Applying for PPP loan forgiveness

We’re pleased to announce Synovus has reopened our online SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application for First Draw PPP loans of all amounts. Thank you for your patience as we paused the acceptance of forgiveness applications to allow for portal enhancements incorporating the most recent legislative changes to the PPP program.

The information below is based on the current rules set forth by the SBA and is subject to change.

Getting started with the forgiveness application

How will the PPP forgiveness process or application work?
The Synovus forgiveness process for uploading documentation, providing required certifications, and submitting and signing the application is completely online. All Synovus borrowers have been invited to begin the process to apply for loan forgiveness through our online portal.

It’s important to note the SBA, and not Synovus, sets the criteria for loan forgiveness, including the eligibility criteria and the parameters that determine how much of a loan may be forgiven.

How do I begin my online application?
If you obtained a PPP loan through Synovus in 2020, by now you should have received an invitation email with a personalized link to access our online portal. If you didn’t activate your access to the portal within 7 calendar days after you received your invitation, for security reasons, your access has expired and you’ll need to reset your password. Click here to access our portal or reset your password.

Please note, this is simply regarding your access to the portal and not the actual submission of your forgiveness application. See more information below about the deadline to submit your forgiveness application.

What if I want another authorized signer or employee to sign, fill out and submit the application?
Business owners who own more than 20% of the business, and/or employees who have received documented permission from the principal are eligible to fill out and submit the loan forgiveness application.

The initial email invitation to apply for forgiveness will only be sent to the authorized signer who submitted and signed the original loan application. However, if you’d like to give permission for another authorized signer or employee to submit the forgiveness application for your business, please call us at 1-888-SYNOVUS (796-6887) and we’d be happy to help you with this process.

What should I do now to prepare?
We encourage you to begin reviewing and gathering materials that may need to be attached to your application, and to review the Schedule A Worksheet if it is needed for your application. We’ve listed more information in our FAQs below in the “Gathering Information and Required Documents” section. Applications must be submitted through our online portal. We will not accept paper applications.

I completed a paper application, what should I do?
If you’ve already completed a paper application, you’re well positioned to enter the information into our online application.

When did my covered period begin?
Your covered period began on the date your loan funds were provided to you.

What is the deadline to submit a forgiveness application?
You may submit a loan forgiveness application any time before the maturity date of the loan, which is either two or five years from loan origination.

However, if you do not apply for loan forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of your loan forgiveness covered period, loan payments are no longer deferred, and you must begin making payments on the loan. The loan forgiveness covered period is the time during which you have to spend the PPP loan proceeds on forgivable expenses. Your loan forgiveness covered period for this purpose begins on the day you received your PPP loan and lasts up to 24 weeks.

About Form 3508S

The legislation enacted on December 27, 2020 provides further simplification of forgiveness applications for loans of $150,000 or less. The SBA has provided updated forms for borrowers that would qualify for the simplified process. We have updated our online forgiveness application portal for these new forms, and are ready to begin processing these applications.

Gathering information and required documents

Where can I find the most up-to-date policies and guidelines surrounding loan forgiveness?
The latest guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) can be found on the SBA website.

How do I get my loan number?
This information and other basic identifying information will be pre-populated when you begin the application; however, you can find your loan number located on the PPP loan note you signed, as well as in the DocuSign confirmation email you received after your loan was approved and funded.

What documents are required in order to apply for forgiveness?
Documentation to support forgiveness-eligible expenses will be needed.

You may not be required to submit all of these documents, depending on whether you qualify to use the SBA’s forgiveness application Form EZ or Form S. In addition, as provided for in the December 27, 2020 legislation, borrowers with loans under $150,000 who qualify to use the new Form 3508S may not need to submit any supporting documentation. Please review the instructions to the forgiveness applications for more information on which documentation you may need to submit, and we’ll continue to update this information as the SBA releases guidance.

 

Payroll and FTE Documents

Third party payroll service provider reports
Many payroll providers have designed a report catered specifically to the PPP Forgiveness Application process, and the SBA will accept this report in lieu of bank statements, tax forms or period payroll reports. Note that Synovus is not responsible for the accuracy or content of any of these reports.

