Business Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

As the Bounce Back Loan Scheme has now ended, we are no longer able to accept applications for Bounce Back Loans, or for Top Ups. Please note, applications received by 23.59 on 31 March 2021 can still be processed through to 23.59 on 14 April 2021. If you have applied for a loan before 31 March 2021, you should hear from us soon. To check for an update, please see the Loans section of your Online Bank.

If you already have a BBL, you can access Pay As You Grow options including changing of your term to 10 years and taking repayment holidays - Find out more about Pay As You Grow options, including how to apply.

Please visit our money worries page. The best thing you can do is get in touch with us.

Office with rainbow picture frame

Repaying your Bounce Back Loan

You received a payment holiday for the first year of your loan, with the interest being paid for by the Government via a Business Interruption Payment. After the first 12 months, you will need to start making monthly repayments to repay the amount you borrowed, plus interest from the date your repayment holiday ends.

We will send you a repayment schedule outlining your options, around three months before your first payment is due.

Please note you do not need to contact us in advance.

If you no longer need the loan, you can choose to pay it back early. You’ll then pay less interest. There are no early repayment charges and you won’t pay any interest if you pay the full amount before the end of your initial 12-month repayment holiday.

Or you can make a one-off repayment, as well as additional payments on a regular basis, and doing so will also help save you money on your interest payments.


Your other repayment options

Pay As You Grow

The Government has announced Pay As You Grow options for Bounce Back Loan borrowers to help businesses get back to regular trading. Pay As You Grow could give you more time and flexibility to pay back your loan.

Pay As You Grow options will be available to you once you start to repay your Bounce Back Loan, from 12 months after it was first approved.

Using these options won’t affect your credit score, or negatively affect your credit file. We may use requests for Pay As You Grow options to help us assess affordability in future lending applications, for example we will take into consideration incomings and outgoings, including existing debt repayments such as the Bounce Back Loan, and also your total debt exposure, which will include the outstanding Bounce Back Loan.

The options available to you when you are due to make your first payment after 12 months are as follows:

1. If you expect to be in a better position to repay in the future:

a) You could reduce your monthly repayments for six months by paying interest only.

  • This option is available up to three times during the term of your Bounce Back Loan.

OR: 

b) You could take a payment holiday for six months.

  • This option is available once during the term of your Bounce Back Loan.

2. If you’re only able to repay a smaller amount:

You could request an extension of your loan term from six years to 10 years at the same interest rate of 2.5%.

If you’re considering this option you should think carefully about your ability to repay over a longer timeframe, taking into account such things as if you intend to cease trading or retire within the revised term of your Bounce Back Loan.

Please note for all three options that the total amount you owe will go up. This is because your interest costs increase as you’re repaying your loan over a longer period.

You can use options 1 and 2 together if you need to.

To see how your repayments could be impacted by selecting one of these options try our BBLS Pay As You Grow repayment calculator.

For more information on Pay As You Grow, visit our FAQs.


We’re here to help

If you’re worried about your finances, please get in touch by sending us an in-app message. If you’re in financial difficulty and need support, please contact our specialist team on 0204 506 8350 (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm; Saturday 9am-5.30pm) or email us: businesslendingsupport@starlingbank.com.

You can also contact the following organisations for free advice:


Other business finance support options

In addition, the British Business Bank has a range of guidance and resources available to all businesses, including content on managing your cashflow and a list of independent advice services. 


Reminder of your Bounce Back Loan terms and conditions

When you applied for your Bounce Back Loan, you declared that you understood that:

  • You are fully liable for all repayments, and if you are unable to meet these obligations, this could negatively affect your credit score.
  • The 100% government guarantee is provided to cover any losses the lender makes and does not cover any losses that you might suffer if you are unable to meet your payment obligations.
  • We would not carry out any affordability checks on your application.

Find out more information in our FAQs on repaying Bounce Back Loans.

Read more about Pay As You Grow options.

If you are experiencing money worries please read our support content.


