Royal Caribbean opened its loan program for advisors. Here's how to apply.

MIAMI SHIPS_C_HR [Credit: richard pross/]
Royal Caribbean International's Navigator of the Seas in Miami last year. Photo Credit: richard pross/

Applications are now being accepted for Royal Caribbean Group's no-interest loan program for travel agencies, Pay It Forward.

Royal earmarked $40 million for the program, announced in December, which offers loans of up to $250,000 to qualified agencies as the second part of its RCL Cares initiative, which it launched in April to help advisors navigate the Cares Act through one-on-one assistance from its sales teams.

Royal this week opened a dedicated portal within CruisingPower for agencies to apply for the loans. The primary requirements for eligibility are that the applicant be authorized to take a commercial loan, be in good standing with Royal Caribbean and have commission levels across the Royal be greater than $4,000 from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2019.

The loan amount will be capped at 25% of the applicant's commission earnings during that timeframe. For example, an agency with $4,000 in commission can apply for a $1,000 loan while an agency with $40,0000 in commission earnings during that time is eligible for a $10,000 loan.

Loan recipients will have a one-year grace period on having to make repayments. During the second and third years of the loan's term, monthly payments will be automatically deducted from the recipient's account. The program will remain open until all funds are used.

Royal said that loans can be used for a variety of business purposes such as payroll, rent, utilities and marketing, but not for personal expenses.

The program launched this week in all but four states -- California, Vermont and North and South Dakota -- plus Washington D.C. and Canada. Royal said all were under review and ready for launch.

"You'd think giving away money could be pretty easy," said Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean International's senior vice president of sales, trade support and service, during her weekly Coffee Talk with travel advisors. "There's a lot of regulations that go into this."

Freed said that the loan is available to all agency owners, including independent contractors, as long as they had a secondary phone field in their Royal profile prior to December 2019. She said status updates on the loans, which will be reviewed by a team of 150, should take about 10 days.

"We want to get you the money as quick as possible," she said. "We want to get it in your hands."

Jamie Biesiada contributed to this report


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