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Are EIDL Loans Still Available in 2024?

Are EIDL Grants Still Available in 2022?
Susan Guillory
Susan GuilloryUpdated December 28, 2023
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
If you’ve heard about the government’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), you might be interested in applying. Those loans, however, are no longer available.The Small Business Administration continues to offer other funding options for small businesses, including traditional SBA loans. And EIDLs are also available, but only for businesses affected by natural disasters.Read on to learn the latest about EIDL programs and ways to get financial help for your small business.Recommended: The Essentials on Small Business Financing and Building Credit

What Are EIDL Loans?

The EIDL program was originally designed to help businesses affected by natural disasters. During the pandemic, the SBA expanded the program to include businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Small businesses that qualify for the EIDL program could borrow up to $2 million with loan terms of 3.75% fixed interest over 30 years.Recommended: SBA Loans: How Do They Work?

Are EIDL Loans Still Available?

No, the COVID-19 EIDL program is not accepting new applications, increasing requests, or giving reconsiderations.The Covid-19 EIDL grants programs is closed as well.Non-COVID EIDLs, which are designed to help businesses located in regions affected by declared disasters, will continue. Businesses of all sizes located in a declared disaster area and meeting other eligibility criteria can apply.

Why Would Your Bank Return an EIDL Grant?

In some cases, EIDL grants connected to Covid-19 were returned. When a bank returned Targeted EIDL Advance or Supplemental Targeted Advance funds to SBA, the funds were not immediately re-disbursed.Sometimes the grant was approved and business owners were informed that funds had been sent to their bank.  However, the money never showed up in their account and their bank says it returned the funds to SBA.Some common reasons funds were returned:
  • The account is closed.
  • The name or EIN number on SBA’s deposit does not match the name or EIN number on the bank account.
  • The applicant provided an incorrect routing or account number.
  • The account is a personal account rather than a business account.
You will need to contact your bank to learn the reason specific to your case.

How to Use EIDL Loans

There are a few restrictions, but generally, you can use the EIDL funds for most operating expenses, including rent and/or mortgage, office supplies, inventory, payroll, and utilities. They can also be used to pay business debt incurred at any time (past, present, or future).You may not use the funds to:
  • Expand your business
  • Make prepayments on debt that is owned by a federal agency (including the SBA)
  • Start a new business
Recommended: Are EIDL Loans Forgivable? Rules and Guidelines 

Conventional Small Business Loans

You may qualify for a traditional loan from a bank, credit union, or online lender. Some require higher credit scores, while others have less stringent requirements, though may offer less favorable terms.It is possible, after thorough research, to find a small business loan with bad credit and poor collateral. Even with bad credit, you can present an in-depth business plan that outlines your strategies for success.Your best course of action is to shop around and compare small business loans

Other SBA loans and grants

In addition to the EIDL program, the SBA offers many other loans to small businesses. The 7(a) loan program is a popular one, and there are others you may qualify for. SBA loans tend to have the lowest interest of all your options.In addition, the SBA offers other types of grants to small businesses that do not have to be repaid.

Employee retention tax credits

While it’s not a loan or grant, the IRS’s Employee Retention Credit is a tax credit that could put money back into your company’s coffers. 

The Takeaway

If you were unable to get your application for COVID EIDL loan or grant in by the deadline, or your application was denied, you're not necessarily out of funding options. There are a number of other financing options for small businesses, including other types of SBA loans and grants and commercial small business loans. If you’re interested in investigating loan options without making any type of commitment, Lantern by SoFi can help.
Photo credit: iStock/baona

About the Author

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory

Su Guillory is a freelance business writer and expat coach. She’s written several business books and has been published on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and SoFi. She writes about business and personal credit, financial strategies, loans, and credit cards.
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