Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness - How To Prepare | Wells Fargo

How to Prepare


The information contained in this page is based on laws, rules, regulations, and related guidance with respect to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including guidance issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as updates based on the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act signed into law on December 27, 2020. We are awaiting additional guidance from the SBA on Forgiveness and will be updating this page with new information as we receive it, please check back often and consider bookmarking this page. In the event of any discrepancies between the information on this site and the SBA’s site, please follow official SBA guidance.

Learn about the 3 key steps toward PPP loan forgiveness.

Step 1: Prepare now

To qualify for loan forgiveness, the funds must be used during the covered period. You can choose a covered period of any length between 8-weeks (56 days) and 24-weeks (168 days), beginning on the date you received the loan proceeds.

You’ll want to use the funds for eligible expenses, ensuring that you:

  • Spend at least 60% of the funds on payroll costs. 
  • Use the remainder of the funds on eligible business expenses (examples include mortgage interest, rent, lease payments, utilities as well as operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs and worker protection expenditures, as specified in the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act signed into law on December 27, 2020). 
  • Consider discussing forgiveness with your financial and/or tax advisor before applying. 
  • Collect the recommended supporting documents you’ll need to complete the PPP loan forgiveness application.

Step 2: Apply online

You have time to apply

You have until the maturity date of the loan to apply for loan forgiveness. However, there are things you may want to consider before deciding when to apply:

  • To get full forgiveness, make sure you have used all your PPP funds for eligible costs. You have up to 24 weeks to do so.
  • When you submit a loan forgiveness application and the SBA notifies Wells Fargo of the loan forgiveness amount, or that the loan is not eligible for forgiveness, your payment deferral period will end. At that point, loan payments on any amount not forgiven, including any interest, will become due and you will need to start making monthly payments, if applicable. 
  • If you have repaid your loan in full before submitting a loan forgiveness application, you will not be eligible for forgiveness. Partial repayment may also affect forgiveness.

Choose the form that applies to you

You must apply for forgiveness through your PPP lender.

  • You’ll either use Form 3508S, Form 3508EZ, or Form 3508 depending on your circumstances. If you have a loan of $50,000 or less, and you and your affiliates have combined loans of less than $2 million, consider using Form 3508S. This simple form requires fewer calculations, may call for less documentation, and does not require you to reduce your loan forgiveness calculations if you have reduced FTE or salaries. The forgiveness application processing time may also be shorter than Form 3508EZ or Form 3508.
  • For all other loans, review the eligibility conditions to determine whether you should use Form 3508EZ or Form 3508. 
  • We will only accept an online application for forgiveness. You can access the application through Wells Fargo Business Online® or the Commercial Electronic Office® (CEO®), once the application is available. 
  • Please do not attempt to submit a loan forgiveness application downloaded from the SBA site.

Prepare for the application process

We have created a Loan Forgiveness Preparation Checklist (PDF) to help you prepare. When you are ready to apply, follow the steps in the online PPP loan forgiveness application. 

  • Have all of your recommended supporting documents ready to upload online.
  • Consider contacting your payroll service provider (if applicable) to see if they have prepared special forgiveness reports that will make completing the application easier.
  • Upload documents that are not encrypted or password protected; in an acceptable format (PDF, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, not Excel/XLS); are 50 MB or less. Uploads may contain up to 25 files, total upload limit is 50 MB.
  • Make sure you get an onscreen confirmation once each document has been successfully uploaded.
  • Save frequently, so you don’t lose the information you have entered.
  • Once you start uploading documents, complete and submit your loan forgiveness application within 30 days to avoid having to upload documents again.
  • Review your loan forgiveness application, verify documents have been uploaded, and confirm the amount you’re requesting before you submit your application.

Note: You must apply for PPP loan forgiveness through your PPP lender. If you received a PPP loan through Wells Fargo, your loan numbers will be automatically pre-filled for you in the loan forgiveness application. You will not need to have them ahead of time to be able to apply for forgiveness.

Step 3: Receive confirmation

You will receive an email confirmation once you submit your loan forgiveness application. A dedicated associate or relationship manager will review your application and work with you to ensure everything is complete and processed as quickly as possible.

  • Once your application is complete Wells Fargo has 60 days to review your application, including documents, and submit your loan forgiveness application to the SBA.
  • After Wells Fargo submits your loan forgiveness application to the SBA, you will receive an email confirmation. The SBA has up to 90 days to review the application. 
  • Wells Fargo will notify you within five business days of receiving any loan forgiveness amount from the SBA, or if the SBA determines that the loan is not eligible for forgiveness.
  • You may appeal the SBA’s decision within 30 days.
  • If your loan is not completely forgiven, you’ll receive a statement from Wells Fargo with the amount and date of your first payment for the unforgiven portion. Your PPP loan will operate just like a traditional term loan with monthly payments to Wells Fargo.

Loan Forgiveness Preparation Checklist

Wondering what you’ll need to apply for forgiveness? Discover which form to use, and what documents you’ll need. 

View the Checklist (PDF)

Small Business Resource Center

Find expert insights and analysis, webinars, and guidance to support you so you can recover, rethink and rebuild stronger. 

View Resources


Learn more about PPP and loan forgiveness

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Loan Forgiveness Center

What you need to know about PPP loan forgiveness

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