COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted economic activity. The COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme is designed to support recovery by providing low-cost funding to businesses coping with the impact.

Scheme eligibility criteria will apply. All applications will undergo credit assessment and further information may be required. A guarantee premium, payable to the government, will apply.


Features and Benefits

Get access to low cost lending to help your business innovate and adapt.

  • Unsecured loans from €10,000 up to €250,000

  • Corporate loans from €250,000 up to €1,000,0001

  • Variable interest rate2

  • A guarantee premium* payable to the government, will apply

  • Interest only option.3

*For full detail, see our FAQs below

Learn More

How to Apply

You can apply for the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme through your Business Relationship Manager or your branch. If you’re seeking a loan of up to €120,000 and don’t have a relationship manager, you can apply online. Find out if you qualify for the scheme and the best way for you to apply.

Find out more

COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme FAQs


  • What is the Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted economic activity. The Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) was set up to encourage lenders to support recovery by providing low-cost funding to businesses coping with the impact.

    If your business has been affected by Covid-19, you can apply for a loan to:

    • fund working capital including liquidity needs
    • invest so your business can adapt
    • Refinance of debt incurred as a result of Covid-19: (e.g. Covid-19 related expenses that were initially funded through short term/temporary facilities such as overdrafts)

  • How long will it run for?

    It will run from 7th September 2020 until 31 December 2020 or until it is fully subscribed.

  • What loan terms are available?

    CGS loan terms range from 3 months up to 5 years and 6 months.

  • How much can I borrow?

    You can borrow loans from €10,000 up to €1,000,000 subject to eligibility criteria.

    Under the rules of the scheme as set out by SBCI, the loan amount you are seeking cannot be more than:

    1. 25% of your turnover in 2019, or
    2. Double your annual wage bill in 2019 or the last year available

    Your wage bill should include social charges as well as the cost of personnel working on site but formally in the payroll of subcontractors. For businesses set up after 1 January 2019, the loan cannot be more than the estimated annual wage bill for the first two years in operation.

    You can take out more than one loan, subject to the overall CGS limits per borrower and your capacity to repay.

  • What are the interest rates on CGS Loans?

    For loans less than €250,000 the Small Business and Agri Rate (SBAR) will be applied to a Margin of 2.12%. Giving an all in variable rate of 2.95%. For loans of or greater than €250,000 3 Month Bank Cost Of Funds (3M BCOF) will be applied with a Margin of 2.6%. Giving an all in variable rate of 2.75%*

    *Details given above are applicable as at 8/9/2020. Both Reference Rates are published daily and are available here.

  • Do I need to provide security?

    Loans up to and equal to €250,000
    Unsecured loans of up to €250,000 are available.

    Loans above €250,000 to a maximum of €1,000,000
    Security may be required.

  • What is the government guarantee premium?

    A guarantee premium4, payable to the government, will apply to all CGS loans. It represents the cost to the government of providing the 80% guarantee to participating lenders.

    This premium is payable in addition to your loan repayments. We will collect it quarterly by direct debit and pass it on to the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) who will pass on to the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation.

    The premium will be determined by:

    • the type of beneficiary
    • the term of the facility
    • the loan amount outstanding

    You can get more information on the government guarantee premium from the SBCI.

  • What is the difference between SMEs and Mid-Caps?

    SMEs are defined by the Standard EU definition [Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC] as enterprises that:

    • Have an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million.
    • Are independent and autonomous i.e. not part of a wider group of enterprises.
    • Have less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies.
    • Is established and operating in the Republic of Ireland.
    • A Small Mid-Cap is an enterprise that is not an SME but has fewer than 500 employees.

  • Does the CGS apply to BoI customers only?

    No, non-Bank of Ireland customers can also apply for a CGS loan.

  • Can I make interest-only payments on a CGS loan?

    Interest-only and capital and interest moratoriums will be available for up to 12 months on loans of less than €250,000, at the bank’s discretion.

  • Can the CGS be used to refinance?

    The scheme will permit refinance of debt incurred as a result of Covid-19: (e.g. Covid-19 related expenses that were initially funded through short term/temporary facilities such as overdrafts)

  • Do I qualify for a CGS loan?

    To qualify for a CGS loan, you must be able to confirm that your business:

    • Was viable and not in financial difficulty on 31 December 2019*
    • Can return to viability in the future
    • Has seen or will see its actual or potential turnover or profit reduced by at least 15% due to Covid-19

    If you don’t qualify for a CGS loan, you can still apply for one of our standard business loans. Find out more.

  • What is state aid?

    Funding for the CGS is provided under the EU Commission Temporary State Aid framework. See here for further details.

    If you have received state aid in the past, you will have received a letter from the public agency that provided it. These include Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia or your Local Enterprise Office.

  • What is a NACE code?

    NACE, or the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community, is the European Union’s system for classifying different business sectors. You can get a list of eligible NACE codes for this scheme from the SBCI. Click here to access.

  • How do I apply?

    There is no need to get in touch with the SBCI. You can apply directly through the bank.

    You can also apply online for loans up to €120,000. Contact your branch or business relationship manager to apply for a loan over €120,000.

    We may need some documents to help us make a decision about your loan application. These may include:

    • 2019 Management Accounts; or
    • 2019 Certified Accounts; or
    • 2019 Audited Accounts

    In certain cases, a business plan may be required. Get help to draw up a business plan.


Bank of Ireland is not for responsible for information provided on third party websites.
Level of security required and rate applicable, will be determined by the amount, purpose & term of facility, in conjunction with the nature and value of the security being offered.
Over 18 years only. Lending criteria, and terms and conditions apply. Maximum credit of €120,000 available for online applications.

WARNING: THE ENTIRE AMOUNT THAT YOU HAVE BORROWED WILL STILL BE OUTSTANDING AT THE END OF THE INTEREST-ONLY PERIOD.

WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT MEET THE REPAYMENTS ON YOUR CREDIT FACILITY AGREEMENT, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL GO INTO ARREARS, THIS MAY AFFECT YOUR CREDIT RATING WHICH MAY LIMIT YOUR ABILITY TO ACCESS CREDIT IN THE FUTURE.

WARNING: THE COST OF YOUR REPAYMENTS MAY INCREASE.

*In derogation to the foregoing, aid can be granted to Micro or Small enterprises (within the meaning of Annex I of the General Block Exemption Regulation) that were already in difficulty on 31 December 2019 provided that they are not subject to collective insolvency procedure under national law, and that they have not received rescue aid or restructuring aid

1 Security may be required.
2 The Reference Rate and Margin will be determined by the loan size. For loans less than €250,000 the Small Business and Agri Rate (SBAR) will be applied to a Margin of 2.12%. Giving an all in variable rate of 2.95%. For loans of or greater than €250,000 3 Month Bank Cost Of Funds (3M BCOF) will be applied with a Margin of 2.6%. Giving an all in variable rate of 2.75% Note: Details above correct as at 8/9/20. Both Reference Rates are published daily here.
3 Interest only and Capital and Interest moratoriums for up to initial 12 months at the start of your loan at the Bank’s discretion.
4 Where a Guarantee Premium is not paid and/or remains unpaid it is an Event of Default under the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme Loan Facility and the loan could become repayable in full.