How to Choose the Right PPP Loan Origination Software

Is your lending institution prepared to take on the influx of SBA PPP loan applicants? The process involves more than just clicking ‘Publish,’ but selecting the right loan origination software can cut down your time-to-launch from weeks down to days. 

The CARES Act roll-out promised a near-instant lifeline for businesses impacted by the coronavirus. However, lenders were ill-prepared for the fast-tracked timeline. Signed into law on March 27th, 2020, the initial list of lenders had only a week to get their systems up and running. Plus, the government released the final guidelines in the eleventh hour, mere hours before launch time.

In December 2020, Congress renewed the business-lending program with an additional $284 billion in funding. The PPP has helped many businesses survive the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic since it was first included in the CARES Act last March. 

However, the deluge of applicants put largely unprepared loan origination software to the test. Some applicants spent hours anxiously tapping the reload button on banking websites. Others were met with lockouts and error messages. 

Poor origination software not only hampers your organization’s resources, but slows the flow of funding to businesses in need. 

How can you make sure your SBA PPP Loan roll-out isn’t fraught with the same frustrations? By selecting the right loan origination platform from the start. Here’s what you should consider. 

1. Speed of implementation

When faced with a looming deadline, businesses tend to fall back on existing vendors—even if the technology is outdated. One glance over the shoulder of  an airline or DMV representative, and it’s clear that most legacy software isn’t outfitted for fast-moving, dynamic updates. 

‘Familiarity’ may seem like a tempting solution, but speed of implementation should be your top priority. Software solutions that require significant system overhauls and complex back-end coding typically take months to roll out. They might now tout fast implementation—simply because they’ve temporarily stacked support teams to guide loan providers through their cumbersome systems. Find a platform that promises quick, intuitive implementation every time instead of one offering onetime expediency.

2. User-friendliness

Have worldwide stay-at-home orders taken a toll on your customer service team? You need a platform that won’t bog down already strained resources. A well-designed self-service solution allows applicants to do most of the work without phoning into your support line. 

An automated solution like ProcessMaker provides customers with an intuitive self-service application form. You can easily add form fields to collect even the most detailed information. Toggles, drop-downs, and other answer types make sure you gather the right information the first time—without the need for time-consuming follow-ups emails or calls. Expert logic finds errors every step of the way, so applicants aren’t met with unexpected errors or denials at the end of the process. 

3. Is it easy to make quick changes?

Initial lenders only had a few hours to implement the final guidelines of the new loan program. Government programs are constantly changing, and you need to have the flexibility to make on-the-fly adjustments. You don’t have time to wade through weeks of red tape or extensive coding to make updates—your customers need access to these loans now. A static, one-and-done application form just won’t cut it. 

The drag-and-drop ProcessMaker editor lets you tweak and adjust with the click of a button. The process is so easy that anyone on your team can make a required change. 

4. Fits well with your internal resources

As the government allows more and more lenders to accept SBA PPP Loan applications, smaller institutions will have the opportunity to service their community. However, many of these more localized lenders do not have access to the herculean IT teams employed by the big guns. 

So when researching loan origination software, it’s important to keep in mind your level of internal resources: 

  • Is a platform only used by huge banks? It might be one that requires an experienced IT team to manage. If you’re low on IT staff, you’re better off with a more plug-and-play option that requires zero code experience
  • Managing cyber security and frequent back-ups of your data is a time-consuming process for a limited technical team. A cloud platform does the legwork for you.
  • Does the software include an encyclopedic training manual? For time-sensitive deployments like the one required by the SBA PPP Loan program, no one on your team has time for a lengthy learning curve. 

5. Short vs. long-term needs

While a platform promising to instantly push an SBA PPP Loan application form live to your site may sound appealing, you need to consider your long-term business needs. Is the software something that you can use for a future loan type, or is it a static solution deployed for a single need? During this time of uncertainty, government policies are in constant flux. If you’re stuck with a one-and-done solution, you’ll struggle with the same headaches when implementing the next coronavirus initiative.

View our checklist for banks preparing to offer SBA PPP loans

Using ProcessMaker, you’re never stuck in one mold. You can easily add new application types. You can also morph your original form to meet the requirements of future offerings. 

Is your lending institution ready to participate in the new SBA PPP Loan application process? The right loan origination software not only builds your business for the long-term, but fast-tracks your ability to serve your community. 



How to Choose the Right PPP Loan Origination Software

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