ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. -- For many North Carolinians recovering from flooding from Tropical Storm Nicole, completing a disaster loan application is an essential step.
Funds to repair or replace flood-damaged real estate and personal property (including automobiles) may come in the form of low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
A completed SBA loan application is a critical component to be considered for some financial disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Homeowners and renters who receive SBA loan applications are encouraged to complete and return them to be considered for FEMA assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement and moving and storage expenses.
Registering with FEMA is the first step in seeking federal financial disaster assistance. It can be done online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Registration help is also available at Disaster Recovery Centers in all 10 designated counties.
Homeowners, renters, business and nonprofit organizations of all sizes in all designated counties can apply for SBA loans to pay for disaster-related damages. People with home-based businesses or rental property who have been affected by the storms may also be eligible for SBA loans.
Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property lost in the disaster.
Business owners can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA also provides small business owners and most private nonprofit organizations Economic Injury Disaster Loans for ongoing business expenses to recover from the economic impact of a disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available even if the businesses didn't sustain physical damages.
Loan amounts and terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. Interest rates are as low as 2.5 percent for homeowners and renters and as low as 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent for nonprofits. Payment terms as long as 30 years are intended to make the loans affordable.
FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for disaster-related medical and dental expenses and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan.
However, applicants who receive SBA home loan applications must complete and submit them to SBA to be eligible for FEMA assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
SBA representatives at all Disaster Recovery Centers will help individuals complete and submit loan applications and answer any questions.
The SBA Disaster Customer Service Center toll-free number is 800-659-2955 or (TTY) 800-877-8339. Help is also available by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by going online at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
Loan applications can be made online at SBA's secure website: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.