  • ADP – The “CARES SBA-PPP: Loan Forgiveness Payroll Cost” report provides the total payroll cost for all pay periods during the covered period. Instructions to access these reports vary by ADP product and can be found here in the “Loan Forgiveness Details & Reports” section.
  • Quickbooks – QuickBooks Desktop Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll both have reports tailored to the PPP forgiveness process. Instructions for accessing these reports can be found here in the “Where can I find this payroll info in QuickBooks?” section.
  • Gusto – The Forgiveness Report can be accessed by following certain steps after accessing your customer dashboard. For more information, contact Gusto at 720-547-1647 or visit their website for more info.
  • Paychex – Paychex has released a PPP Loan Forgiveness Estimator to help streamline the application process. Visit their website for more information on the estimator and Paychex’s PPP Forgiveness Data Report.
  • Paylocity – Paylocity has released a series of reports to help customers complete their loan forgiveness application. This includes the “PPP Loan Forgiveness Payroll Data Export,” which includes all payroll data for a chosen payroll period.

If you use one of the payroll providers above, we recommend submitting the reports that can be found on these websites or platforms listed above:

Other Payroll Documents

  • Bank account statements. Be prepared to also provide additional comments or annotation on your statements to make it clear how funds were used. For example, if your rent was paid via check and you are providing bank statements as support, be sure to highlight the relevant check numbers or write “RENT” next to the appropriate amounts.
  • Tax forms (e.g, Federal Form 941, Quarterly State Business and Individual filings) to include Schedule C/F from the 2019 1040 for independent contractors, sole proprietors, or otherwise self-employed individuals.
  • Documentation for the amount of any employer contributions to employee health insurance and retirement plans.
  • Schedule A worksheet – We may ask you questions related to payroll calculations you’ll make using the “Schedule A Worksheet” in certain cases. You won’t need to provide this document through our digital portal, but if you use the Schedule A Worksheet, be sure to maintain a copy for your records in the event it is needed for review by Synovus or the SBA.

FTE Documents

  • Documentation showing the number of employees retained during the covered period and the hours they worked, and
  • Documentation showing the average number of FTE employees between either:
    • February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019;
    • January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020; or
    • If you're a seasonal business, either of the options above, or any consecutive twelve-week period betweenFebruary 15, 2019 and February 15, 2020

Non-Payroll Documents

  • Covered Operations Expenditures – Documentation showing payments for software, cloud computing, and other human resources and accounting needs
  • Covered Property Damage Costs – Documentation showing costs related to property damage due to public disturbances that were not covered by insurance
  • Covered Supplier Costs – Documentation showing costs pursuant to a contract, purchase order, or order for goods in effect prior to taking out the loan that are essential to the recipients operations at the time at which the expenditure was made.
  • Covered Worker Protection Expenditures – Documentation showing expenditures on Personal Protective Equipment and adaptive investments to help a loan recipient comply with federal health and safety guidelines or any equivalent State and local guidance related to COVID-19
  • Documentation showing business mortgage interest payments (ie. Lender account statement)
  • Documentation showing business rent or lease payments (ie. Signed lease agreement or lessor account statements)
  • Documentation showing business utility payments
  • Documentation verifying existence of service or obligations prior to February 15, 2020, for mortgage interest, rent and utilities.

Documents to retain but may not need to submit

  • SBA Form 3508 (PPP Loan Forgiveness Application) Schedule A worksheet, if applicable
  • Documentation for each employee, including salary, reductions in salary or hours, and breakout for employees making over $100,000 on annualized basis
  • Documentation for employee job offers and refusals, if applicable
  • Documentation that the borrower was unable to operate between February 15, 2020 and the end of the Covered Period, if applicable
  • Documentation supporting any certifications relating to the FTE Reduction Safe Harbors, if applicable

Here are resources for compiling documents and files for easy upload

The full list of supporting documentation that may be required is available as part of the loan forgiveness application instructions on the SBA Website at the links below.

