Main Street Lending Program clarifies Fed and Treasury expectations regarding lender underwriting; also implements multi-borrower loan functionality

September 21, 2020

The Federal Reserve Board has updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) to clarify the Board and Department of Treasury's expectations regarding lender underwriting for the Main Street Lending Program. The revised FAQs emphasize that lender underwriting should look back to the borrower's pre-pandemic condition and forward to their post-pandemic prospects. The FAQs also clarify supervisory expectations for lenders originating Main Street loans (Off-site).

The revised FAQs were developed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Also, the Main Street program now includes the functionality to support multi-borrower loan structures, meaning the program now permits the submission of loans made to multiple co-borrowers. Further guidance is available in the Instructions for Lender Required Documentation (Off-site, PDF) and the For-Profit Business FAQs (Off-site, PDF) and Nonprofit Organization FAQs (Off-site, PDF). We encourage all eligible financial institutions to explore this program’s potential to help them serve the businesses and organizations in their markets during these challenging times.

Visit (Off-site) to find program information, including frequently asked questions, and to subscribe for e-mail updates. Inquiries about the program can be emailed to

The program supports lending to small and medium-sized for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations that were in sound financial condition before the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers several five-year loan options, with deferred principal and interest payments for qualified businesses and nonprofits to allow borrower's time to recover from the pandemic.

The Federal Reserve encourages registered lenders to submit qualifying loans to nonprofit organizations and for-profit entities in the program’s lender portal. The Federal Reserve stands ready to purchase 95 percent of eligible loans.