Flood Damage Relief: SBA loans, disaster loan office open for Christmas flood victims in north Alabama

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SOMERVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A Disaster Loan Outreach Center opened in Somerville on Wednesday to help people apply for aid designated for victims of the Christmas flooding that impacted several counties across Alabama.

The relief loans come from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Those SBA loans can be used by non-profits and businesses, but they can also be used by homeowners and renters who were impacted by the flooding in the last week of December.

People who suffered losses in Cullman, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall and Morgan counties are eligible for this aid.

Businesses and non-profits are eligible for up to $2 million in credit with interest rates as low as 4% and 2.8% respectively.

Homeowners can get up to $200,000 for repairs or replacement of primary homes. They can also get up to $40,000 for personal property, including cars. Renters are also eligible for those personal property loans.

Again, they are loans and must be repaid, but for home and personal property loans, you could see interest rates as low as 1.8%.  The length of the loan is also longer than typical ones, possibly extending up to 30 years.

You do have to apply and have your damage assessed. An official with SBA tells us that your damage inspection should come within days of getting your application turned in to the administration. If approved, you should have a check within two weeks.

As far as submitting your application, you have a few options. You can go in person to the Disaster Loan Outreach Center at 24 High Street in Somerville.  This is the only location for the north Alabama counties.

The SBA has people there who can assist you in filling out your application and answer any questions in a face-to-face setting.

Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., weekdays; 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturdays and closed on Sunday.  The center will close Thursday, February 4 at 3 p.m.

You can also apply online though. This link takes you directly to the application.

If you have questions, call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or send an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.