General questions about forgiveness

I don’t have enough PPP funds to cover my payroll expenses. Can I deposit into my PPP account to cover an upcoming payroll?
Yes, you can make a deposit into your deposit account that was used for funding your PPP loan.

What happens if I only spend 55% of the total loan amount on payroll, will the full loan amount be forgiven?
No. If only a portion of the loan is forgiven, any remaining balance due on the loan must be repaid by the borrower on or before the maturity of the loan, in accordance with the terms of your loan note. Please see the SBA Website for additional guidance.

Would interest be due on the full amount or an adjusted amount?
The amount of loan forgiveness can be up to the full principal amount of the loan and any accrued interest. See the SBA Website for additional guidance.

If I only have to use 60% of my funds directly for payroll, how do I qualify the remainder of the funds? My rent, mortgage, interest, and other expenses will not cover the other 40%.
No more than 40% of the total forgiveness amount may be used for nonpayroll expenses including mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. Note that the 40% threshold is a maximum, not a minimum. Borrowers must use at least 60%, but up to 100%, of the total loan amount for qualifying payroll expenses. The relief bill enacted on December 27, 2020 also allows funds to be used on additional forgivable expenses. Please see the SBA Website for additional guidance.

Must all of the loan proceeds be used in order to apply for forgiveness?
All borrowers must have used all the loan proceeds for which they are requesting forgiveness before applying for forgiveness. However, if only a portion of the loan is forgiven, any remaining balance due on the loan must be repaid by the borrower according to the terms of the loan note. Please see the SBA Website for additional guidance. You may also want to reference the terms on your loan note that you received and signed via DocuSign.

Will my loan forgiveness amount be reduced if I laid off an employee, offered to rehire the same employee, but the employee declined the offer?
The PPP rules provide safe harbors that exempt certain borrowers who reduced headcount or salaries from reductions in loan forgiveness that might otherwise apply. Please review the instructions to the loan forgiveness applications, available on the SBA website, for more information about the safe harbors.

How can I payoff my PPP loan?
To request a payoff on your PPP loan, you can contact your Relationship Manager or you can email the following information to P3Payoffs@synovus.com: Business Name, Loan Number, Payoff date.

What kind of support will be available throughout the forgiveness process?
Once you begin your forgiveness application, you’ll have access to a team of specialists available by phone or via a Message Center in the online application portal.

Where can I find answers to outstanding questions?
Please call 1-888-SYNOVUS (796-6887) with any additional questions you may have. You may also want to visit the SBA website regarding PPP Loan Forgiveness.

Using our online portal

If you obtained a PPP loan through Synovus in 2020, by now you should have received an invitation email with a personalized link to access our online portal. Below is more information on how our platform will work.

Will the same person who signed for the loan have to fill out the forgiveness application?
No. Individuals qualified to fill out and submit the application include:

  • business owners who own more than 20% of the business, and/or
  • an employee who has received written permission from the business principal.

The initial email invitation to apply for forgiveness was only be sent to the authorized signer who submitted and signed the original loan application. However, if you’d like to give permission for another authorized signer or employee to submit the forgiveness application for your business, please call us at 1-888-SYNOVUS (796-6887) and we’d be happy to help you with this process.

Do I have to complete all of my application at once?
No. You can click on the “Save and come back later” button at the bottom of the page within the application, and your progress will be saved up until that point. Once you click the button, you will also receive an email reminder with a link to return and complete your application.

Can I change my forgiveness application after I’ve started the process?
Yes. Once you’ve logged into the portal, you will see a ribbon on the left side of the screen showing where you are in each stage of your application. You can click on any stages and make changes as appropriate.

My business has changed locations, or I have moved. Is there a place to change this in the application?
Yes, when you are filling out the application, there will be an opportunity for you to edit the address for your business.

I’ve locked myself out of my account, what should I do?
Call us at 1-888-SYNOVUS (796-6887) for assistance in unlocking your account. Say “SBA” when prompted on the menu, then select Option 2 for Forgiveness.

How do I move between screens within the application?
Within the application, you can track your progress by viewing the sections in the column on the left-hand side of the screen. The section names will be highlighted blue once they’re completed. You won’t be able to skip ahead if you haven’t completed the prior screen. Also, you can always click the “Save and come back later” button if you need to finish completing your application at a later time.

