Government Grants and Loans

Learn about government grants and loans for states and organizations. For help for individuals, please visit our Benefits page.

Government Grants

What is a Grant from the Government?

A grant is one of the ways the government funds ideas and projects to provide public services and stimulate the economy. Grants support critical recovery initiatives, innovative research, and many other programs listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). Learn more about grants and types of grants.

Examples of Grants

Examples include funding appropriated for states and organizations, such as:

Who May Receive a Grant?

The federal government typically awards grants to state and local governments, universities, researchers, law enforcement, organizations, and institutions planning major projects that will benefit specific parts of the population or the community as a whole. 

Contrary to what you might see online or in the media, the federal government does not offer grants or “free money” to individuals to start a business, or cover personal expenses. However, the government offers federal benefit programs designed to help individuals and families in need become self-sufficient or lower their expenses.

Search and Apply for Government Grants

Use the federal government’s free, official website, rather than commercial sites that may charge a fee for grant information or application forms. centralizes information from more than 1,000 government grant programs to help states and organizations find and apply for grants.

"Free" Grants and Grant Scams

If you received information stating you qualify for a "free grant," it is probably a scam. Get information from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help you learn to recognize and avoid grant scams. If you have been a victim of a grant scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC

Contact your state consumer protection office if you have purchased a book or paid a fee to get grant information and are not satisfied.

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Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA)

Learn About Federal Student Aid

To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Federal student financial aid can be used at

  • Public or private colleges and universities

  • Career or vocational schools

Many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.

Financial aid can significantly reduce the cost of college.

How to Apply for Federal Student Aid

  1. Read the basic eligibility criteria for U.S. citizens. Most foreign students are not eligible for federal student aid; however, some non-US citizens may qualify for student aid. Get more resources for foreign students who want to study in the US.

  2. Confirm the deadlines before submitting your FAFSA. There are separate federal and state deadlines.

  3. Fill out and submit your FAFSA. See your filing options.

Read commonly asked questions about federal student aid.

Send your feedback. File a complaint, report suspicious activity, or provide positive feedback using the online form.

Types of Federal Student Aid

When you submit your FAFSA, you may be eligible to receive the following types of funding:

If you have questions, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center.

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Government Loans

What is a Loan from the Government?

Government loans serve a specific purpose such as paying for education, helping with housing or business needs, or responding to an emergency or crisis.

Loans are different than grants because they are awarded to an individual as a personal benefit or assistance. You are required to pay back a loan, often with interest.

Examples of Government Loans

The federal government offers several types of loans, including:

Search for Government Loans

Use the federal government’s free, official website,, rather than commercial sites that may charge a fee for information or application forms. directs you to information on loans for agriculture, business, disaster relief, education, housing, and for veterans.

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Help with Home Repairs and Modifications

Want to add an addition onto your home? Renovate your bathroom or basement? Learn about programs to help pay for your home improvements, as well as tips on hiring a contractor to do the work. 

Find Loans and Other Incentives

The most common type of financial help from the government for home repairs or modifications is through home improvement loan programs backed by the government. The loans are through traditional lenders, like banks, but the programs help these lenders make loans that they might normally not fulfill. Some programs are available on a nationwide basis, while others are only on a state or county level. To learn about the options available to you, contact your local Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office.

You can also contact your local, state, or county government housing department.

Find out about loans and other incentives for energy efficient modifications in your state.

Assistance for Certain Demographic Groups

Learn about housing programs for the following groups:

Modifying and Repairing Your Home

Finding a good contractor to do repairs and improvements on your home is important. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides resources and tips on hiring a contractor, questions to ask, and how to report problems. 

Before digging on your property, call 811 to be sure you won't damage or be injured by underground utility lines. Some states allow for an online digging request. Timing is different from state to state with some needing two business days in advance and others need as many as 12 working days even if it is just a small project like planting trees or shrubs.

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Do you need help?

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