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Borrower Coronavirus Updates

Your frequently asked questions about CBILS

Updated: 24 February 2021

Though the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has been around for almost a year now, there’s still some confusion about what a loan under the scheme entails and what you can use it for. Here, we take a closer look at some of your most commonly asked questions to help you decide if a CBILS loan is right for your business.

About the scheme

What is a CBILS loan?

CBILS, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, was launched by the Government to help businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic to access finance. As part of the scheme, the Government will pay any upfront loan fee and the first year of interest on your behalf

What are the key features of a CBILS loan?

With a CBILS loan from Funding Circle, you benefit from:

  • No repayments for 12 months
  • Upfront fee & 12 months interest paid by the Government
  • No personal guarantee required up to £250k
  • No early settlement fees
  • Borrow for 2 to 6 years
  • Decision in as little as 5 hours

How much can I borrow under CBILS?

We may be able to offer you a CBILS loan of £50,001 to £500,000, up to 25% of your annual turnover, subject to other affordability criteria.

What is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply is the 31st March, so you need to have started your application by this date. We may still be able to process applications and make offers after this date, but only if you have begun your application by the end of March.

Will I need to provide a personal guarantee?

Personal guarantees are not required on CBILS loans of up to £250,000. If you want to borrow more than this, a personal guarantee will be needed.

How long does it take to get a CBILS loan?

At Funding Circle, you can apply for a CBILS loan online in 10 minutes. We’ll give you a decision in as little as 5 hours and, if approved, the funds are paid out typically within 7-14 days.

What can I use a CBILS loan for?

You can borrow for extra working capital, expansion, stock and equipment, marketing, systems, staff and more. 

Will it cost me anything to repay the loan early?

There are no fees if you want to settle the loan early, and you can repay in full any time after the first 4 months. If you settle within the first year, there will have been no cost to you. 

If you have a CBILS loan already

Can I get more than one CBILS loan?

You can apply for finance up to 25% of your annual turnover. So, you can take a further CBILS loan if you have one already, but the combined total can’t exceed 25% of your annual turnover. All applications are subject to credit and affordability checks.

Will I still get a 12-month repayment holiday?

Yes. If you take out a new CBILS loan, you’ll have nothing to pay for 12 months on that loan. Your existing CBILS loan will continue as it is currently.

If you have a Bounce Back Loan (BBLS) already

Can I get a CBILS loan even if I have a Bounce Back loan already?

If you need more funds than are available through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), you could borrow more with CBILS. You can’t hold both at the same time, so you’ll need to settle your Bounce Back loan if and when your CBILS loan is approved. 

What’s the difference between CBILS & BBLS?

A key difference is how much you can borrow. At Funding Circle, you can get a CBILS loan of £50,001 to £500,000, whereas BBLS only goes up to £50,000. Both come with nothing to pay for 12 months and the first 12 months’ interest paid by the Government.

It’s important to remember that when taking a loan, your business is liable for the full loan amount. The CBIL and BBL schemes provide a guarantee to the lender, not to the business.

All information is correct at time of publishing. While we want to help as much as we can, the information and documents found here are provided solely for informational purposes and should not be considered financial or legal advice. To the extent permitted by law, Funding Circle does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of, or reliance on, the information contained here.If you have any questions, please speak to your professional adviser or seek independent legal advice.

CBILS and BBLS are managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. They are not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA. Visit

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