Customer Relief Solutions
We recognize that some of you are facing financial hardships as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We're here to help our customers and communities during these challenging times.
- Consumer, Home Equity and Mortgage Loans
- Paycheck Protection Program
- National Coin Shortage
Consumer, Home Equity and Mortgage Loans
If you're unable to make your full monthly loan payment, you may be eligible for short-term relief.
If you're interested in receiving information on this option, please fill out the form here.
After you complete the form above, we'll email you information about a short-term relief option that may be available to you. Please review this information and click the enclosed link if you're interested in applying. A Northwest representative will contact you on a recorded line within 1-3 business days, Monday - Friday, to discuss partial payments and other terms and conditions. After the short-term modification has been approved, all borrowers must sign and return the short-term agreement with any partial payment.
If you have any questions, please contact your local office or call our Customer Contact Center at 1-877-672-5678.
If your business has been affected by coronavirus, we can provide relief solutions and help you better understand the current government loan assistance programs. To find out more, contact your business lender, treasury management advisor or our Customer Contact Center at 1-877-672-5678.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Programs
At Northwest, we care about our Small Business and Commercial clients and are committed to helping businesses navigate these challenging times. As a long-standing Preferred SBA Lender, we have been closely following the SBA and its lending programs for use in COVID-19 relief. Our experienced team of SBA lenders are well-versed in SBA loan programs and are dedicated to providing your business guidance and advice as the government delivers assistance programs and options to support your business.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, relief dollars were allocated to help small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. Within this Act, the government authorized the Small Business Administration (SBA) to back Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through local lenders. We are pleased to announce that in the first rounds of the PPP, nearly 100% of applications we received were approved by the SBA— 4,670 loans that provide more than $445 million worth of relief.
On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, providing additional COVID-19 relief. As a result, on January 8, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, announced reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program for new borrowers and certain existing borrowers.
We're proud to let you know that we will again accept online applications for existing Northwest business customers who are eligible for this next round of PPP loans.
Our team is working diligently to ensure our online portal is ready to accept your applications -- and we will let you know when the site is available to you.
- At Northwest, we’re leveraging our existing partnership with Lenders Cooperative to provide a single online portal for both the round 3 origination process, as well as forgiveness. Our streamlined process provides a more efficient and better end-to-end experience for both our clients and the Northwest PPP team.
- We plan to accept PPP round 3 applications from existing customers who meet the eligibility requirements as soon as the SBA informs us that they will begin to accept applications. We anticipate that this will occur sometime in January
- Our team is working diligently to ensure our online portal is ready to accept your applications.
Here's what we know today about PPP Round 3:
- On Monday, January 11 (first draw) and Wednesday, January 13 (second draw), PPP opened for community financial institutions, which are defined in statute as Community Development Financial Institutions, Minority Depository Institutions, Certified Development Corporations and Microloan Intermediaries.
- The program will reopen to other lenders, such as Northwest, shortly thereafter.
- $284 billion has been allocated. The SBA will accept applications until March 31, 2021, or until funds are exhausted.
- Businesses with 300 or fewer employees who had a revenue reduction by more than 25% in any quarter of 2020, as compared to the same quarter in 2019, are eligible to apply.
- The maximum Round 3 loan amount is $2 million, with a cumulative maximum amount (rounds 1, 2 and 3) of $10 million.
Additional information is published and available on the SBA site here.
If you already received a PPP loan, you may apply for another PPP loan if:
- Current economic uncertainty makes the PPP loan necessary to support ongoing operations
- The business has 300 or fewer employees
- The business used or will use the full amount of their first PPP loan
- The business can show a decline in revenue of 25% or more in any 2020 quarter of 2020, compared with the same quarter in 2019
Stay tuned-- we will provide more information as soon as it’s available.
Information for Northwest PPP customers about forgiveness
If you’re a Northwest PPP customer, we hope that loan forgiveness-- which is a key driver of the program—is on your mind. It’s certainly on ours.
As we monitor what’s happening in Washington, we are working to develop an easy-to-use portal to facilitate the forgiveness process. Through this portal, you’ll be able to-
- Electronically submit and sign your PPP forgiveness application
- Upload supporting documentation
- And, communicate directly with our team
Keep in mind, the portal is the only way to apply for forgiveness through Northwest. We will not be accepting paper applications.
