Disaster Assistance Loans Still Available: All You Need to Know

  • There is still time to apply for a FEMA and/or SBA Disaster Assistance loan. According to the organizations:
  • Interest rates are as low as 1.25% for homeowners and renters, and as low as 3% for businesses, and are 2% for non-profits, with terms up to 30 years.
  • Terms are up to 30 years to make payments affordable, but there are no prepayment penalties for those who wish to pay off their loans early.
  • Disaster loans are for un-insured and un-compensated losses such as driveways, culverts, septic systems, wells, sheds, garages, fencing, decks, private bridges that allow access to a primary residence, etc. All are eligible under the disaster loan program.
  • Survivors can add 20% of the amount of their verified losses to their loan to make mitigation improvements to their property, such as a safe room or storm shelter, French drain, sump pumps, etc.
  • The first payment is not due until 18 months from the date of the Note; however, interest accrues during that period, and no collateral is required for loans of $25,000 or less.
  • Survivors can apply online at disasterloan.sba.gov; call the SBA Customer Service Center, 800-659-2955, 7 days/week, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. ET – or email to FOCE-Help@sba.gov   
  • SBA staff are available by phone to help survivors apply.  Email to FOCE-Help@sba.gov to make an appointment for assistance.
  • Businesses that apply for a physical disaster loan are automatically considered for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan; they do not have to put in a separate application.

In Primary Counties, all loans are available for businesses of all sizes, non-profits, faith-based organizations, homeowners and renters. These include:

Breathitt, Clay, Estill, Floyd, Johnson, Lee, Magoffin, Martin, and Powell in KY

In Contiguous Counties, only Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are available to small businesses and non-profits:

Bell, Clark, Jackson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Leslie, Madison, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, and Wolfe in KY, and Mingo and Wayne in WV

  • There are three different types of loans available:
  • Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment.  Businesses of any size are eligible.  Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible. The law limits business loans to $2,000,000.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.  These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.  
  • Home Disaster Loans – Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles. Visit the site to view the credit requirements and get the interest rate information.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.

Loan applications can also be downloaded at sba.gov/disaster.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is June 22, 2021.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is Jan. 24, 2022.