Key features of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme

  • Loans of between £2,000 to £50,000, up to a maximum of 25% of your business’ annual (calendar year) turnover, to be used as working capital or as an investment in your business, or to refinance loans used for such purposes
  • The rate of interest is fixed at 2.5%
  • The loan will be interest free for the first 12 months, as the interest will be claimed by Starling, on your behalf, from the government
  • The loan will also be free of capital repayments for the first 12 months, meaning you won’t need to make a repayment during this time
  • The loan term is six years, but you have the right to pay back the loan sooner with no early repayment charge.

If you struggle to make repayments after the first 12 months, you may have the following options in line with proposals announced by the Government and the British Business Bank:

  • You will be able to extend the term of your loan to 10 years
  • You will be able to take one capital and interest repayment holiday of up to 6 months after you have made a repayment on your loan
  • You will be able to take up to three interest repayment holidays of up to 6 months

These options are not yet available to customers. Please do not contact us at this time to request these options.

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Your rights

All lending is subject to status, availability, our lending criteria and the BBLS eligibility criteria.

The right to decline any application is reserved. BBLS Loans are not subject to the usual consumer protections that apply to business lending and as such you will not have the benefit of the protection and remedies that would otherwise be available to you under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 or the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Should you wish to make a complaint, please visit our How to complain page which includes details of our complaints handling procedure and your right to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.


The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is 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. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA. Visit british-business-bank.co.uk..

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Important information

Here’s what we’ll do when you take out a Bounce Back Loan:

  • We’ll monitor all the repayments you make and offer help and advice if you’re having trouble repaying.
  • If we identify you as a vulnerable person, we’ll make adjustments to reflect your personal circumstances.
  • If you default, we’ll give you a fair period of time to fix the problem. As long as the repayment is made during that time, we won’t mark it as a default on your record.
  • We won’t ask you to pay lender fees or interest (even if you default), but if the Bounce Back Loan isn’t repaid when it’s due, we will charge interest at 2.5% a year, and stop charging it as soon as you’ve repaid.
  • We’ll provide information in a way that’s clear, fair and not misleading.

Here’s the information we’ll give you about your Bounce Back Loan:

  • Clear guidance if you miss a repayment on your loan. This includes information about the amount that’s been missed, what you can do if you’re having trouble with repayments (and in what timescales) and any impact on future repayments.
  • If you default, we’ll give you details about any action we’re taking, before we take it.
  • Regular information about your Bounce Back Loan (on at least an annual basis). This will take the form of a statement setting out details of the payment transactions during the period since such information was provided (or the date the Loan was advanced to you, if no such information has been provided previously) and amounts outstanding under your Bounce Back Loan.
  • The help and assistance options available to you, including sources of free independent advice.

The details above are for information purposes only.

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Bounce Back Loan Scheme FAQs

I’m a sole trader and have been asked to supply documentation

  •  Why do you ask for additional documentation for Sole Trader Bounce Back Loan applications?

    This allows us to verify that your business was trading on 1 March 2020, in line with the Bounce Back Loan Scheme guidelines. 

    If you were trading on or before 5th of April 2019 you will need to provide:

    • Your 2018/2019 Tax return (SA100)
    • Your 2018/2019 Tax calculation (SA302)

    If you started trading between 6th of April 2019 and 1st of March 2020 will need the 2019/20 SA100 and SA302. We know this is earlier than you would normally do your tax return, but it will help us verify your business.

    Relevant additional information:

  • As a sole trader, if I traded in 2018/19 and 2019/20 do I need to submit both tax returns?

    No, if you were established on or before 5th April 2019, you only need to submit your 2018/2019 tax return and tax calculation documents.

  • I’m a sole trader who has only just started trading. I don’t have my tax return, what documentation can I submit?

    For sole traders that started trading after April 2019, we are asking for you to file your 19/20 tax return so that we can verify your business. 

    Relevant additional information:

    We cannot process your loan application without this information. Even if you have not yet submitted your 2019/20 return, you will need to do so to complete your Starling Bounce Back Loan application.

  • Why do sole traders need to provide more documentation than limited companies?

    Limited companies are registered on Companies House and so we are able to assess when they were established. For sole traders, we require additional documentation to verify that the business was established.

  • What can I do if I don’t have a Unique Tax Reference (UTR)?

    If you can’t find your UTR on your documentation, please get in touch with HMRC.

  • My evidence is too large to upload to the application form and so my application still says “awaiting evidence” in the online bank. What can I do?

