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How Long Does It Take to Get EIDL Funds After Approval?

How Long Does It Take to Get EIDL Funds After Approval?; After you're approved for an EIDL loan, it may take a little time for your funds to be disbursed. Learn more from Lantern by SoFi.
Susan Guillory
Susan GuilloryUpdated December 16, 2022
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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.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program has helped small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These loans had some of the lowest SBA loan rates available and a 30-year repayment period.As of late 2022, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is no longer accepting new applications for COVID-19 EIDL loans, reconsidering denied requests, or increasing requests. The application portal is closed.The SBA is offering a Hardship Accommodation Plan for borrowers experiencing short-term financial challenges. Borrowers eligible for this plan may make reduced payments for six months.For lingering questions about the timing of those loans and more information about small business loans, including small business loans for people with bad credit, read on.

What Is the EIDL Loan?

Before we dive into how long it took to receive EIDL funds, let’s review what the EIDL program is. Created by the Small Business Administration, this program is generally meant to assist businesses (and homeowners) in recovering from declared disasters like hurricanes or floods.But due to 2020’s coronavirus pandemic, the program added a special loan specifically for businesses hit the hardest by the pandemic and its shutdowns. The EIDL loan for COVID-19 had two components: The loan itself (which is not a taxable loan) and two Advances that some businesses qualify for. The loan must be repaid, but the Advances do not have to be paid back.The loans had SBA’s usual low fixed interest rates for a period of 30 years:
  • 3.75% for businesses
  • 2.75% for nonprofits
There is no prepayment penalty if you decide to pay off the loan early.Recommended: Understanding Different Types of Small Business Loans

Who Should Apply?

The EIDL program was designed to provide financing to help small businesses like yours continue normal operations (or as close to normal as possible) until they could get back on their feet.

How Much Can I Get in EIDL Funds?

The EIDL program allowed qualifying business owners to borrow up to $2 million. The SBA calculated EIDL loan amounts for a business based on its annual revenues, how much it lost because of the pandemic, and how many employees it has.Note that collateral was required for EIDL loans greater than $25,000.There are also two Advance programs: the Targeted Advance and the Supplemental Targeted Advance. If you qualify, you can receive up to $15,000 that does not have to be repaid.

What Can I Use an EIDL Loan For?

Some SBA loans have particular requirements about what you can and cannot use loan proceeds for.The funds you get from the EIDL program, whether for the loan or the Advance, must be used for normal business expenses. These include the following:
  • Payroll
  • Healthcare benefits for employees
  • Rent 
  • Utilities
  • Fixed debt payments
  • Repairs
  • Replacing inventory
  • Prepaying commercial debt
  • Paying federal business debt

Getting Approved for EIDL Funds

The SBA had an online application for the EIDL program. As of January 1, 2022, SBA stopped accepting applications for new COVID-19 EIDL loans or advances. As of May 6, 2022, SBA is no longer processing COVID-19 EIDL loan increase requests or requests for reconsideration of previously declined loan applications. As of May 16, 2022, the COVID-19 EIDL portal (, also known as the "RAPID portal") is closed. Borrowers who need copies of their loan documents can contact us at 833-853-5638. Please allow 3-7 business days to receive your materials.When you applied for an COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, you were asked the following:
  • Questions about your business, including its name, address, and Employer Identification Number (or Social Security Number if it’s a sole proprietorship)
  •  Annual revenues for the 12 months before the disaster
  • The cost of goods 
  • The number of employees you have
Generally, you had to be able to demonstrate the loss your business experienced because of the pandemic. Once you submitted your application, the SBA reviewed it to see if you qualify, both for the EIDL loan and the Advances.Recommended: Writing an EIDL Reconsideration Letter

How Long Does It Take to Receive EIDL Funds After Approval?

As for the time it takes from when you’re approved to when you actually received your SBA loan funds, it partly depended on you. If you were approved for an EIDL loan, you were sent an email with details on how much you’re eligible to borrow. Once you signed the agreement, loan proceeds were deposited into your business bank account within five to 10 business days.When you applied, it was important to make sure you correctly entered your business bank account number and routing number so that there’s no delay in your funds reaching your account.The steps to getting your EIDL loan:
  • Step 1: Gather your information, including revenues and business details
  • Step 2: Apply for the EIDL loan online. It may take over two hours, so plan enough time.
  • Step 3: Wait for the SBA to review your application. (Remember that if you are applying for more than $500,000, your application will not be considered between Sept. 8, 2021 and Oct. 8, 2021.)
  • Step 4: Review your offer and sign the loan agreement.
  • Step 5: Wait for the funds to be deposited (5-10 business days) 
Recommended: Guide to Applying for & Getting Small Business Loans

Do I Have to Repay an EIDL Loan?

As mentioned earlier, there are two parts to an EIDL loan. The first was the loan itself, which can be up to $2 million. You do have to pay back this loan. Due to the continued adverse effects of the pandemic, SBA provided a deferment period of 30 months from the date on the original Note for COVID-19 EIDL borrowers. This deferment does not apply to non-COVID disaster home and business loans. This deferment extension is effective for all COVID-19 EIDL loans approved in calendar years 2020, 2021, and 2022. Interest will continue to accrue on the loans during deferment. More detailed information about eligibility and how deferment impacts your future loan payment amounts can be found in SBA procedural notice 5000-830558 dated March 15, 2022.The potential second part of the EIDL loan is an Advance. There are two different Advance programs, the Targeted Advance and the Supplemental Targeted Advance. Both are meant to help small businesses in low-income communities. The Supplemental Targeted Advance is aimed at even smaller businesses (with no more than 10 employees) who have suffered an even greater reduction in revenue than the Targeted Advance.The maximum amount you can receive in total from the two Advance programs (if you are eligible) is $15,000. To qualify for one or both of the two Advance programs, your business must do the following. For a Targeted Advance
  • Be in a low-income community
  • Demonstrate more than a 30% reduction in revenue over an eight-week period starting on March 2, 2020 or later
  • Have 300 or fewer employees
For a Supplemental Targeted Advance
  • Be in a low-income community
  • Demonstrate more than a 50% reduction in revenue over an eight-week period starting on March 2, 2020 or later
  • Have 10 or fewer employees
If you were approved for one or both of these Advance programs by the SBA, you do not have to pay back the funds, and the money is not taxable.

The Takeaway

If you did not qualify for the EIDL program or if you want to explore other options for financing, you can explore getting a small business loan.You can apply for small business loans online with Lantern by SoFi and get multiple offers you can compare with just the click of a button.
Image credit: iStock/PCH-Vector

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for an EIDL?
How long are the wait times for EIDL approval?

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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