US Small Business Administration website.
Due to state law limitations, Western Union is not currently accepting applications from businesses in California, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont.
What is the maximum and minimum loan amount?
Western Union accepts loans through this process of up to $10 million.
What do I need to apply?
First, applicants must confirm their eligibility. In order to complete the application, the following information and documentation is required:
- Appropriate identification details (TIN, EIN, SSN for Owners/Individuals)
- Financial Documentation to validate payroll expenses and the number of employees:
- A business should provide supporting documentation showing the amount of qualified payroll, such as payroll statements or a US federal tax return
- A sole proprietor can use tax filings or income and expenses
- An independent contractor can provide a 1099-MISC to determine earnings
- If you cannot provide such documentation, you must provide alternative supporting documentation, such as bank records, to demonstrate payroll
What do I need to certify?
As part of your application, you need to make a number of certifications y in good faith including that:
- Your business was in operation on February 15, 2020 and had employees for whom it paid salaries and payroll taxes or paid independent contractors, as reported on Form(s) 1099-MISC
- Current economic uncertainty makes the loan necessary to support your ongoing operations.
- The funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or to make mortgage interest, rent and utility payments.
- You have not and will not receive another loan under this program.
- You will provide to the lender documentation that verifies the number of full-time equivalent employees on payroll and the dollar amounts of payroll costs, covered mortgage interest payments, covered rent payments and covered utilities for the eight weeks after getting this loan.
- You understand that that loan forgiveness will be provided for the sum of documented payroll costs, covered mortgage interest payments, covered rent payments, and covered utilities, and not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.
- All the information you provided in your application and in all supporting documents and forms is true and accurate. Knowingly making a false statement to get a loan under this program is punishable by law.
- You acknowledge that the lender will confirm the eligible loan amount using required documents submitted and agree that the lender can share any tax information you provide with SBA's authorized representatives, including authorized representatives of the SBA Office of Inspector General, for the purpose of compliance with SBA Loan Program Requirements and all SBA reviews.
Do I need to first look for other funds before applying to this program?
No. The SBA is waiving the usual SBA requirement that you try to obtain some or all of the loan funds from other sources (i.e. we are waving the Credit Elsewhere requirement).
When do applications close?
Although the program is open until June 30, 2020, we encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because SBA funding is limited and once the funding is exhausted, the SBA likely will not accept any further applications. In addition, Western Union may stop taking applications depending on the number of loan requests.
How many loans can I take out under this program?
What is the timeline for application review?
The time frame varies by each applicant and there is no set timing.
What can I use this loan for?
You may use the proceeds from this loan on your:
- Payroll costs, including benefits;
- Interest on mortgage obligations, incurred before February 15, 2020;
- Rent, under lease agreements in force before February 15, 2020; and
- Utilities, for which service began before February 15, 2020.
Note that 60% of the funds must be used for payroll related expenses.
What counts as payroll?
Payroll costs include the following employment-related compensation payable to U.S. residents:
- Salary, wages, commissions, or tips (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee);
- Employee benefits including costs for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payments required for the provisions of group health care benefits including insurance premiums; and payment of any retirement benefit;
- State and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees; and
- For a sole proprietor or independent contractor: wages, commissions, income or net earnings from self-employment, capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.
Does the PPP cover sick leave?
Yes, the PPP covers payroll costs, which include employee benefits such as costs for parental, family, medical, or sick leave. However, it is worth noting that the CARES Act expressly excludes qualified sick and family leave wages for which a credit is allowed under sections 7001 and 7003 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (Public Law 116-127). Learn more about the FFCRA’s Paid Sick Leave Refundable Credit online.
How large can my loan be?
Under the SBA program requirements, loans can be for up to two months of your average monthly payroll costs from the last year plus an additional 25% of that amount. That amount is subject to a $10 million cap. If you are a seasonal or new business, you can use different applicable time periods for your calculation. Payroll costs will be capped at $100,000 annualized for each employee. Please note that Western Union is limiting loan size to a maximum of $350,000. If you think you qualify for a larger loan, you should seek an alternative SBA loan provider. You can obtain a list of qualified SBA lenders here.
How much of my loan will be forgiven?
To qualify for loan forgiveness, you must use the loan proceeds to cover payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities over the 24 weeks after getting the loan. No more than 40% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.
Businesses should rehire all eligible employees and maintain pre-virus salary levels as of February 15, 2020 over a 24-week period beginning when they receive the loan and ending December 31, 2020. Business may still receive loan forgiveness if they are able to demonstrate an inability to rehire eligible employees eligible as of February 15, 2020 or hire qualified employees for open positions before December 31, 2020. If business were unable to return to regular operation due to government regulations, this too will be taken into consideration.
For any amount not forgiven, you will be required to repay the loan balance over the 5-year term of the loan with one percent (1%) interest.
How can I request loan forgiveness?
You can submit a request that will include documents that verify the number of full-time equivalent employees and pay rates, a well as the payments on eligible mortgage, lease and utility obligations. You must certify that the documents are true and that you used the forgiveness amount to keep employees and make eligible mortgage interest, rent and utility payments. The lender will make a decision on the forgiveness within 60 days. The final determination of whether or how much of a loan is forgivable is made by the SBA. The SBA and Western Union have not finalized the procedures for submitting loan forgiveness requests.
What is my interest rate?
1.00% fixed annual rate.
When do I need to start paying interest on my loan?
No payments are due under the loan until the seventh month after loan origination, but interest continues to accrue on the principal balance of the loan. If you apply for and obtain full loan forgiveness, no payments are due – the loan is forgiven. Interest can be deferred until the SBA acts on the forgiveness request.
If my application is denied, can I appeal this decision?
At this time, there is no process for appealing this decision.
When does my loan mature?
In 5 years. However, repayment of any amounts not forgiven on the loan, including both principal and accrued interest, begins in the seventh month after loan disbursement. Interest can be deferred until SBA acts on forgiveness request. Please review your loan details for further information.
Can I pay my loan earlier than 5 years?
Yes. There are no prepayment penalties or fees.
Do I need to pledge any collateral for these loans?
No. No collateral is required.
Do I need to personally guarantee this loan?
No. There is no personal guarantee requirement.*** However, if the proceeds are used for improper purposes, you could be subject to criminal liability.
More information is available on the SBA website
The information provided in these FAQs is for your general guidance. To fully understand our rights and obligations, and the requirements of the SBA Paycheck Loan program, please carefully review the information available on the SBA’s website.