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Paycheck Protection Program Round 1 Forgiveness FAQ

Updated May 17, 2021

How can I apply for PPP loan forgiveness?

We are making it easy for you to submit your Round 1 PPP loan forgiveness application online using our online portal. The portal will allow you to apply using SBA’s Form 3508, 3508s or, if your business meets certain conditions, Form 3508 EZ. We are accepting Round 1 forgiveness applications. You will hear from us when it is time to apply for Round 2 forgiveness. 

You can visit our page that outlines the supporting documentation you'll need to provide as well as links for the forgiveness applications.

When can I apply for PPP loan forgiveness?

We are accepting Round 1 forgiveness applications. You will hear from us when it is time to apply for Round 2 forgiveness. 

What is the deadline for applying for loan forgiveness?

According to SBA guidelines, borrowers have up to ten months following the end of their covered period to submit their PPP loan forgiveness application before payments on the loan will begin. If borrowers apply for forgiveness within ten months after the end of their covered period, loan payments will be deferred until after the borrower has submitted for forgiveness and the SBA has made a decision and paid any applicable forgiveness amounts.

How is the loan forgiven?

To be forgiven, funds must be used for a permissible purpose under the program. The amount eligible for forgiveness will equal the amount spent by you during the 8-week or 24-week (at your option) covered period after the origination date of the loan on payroll expenses and interest payments on any mortgage incurred prior to 2/15/20, payment of rent on any lease entered into prior to 2/15/20, and payments on any utility for which services began prior to 2/15/20.  Forgiveness will be reduced based on the percentage of full-time equivalent employees laid off or having their salary reduced by more than 25% after 2/15/20 unless the employees are rehired and returned to prior salary by 12/31/20 or unless another exemption applies.  Certain other limitations and conditions may apply. You must submit a request for forgiveness to us. Forgiveness is approved by the Small Business Administration and not at the discretion of First Commonwealth Bank.  No more than 40% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs. You will be obligated to repay any portion of the loan that the Small Business Administration does not forgive.  For a full understanding of the limitations, terms, and conditions applicable to loan forgiveness under this program, please refer to the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, and related guidance released by the SBA and the Treasury Department. If you have questions after reviewing these materials, we recommend you consult with an attorney.

Am I responsible for interest on the forgiven loan amount?

If the full principal of the loan is forgiven, the borrower is not responsible for the interest accrued. The remainder of the loan that is not forgiven will operate according to the loan terms agreed upon by you and First Commonwealth Bank.

Is PPP loan forgiveness automatic?

No, all PPP loan customers will need to submit an application for forgiveness. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you through the process, and you’ll be able to submit your online application using our online portal very soon.

What is the “Covered Period”?

The “covered period” is the time frame the borrower has to incur and/or pay payroll and eligible non-payroll costs to be eligible for forgiveness. The PPP Flexibility Act extended the covered period from 8 weeks to 24 weeks (but no later than December 31, 2020) from the date we disbursed your PPP loan to you. If your loan was funded prior to June 5, 2020, you can elect to use the original 8-week covered period.

I have more than one PPP loan. How does that affect my First Commonwealth Bank online application process?

You must submit separate applications for each of your PPP loans.

What happens if I don’t apply for forgiveness?

If you don’t apply for loan forgiveness within ten months of the end of your covered period, your PPP loan will no longer be considered deferred and you will need to begin making principal and interest payments on your loan. You will receive a statement before your first payment due date.

What documentation do I need to apply through the First Commonwealth Bank online application?

It is very important that you have documentation for proof of payroll expenses (including items such as health insurance or other eligible benefits) and eligible non-payroll expenses such as rent, mortgage, and utilities to complete the forgiveness application. Other documentation may be required depending on your circumstances. Scanned copies of documents, E-signatures, or E-consents for loan forgiveness applications and loan forgiveness documentation may be used when applying.

 In addition, they’ll need the following information to log in to our online portal:

  1. EIN (tax identification number) associated with the PPP Loan
  2. SBA Loan Number. Your SBA Loan Number is different than your First Commonwealth loan number, and can be found on your Disbursement and Promissory Note documents.
  3. PPP Loan Amount

Where can I find my SBA Loan # and Note Date?

You can find both your SBA Loan # and your Note Date in the table on the first page of your PPP Note.

How long will it take to fill out the PPP loan forgiveness application?

The SBA estimates it can take 20 minutes to three hours depending on the number of documents you need to upload. Our online application will help make the process as easy as possible with step-by-step instructions, tips and tutorials.

What can I do to prepare to apply for forgiveness through the First Commonwealth Bank online application?

The most important preparation you can make is ensuring you have your documents in order, legible, and dated. It is important all documents submitted as proof of payroll and other eligible expenses have dates on them to ensure the expenses were incurred during your covered period. Most payroll companies will ensure documents have the date on them, but you cannot go wrong with double-checking. If you do not outsource payroll, you can include bank statements showing you paid employees, 941 tax forms, and state unemployment insurance files. For eligible non-payroll expenses such as rent, mortgage, and utilities, save and submit copies of these costs with the dates as evidence that you incurred or paid these expenses during the covered period.

Here are a few other tips for the best experience:

  1. Access the portal through a browser other than Internet Explorer – for example Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
  2. Uploading documents can take some time, so make sure you set aside a dedicated block of time to work on this task so that you don’t feel rushed.

Make sure you have your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or other Tax Identification Number (TIN) associated with your business, your SBA account number and the amount of your PPP loan available to get started with your application

How do I decide whether to use Form 3508, Form 3508s or Form 3508 EZ?

Form 3508s is only for loans less than $50,000. The SBA has a checklist to help you decide which of the forms you should use. That checklist is available here. Our online application will also help your confirm which form you need to use.

How long will it take to get a decision on my forgiveness application?

We anticipate that the review process may be lengthy, and in some cases, may take up to five months to evaluate your forgiveness request. Ensuring all proper documentation is submitted initially will assist in proactively avoiding complications and delays.

How do I find out the status of my forgiveness application?

You can follow the status of your application in our online portal. Once the SBA makes a final decision, we will update you with the forgiveness amount and if applicable the date and amount of your first payment for any balance that was not eligible for forgiveness.

If my covered period ends before I get an approval on my forgiveness application, will I need to make loan payments?

No, as long as you submit your forgiveness application within 10 months of the last day of your covered period, you will not make a payment until the SBA remits your forgiveness to us or they notify us that your loan is not eligible for forgiveness. If you do not qualify for full forgiveness, we will notify you of the date your first payment is due.

If my company is undergoing a change of ownership, how will that affect my forgiveness?

It is important to note that as the lender, First Commonwealth Bank must be made aware at the earliest opportunity of the prospective change in ownership. Sellers, in particular, should keep in mind that a failure to notify the PPP lender or to obtain SBA consent to any change in ownership may result in a default under the PPP loan.  Any such failure may result in a denial of forgiveness, and may lead to other unforeseen consequences. We recommend seeking your own legal counsel to advise on possible PPP implications related to your change of ownership transaction.

Am I responsible for interest on the forgiven loan amount?

If the full principal of the loan is forgiven, the borrower is not responsible for the interest accrued. The remainder of the loan that is not forgiven will operate according to the loan terms agreed upon by you and First Commonwealth Bank.

I received an EIDL - is there anything special I need to consider?

If applicable, the SBA will deduct any EIDL advance amount you have received from your forgiveness amount remitted to First Commonwealth Bank, as required by section 1110(e)(6) of the CARES Act. Learn more.

EIDL advances will not impact your forgiveness. Learn more.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions are available on the SBA website.