I got my E-tran number. When will my SBA / PPP loan be funded?

In this 2-minute read:

  • What is E-Tran?
  • How long does it take for SBA loans to be funded?
  • What could prevent my PPP money from arriving?
  • Can I reapply for a PPP loan?

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR 2021: Congress has approved an extension of the PPP loan program. Applications may be submitted to SBA until May 31, 2021, including “second draw” PPP loans for businesses that received PPP funding in 2020.

E-Tran, often known informally as Etran or etran, is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s electronic loan servicing portal. All SBA loans used to be submitted via paper applications, which was a logistical nightmare as you can imagine. The E-Tran portal allows eligible lenders to electronically submit, modify, or cancel SBA loan applications.

The bottom line is, if you want your PPP loan money, your loan needs to be assigned an E-Tran number first. If you’ve got your E-Tran number, chances are good that you’ll get your funding within 10 days (but read below for potential pitfalls).

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The E-Tran portal is far better than the old manual submission and approval process, but it is still quite confusing to use and has multiple (and somewhat nebulous) functions. However, these concerns are largely for the SBA-approved lenders to deal with, since they’re the ones using the E-Tran system to submit applications.

For small business owners worried about whether they will receive PPP funding before the money runs out, the relevant points are whether your loan gets assigned an “E-Tran number,” and what could potentially prevent your loan from being funded.

If my loan is assigned an E-Tran number, how long until I get my PPP money?

The SBA’s rules state that that all affiliated lenders must fund approved loans within 10 days. If the 10th day falls on a holiday or a weekend, they may fund the following weekday.

However, you can generally be confident that you will get your loan funding in about around 10 days once your loan is approved and assigned an E-Tran number.

NOTE: The SBA doesn’t usually doesn’t issue loans directly to businesses. Instead, the administration works via thousands of private lenders, who all may have slightly different requirements about what you need to do to actually get your money deposited into your account.

So be sure to check with your lender during the application process, and learn what you need to provide in order for the loan funds to be transferred. Some might require a final signed note and/or ACH info.

If you’ve adhered to the requirements of your lender as far as the actual depositing of your funds—such as a final signed note and/or ACH info—you shouldn’t need to ask your lender any “where’s my money?” questions until at least 10 days after your loan is approved.

If I have an E-Tran number, does that guarantee that I’ll get my PPP funding?

Under normal circumstances, if you have an E-Tran number, the system marks that money as “spent” and saves your place in line for disbursement of your funds. 

However, times are pretty crazy right now. To try to keep larger businesses (and larger banks) from quickly burning through this round of PPP funding, the SBA and Treasury announced on April 26, 2020 that they are instituting a maximum dollar amount of 10% of PPP funding authority that any single lending institution can originate.

This effectively means that banks and lenders with larger pools of PPP loan applications may be cut off at some point as the E-Tran system continues working through the backlog of loans.

This could potentially mean some businesses who’ve had their PPP applications approved by larger lenders don’t get funded (if the lender hits their “max” before your loan is actually funded). 

If you’re concerned about this possibility, you can still apply via a smaller lender. Due to the nearly instant nature of the E-Tran approval process, it’s highly unlikely that a business will be funded twice if submitting duplicate PPP loan applications, and you should be able to easily demonstrate that you acted in good faith if there are any problems that arise.

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