Business owners who borrowed $50,000 or less through the Small Business Administration’s emergency loan program learned last week that their debts are forgiven entirely — provided they file the right paperwork.

But accountants are urging costumers to hold off applying for forgiveness to see if the government further sweetens the pot.

The Small Business Administration and U.S. Treasury issued the new guidance for small-business borrowers with loans of $50,000 or less under the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.

The PPP loans were included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress passed earlier this year to provide emergency assistance for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Business owners who borrowed $50,000 or less can fill out a simplified one-page form and can ignore some of the calculations required of other borrowers. A link to the Form 3508S is available at sba.gov, or by

Read More

The Supreme Court has always upheld the law and stood for fairness and equity, something that the country is justifiably proud of. In the quest for fairness though, it is possible that the lines drawn by the founding fathers of the Constitution separating powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary are sometimes crossed, inadvertently. This is something that the Court needs to be watchful of as it hears the case relating to moratorium on loan repayments by Covid-affected entities and whether ‘interest on interest’ is justified. The arguments being advanced in this case seem to be getting more and more divorced from the ground realities of commercial banking. The petitioners are persistent that banks, which have already granted borrowers six months’ time to service their loans to tide over Covid, ought to extend this privilege longer and waive interest as well. They have also implied that banks are morally

Read More

Over 90 per cent of loan accounts in the system and 40-50 per cent of loans by value will benefit from the Centre’s promise of interest compounding relief for the six-month moratorium extended to mitigate the Covid effects.

The key beneficiaries will be small manufacturing/processing units, trading outfits and those who have taken home loans, charged interest in the 6-12 per cent range.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the Centre said it will bear the cost of the waiver. It, however, capped the relief to loans up to ₹2 crore and limited its own outgo to ₹6,000 crore. This is assuming that all borrowers are offered the relief — whether they opted for the moratorium or not.

SC verdict on Monday

The final contours of the waiver will be known after the Supreme Court’s verdict on October 5.

Data suggest that most retail loans such as for

Read More

WASHINGTON—The Treasury Department said Tuesday it would begin forgiving loans granted to small-business owners under the Paycheck Protection Program, following banks’ and borrowers’ complaints that the process had been bogged down.

The government expects to approve and pay forgiveness requests by late this week or early next, a Treasury spokesperson said. The applications are generally expected to be approved quickly, with the exception of loans above $2 million that will get added scrutiny.

Business advocates, banks and lawmakers have raised concerns that the process of turning the loans into grants is too complex and slow under the $670 billion federal program, designed to help small businesses respond to the economic fallout of the pandemic with forgivable government-backed loans distributed through banks.

“The ultimate success of the program will depend on forgiveness, so small-business owners are eager to learn of [Treasury officials’] decisions,” said Kevin Kuhlman, senior director of government relations

Read More

By Cecilia Clark

Students watching the COVID-19 pandemic play out have reason to be wary of taking on additional loans for college. With what could be a slow economic recovery, signing up for an additional bill that comes each month, no matter what, might sound like a bad idea.

Federal student loan payments are currently paused. But those repayments are scheduled to resume next year before current students can take advantage of the halt. And while government income-based repayment plans and forbearance can offer a respite for economic hardships, interest still continues to add up. Private loans are even less forgiving and almost always require a co-signer.

But there’s an alternative emerging: income share agreements, or ISAs. With these agreements, students borrow money from their school or a third-party provider and repay a fixed percentage of their future income for a predetermined amount of time after leaving school.

Depending on

Read More

Potential homebuyers attend an open house in Seattle.

Mike Kane | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mortgage rates just set another new low, and that means the number of borrowers who could benefit from a refinance hit a new all-time high. 

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 2.86% for the week ending Sept. 10, down from the previous week when it averaged 2.93% and down from 3.56% the same week one year ago, according to Freddie Mac. 

“Mortgage rates have hit another record low due to a late summer slowdown in the economic recovery,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

There are now 19.3 million borrowers who could save money on their monthly payments at today’s low rates, according to a new calculation by Black Knight, a mortgage technology and analytics firm, which looked at the pool of borrowers with rates at least 75 basis points

Read More