North Carolina Disaster Survivors: Submitting an SBA Loan Application is Key to Recovery


If you’re a Hurricane Matthew survivor in North Carolina who registered with FEMA and you’ve been referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration for a low-interest disaster loan, you should complete and return the loan application as soon as possible.

Obtaining a low-interest disaster loan may be the solution to your recovery needs by providing you the necessary funds for home repair, rebuilding and property loss. Returning the completed application also may enable you to qualify for FEMA disaster recovery grants that do not have to be repaid.

If you are a homeowner or renter and SBA determines you cannot afford a loan, you may be considered for FEMA’s other needs assistance program, which provides grants for disaster-related medical and dental care, funeral costs and vehicle repairs. You also may be eligible for assistance from other organizations, too.

There is no requirement to take out a loan if one is offered from SBA. If you are approved for a disaster loan, you have the option not to accept the loan.

Next to insurance, SBA is the primary source of funds for real estate property repairs and replacing lost contents following a disaster. Renters and homeowners alike may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Homeowners may be eligible for low-interest loans up to $200,000 for primary residence structural repairs or rebuilding.

There are important reasons for you to file the loan application (even if you don’t think you currently need a loan):

— Your insurance settlement may fall short. As you began to recover from the effects of your personal disaster, you may discover that you were underinsured for the amount of work required to repair or replace your home. An SBA low-interest disaster loan can cover the gap.

— SBA will work with you to provide a loan that fits your personal budget. If you already have a mortgage on damaged property, SBA specialists can help with a low-interest loan you can afford.

Interest rates for loans for homeowners and renters can be as low as 1.563 percent.

Refinancing and relocation loans may be available on a case-by-case basis. Survivors are encouraged to speak with an SBA representative for details.

For more information, call the SBA at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 TTY). Homeowners, renters and businesses may visit SBA’s secure website https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ to apply online for disaster loans.

Register with FEMA for help or information regarding disaster assistance:

— Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

— Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for voice, 711 and Video Relay Service (VRS). If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585.

— Download the FEMA Mobile App and apply.

If you’re a business owner, you may be able to borrow up to $2 million from the SBA for physical damage and economic injury.

The easiest way to apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan is to visit a FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) or an SBA Business Recovery Center (BRC) and meet with an SBA representative in person. SBA has staff at all DRCs and BRCs to help you with your application. To find the closest DRC go online to fema.gov/drc or ncdps.gov/.

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