FEMA to SBA Disaster Loan team. Is it better to apply directly to SBA lenders for long term recovery money?
When you learn the sequence of disaster assistance youll see it goes from FEMA to the SBA for loans. No one tells you about the long term assistance your state is working on just days after your declared disaster. HUD CDBG-DR Funds an option to a loan.

By Murray W. published 1-2-2020 updated 3-28-2020

When Louisiana had it's 2016 flooding 10's of thousands applied to FEMA and were told to apply for an SBA Disaster Loan. They said the loan would be a low interest loan. They never told you if you had good credit and good income you would be paying market rates that just may have sounded good because it was processed so quickly.

Interest rates in 2016 for Louisiana were from 1.59 to 6.5 percent. Loans below $25,000 could be secured by good income, good credit.

What the state didn't tell you was HUD would be available and may have been used in place of your SBA loan. But the state wasn't going to tell you, not directly. You may have learned that private loans are not counted as a Duplication of Benefits and a SBA loan is counted as a Duplication of Benefits.

The difference is if you want money now, today, and fast you go with SBA loans and pay it all back plus interest. If you can wait 1, 2, 3 or more years HUD CDBG-DR grants are going to be your best bet. Grants do not have to be repaid.

But, if you have good income and good create you could have applied directly to SBA lenders for your disaster loan and then had HUD CDBG-DR reimburse you for your loan repair or reconstruction amount. It might not have been a "Dollar to Dollar" reimbursement but if you had to reconstruct your home for $300,000 and HUD CDBG-DR reimbursed you $250,000 your new $50,000 mortgage would look much nicer.

For those that know this is just what happened. Those that understood a private loan was a better risk then a SBA loan. Both have to be repaid but one may be paid off with Federal Grant dollars later. This could happen years later, in Louisiana it was 17 months after the disaster the state started paying off private loans homeowners took to rebuild their homes. The state wasn't repaying SBA loans.

So, share with others the list of lenders the SBA uses for their loans. You may find it's safer for your long term recovery to not apply to the SBA and maybe not apply to FEMA. Just be sure you are informed correctly and that means you need to talk with HUD, SBA and FEMA to get the full story. Or just read more articles from homeowners like us that learned the hard way.

The SBA Lenders List is updated quarterly.

Resource links at the bottom will show current lenders.

From the SBA.Gov website:

"The table below displays the 100 most active SBA 7(a) lenders in the United States by lending volume through September 30, 2019. Results are updated quarterly."

Update: Most active lenders list for 2020

  1. Live Oak Banking Company
  2. Wells Fargo Bank, National Association
  3. The Huntington National Bank
  4. Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc.
  5. Byline Bank
  6. Celtic Bank Corporation
  7. JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association
  8. U.S. Bank, National Association
  9. First Home Bank
  10. Seacoast Commerce Bank
  11. KeyBank National Association
  12. Stearns Bank National Association
  13. TD Bank, National Association
  14. BBVA USA
  15. Readycap Lending, LLC
  16. Bank of Hope
  17. Bank of the West
  18. Berkshire Bank
  19. Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company
  20. Bank of America, National Association
  21. SunTrust Bank
  22. Metro City Bank
  23. PromiseOne Bank
  24. United Midwest Savings Bank, National Association
  25. Bank of George
  26. Commonwealth Business Bank
  27. First Bank
  28. Harvest Small Business Finance, LLC
  29. IncredibleBank
  30. MUFG Union Bank, National Association
  31. United Community Bank
  32. Pacific City Bank
  33. Independence Bank
  34. Midwest Regional Bank
  35. Citizens Bank
  36. Umpqua Bank
  37. Poppy Bank
  38. BankUnited, National Association
  39. Atlantic Capital Bank, National Association
  40. Zions Bank, A Division of
  41. The Bancorp Bank
  42. Ameris Bank
  43. Open Bank
  44. Hanmi Bank
  45. Capital One, National Association
  46. First Financial Bank
  47. Synovus Bank
  48. Cadence Bank, National Association
  49. Pacific Premier Bank
  50. NewBank
  51. Regions Bank
  52. Pacific Western Bank
  53. Fifth Third Bank
  54. Centerstone SBA Lending, Inc.
  55. First Savings Bank
  56. FinWise Bank
  57. First IC Bank
  58. Branch Banking and Trust Company
  59. Five Star Bank
  60. Comerica Bank
  61. PNC Bank, National Association
  62. Savoy Bank
  63. New Millennium Bank
  64. Stone Bank
  65. Pinnacle Bank
  66. Republic First Bank d/b/a Republic Bank
  67. Banner Bank
  68. Customers Bank
  69. Wallis Bank
  70. Plains State Bank
  71. US Metro Bank
  72. Citizens Bank, National Association
  73. Pinnacle Bank
  74. TCF National Bank
  75. First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company
  76. East West Bank
  77. HomeTrust Bank
  78. Webster Bank, National Association
  79. First Bank Financial Centre
  80. Seacoast National Bank
  81. Radius Bank
  82. HomeStar Bank and Financial Services
  83. First Choice Bank
  84. Touchmark National Bank
  85. T Bank, National Association
  86. First Chatham Bank
  87. Spirit of Texas Bank, SSB
  88. Meadows Bank
  89. Hana Small Business Lending, Inc.
  90. United Business Bank
  91. Bancorp South Bank
  92. Independent Bank
  93. Veritex Community Bank
  94. Crossroads Small Business Solutions, LLC
  95. BancFirst
  96. First Commonwealth Bank
  97. Columbia State Bank
  98. Summit State Bank
  99. Fulton Bank, National Association
  100. Home Loan Investment Bank, F.S.B.