To ensure you're prepared when our portal opens, we encourage you to continue to review the guidance for forgiveness and gather required documentation. Please visit the SBA’s website here for the latest on PPP loan forgiveness.
We also recommend that you check out this one-hour pre-recorded webinar released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) on the PPP forgiveness process.
We’ll provide you with more information on both the forgiveness process and our portal as it becomes available.
What can you do in the meantime?
As you prepare to apply for forgiveness, we recommend that you read up on all the forgiveness rules and requirements. You’ll find the latest on the PPP and forgiveness guidance on the SBA’s website here.
What’s most important is that you make sure you are doing everything within the regulation to maximize the amount of forgiveness you can receive. Actively managing your staff and payroll now will help ensure you make the most of forgiveness later on in the process.
In September, we released the list of FAQs below to help answer additional questions that may be on your mind.
How does forgiveness work?
If you use your loan's proceeds on qualifying expenses, up to 100% of the principal amount and any accrued interest may be forgiven by the SBA.
Keep in mind, there are certain conditions that may reduce your forgiveness amount-- including a reduction in the number of full-time employees or a decrease in salaries and wages.
What’s a qualifying expense?
To qualify for full loan forgiveness, you must use at least 60% of the funds for payroll. The remaining 40% must be spent on approved non-payroll expenses like utilities and mortgage, rent or lease expenses.
When and how do I apply for forgiveness?
We’re nearly ready to release our simple online portal, which you will use to electronically complete, sign and submit your PPP forgiveness application.
When our portal is ready, we’ll send you an email with detailed instructions on how to start the loan forgiveness process.
Keep in mind, our portal is the only way to apply for forgiveness through Northwest. We will not be accepting paper applications.
Since the SBA released a PPP loan forgiveness application, can I complete and submit my application to Northwest now?
No. We will only accept applications through the Northwest online loan forgiveness portal, which will be released shortly.
Our teams are working hard to update our online portal to reflect the SBA’s revised and new forms. When it’s available and ready to accept applications, we will send you an email with a link and detailed instructions on how to start the loan forgiveness process.
Can I submit my forgiveness application in paper form?
No. We are not accepting paper applications. We’ll email you when our easy-to-use online portal is ready to accept forgiveness applications.
When will I be able to submit my forgiveness application?
To ensure we're processing forgiveness applications as efficiently as possible, we're launching our forgiveness portal to borrowers in waves through early 2021. When it's your time to apply, we'll email you an invitation with detailed log-in instructions.
What is the SBA Form 3508EZ and how do I qualify to use it?
The SBA’s “EZ” form will allow certain borrowers to use a streamlined forgiveness application, including reduced documentation requirements. You can use the “EZ” form, which will be available through our portal, if one of the following conditions applies:
- You are self-employed and have no employees; OR
- You did not reduce the salaries or wages of your employees by more than 25% and did not reduce the number or hours of your employees; OR
- You experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19 and did not reduce the salaries or wages of your employees by more than 25%.
I’m concerned about missing a loan payment—do I owe money now?
- If you plan to apply for forgiveness,your payments will be deferred until after you submit your forgiveness application and we receive your funds from the SBA.
- If you don’t plan to apply for forgiveness or if forgiveness isn’t granted because you didn’t meet the criteria listed above, your monthly payments will be deferred for 10 months after the last day of your “covered period”.
- Covered period = 8 or 24 weeks after you used all your loan proceeds, or December 31, 2020—whichever comes first.
Monthly payments of principal plus interest will be due after the end of your deferral period.
If my loan is not forgiven, how much is my monthly payment?
It depends on your loan amount and maturity date.
Loans approved on or after June 5, 2020 will have a maturity of five years, and any loan approved before June 5, 2020 will have a maturity of two years, unless there is an agreement to extend the period to five years.
All PPP loans have a fixed interest rate of 1.00%.
If you don’t plan to apply for forgiveness, contact your Northwest relationship manager, who can help you figure out what your monthly payment will be.
Will Northwest pay fees to third-party agents who help clients with the preparation of PPP loan applications?
In the absence of a pre-loan approval written agreement between the agent and Northwest, Northwest does not pay fees or other compensation to agents who represent or help borrowers through the Paycheck Protection Program.
Will there be additional changes to the PPP loan forgiveness process?
