BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Tornado survivors not returning their loan application from the U. S. Small Business Administration may be saying no to potential federal assistance.
Some survivors may be counting on a future insurance settlement to cover all the costs of rebuilding. Maybe they don’t want a disaster loan or fear they can’t afford one. Or maybe they don’t know how to get help with the paperwork the SBA sent them.
But there are good reasons to submit a completed SBA loan application by the June 27 deadline.
SBA offers the disaster loans to tornado-affected homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations in the 43 Alabama counties with a federal disaster designation for Individual Assistance.
Some of the top reasons for submitting an SBA application by the deadline include:
- A future insurance settlement may fall short. You may find out that you were underinsured for the amount of work it takes to repair or replace a damaged home. An SBA low-interest loan can cover the uninsured costs. By submitting the loan application on time, you may have loan money available when it is needed. SBA can approve a loan for the repair or replacement of your home up to $200,000. Once your insurance settles, you may apply those funds to your disaster loan. However, the opportunity for an SBA disaster loan may be lost if you wait until after the application deadline.
- SBA can work with a homeowner to shape a loan that fits your personal budget. If you already have a mortgage on the damaged property, SBA specialists can work with you to come up with a low-interest loan package you can afford. In some cases, SBA can refinance all or part of an existing mortgage when the applicant may not qualify for a loan from commercial lenders, has suffered substantial uninsured or underinsured damage and intends to repair the property.
- SBA can help renters replace their essential items. Renters, as well as homeowners, may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
- By submitting your SBA loan application, you keep the full range of disaster assistance available as an option. If SBA does not approve a loan for you – or approves a small loan that doesn’t cover all of your needs – you may be referred to other programs that can provide grants to replace essential household items, replace or repair a damaged vehicle or cover storage expenses, among other serious disaster-related needs. But if you do not submit the loan application you received from SBA, the assistance process may stop.
For more information, homeowners and renters may call the SBA at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 TTY).
Applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Or homeowners and renters may visit SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ to apply online for disaster loans. Survivors should also register with FEMA; call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585 for the deaf or hard of hearing. Online registration is available at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
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 hazard...