Tuesday, August 5, 2008

SBA Launches Electronic Disaster Loan Application

Disaster victims may now go online to file an application for recovery assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Acting Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today.

The electronic loan application can be accessed via the SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

Homeowners and renters who suffered damages to their homes and personal property following a declared disaster (by the President or the SBA Administrator) may apply for disaster loan assistance online. Businesses and non-profit organizations can go online to apply for assistance to cover losses to real estate and property, as well as economic injury.

“This online application provides a convenient alternative for disaster victims as they take their first steps toward rebuilding after a disaster,” said Acting Administrator Jovita Carranza.

The electronic loan application contains a feature that automatically checks errors, and prompts applicants when additional information is needed, guaranteeing a quicker loan-processing/decision time frame. On-screen help includes a glossary to explain terms that may be unfamiliar to the applicant.

Entering data to the electronic loan application is as secure as purchasing airline tickets online. When the user enters the Web site, a secure encrypted connection is established. Identity-proofing devices are also used in the application, which include the use of two pass codes by the applicant.

Paper disaster loan applications will still be mailed to disaster victims, and the package will include directions to the electronic loan application Web site. Questions about the electronic loan applications can be directed to SBA’s Disaster Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955, or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

For the latest news and information about SBA’s Disaster Assistance program, visit the Web site at http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/index.html.

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