I have submitted my application, but I have a question about what documents I still need to upload. How can I get help?
You can use the Message Center in the customer portal to contact your processor for assistance.

Am I able to withdraw my forgiveness application once I have submitted it?
Yes. You can call us at 1-888-SYNOVUS (796-6887) for assistance with the withdrawal process.

I have submitted my forgiveness application, what happens now?
Once you have uploaded all the required documents and submitted your completed application, your forgiveness application will be sent for review. During this time, if one of our processors needs documentation or anything else from you, they will use the Message Center in the customer portal to reach you. If you are sent a message via the Message Center, you will receive an email letting you know there is a message waiting.

I have submitted my application, but I have a question about what documents I still need to upload. How can I get help?
You can use the Message Center in the customer portal to contact your processor for assistance.

How long will it take until I know the forgiveness amount of my loan, or if it has been approved?
We will review and process your application within 60 days after the completed application and required documents have been submitted. Once we submit your completed and signed application to the SBA, they may take up to 90 days to render their final decision and send us any applicable funds for forgiveness.

Once my forgiveness application is processed, how will I know my loan amount has decreased by the amount that was forgiven?
Once the SBA confirms the final forgiveness amount, you will receive an email from us informing you on the SBA’s decision, the amount of forgiveness, and if applicable, any residual loan balance.

How do I include more forgivable expenses on the application I submitted recently?
The forgiveness portal will be updated in line with the revised forgiveness applications. You can use the message center within the forgiveness portal to request the application be re-opened for editing in order to take advantage of the additional covered expenses.

My loan is under $150,000 and I’ve already submitted my application, is there anything else I need to do based on the latest simplified processes?
If your application can be processed without needing documentation in addition to what has already been provided, then we will continue to process the forgiveness application. If we cannot process the application without requesting additional documentation, you’ll receive a message within the portal informing you that you may process your application utilizing the new streamlined process.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Deferrals

What does it mean to have my loan deferred?
The payments of principal and interest on PPP loans are deferred, which means you do not have to make payments on your loan during the deferral period.

What’s changed about my deferral period since I originally received my PPP loan?
The deferral period was extended by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, enacted on June 5, 2020. The new length of your deferral period depends upon when and if you apply for forgiveness of your PPP loan. You don’t have to wait until the end of the deferral period to apply for forgiveness.

As it relates to your loan forgiveness covered period….
The loan forgiveness covered period is the time during which you have to spend the PPP loan proceeds on forgivable expenses. Your loan forgiveness covered period begins on the day you received your PPP loan and lasts between 8 and 24 weeks, at your choice. Electing a period that is shorter than 24 weeks does not impact how long your PPP payments will be deferred, discussed further below.

So I have extra time to begin paying interest on any unforgiven part of my PPP loan – how does that work?
You have 10 months after the end of your maximum loan forgiveness covered period (that is, 24 weeks) to apply for loan forgiveness before you have to start repaying your loan. Your deferral period lasts until the date the SBA sends the forgiven amount of your PPP loan to Synovus or notifies us that no forgiveness is allowed.

If you do not apply for forgiveness within the 10-month period, your deferral period will end 10 months after the end of your maximum PPP loan forgiveness covered period. Please note, interest will continue to accrue during the deferral period.

I need to learn more about how I can determine my deferral period.
We’ve provided three examples here to help demonstrate how you can determine your deferral period. Please note, the SBA may take longer than the time periods in these examples to make a decision on your loan forgiveness application.

Other related questions and topics

Does workman’s comp or other payouts count towards my payroll cost?
According to the latest guidance released by the SBA, payroll costs consist of compensation to employees in the form of salaries, wages, commissions, or similar compensation; cash tips, or the equivalent; payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payment for the provision of certain employee benefits; payment of state and local taxes assessed on employee compensation, and for an independent contractor or sole proprietor wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, or similar compensation. Please visit the SBA website for more in-depth information about what payroll costs are covered.

