Today's economy is laden with hazards. The unemployment rate approaches double digits while many lose their homes. Health insurance premiums are rising yet covering less and less. Bankruptcies are on the rise. In fact, more than 60% of the bankruptcies today are caused by a mounting medical debt.
To answer the issues that plague Americans, the federal government sets aside billions of dollars to be distributed as grants. But, the government doesn't just write a check out to John Q. Public (the only time Americans get to cash out on a grant is when the government issues rebate checks). Instead, most of the grant funds are given to non-profit organizations and government institutions.
Knowing which entities receive grant money is the first step in finding the right grant funded public programs that can help reduce you debt. Following the money trail is easy if you visit the web site for government grants or the website for the Catalogue for Federal Domestic Assistance. Both of these sites list all available grants with their eligibility requirements.
Reading grant descriptions can be discouraging if you don't understand the terminology. Grants fall into 15 categories; 7 financial and 8 non-financial. Formal grants are funds allocated to states as prescribed by a law. Project grants support special projects for a fixed period of time. These usually take the form of fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, and construction grants.
Direct Payment grants can either be "specified" or "unrestricted." Specified direct payments are grants are awarded to individuals and private institutions to subsidize a specific activity. Unrestricted direct payment grants are given directly to beneficiaries who meet all the eligibility requirements without any restricting the way the money is used.
Grant money is set aside to provide direct loans issued by the government for a specific period of time. These loans may or may not require a payment of interest. Guaranteed/Insured Loans are grant programs where the government agrees to pay part or all of any defaulted loans to a lender. And, Insurance is a grant program where the government agrees to reimburse an entity for losses.
While grants won't pay off your credit cards, following the money and utilizing the resulting programs will go a long way in helping you get out of debt.
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