AUSTIN, Texas –State and federal disaster recovery officials have a key message for homeowners, renters and business owners in West, Texas: Complete your U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application — Discarding it could be like throwing away money!
After survivors register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), they may receive an application for a low-interest disaster loan from the SBA. The number one mistake people make is assuming these loans are only for businesses, or simply choosing to ignore the application because they do not want to take out a loan.
“People who discard the application could miss out on FEMA grants that could be available to them,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes. “SBA loans are an affordable means to pay for up to 100 percent of your uninsured or uncompensated disaster-related losses. Completing the application is free and easy, and you are not obligated to accept a loan if one is offered.”
Applicants should know:
Filling out the SBA loan application is a necessary step for homeowners and renters to be considered for some other forms of disaster assistance.
Loans up to $200,000 are available to eligible homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate.
Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.
Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.
If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be referred back to FEMA for some other type of disaster aid. Applicants may be approved for assistance
to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal items, such as clothing and vehicles.
Interest rates can be as low as 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.875 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
SBA representatives are on hand at the local State/Federal Disaster Recovery Center in West, Texas at POINTWEST Bank, 210 N. Roberts Rd. to issue loan applications, answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application.
Survivors who have questions about the application should call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or are hard of hearing can call TTY 1-800-877-8339. Survivors can also apply online using the electronic loan applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
McLennan County homeowners, renters, and business owners can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov, via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov, or by telephone via FEMA’s toll-free numbers: 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 1-800-621-3362. Disaster recovery specialists are available by phone daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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 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.
SBA is the federal government’s primary source of funding for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).