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FAQ regarding the interest-free loans

 
Eligibility of applicants

 

Can I apply for an interest-free loan at the office of the Bulgarian Development Bank?

The Bulgarian Development Bank does not consider loan applications, but includes loans already approved by commercial banks in the issued portfolio guarantee.

Can a pensioner apply for interest-free lending?

Yes, regardless of whether he/she is employed under an employment contract or is self-employed.

Does the type of benefit (pension) received matter?

No, as long as the individual meets the other criteria of the Program.

The commercial bank I applied to refused to grant me a loan. What to do?

It is important to know that such an event does not prevent you from applying again to the same or another partner bank in the program. Find out what the reason for the refusal is, it is often remediable. You can seek advice and assistance both from the bank you have applied to and from BDB at office@bdbank.bg or complaints@bdbank.bg. The BDB team will review your case.

The bank refused to grant me a loan because my employer was not in line with my social security contribution payments. Is it possible for me to apply again after my employer has fulfilled its obligations?

Yes, you can apply again to the same or another partner bank in the program. It is important to know that you can get a loan under the Program only from one commercial bank.

The program says that no fees and commissions are due, but the commercial bank charged me. Why?

There are no fees for reviewing and granting the loan, no fees for its management and repayment, including no fee if you decide to repay it early. Each commercial bank charges different fees for opening and managing accounts, which are not covered by the program.

Can I apply if I receive a side income from rent but am on unpaid leave?

Yes, you can. For the bank to which you are applying, you not being able to perform labor activity and, thus, to receive remuneration for it, is the decisive factor. Rental income is not income from employment and does not preclude you from being able to apply for the program.

Must I have a good credit score to apply?

No, you must not. However, due to the strict regulatory requirements imposed on them, commercial banks can take into account the credit history and payment behavior of the applicant before the COVID-19 pandemic and offer the applicant another loan of less than BGN 4,500, but not less than BGN 1,500.

Can I apply for a loan if I have another loan in arrears or personal bank account seizures?

Yes, you can. In case of seizure for personal debts, you must declare to the bank that you know and agree that the loan funds be used to repay your personal debts under such seizure.

Can I apply for an interest-free loan if I was on unpaid leave but have returned to work?

Yes, you can. According to the changes in the rules, you can now apply for a loan if you have returned to work. It is important that you were on unpaid leave after March 8, 2020.

Can I apply for a loan if I am employed under a fixed-term employment contract, a probationary employment contract or a part-time employment contract?

Yes, you can, as long as you meet the conditions of the program – you are or were on unpaid leave, do not take advantage of any other government measure related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and declare that you will return to work in the same company.

Can people with dual or foreign citizenship receive an interest-free loan?

Yes, they can, if they work legally in the country and meet the other requirements of the program. These individuals must also have a permanent address on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Why did BDB refuse my loan?

BDB neither approves nor refuses loans under the program. It includes the loans sent to it by the commercial banks in a portfolio guarantee issued by it.

 
Documents for self-employed persons
Is there a form certifying my registration as a self-employed person?

Self-employed persons within the meaning of the Social Security Code are: persons registered as exercising free professions and/or crafts; persons exercising labor activity as sole traders, owners or partners in business companies, and natural persons - members of unincorporated companies; the persons who are taxed under Art. 26, para. 7 of the Individual Income Tax Act; farmers and tobacco producers duly registered (Art. 4, para. 3, subpara. 1, subpara 2, subpara. 4 of the Social Security Code).

Each person belonging to any of the groups above must certify to the bank this capacity and that they are registered with the National Revenue Agency (NRA). Please note that in order to discontinue activities due to Covid-19, the person must be registered as self-employed beforehand. The registration form is available in NRA’s electronic services portal and can be found at the following link – Self-employed Registration Declaration.

 

Are the registration form and the Declaration for discontinued activities of self-employed persons the same document?

Yes, they are. In case of discontinued self-employment activities, you must fill in the declaration within 7 days from the discontinuance and submit it to NRA. It can be submitted electronically if you have a PIC (personal identification code), or on paper by mail or at an office of NRA.

What are the criteria for a 20% drop in income?

They depend on the type of profession or work activity. The starting point will be the annual tax return submitted for the year 2019. Based on documents submitted to NRA, primary and/or secondary accounting documents, receipts/statements for received remuneration/fees, etc. for 2019 and 2020, it will be estimated whether there is decrease compared to the previous year.

In the loan application form provided by the commercial bank, you declare a 20% drop in income. Please enclose thereto all the documents that prove the decrease in income.

 

Documents regardless of whether the applicant is employed under an employment contract or is self-employed
 

Is there a declaration form for paid social security contributions and if so - where can it be found?

In the loan application, which will be provided to you on the spot in the commercial bank you are applying to, you declare that you have paid social security contributions.

The Bank will check this circumstance in a regulated accessible database of the National Social Security Institute(NSSI)/NRA. The data will be provided to the bank remotely after you give your written consent for the processing of your personal data.

 

Documents for employees on unpaid leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic
 

How can I get a certificate from NSSI for the existence of an employment relationship for six months back?

You declare the existence of an employment relationship for six months back in your loan application, which will be provided to you on the spot in the commercial bank you are applying to.

The bank may request and obtain from NSSI a certificate of existing and terminated employment contracts. The data is provided to the bank based on a contract concluded with NSSI and a written consent given by you to the bank for the processing of your personal data.

Is there a declaration form for unpaid leave taken due to the pandemic?

You declare that you are on unpaid leave because of the pandemic in the loan application form provided to you on the spot in the commercial bank you are applying to. You also attach to your loan application a copy of the document certifying the unpaid leave. There are no special requirements for its content – as issued by your employer.

Is there a declaration form for suspension (in whole or in part) of my employer?

Yes, there is. It is included in the loan application form you fill in when applying.

Is there a declaration form that I do not receive remuneration for work under other legal relationship?

Yes, there is. It is included in the loan application form you fill in when applying.

Is there a declaration form for my intention to return to the same job/resume the discontinued activities?

Yes, there is. It is included in the loan application form you fill in when applying.

Is there a declaration form that on the date of applying for a loan under the Program I was not taking advantage of another measure provided by the state for individuals in connection with the pandemic?

Yes, there is. It is included in the loan application form you fill in when applying. “Another measure" should be understood as a similar aid related to your inability to work due to the pandemic.

Do I have to attach additional documents to the loan application and what kind?

A valid identity document (copy of ID card or passport) and, as the case may be, a copy of the employment contract, a document evidencing the unpaid leave; registration document, if you are a self-employed person, declaration for discontinued activities of a self-employed person/declaration for discontinued operations of an enterprise, documents evidencing decease in your income, whichever is relevant.

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