As New Jersey continues to mend from Hurricane Sandy, there is only a week left to register for disaster assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA). All New Jersey survivors must register or return their loan application by Wednesday, Jan. 30 by midnight EST. Applications for the low-interest, federally funded disaster loans can be completed on the SBA website.
The SBA is in place because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may not cover all of the repair needs of homeowners. As stated in a January press release, “money for a temporary rental home is the form of help FEMA largely provides, so obtaining a low-interest SBA disaster loan is a survivor’s best option for repairing their home and replacing property.”
More about SBA
Despite the name, Garth MacDonald, public information officer at SBA, says that the loans are not just for small businesses. “[We] offer low-interest federal disaster loans to New Jersey residents (homeowners or renters), businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofit organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said MacDonald.
He says rates are as low as 1.688% for residents, 4% for businesses and 3% for private, nonprofit organizations. MacDonald also noted that loan applicants don’t need to wait for insurance claims to settle and there is no obligation to take the loan if approved.
The SBA typically processes home loans within 14 days and business loans within 18 days after they receive a completed application.
An SBA loan can be applied for before settling with an insurance company. For some businesses and nonprofit organizations the SBA may loan up to $2 million. Homeowners may be eligible for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their storm-damaged home.
Both homeowners and renters may be eligible for up to $40,000 for replacement of personal property like clothing, furniture, cars and appliances. Additional FEMA grants may be offered if an SBA loan is not approved.
More about FEMA
FEMA is in place for disaster survivors who may need to apply for grant assistance for temporary housing, essential home repairs, personal property losses and other disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.Anyone who has sustained a loss due to Hurricane Sandy should register even if they have insurance.