News Column

United States : Discarding your SBA Loan packet could be like throwing away money

May 17, 2014

Disaster recovery officials have a key message for homeowners, renters and business owners in the four Arkansas counties approved for individual assistance as a result of the April 27 severe storms: 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.

It s an easy mistake to make, because so many people assume the SBA is for businesses only, said State Coordinating Officer David Maxwell of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. The truth is, they also help renters and folks who own their homes.

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. If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be referred back to FEMA for some other types of disaster aid. Applicants may be approved for assistance to repair or replace destroyed personal items, such as clothing and vehicles. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair/replace primary residences if not fully compensated by insurance or some other source. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair/replace personal property. Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury. The term of a low-interest disaster loan can be up to 30 years.

Completing and returning the SBA application is an important step, even for those who don t know yet if they want a loan, said Federal Coordinating Officer Timothy J. Scranton. People who discard the application could miss out on FEMA grants that could be available to them.

Storm 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. That website is

SBA specialists also are working at the fixed and mobile Disaster Recovery Centers that are operating throughout the affected areas. They can answer questions regarding the disaster loan process, help residents fill out loan applications and accept the completed forms. For a complete list of locations, click on

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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