Feb 25, 2021

Your PPP Loan Forgiveness Checklist

Completing a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application seems like a daunting prospect for many small business owners. Don’t worry, we totally get it. There are numerous documents to gather and details to organize. And if you submit an inaccurate or incomplete application, you might not receive the forgiveness you’ve been hoping for.

To put your mind at ease and equip you with the tools for success, we put together this helpful checklist for maximizing your PPP forgiveness amount. Feel free to bookmark it, reference it, and use it to make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row.

Here are the 2 biggest priorities for your PPP loan funds:

▢ Use the money only for approved expenses

▢ Provide validation that you tracked and used those funds appropriately

The “covered period” for your loan refers to the date range beginning 8 weeks after PPP loan disbursement and ending any time you choose until 24 weeks eligible after PPP loan disbursement.

Payroll Expenses

Shoring up payroll is the main way PPP loans are intended to help small businesses survive this pandemic. Payroll also carries the largest allowable portion of allowed expenses, along with the most nuances.

The number to remember is 60%.

To make sure you’re maximizing your forgiveness amount, spend at least 60% on your payroll. Here are the approved payroll uses that you should be tracking and submitting:

▢ Compensation in the form of salaries, wages, commissions, or similar compensation up to $100,000

▢ Payment of cash tips or equivalent

▢ Payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave

▢ Allowance for dismissal or separation

▢ Payment of retirement benefits

▢ Group vision, dental, disability, or life insurance

▢ Payment of state or local taxes assessed on the compensation of employees

Let’s check your progress. Did you spend at least 60% of your PPP funds on payroll? Note that you are actually able to use 100% of the funds for payroll without penalty. If you use less than 60%, you can still have that amount forgiven, but you’ll likely be repaying some of the loan.

If you have any questions on what else might be included for payroll or what to do if you don’t use 60% of your funds for these purposes, check out our FAQs for Loan Forgiveness.

Non-Payroll Expenses Also Eligible for Forgiveness

If you use 40% or less of your PPP loan funds for the following expenses, you can also qualify for forgiveness.

▢ Healthcare costs related to the continuation of group healthcare benefits during periods of sick, medical, or family leave, as well as insurance premiums

▢ Mortgage interest payments (but not prepayment or payment of the mortgage principal)

▢ Rent

▢ Utilities

▢ Interest on any other debt obligations incurred before February 15, 2020

▢ Refinancing an SBA EIDL received between January 31, 2020, and April 3, 2020

▢ Covered expenditures such as business software or cloud computing services that facilitate:

  • business operations
  • product or service delivery
  • the processing, payment, or tracking of payroll expenses, human resources, sales, and billing functions
  • accounting or tracking of supplies, inventory, records, or expenses

▢ Covered property damage costs

▢ Covered supplier costs

▢ Covered worker protection expenditures

Submitting Your Application

All right, let’s put our checklist into action. You’ll be submitting your PPP loan forgiveness application directly to your lender, and they will submit it to the SBA on your behalf after their initial approval. You can access the application on SBA.gov.

SPECIAL NOTE: Is your PPP loan $150,000 or less? If so, the SBA now allows you to submit this 1-page application that lists factors such as:

  • SBA PPP loan number
  • Lender PPP loan number
  • PPP loan amount
  • PPP loan disbursement date
  • Employees at time of loan application
  • Employees at time of forgiveness application
  • The covered period
  • Amount of loan spent on payroll costs
  • Requested loan forgiveness amount

Pretty amazing, right? This streamlined process can definitely make your life easier. You should also be aware that the record retention guidelines for these smaller loans have been reduced to 4 years for employee records and 3 years for compliance records.

Need Help Tracking or Proving your Expenses?

Even with the program details highlighted in this checklist, you’ll still need to adhere to a lot of nuances if you want to maximize your forgiveness. Our professional bookkeepers are happy to help you manage your books and ensure that you’re prepared for your forgiveness application. In fact, PPP Loan Forgiveness is included for our paid subscribers as a free add-on. You can learn more about these services here.