I don’t have enough PPP funds to cover my payroll expenses. Can I deposit into my PPP account to cover an upcoming payroll?
Yes, you can make a deposit into your deposit account that was used for funding your PPP loan.

What happens if I only spend 70% on payroll and 90% in total of the loan amount? Would I owe 10% back?
If only a portion of the loan is forgiven, any remaining balance due on the loan must be repaid by the borrower on or before the maturity of the loan, in accordance with the terms of your loan note. Please see the SBA Website for additional guidance.

Would interest be due on the full amount or an adjusted amount?
The amount of loan forgiveness can be up to the full principal amount of the loan and any accrued interest. Only the amount of interest that has accrued on the forgiven principal amount will be forgiven as well. Any amount of accrued interest on the unforgiven portion will be owed by the borrower.

If I only have to use 60% of my funds directly for payroll, how do I qualify the remainder of the funds? My rent, mortgage, interest, and other expenses will not cover the other 40%.
No more than 40% of the total forgiveness amount may be used for nonpayroll expenses including mortgage interest, rent, utilities, covered operations expenditures, covered property damage costs, covered supplier costs, and covered worker protection expenditures. Note that the 40% threshold is a maximum, not a minimum. Borrowers must use at least 60%, but up to 100%, of the total loan amount for qualifying payroll expenses. The relief bill enacted on December 27, 2020 also allows funds to be used on additional forgivable expenses. Please see the SBA Website for additional guidance.

Must all of the loan proceeds be used in order to apply for forgiveness?
All borrowers must have used all the loan proceeds for which they are requesting forgiveness before applying for forgiveness. However, if only a portion of the loan is forgiven, any remaining balance due on the loan must be repaid by the borrower according to the terms of the loan note. Please see the SBA Website for additional guidance. You may also want to reference the terms on your loan note that you received and signed via DocuSign.

Will my loan forgiveness amount be reduced if I laid off an employee, offered to rehire the same employee, but the employee declined the offer?
The PPP rules provide safe harbors that exempt certain borrowers who reduced headcount or salaries from reductions in loan forgiveness that might otherwise apply. Please review the instructions to the loan forgiveness applications, available on the SBA website, for more information about the safe harbors.

For Form 3508, should the owner’s compensation be added into the cash compensation amount for employees or should the owner amount only be placed in the “compensation to owner” section?
The owner compensation should only be included in the compensation to owner section and excluded from Schedule A, Line 1 of Form 3508. Similarly, if the company pays for an owner’s health insurance, that amount should also be excluded from Schedule A, Line 6. Please review the SBA rules to confirm if payments for owner’s health insurance and other benefits may be included in the “compensation to owner” section.

I applied for forgiveness prior to the new legislation, will I receive my EIDL advance funds back from the SBA?
Yes. A part of the new legislation was the repeal of the EIDL Advance reduction to the forgiveness amount. If you have already received forgiveness and the SBA deducted the EIDL Advance, the SBA will remit a reconciliation payment to Synovus for the previously-deducted EIDL Advance amount. Once we receive the funds from the SBA, we will notify you and apply the amount to your loan balance, if applicable.

How can I pay off my PPP loan?
To request a payoff on your PPP loan, you can contact your Relationship Manager or you can email the following information to P3Payoffs@synovus.com: Business Name, Loan Number, Payoff date.

Important disclosure information

Your application to participate in the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, including any second draw loans, is subject to review of information and documents the SBA or we may require you to provide. Loan approval is not guaranteed. Synovus will not pay fees to or otherwise compensate anyone acting as an agent of the applicant for advising on or assisting in the preparation of the Paycheck Protection Program application or otherwise.

Synovus will process your application for loan forgiveness as the originating lender for your PPP loan based on the guidance and parameters established by the SBA, which may be subject to change. The SBA, and not Synovus, sets the criteria for loan forgiveness, including the eligibility criteria and the parameters that determine how much of your loan may be forgiven. The SBA may instruct us to hold your loan forgiveness application if it decides to conduct a review of your application, or it may instruct us to deny your loan forgiveness application. In its guidance, the SBA has indicated the reasons why it may decide to review an application for loan forgiveness.