WINDSOR, Conn. – Hurricane Sandy survivors are putting low-interest disaster loans to good use.
The loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are being used to:
• Make home repairs not covered by insurance;
• Replace clothing, appliances and vehicles;
• Make improvements to reduce the risk of future damage; and
• Refinance existing liens or mortgages on homes.
SBA loans are the major source of federal disaster recovery funding and may be available for other uses as well. For example, renters may be eligible for loans to cover some of their personal property losses, including vehicles. There are also loans for businesses and nonprofit organizations as well.
Applications from the SBA are mailed to most survivors who register for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Returning the loan application is an important step in the recovery process because it may qualify the applicant for more FEMA grants. No one is obligated to accept a loan, if offered.
“Even the maximum amount FEMA is allowed to award won’t replace a home destroyed in a hurricane,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Albert Lewis. “Most disaster recovery is funded by low-interest loans from the SBA.”
SBA can lend homeowners up to $200,000 to repair or replace their home and up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.
Disaster loans have distinct advantages:
• Home loans are as low as 1.688 percent
• There are no points or application fees
• Loans are available before insurance settlements are made
• SBA can write loans based on the cost of replacing the home today
The deadline to file for an SBA Home Disaster Loan is Dec. 31.
SBA offers online application through its Electronic Loan Application site at https://DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ela. Survivors can call the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, or visit the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/sandy.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362. For TTY, call 800-462-7585.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private, nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and covers the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
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.