PURVIS, Miss. – Survivors of last month’s tornadoes, storms and flooding should know U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loan applications are not just for businesses; they are also for renters and homeowners. Most disaster loans go to individuals and families and represent a major source of federal funding for disaster home repair and reconstruction.
By submitting an SBA loan application, survivors may have access to the full range of disaster assistance. Interest rates may be as low as 1.688 percent with terms up to 30 years. If SBA does not approve someone – or approves a small loan that doesn’t cover all of recovery needs – a survivor may be referred to other grant programs to replace essential household items, replace, repair or store vehicles, or pay for other serious disaster-related needs.
SBA loans can be of vital assistance to renters; many of whom may not carry insurance. The 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.
The SBA can approve a loan for the repair or replacement of a home up to $200,000. Survivors may apply insurance settlements to their disaster loan. The opportunity an SBA disaster loan provides may be lost if disaster survivors wait past the application deadline.
A disaster loan also can help when a renter’s or homeowner’s insurance settlement falls short of covering assessed damages. An SBA low-interest loan can cover most uninsured costs. Survivors do not need to settle with their insurance company before applying for the SBA loan. By submitting the loan application, loan money may be available to renters and homeowners when it is needed most.
Of the more than 1,310 low-interest SBA disaster loan applications sent to Mississippi storm survivors, fewer than 130 have been completed and returned. FEMA registrants are urged to complete and return their applications as soon as possible.
The deadline for Mississippi storm survivors to apply for both FEMA assistance and an SBA loan is April 15, 2013. Loans do not have to be accepted but the applications may open doors to additional assistance.
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. SBA specialists are also available to assist with applications at Disaster Recovery Centers. For more information about the SBA disaster assistance program or your application, call 800-659-2955, or TTY 800-877-8339.
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.
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-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.