CBILS FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions 2021 [Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme]

Let’s dive straight in and answer all the most common CBILS FAQ that we get asked. Your business may qualify to apply for a business loan under the scheme, if it meets the criteria.

Its also possible to convert a bounce back loan into a cbils loan. This is all covered in the Q&A below.

Last updated 4th January 2021.

CBILS Frequently Asked Questions 2021

What does cbils stand for? What does it mean?


CBILS is an acronym which stands for ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme’. It is a government backed loan scheme, set up to assist businesses access finance during the pandemic.

Qualifying businesses can apply for loans under the scheme up to £5 million from a range of banks and specialist lenders. The government provides a guarantee to the bank and pays the first years interest and arrangement fees.

Click here to find out more and apply for a CBILS loan

What is a CBILS loan?


As explained above a CBILS loan is a government backed loan of up to £5 million. The main features of the scheme are the Government pays interest and fees for 12 months, no personal guarantees for facilities under £250,000 and terms up to 6 years.

Cbils how much can I borrow?


You still need to prove affordability for a CBILS loan, so the amount your business can lend will be turnover dependant. However under the scheme you can borrow up to £5 million, personal guarantees are not required for up to £250,000.

If you already have a Bounce Back Loan, this will be need to be repaid from any new CBILs lending as you cannot have both. Bounce Back Loans are up to £50,000.

When will cbils end? When does cbils close? How Long Are They Available?


The current end date for new applications is 31st March (at the time of writing 4th Jan 2021).

Although individual lenders may close to new applications prior to this date. Its also worth noting that approved lenders under the scheme have allocated lending limits and some have already used up their allowance.

Therefore if you are thinking of applying, please get in touch with us today. Click here to find out more and apply for a CBILS loan

What is the Cbils interest rate?

Unlike the bounce back loan, interest rates on CBILS loans are not fixed by the scheme and vary between different lenders. The rate you receive will be confirmed when a lender offer is made and may be depending on your businesses circumstances.

Advertised rates start from 1.8% to over 15% annual interest.

If you qualify under the scheme, the Government will cover the first 12 months interest on your facility via what’s called a Business Interruption Payment (BIP).

What can Cbils loans be used for?


According to the British Business Bank a CBILS-backed facility must be used to support trading ONLY in the UK. It cannot be used for overseas trade or ventures. So as long as its for legitimate UK business trading purposes, there is not a strict mandate on its uses.

Examples of what a CBILS loan can be used for:
– General cashflow, such as paying suppliers and employees
– Buying inventory, goods and stock
– Purchase or lease of property
– Developing or starting a new project
– Starting a new business venture or expanding an existing business
– R&D (Research and development)


Some lenders may also have additional restrictions and use purposes. You will need to check this when making an application. Apply for a CBILS today.

Can I have CBILS and BBLS?

No, you cannot have both a CBILS and Bounce Back Loan (BBL) at the same time. However you can apply for a CBILS loan and repay the BBL using some of the money received.

For example:

Company A – Already has a bounce back loan of £50,000

They are approved for a CBILS loan of £150,000

£50,000 goes towards repaying the BBL.

Company A receives £100,000 and now has just one outstanding loan of £150,000. The new repayment terms will apply as per the lending offer for the CBILS loan.

How long are CBILS loans?


The current maximum loan term offered under the scheme is 6 years. However different approved lenders under the scheme offer different terms, such as 2 years, 3 years and some up to the maximum 6 years. You will need to check when applying what the maximum loan terms is.

Also some lenders are offering no capital repayments for the first 12 months, this means the are no repayments at all in the first 12 months. This is because the interest is covered by the government.

Click here to get in touch to discuss your options.

How many CBILS loans can I have?


You can have more than one CBILS loan, there is technically no maximum. In reality the maximum number of CBILS loans you can have, will be dictated by the total amount you have borrowed rather than number of loans.

Your business could take out CBILS backed:
Asset Finance
Invoice Finance
Business Loan
Asset Refinance

For each application you will need to prove affordability either based on your 2019 turnover or other relevant financial information.

Can CBILS be used for an MBO?


Yes a CBILS loan can potentially be used as part of Management Buy Out (MBO). Its important that this is taking into account when apply, as not all lenders will support a finance application as part of an MBO.

There have been numerous reports in the news of MBO’s being funded by CBILS loan applications.

Contact Us today to speak with one of our funding experts about MBO finance.

Can CBILS be used for acquisitions?


Yes, in principle an existing business could use a CBILS loan or finance facility to purchase another business. The business making the acquisition would still need to meet the standard eligibility criteria. Also it would need to be within the UK and would ultimately be down the the bank/lender to approve.

To discuss making an acquisition with a CBILS backed loan, get in touch with one of our funding experts today.

Can CBILS be used for property?


Yes a CBILS loan can potentially be used for property transactions. This could either be for purchasing a trading premises with a commercial mortgage or for SME’s involved in real estate such as investors and house builders. For property investors more than 50% of income must come from commercial activity that generates turnover.

