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How to Get a Disaster-Related Loan

The government offers loans with interest rates lower than the private market

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The Small Business Administration will offer loans at favorable rates to victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
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 The Small Business Administration is making low-interest disaster-related loans available to victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Those affected by Hurricane Irma who live in certain parts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are eligible for SBA disaster loans. For Hurricane Harvey, those living in certain parts of Texas are eligible for the loans.

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There are a number of types of relief available from the agency: physical business loans to repair or replace disaster-damaged property; economic injury loans to help small businesses meet ordinary and necessary financial obligations; and home business loans to repair or replace disaster-damage real estate and personal property. Loans for physical businesses and economic injury are generally limited to $2 million, while home loans are limited to $200,000.

As of mid-September, about $300 million in disaster loans related to the hurricanes have been approved, said Eric Reece Jones, deputy chief of staff at SBA. More than 90 percent of that figure is for home loans, he said.

The loans, generally offered for a seven-year period, are offered at below private market rates, depending on the creditworthiness of the claimant as well as the nature of the repair or economic injury. Deadlines for applications vary depending on locality.

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