The global pandemic brought unforeseen challenges to small businesses, but relief efforts like the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program have provided a critical lifeline. With over 4 million small businesses benefiting from loans of up to $2 million, the EIDL program has been pivotal in the recovery phase of these enterprises.
Initially, the program offered a breathing space through a 30-month deferral on loan payments, although the interest continued to accrue. Recognizing the sustained impact of the pandemic, the Small Business Administration (SBA) implemented the Hardship Accommodation program to further assist businesses struggling with repayments post-deferment.
Understanding the EIDL Hardship Accommodation
Launched in November 2022, the Hardship Accommodation offered tailored relief:
- For loans up to $200,000: Borrowers could automatically request to pay just 10% of their regular payment amount for six months, with a floor of $25, without impacting the total balance owed.
- For loans over $200,000: These borrowers were also eligible for the reduced payment plan but had to initiate a request through the SBA Loan Portal or via email to COVIDEIDLServicing@sba.gov.
The Extension: A Continuation of Support
The SBA's April 2023 announcement came as a relief to many, allowing for an additional six-month period of reduced payments upon request. This November, the SBA took a step further, announcing an additional extension of the Hardship Accommodation.
Now, borrowers facing continuing financial challenges can apply for a third and even a fourth round of reduced payments. The scale of payment reduction is adjusted as follows:
- 3rd six-month period: Payment reduction to 50% of the minimum payment.
- 4th six-month period: Payment reduction to 75% of the minimum payment.
These requests must be submitted through the messaging feature in the MySBA Loan Portal or via the previously mentioned email.
What This Means for EIDL Borrowers
As of November 2023, the revised schedule for EIDL loan repayment is:
- 1st & 2nd six-month periods: A reduction to 10% of the payment amount.
- 3rd six-month period: A reduction to 50% of the payment amount.
- 4th six-month period: A reduction to 75% of the payment amount.
EIDL borrowers should be aware that these accommodations do not equate to forgiveness; interest continues to accrue on the outstanding loan balance throughout this period.
Next Steps for EIDL Borrowers
No EIDL loan forgiveness is on the horizon as of the latest updates. Small business owners who need to understand their options or navigate the application process for Hardship Accommodation can find detailed information and support on the SBA's Hardship Accommodation page. For personalized assistance, the Skip team offers expert help, bookable through their online platform.
The extended Hardship Accommodation underscores the SBA’s ongoing commitment to supporting small businesses as they continue to navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic’s economic aftermath. If your business is in need of this assistance, take action to apply for the accommodation that suits your needs.
For more information, you can visit the SBA page directly or reach out for specialized guidance through Skip's expert help service:
As the landscape of pandemic recovery evolves, stay informed and proactive in managing your business finances with the options available to you.