Sunrise is committed to helping you and all of our small business owners get through these challenging times and back to thriving. Please let us know if you have any questions or need clarifications regarding PPP loan forgiveness. Our experts are happy to assist you. After all, we’re in this together.


Lendio strives to provide you with the most current information as it relates to the Paycheck Protection Program, related SBA programs, and relevant regulations. The rules and regulations governing these programs are being regularly clarified by the SBA, and other agencies. In some cases, the provided guidance may directly conflict with other competing guidance, laws, rules, or regulations. Due to these changes, Lendio cannot guarantee that the information contained in this page reflects new changes or updates.
Lendio advises you to review the SBA guidelines and regulations on your own and determine your Company’s best approach to receiving SBA loans. Lendio urges you to consult your own attorneys, lawyers, and consultants to make the best decision possible. The information contained herein should not be construed as legal or tax advice, and should not be relied upon as such.

About the author

Grant Olsen
Grant Olsen
Grant Olsen is a writer specializing in small business loans, leadership skills, and growth strategies. He is a contributing writer for KSL 5 TV, where his articles have generated more than 6 million page views, and has been featured on FitSmallBusiness.com and ModernHealthcare.com. Grant is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." He has a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.


  1. I got my PPP loan as a small one man home business and providing the 8 weeks of 2019 income. Do I need to apply for loan forgiveness with a particular form or is it just automatically forgiven and I do nothing?

  2. Do I have to print out the loan forgiveness application and send it by mail? I don’t see an electronic option. On the application it says expiration date 10/31/2020, but in your publication it says there is a 25 week period for using the loan, if received after 6/5/2020 which is the case for me. Please clarify!

    • Hi Irmgard, Thank you for the question. You likely will not have to print out the loan forgiveness application and send it by mail. The lender you received your PPP loan will be the company to which you send your loan forgiveness application, so unless they require that method, a digital download should work. The bottom line on that part: whatever method your lender is using will be the one for you to use.

      We completely agree that the expiration date posted on SBA.gov’s site for the loan forgiveness form is confusing. Regarding the time to use the funds, small businesses still have until Dec. 31, 2020 to use the funds and apply for forgiveness (based on the information we have today). Our assumption is that the expiration date posted on the forgiveness application is simply to indicate the SBA will not be altering the form they are currently using for loan forgiveness between now and Oct. 31, 2020. Definitely confusing. Great questions!

  3. Ppp

  4. I need ppp loan

  5. I paid the rent and light bill

  6. Hi, I applied for both PPP and EIDL loan. 5 weeks later I got ppp approval but few days before I received a deposit for the eidl (advance). It’s a little unclear on application if I deduct the forgiveness amount bu the eidl advance. ppp is under $50k and on the short forgiveness document it seems as they are separate? Can you help clarify as both ppp and eidl has been spent.

    • Hi Anders,

      This is a great question. I’m having my experts take a quick look and confirm the right process before I post a follow-up, but I will post what we find out.

      • Hi Anders – based on our team’s review, this looks like a specific question that we’d recommend taking to your PPP lender, it can vary depending on the nature of the lender’s approval process. Good luck!

  7. I got the loan to pay child support

  8. Hi, I got PPP through Ready Capital, its website instructions indicate, PPP Loan Forgiveness will be through Lendio and Sunrise, I can’t find the link to submit an application. Thanks for your help.

  9. Hi there – I got PPP through Ready Capital and went through Lendio and Sunrise to do my forgiveness application. My loan is less than the 50k needed for the full forgiveness app, but the shorter forgiveness app looks as though the deadline has already passed. What should I do next to make sure I do this right and where do I submit my application?

  10. Hi, my loan was under $50k and I was wondering 1.) How do I submit records of the use of funds to Lendio and 2.) To whom do I submit the form? Thanks.

  11. Hi, I also received my PPP through Ready Capital, and the website instructions indicate PPP Loan Forgiveness will be through Lendio and Sunrise. Where and how do I submit the simplified forgiveness form?

