If you live in one of 20 Oklahoma counties designated for Individual Assistance as a result of the severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds and tornadoes occurring May 5 through June 4, be sure to complete your U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application. Discarding it could be like throwing away money.
Homeowners and renters in Atoka, Beckham, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Grady, Johnston, Kiowa, Le Flore, Marshall, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Oklahoma, Pittsburg, Pottawatomie, Seminole and Wagoner counties who register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may also receive an application for a low-interest loan from the SBA.
“Filling out the SBA loan application is a very necessary and important step for you to be considered for some other forms of disaster assistance,” said Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management Deputy Director and State Coordinating Officer Michelann Ooten. “Even if you have no intention of borrowing money, the information provided on the application is critical should other financial needs arise.”
Applicants should know:
- Loans of up $200,000, with interest rates as low as 1.688 percent, are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed primary residences. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations
- Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair/replace personal property;
- Businesses may borrow up to $2 million at interest rates as low as 4.0 percent for any combination of property damage or economic injury;
- Businesses that suffered economic distress in counties sharing a county line with those included a federal disaster declaration might be eligible for SBA loans; and
- The term of a low-interest disaster loan can be up to 30 years.
If the SBA is not able to approve a loan, you may be referred back to FEMA for some other type of disaster aid which could include assistance to repair or replace destroyed personal items such as clothing and vehicles.
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 disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
SBA specialists also are working at the 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.
Oklahoma homeowners and renters can register online at www.disasterassistance.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 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.