SBA Disaster Loans Aren’t Just For Businesses

720px-US-SmallBusinessAdmin-Logo.svgTRENTON — Hurricane Sandy survivors in New Jersey who do not return their Small Business Administration disaster loan applications could be missing out on funds for their recovery.

Returning SBA disaster loan applications is a critical step for homeowners and renters who registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be considered for federal loans or grants.

SBA disaster loans are not just for businesses. They are the largest federal disaster recovery funds
for homeowners, who may be able to qualify for low-interest loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may apply to receive up to $40,000 for personal property losses.

Homeowners can receive an additional 20 percent of the approved loan amount for mitigation improvements including building elevation, retaining walls, seawalls, sump pumps and relocating utilities.

In some cases, the SBA may be willing to refinance all or part of a previous mortgage when the
survivor does not have credit available elsewhere and has suffered substantial disaster damage not covered by insurance.

Proceeds from insurance coverage on a survivor’s home will be deducted from the total damage estimate to determine eligible loan amount. The SBA is not permitted to duplicate benefits.

The simplest way to apply is online at More information is available by calling the SBA customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or TTY 1-800-877-8339. Help is also available by visiting a disaster recovery center for one-to-one assistance. Centers can be located by going to

Survivors can register with FEMA online at or via smartphone or tablet at They can also call 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

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