McALLEN, Texas -- Disaster applicants who have received a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan applications should take the time to fill it out ? even if they don't want a loan or think they can't afford one.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management (GDEM), when an applicant is referred to the SBA, a loan application has to be completed before additional assistance options can be considered.
Filling out an SBA application does not guarantee that an applicant will be approved for a loan, nor does it mean they must accept a loan if they are approved. However, if a home loan application is declined, their case will usually be referred back to FEMA's grant programs to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs. A SBA loan can help cover your entire loss. ?However, an applicant must complete an SBA loan application.
SBA provides low-interest loans to cover the uncompensated losses for personal contents up to $40,000 for both homeowners and renters and up to $200,000 for homeowners for physical damage to their primary residence. The SBA also provides low-interest loans up to $2 million for uncompensated physical losses suffered by businesses of any size and private, non-profit organizations. Additionally, working capital loans are available for economic injuries sustained by small businesses in the declared counties and the adjoining counties. The declared counties include Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties, and the adjoining counties include Brooks, Kenedy and Starr counties. The combination of the two business loans cannot exceed $2 million.
Interest rates are as low as 2.687 percent for homeowners and renters, and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based upon each applicant's financial condition.
Anyone unable to visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), who has registered with FEMA, can obtain an application by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or 1-800-877-8339 for the hearing-impaired Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT.? Business loan applications can also be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road,
Fort Worth, TX, 76155.
Anyone from Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties who was impacted by Hurricane Dolly and has not yet registered for disaster assistance, should call FEMA's toll-free registration number at ?(800) 621-3362 (FEMA). Or, for the hearing- and speech-impaired, call TTY (800) 462-7585 and apply. Multilingual operators are available. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily until further notice. Application for disaster assistance can also be made by applicants with access to a computer by registering online at www.fema.gov. The deadline to register for FEMA Disaster Assistance is Sept. 30.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.