Posted at 11:07 AM
Applying for disaster recovery assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration just got easier thanks to revisions made to its electronic loan application, significantly reducing the number of screens an applicant must read while filling out the form.
“Our goal is to provide support for those rebuilding after a disaster, and we wanted to make the process more user-friendly,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. “Whether it’s a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or devastating flood, the SBA can step in to help communities get back on their feet by providing access to both home and business recovery disaster loans. To make the loan application process more streamlined and simplified, we have taken a different approach with the online applications. This improvement will make those first steps toward recovery more convenient.”
The new online application is easier to read, and users will spend less time filling out the form.
The original electronic loan application—launched in 2008—guided applicants through a series of 80 screens, based on responses to questions aimed at determining eligibility. Now, applicants for disaster assistance can fill out a form on SBA’s secure website that looks exactly like the paper application, four pages for home loans, and three pages for business loans.
Homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profits applying for disaster loans to cover losses to real estate and property, as well as economic injury, can access the form at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. There’s a “help” link at the top of each page, which directs users to a place where they can get questions answered. SBA’s Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan application is also available at the electronic loan application site.
Entering data is as secure as purchasing airline tickets online, since identity-proofing tools are used in the application. Questions about the electronic loan application can be directed to SBA’s Disaster Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SBA makes low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations of all sizes. More information about the disaster assistance program is available at www.sba.gov/disaster.