    Reduce the size of the file provided and re-upload or upload a portion of the document and send the remainder to bbls@starlingbank.com.

My business has been declined for a BBL

  • My latest accounts at Companies House were for a dormant company - why have you declined my business for a Bounce Back Loan?

    If your latest company accounts filed at Companies House were for a dormant business, your application will be declined because it would be difficult for a dormant company to prove that they comply with the eligibility requirements of the scheme. You cannot appeal this decision and we will not review any further documents supplied. We will only consider accounts filed at Companies House prior to your application.

  • I’ve been declined for a Starling Bounce Back Loan due to a duplicate loan with another lender - can I appeal this decision?

    Under the terms of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme Starling are obliged to consult a central record of all Bounce Back Loans to confirm that only one loan has been provided per business. Where this central record states that you have a loan with another provider we will not be able to accept your application, even if you appeal our decision. If another lender has incorrectly recorded that you have a Bounce Back Loan with them, you must contact the lender and request that they update their Bounce Back Loan records.

  • I’ve been declined a Bounce Back Loan. What do I do?

    If you’ve been declined with us, you’re unable to reapply for a Bounce Back Loan with Starling. Our decision does not prevent you from applying to another accredited BBLS lender.

Product information

  • Are you taking Personal Guarantees or any other security?

    No, we are not taking any Personal Guarantees or any other security under this scheme.

  • Is the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) different to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)?

    Yes - both schemes are run by the British Business Bank, but BBLS is designed to support smaller businesses. Through BBLS you can apply for a loan of £2,000 to £50,000. You can get a loan or overdraft over £50,001 via CBILS.

  • Are there any other options?

    A new debt finance programme, the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), was announced by the Government in the Budget on 3 March 2021. The Scheme, which will open on 6 April 2021, aims to support businesses affected by Covid-19 as they recover and grow following the pandemic. RLS supports a maximum facility size of up to £10m with minimum facility sizes starting at £1,000 for Invoice and Asset Finance and £25,001 for Term Loans and Overdrafts. Further information can be found on the British Business Bank website. Starling is in discussions with the BBB to offer Recovery Loan Scheme loans.

Application process

  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is now closed to new applications, including applications for Top-Ups.

  • I’ve been invited to apply, and have submitted an application. How long does the application process take?

    If you have been invited to apply, and have submitted a loan application, there are a number of checks we are required to do as part of the BBLS rules. We process applications as quickly as possible and some cases take longer than others. You do not need to take any action (such as rejoining the interest list) to speed up the process. Once approved you will receive an email from us and our aim is to get the funds to you as soon as possible after you have digitally signed the contract.

  • I have signed the documentation. How long will it be until the loan is paid into my account?

    We aim to pay out funds within one full working day after receiving your signed loan documents.

  • I have received an email saying my application has been accepted. How do I proceed and accept the loan?

    In order to sign your loan agreement. Please follow the steps below:

    • Please sign in to the online bank
    • Go to the loan tab
    • Review the loan documents
    • If you are happy with the contents of these documents, fill out all relevant sections at the bottom of the page and confirm your digital signature.
  • Is my business guaranteed to be accepted for a Bounce Back Loan?

    No, there is no guarantee your application will be accepted. There are a few conditions that the British Business Bank have set out, such as that your business operates in an eligible sector and that it’s not insolvent. We also need to complete a few checks to make sure applications aren’t fraudulent. So we have to take steps to make sure the borrower intends to repay the loan and that they have an operational business.

  • What checks will you carry out as part of the BBL application process?

    We will carry out our standard account opening checks on the borrower and key individuals as part of the application process (this will include credit checks on all Persons of Significant Control).

Loan repayments

  • Why do I see a scheduled payment for a Bounce Back Loan on my business account?

    These payments are the interest charges for the Bounce Back Loan. For the first 12 months of the loan, every month you will see interest debited, but Starling will credit your account with the same amount on the same day, so there is no change to the account balance. This will happen every month for 12 months starting exactly one month after you receive the Bounce Back Loan. This is because the Government will cover any interest payable in the first 12 months through a Business Interruption Payment to Starling Bank. From month 13 your loan payments will commence, which will include the principal repayment amount plus the interest. This is payable by you and will not be covered by the government or paid by Starling.

