One-on-one loan application help available for North Texas tornado victims

People affected by the October North Texas tornadoes can now get help with disaster loan applications.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing federal disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses that suffered damage in the storm.

Beginning on Monday, representatives from SBA will be at the Bachman Lake Library on Webb Chapel Road in Northwest Dallas are offering one-on-one help with loan applications.

People are getting assistance, but the numbers reflect there are likely a lot more people out there who need it but haven't reached out.

Some Northwest Dallas businesses are still in shambles and exposed to the elements with no signs of recovery.

“It's been two months now,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “People are tired and frustrated, but they need to know there are time limits on this.”

SBA applications will be accepted from businesses and homeowners until Jan. 13.

“You can get loans with no fees, no points, no closing costs at rates lower than you can get from any bank, regardless of your credit,” Jenkins explained.

Joe Harberg is one homeowner who got the message about the loans. He started his day at the Bachman Lake Branch Library.

“I’m looking for different ways to bring the trees back, landscaping,” he said. “Things that insurance don't pay for, the SBA will loan money for.”

SBA representatives are waiting to help.

“The staff here has been through a lot of experiences and knows what we're feeling and going through,” Harberg said.

Individual homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 for repairs. Homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000 to replace property. Businesses and non-profits can borrow up to $2 million.

So far, the SBA says about 40 homeowners are approved for loans totaling $1.9 million.

For businesses, the vetting takes a little longer. Only one business so far has been approved. That loan is for $100,000, but about three dozen more businesses are in the pipeline.

“For a business that can't pay their bills on time, guess what we do? We are helping them pay their bills on time,” said Susheel Kumar with the SBA. “The only thing they can't do with an economic disaster recovery loan is put it in your pockets.”

The Bachman Lake Library is the only center accepting applications. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

The deadline to apply for property damage assistance is Jan. 13.