SBA low-interest disaster loan may enable hurricane survivors to begin recovery

TALLHASSEE, Fla. – As a homeowner or renter you may be able to begin your recovery from Hurricane Michael immediately with a low-interest SBA disaster loan.

Eligible renters and homeowners alike may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Homeowners may apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence to its pre-disaster condition. SBA does not offer disaster loans for secondary or vacation properties.

Business owners who are eligible may apply for up to $2 million for the repair or replacement of buildings, inventories, machinery, equipment and all other physical losses.

You should start the loan process as soon as possible. Submit the SBA loan application even if you are waiting for an insurance settlement. SBA is not permitted to duplicate any benefits but may be able to fill the gaps for the items your insurance did not cover.

The SBA disaster assistance program helps with long-term, low-interest rebuilding and repair of damaged property. The sooner you return the completed loan application, the sooner SBA can process the application. SBA tries to make a decision on each application within two to three weeks. Make sure the application is complete, because missing information is a major cause for delays.

If your loan application is approved, you also may be eligible for additional funds to cover the costs of improvements that will protect your property against future damage.

Homeowners may be eligible for the re-financing of existing liens or mortgages on homes up to the amount of the loan for real estate repair or replacement.

The SBA loan application is the key to opening the door to other types of assistance. So, if you submit an SBA loan application but are not offered a loan, you may be considered for other FEMA grants.

Survivors can submit their SBA loan application online at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ela or when you visit one of the State-FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers, you can get immediate assistance to help you apply.

For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or visiting SBA’s website at sba.gov/disaster . Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800)877-8339.