We have a number of lenders approved on the scheme, offering the following property related finance:

– CBILS Commercial Mortgages
– CBILS Development Finance
– CBILS Bridging Loans

Get in touch to see if you qualify.

Can I use CBILS to buy a business?


Yes it may be possible to buy a business using a CBILS backed facility. However it will depend on a number of factors such as the target businesses circumstances and how the deal needs to be structured. Given the potential complexity of such an application, its worth speaking professional advice.

See the Q&A’s above regarding MBO’s and acquisitions.

As an independent commercial finance broker, we can assist with all types of finance for buying a business. Click here to get in touch.

Are cbils loans still available?


Yes you can still apply for a CBILS loan until the 31st March 2021. Although the government has extended the scheme end date several time already, there is no guarantee that they will do so again. Also some lenders have backlogs of application and in the past have closed new applications early prior to the deadline.

When do CBILS applications close?


As of the time of writing, the current last day for applications to be submitted is 31st March 2021. Its possible this may be extended by the government (as they have done previously), but there it may close for good this time.

Will CBILS be extended?


The current scheme is due to end on 31st March 2021, there are currently no plans to extend the scheme beyond this. However the scheme has changed and been extended many time in 2020. To find out the latest close date, visit the British Business Bank website.

CBILS how does it work?


Provided you meet the qualifying criteria, you can apply for a CBILS loan of up to £5 million with one of the accredited loan providers. A guarantee is provided to the bank to encourage lending but the borrower remains 100% liable for the debt. The government pays the first 12 months interest & fees, also loans under £250,000 do not require personal guarantees from directors.

We can source a lender and apply on you behalf, click here to get in touch.

A full list of lenders is published here on the British Business Bank website.

Can CBILS be extended to 10 years?


No, you cannot currently extend a CBILS loan to 10 years. If when you begin to make repayments you are struggling to pay them. You must contact contact your loan provider to discuss your available options. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

How much CBILS can I borrow?


The official maximum loan under the CBILS scheme is £5 million. The maximum you can borrow without providing a directors personal guarantee is £250,000. However the maximum that your business can borrow will depend on affordability factors such as 2019 turnover and future expected income/contracts.

Click here to find out more and apply for a CBILS loan

CBILS – How long does it take?


The application process for applying for a CBILS loan varies between approved scheme lenders. If you need to access funds quickly, then you need to make sure you apply with a lender offering quick turnaround times. Some lenders are processing applications in as little as 2-3 days.

We can assist in getting quick assess to CBILS loans, call us on 01204 860113.

Which banks do CBILS?


There are currently 114 accredited lending partners approved by the British Business Bank to issue CBILS backed loans. However not all of them are open for new customer applications and some are restricted to certain types of finance and industries.

To find out which lenders may provide you with a CBILS backed loan, get in touch with one of our funding experts today.

A full list of the approved lenders can be found here on the British Business Bank site.

Are CBILS unsecured?


Yes a CBILS loan can be unsecured, if your business meets the eligibility criteria and passes the banks underwriting checks. For loans up to £250,000 no personal guarantees (PG) are required, loans above this may request a director PG.

However there are different types of CBILS finance and not all of it is unsecured. Security may be provided for CBILS backed finance such as:

– Invoice Finance
– Secured Loans
– Asset Finance
– Commercial Mortgages
– Development Finance

Can cbils be used to refinance?


Yes, in principle CBILS can be used to refinance existing debts in the business. This could be with or without additional borrowing, provided it improves the financial standing and/or cashflow of the business. The business will still need to meet the standard eligibility criteria and the new lender will need to approved the ‘purpose’ of the loan.

When will CBILS be withdrawn?


The scheme is currently due to be withdrawn on 31st March 2021. Although its worth noting that individual approved lenders could withdraw their offering at any time. Each has an allocated lending limit and also some have been know to get back logs of applications.

What is CBILS asset finance?


Its not just business loans that can be applied for under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. There are also a number of approved lenders that will provide asset finance for purchasing vehicles, machinery, equipment and other hard assets. Asset finance can also be used to refinance existing hard assets to release cash for other business purposes.

Asset Finance Can Be Used For:
– Vehicles such as Cars and Vans
– Equipment & Machinery
– HGV & Trailers
– Coaches & Buses
– Construction Equipment

Can CBILS be topped up?


Yes you can potentially get additional CBILS funding, provided your turnover supports it. However you may need to go to a different lender from your original loan provider, if they will not increase the loan size. You could also look at different types of CBILS backed funding such as invoice finance, secured property loans and asset finance.

What is the CBILS deadline?


It is currently 31st March 2021.

The information above is for education purposes only. Application criteria will vary between banks and is subject to change.

Information was only correct at the time of writing on 4th January 2021.

For full details of the scheme and to check for any update, visit the official CBILS website of the government owned British Business Bank.

Apply For A CBILS Loan Today

We can apply for a CBILS loan on your behalf and we will not charge you any broker fees.

As an independent broker we work with a wide range of CBILs approved lenders and can help you in sourcing a loan.

Fill in the form below and we will get in touch same day. Alternatively call us on 01204 860113.

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