Know Your SBA Disaster Loans

Those affected by local catastrophes such as tornadoes, floods, and fires may apply for SBA disaster loans.

The SBA provides loans to qualifying borrowers in federally designated disaster zones. You may use SBA disaster aid to repair property damage, personal property, equipment, and inventory.

An SBA Disaster Loan

After a declared catastrophe, the SBA funds an SBA disaster loan. Lenders to companies, nonprofits, homeowners, and renters get low-interest long-term loans.

Only SBA disaster assistance offers direct loans to applicants. Other SBA lending programs, including the 7(a) loan program, guarantee bank or other financial institution loans.

SBA catastrophe loans include:

Loans for Physical Disasters

Repair or replace real estate assets, such as:

  • Property
  • Fixtures for machines
  • Leasehold improvements

These loans are for losses not entirely covered by insurance. Small and large businesses, as well as most private NGOs, may apply.

Financial commitments that would have been satisfied but for the catastrophe are covered by Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs). Only small enterprises, agricultural co-ops, and private nonprofits qualify. You might get up to $2 million to pay running costs, but the amount depends on the SBA’s assessment of the business’s actual economic loss and financial requirements.

Personal and home loans

The SBA offers up to $200,000 in disaster-related loans to homeowners. Both renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to cover personal property damage. You may use the cash to improve or expand your house, but only if your local construction code allows it.

Military reservists’ economic injury disaster loans (MREIDL)

They are supposed to cover operational expenses if a key employee is called up to active service. The SBA may restrict the loan amount depending on the company’s interruption insurance or whether the business could run without the employee.

Pilot Bridge Loan Program (EBL)

This program permits eligible SBA lenders to expedite catastrophe loans up to $25,000 in times of need. These loans may help entrepreneurs get started as they look for longer-term finance.

Borrowers must be in a designated disaster area. Unlike previous catastrophe loan programs, the EBL Pilot Program provides loans via Express lenders, not the SBA.

SBA Disaster Loan Eligibility

Applicants must reside or operate a business in a region declared a disaster by the SBA. The SBA keeps track of current calamities.

The SBA Disaster Loan Process

SBA catastrophe loans are available online, in a disaster center, or by mail. Applying for the EBL Pilot Program is easy with an SBA Express lender. After that, the administration will check your credit. Good credit history is required to qualify for a catastrophe loan.

After assessing your credit, the SBA will send an inspector to your property to determine the overall damage. After the inspection, a loan officer will analyze any insurance payments or other financial aid to verify your loan eligibility. According to the SBA, it is possible to secure a loan approval before your insurance claim is resolved.

In most cases, the SBA responds within two weeks. To help you while you wait for long-term loans, the EBL Pilot Program was created. If accepted, you will be sent loan closing documentation to sign. The SBA may change your loan amount after closing depending on unforeseen expenses or insurance proceeds. The SBA will distribute $25,000 in business loans within five days after approval.

Deadlines: Typically, you have 60 days from the disaster declaration date to apply for a loan for physical losses and nine months for economic damages. The SBA will post the filing deadline on its website and materials.

Documents Required

What you tell the SBA depends on the loan you want.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide applicants with a Registration ID Number (FEMA). The SBA requires the following information from applicants:

  • Contact and personal details
  • Job and salary data
  • Damaged property address and insurance details
  • Cash, retirement savings, and automobiles
  • Mortgages, credit card debt, and installment loans
  • Child support, alimony, and tuition
  • Criminal records, delinquencies, and judgments

Applicants must supply the following information:

  • Postal code
  • Employer ID
  • Type of firm (corporation, partnership, etc.)
  • Insuring businesses (if your policy covers the disaster)
  • Owners’ personal and contact information
  • Statements of income
  • Liabilities and debts list
  • Recent corporate tax returns

The SBA may ask for current profit and loss statements, monthly sales statistics, or balance sheets. If the SBA asks for these records, you must respond within seven days.

Making SBA Loan Payments

Payments for catastrophe loans may be made online, via phone, or by mail.

  • Online: Make a payment at
  • Phone: 1-800-659-2955 (SBA Customer Service Center).

Send a cheque or money order to the SBA. Include your loan number and any payment coupons. SBA P.O. Box 3918 Portland, OR 97208-3918

Keep receipts and expenditure records for three years in case the SBA inquires. If the SBA decides you have misappropriated your SBA disaster loan, you may be required to return 150 percent of the loan amount.


  • What is an SBA catastrophe loan? Homeowners and business owners in disaster-stricken regions may apply for SBA loans. After a catastrophe, you may apply for a loan online or in-person to cover property damage or economic loss.
  • What are the SBA disaster loan requirements? The requirements for each form of SBA disaster loan vary. You must have good credit and provide access to your personal and company tax filings.
  • SBA catastrophe loans repaid. No, the SBA does not forgive catastrophe loans. These loans are payable over 30 years at up to 8% APR depending on your situation. Although the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program has ended, previous debts may be forgiven.