You may have seen news reports and other references to government proposals to simplify the forgiveness application process. As an example, a simpler process has been proposed for borrowers who received PPP loans of $150,000 or less.
While it is not known if or how these proposals or potential changes might proceed, we understand these reports may influence decisions on when to apply. Please visit the SBA’s website for the most recent policy updates about the PPP.
If granted forgiveness, when will I receive my funds?
If granted full or a portion of your forgiveness, the funds will be applied to your Northwest PPP loan within 7-10 business days after you receive official notification from the Small Business Administration.
When issued, you can find this notification through our forgiveness portal, under the Documents tab. Be sure to keep this notification and all other PPP documentation in your records for at least six years, as recommended by the SBA.
I received an EIDL Advance- does that impact my PPP forgiveness?
If you received an EIDL Advance, the SBA is required to reduce your loan forgiveness amount by the amount of your EIDL Advance. This means that the forgiveness amount you receive will be your forgiveness-eligible PPP loan less the amount of your EIDL Advance.
As an example-
- You received a PPP loan in the amount of $15,000—all of which is eligible for forgiveness
- You received a $5,000 EIDL Advance
The SBA will provide Northwest with $10,000 in PPP forgiveness toward your loan.
You will owe the remaining balance ($5,000) plus interest to Northwest.
If this applies to you, you will receive a letter from Northwest with your balance amount and options for repayment.
Please click here and navigate to the EIDL Advance section to review official guidance from the SBA about an EIDL Advance’s impact on PPP forgiveness.
What happens if my loan is not forgiven or only partially forgiven?
You will receive a letter from Northwest with your loan balance amount and options for repayment.
How does my PPP loan impact my plan to sell a portion or all of my business?
Please click here for guidance from the Small Business Administration, released October 2, 2020. If you have additional questions, consult your legal or tax professional.
Where can I find my SBA loan number?
You can find your SBA loan number at the top of your Paycheck Protection Program closing documentation, as seen below. If you can’t find your SBA loan number, please contact your Northwest relationship manager.
I received a call or email from a company offering to help me with the PPP loan forgiveness process. Is this company affiliated with Northwest?
No. Other than Lenders Cooperative, the company that provides our forgiveness portal, and Docusign, which allows us to collect electronic signatures, we are not affiliated with any other company offering PPP services.
Where should I go if I have questions?
Please visit the SBA’s website for detailed information about the forgiveness process, covered periods, the type of costs that are eligible for forgiveness and what documentation you will need to submit with your application.
Disclaimer: Borrower acknowledges that Lender is acting solely as the processor in connection with your application for forgiveness of your Paycheck Protection Program Note. Lender shall not be liable to Borrower or any third person for the correctness, validity or genuineness of any instruments, documents or representations released or endorsed to Borrower or the SBA by Lender. Moreover, Borrower agrees that Lender shall not pay any agent fee or any other fee to any third-party associated with any work performed on behalf of the Borrower. To the extent that Borrower has sought any independent legal or accounting advice to complete its application, Borrower acknowledges that Lender did not engage any such agent on Borrower’s behalf and that Lender will not pay for any third-party fee of any type, including any agent fee, to any entity or agent for such work.
The impacts of the national coin shortage
Offices throughout our retail network are currently experiencing a coin shortage. This coin shortage is impacting businesses and financial institutions across the country and is a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why is this happening?
The U.S. Federal Reserve announced their coin inventory has been reduced to lower-than-normal levels due to COVID-19. Specifically, the Fed has seen a significant decline in coin deposits from banks. And, in order to protect its employees, the U.S. Mint temporarily closed and stopped coin production.
In light of this, on June 15 the Fed began rationing their shipments of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to all financial institutions. The ration will remain in effect until both the U.S. Mint’s inventory and the recirculation of coins in the marketplace return to normal.
What can you do?
- Rather than cash, use alternate payment methods like debit and credit cards, checks or P2P services like Zelle® or Venmo when you can.
- Or—use coin when making purchases at local businesses.
- If you’re a business, now’s a great time to think about accepting alternate forms of payment. Through Northwest Merchant Services, you can accept debit, credit and gift card payments in-store, online or on-the-go through your mobile device.
- Roll your change and deposit it into the bank. It will help ensure it gets into the hands of the customers and businesses who really need it.