  • What happens if I miss a repayment?

    If you miss or expect to miss a repayment under your Bounce Back Loan Agreement, please get in touch with us straightaway to discuss it with our lending team. The risks of missing a repayment under your Bounce Back Loan Agreement are that we may:

    • Cancel our agreement with you and require you to repay the full amount of the Bounce Back Loan immediately;
    • Set off any amounts you owe us under the agreement against any funds you hold with us in other accounts;
    • Take enforcement action against you to recover any amounts you still owe if necessary;
    • Restrict your access to any other credit facilities you have with us and require you to immediately repay those facilities; and
    • Disclose information about your Bounce Back Loan to the credit reference agencies.

How much will a Bounce Back Loan cost me?

  • You will not need to make any (principal or interest) repayments in the first 12 months. During this time the loan will accrue interest but Starling will reclaim the interest from the British Business Bank on your behalf.
  • You will start paying your loan in month 13. For this loan, the cost of your monthly repayment is made up of two parts:

    • a principal repayment: you pay an equal amount each month until you have repaid all the capital over 60 months. We ‘round down’ costs, so if you can’t divide the total loan cost equally over 60 months, we’ll round the cost down to the nearest penny and then at the end of the 60 months we’ll adjust your final payment to cover the total cost of the loan.
    • an interest repayment: this is calculated at 2.5% fixed on the balance of your loan. At Starling we calculate interest daily based on your loan balance.
  • Your repayments will be made monthly and the monthly repayment amount will change each month as the loan is repaid over time.
  • When you apply for your loan you will receive a specific loan illustration for your application.
  • Below are some examples, to help you estimate the cost of your loan:

Monthly Capital Repayment

£5,000

£83.33

£10,000

£166.66

£25,000

£416.66

£30,000

£500.00

£40,000

£666.66

£50,000

£833.33

First interest payment

£5,000

£10.49

£10,000

£20.99

£25,000

£52.48

£30,000

£62.98

£40,000

£83.97

£50,000

£104.96

Total first monthly repayment

£5,000

£93.82

£10,000

£187.65

£25,000

£469.14

£30,000

£562.98

£40,000

£750.63

£50,000

£938.29

Total cost of loan to you

£5,000

£5,314.45

£10,000

£10,628.91

£25,000

£26,572.25

£30,000

£31,886.67

£40,000

£42,515.58

£50,000

£53,144.46

£5,000

£10,000

£25,000

£30,000

£40,000

£50,000

Monthly Capital Repayment

£83.33

£166.66

£416.66

£500.00

£666.66

£833.33

First interest payment

£10.49

£20.99

£52.48

£62.98

£83.97

£104.96

Total first monthly repayment

£93.82

£187.65

£469.14

£562.98

£750.63

£938.29

Total cost of loan to you

£5,314.45

£10,628.91

£26,572.25

£31,886.67

£42,515.58

£53,144.46

Please note, figures correct assuming drawdown on the 10th May 2020.

For this loan we will claim the first 12 months interest from the British Business Bank, this means the total cost of the loan is higher than the total cost to you. Here you can see what we will claim on your behalf.

Business Interruption Payment (claimed from BBB)

£5,000

£125

£10,000

£250

£25,000

£500

£30,000

£750

£40,000

£1000

£50,000

£1,250

Total cost of loan to you

£5,000

£5,314.45

£10,000

£10,628.91

£25,000

£26,572.25

£30,000

£31,886.67

£40,000

£42,515.58

£50,000

£53,144.46

Total cost of the loan

£5,000

£5,439.45

£10,000

£10,878.91

£25,000

£27,072.25

£30,000

£32,636.67

£40,000

£43,515.58

£50,000

£54,394.46

£5,000

£10,000

£25,000

£30,000

£40,000

£50,000

Business Interruption Payment (claimed from BBB)

£125

£250

£500

£750

£1000

£1,250

Total cost of loan to you

£5,314.45

£10,628.91

£26,572.25

£31,886.67

£42,515.58

£53,144.46

Total cost of the loan

£5,439.45

£10,878.91

£27,072.25

£32,636.67

£43,515.58

£54,394.46

Please note, figures correct assuming drawdown on the 10 May 2020.

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