  12. We were closed during most of that time, we had little payroll. I used it for rent and utilities so I wouldnt be sued. Seems unfare to have to repay if 60% wasn’t used for payroll. I am still struggling and will have a tough time repaying it.. I wish I wouldn’t have taken it.. When does this need to be repaid?

  13. What is the deadline to submit applications for forgiveness?

    • Hi Merry,

      Sorry to hear of the impact on your business. I’ve pasted the information from the SBA below.

      Loan Details
      The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

      SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

      -PPP loans have an interest rate of 1%.
      -Loans issued prior to June 5 have a maturity of 2 years. Loans issued after June 5 have a maturity of 5 years.
      -Loan payments will be deferred for borrowers who apply for loan forgiveness until SBA remits the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount to the lender. If a borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, payments are deferred 10 months after the end of the covered period for the borrower’s loan forgiveness (either 8 weeks or 24 weeks).
      -No collateral or personal guarantees are required.
      -Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

  14. Hello — I also received a PPP through Ready Capital, its website instructions indicate, PPP Loan Forgiveness will be through Lendio and Sunrise, I can’t find the link to submit an application.

  15. Hello! I am an Independent Contractor and received a small PPP loan (under 25K) from Lendio / Ready Capital. I was unable to set up a separate business bank account due to lobbies being closed due to COVID. As a Meeting Professional, all of the funds were used to pay myself, as our entire industry was basically shut down. I have questions regarding the type of documentation required for forgiveness, since I don’t technically have payroll documents. Thank you so much for your help!

    • Thanks Kelly, a team member is going to reach out regarding your specifics. So sorry to hear your industry has been particularly effected.

  16. I received my PPP loan through Ready Capital. I have uploaded all required information to the Sunrise PPP Loan Forgiveness website. I can’t find the link to electronically submit my application nor a way to contact a person directly. Please advise what I need to do to apply for forgiveness. Thank you.

  17. Hello,

    I was funder a PPP loan through Ready Capital and I cannot figure out how to submit an application for forgiveness. Their site says to use Lendio/Sunrise, which I have done and this site says to apply for forgiveness through the lender, but I have not received any information to submit. Please help.

  18. I have found a phone number to Ready Capital (800) 453-3548 and the gal was able to send me a link to apply for forgiveness. I hope this helps others.

    • Thanks Amy, please let us know if you’ve been able to get your application squared away. If not, I’ll have a team member reach back.

  19. need ppp forgiveness

  20. Hi, I got PPP through Lendio, its website instructions indicate, PPP Loan Forgiveness will be through Lendio and Sunrise, I can’t find the link to submit an application. Thanks for your help.

  21. I would like to apply for PPP loan Forgiveness. Please get me through the process.
    Thank you.

  22. Hi, I also received a PPP through Ready Capital, where do I submit my loan forgiveness application?

  23. Is there any way to still apply for forgiveness? The application was sent back to us in the mail

  24. I also received a PPP through Ready Capital and need assistance filling out the Loan Forgiveness application. Thanks

  25. I got a ppp $5,000 through Lendio I’m a self employed small business owner used my money to pay my late rent from the time I was closed… can someone please send me the link to apply for forgiveness .

  26. I got the PPP directly through SBA. Where do I send the lowest form? The form says do not send to SBA?? I didn’t go through a lender.

    • Hi Kindra – I’m having a team member reach out to you to discuss. Thanks the the question. They’ll walk you through the particulars.

  27. Ok thanks

  28. How do I talk to someone to figure out what I need to do to get the PPP loan I received through Lendio forgiven?

  29. I just got funded for the first draw for PPP. I will use 100% to pay my salary… how soon afterward I get funded can I apply for the forgiveness?

    • Hi Michael,

      From what I’m reading, it’s typically an 8-week period, but you’ll want to confirm with your lender. They might have provisions that let you do it sooner that I’m not aware of.

  30. How long does it usually take after you sign the disbursement/ promissory document and does this mean that I will receive the loan?

    • Thanks for the note. Typically this occurs in 1-2 weeks for disbursement of funds once final documents have been signed. Please let us know if you’ve run into issues.

