NEW YORK – Of the more than 161,000 low-interest U. S. Small Business Administration disaster loan applications sent to New York’s Hurricane Sandy survivors, fewer than 34,000 have been completed and returned.
SBA loans represent a major source of federal funding for disaster home repair and reconstruction. Applicants are urged to complete and return their applications as soon as possible.
Most SBA disaster loans go to individuals and families, and interest rates may be as low as 1.688 percent with terms up to 30 years.
The deadline for New York’s Hurricane Sandy survivors to apply for both FEMA assistance and an SBA loan is Jan. 28, 2013.
Some of the top reasons for submitting an SBA application by the deadline include:
- Your homeowner insurance settlement falls short. You may find out that you were under-insured for the amount of work it will take to repair or replace your damaged home. An SBA low-interest loan can cover the uninsured costs. By submitting the loan application, you may have loan money available when it is needed most. 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 past the application deadline.
- SBA can work with an applicant 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 an affordable low-interest loan package. In some cases, SBA can refinance all or part of an existing mortgage when the applicant has sustained significant damage to their house.
- 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.
It takes less than 30 minutes to fill out an application. A simple, fast, and very available way to complete the application is online, using the SBA's electronic loan application. Go to https://DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ELA. Plus, you can receive an update on the status of your application by calling 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing).
SBA customer service representatives are available to issue or accept low-interest disaster loan applications and answer questions at all New York State/FEMA disaster recovery centers and
SBA business recovery centers. To locate the nearest business recovery center, visit www.sba.gov or call 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing).
To find the nearest disaster recovery center, check out the disaster recovery center locator at www.FEMA.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or, with a tablet or smartphone, go to m.fema.gov. You may also text “DRC” and your Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). For example, if you lived in Staten Island, you would text: “DRC 10301.” Or call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).
More information is available by calling the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center toll-free number, 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing). Assistance is also available by sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or by visiting www.sba.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 hazards.
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-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.