Many people look to the government to find out how to apply for a grant or to get "free money," which they have seen advertised on television or in various publications. Federal grants are awards of financial assistance to an individual and/or organization. Grants are used to carry out a government authorized purpose, and are not provided as personal benefits from the government or assistance. Grants are typically awarded to universities, researchers, law enforcement, cities, states, counties, and non-profit organizations. 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.
Search the following resources:
GovLoans.gov helps individuals looking for government loans. It directs you to information on loans for agriculture, business, disaster relief, education, housing, and veterans.
Grant Writing: helps individuals with what to do before you starting your grant proposal.
Grants.gov helps states and organizations looking for grants.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) provides a full listing of all Federal programs available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories of the United States; domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals.
"Free" Grants and Grant Scams
All of the websites we reference are government sites. They are not affiliated in any way with commercial websites that offer grant information, and often for a fee. If you have received information stating you qualify for a "free grant," view the consumer alert on free grants from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If you have been a victim of a grant scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC.
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.
Government Grants and Loans for States and Organizations
Many people look to the government hoping to find out how to apply for a grant or to get "free money." Most grants are awarded to universities, researchers, cities, states, counties, and non-profit organizations, which then use the money to operate local aid programs.
If you work for a state or private organization and are interested in grants, you may find the following resources helpful:
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.
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.