  31. Hi there, I can click on links to find the information for the Loan Forgiveness Form, but there is nowhere to submit it or any necessary documents that go along with it that I am seeing in the Sunrise/Lendio platform. I recently had a First Draw funded through Lendio, and want to apply for forgiveness immediately. Who can assist me with this task? The website is incredibly unclear.

    • Hi Cailyn,

      Sorry to hear you’re running into some confusion. I’m going to have a team member reach out to you directly. Thanks!

  32. Hello, I’ve found the link to fill out the proper forms for the loan forgivness but I’m not sure where to send the proper documents. My first PPP loan was funded through Lendio. Based on the comments above looks like I’ll need further assistance from one of your team members.

    • Hi Alexis,

      Thanks for the note. If you’re looking to apply for loan forgiveness, you’ll be submitting it directly to your lender. Please shoot us a line if you need further assistance.

  33. I applied through Lendio for PPP loan and would like to apply for the forgiveness loan. TO whom do I give the form to?

    • Hi Anna,

      Thank you for the note, you’ll be applying for loan forgiveness directly with the lender. Let us know if you need any additional help. Thanks!

  34. Hello, I received a PPP loan under 15K, it has helped me continue to pay rent and expenses and stay in business. I need help finding the place to fax my PPP forgiveness application. Can someone reach out to me?

    • Hi Jennifer – you’ll be applying directly with your lender. I’ll have a team member reach out to you as well. Thanks!

  35. I received a loan for under $6K, and I’m wondering how I apply for Loan Forgiveness?

  36. Please, is there anyone who can help me to locate the link to send the PPP loan forgiveness?

  37. How can I file form 3508 for forgives?

  38. Were can I submit the forgiveness application? please send me the link

  39. I need to submit loan forgiveness for Loan through Ready Capital. Where do I submit the filled out form ?

  40. This is an Awesome platform to address peoples concerns. I am so glad and grateful for this tool provided. Thanks Sunrinse.

    My Question,

    I need help as to where to submit my forgiveness application. Pls Help.

    • Thanks Joseph. You’ll be submitting your application through the lender who provided you the loan. I’ll have a colleague reach out directly just to make sure you’re all set. Thanks!

  41. Hi I’ve signed my promissory note and I have a sba loan number, with ready capital do you have any idea when I’ll get funded

  42. Hello! I’m a self employed and I received my PPP loans through Ready Capital. I can’t find the link to electronically submit my application for forgiveness. Please help!
    Thank you!

  43. need forgiveness info also had loan with ready capital

  44. I have a PPP Loan with Ready Capital and their site is not even working, unless you want a new small business loan, and I am trying to submit my forgiveness application. Lendio was the original site I signed up through, and was funneled to ready capital, who funded my loan. How do I submit my forgiveness form? I have been emailing and calling for months…

  45. Hi I applied for a ppp loan back in feb never heard anything bought it I forgot bout it and I got a email one day from lending saying I got approved and was going to be funded but I can’t find anything saying I got approved and I called someone at lendio last week the lady said that my money got sent out on the 8th but my bank has not got the funds yet I haven’t signed no papers or anything I still can’t find anything

  46. Hi Jarum, my loan was through ready capital as well and I am in need of information on loan forgiveness. Can you please have someone reach out to me at you earliest convenience? Thank you very much.

  47. Hi there. I have been trying to submit my PPP loan forgiveness and I cannot find where to send the information to lendio. I had an appointment and then someone cancelled it for no reason. All I am trying to do is submit this form and I cannot do so.

  48. I cannot submit my loan forgiveness application through the SBA website it says that Sunrise has not registered for this. Can you tell me where I submit the application? Thanks.

    • Hi Tom – I’m going to have a colleague reach out to you, but the lender you received the funds from will be the one to provide you the method they’re using for forgiveness.

  49. Hi,

    I did my PPP loan through Lindio. How or to whom am I submitting the Loan Forgiveness Application? Please help.

    • Hi Olga,

      You’ll be submitting the loan forgiveness application through your lender. I’ll have a colleague reach out to you with additional information.

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