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Interest-free loans in Bulgaria

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Nearly 16,000 applicants have been approved under the government's anti-crisis program for interest-free lending to individuals. The total value of loans approved by commercial banks is a little over BGN 65.7 million.
As of mid-August, under the guarantee program managed by the Bulgarian Development Bank, 26,160 requests had been received from partner banks, 78 per cent of which were by persons on an employment contract, and the remaining 22% by self-insured persons. The average value of the loans is over BGN 4,100. The application period is until the end of 2020.
A total of 12 commercial banks are partners in the Guarantee Program for providing interest-free loans of up to BGN 4,500 to help people deprived of the opportunity to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are Allianz Bank, DSK Bank, Investbank, International Asset Bank, UBB, Municipal Bank, First Investment Bank, Postbank, Raiffeisenbank, D Commercial Bank, Central Cooperative Bank and UniCredit Bulbank.
The Bulgarian Development Bank does not consider loan applications, but includes loans already approved by commercial banks in the issued portfolio guarantee.
BDB concluded guarantee agreements with the program partners for BGN 136,095,000, of which nearly 50 percent have already been agreed. The remaining funds remain available for the implementation of the guarantee agreement, for providing guarantee limits to other banks, as well as for raising the limits of those who are already participants in the program, if they so wish.
The purpose of the measure is to support employees on unpaid leave and self-employed persons who have stopped working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have the opportunity to receive a loan of up to BGN 4,500, granted at once or in three tranches of BGN 1,500 each. The maximum repayment period is 5 years, with a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 24 months grace period. The loans are exempt from fees, commissions and penalties.
Applicants for interest-free loans must have been on unpaid leave or interrupted due to the pandemic. According to the updated requirements, those who wish can apply after returning to work. Self-insured persons must have at least a 20% drop in income in 2020, and all applicants are required to declare insurance for a period of 6 months ago.