The internet is full of inaccurate information sometimes and unfortunately this is the case with websites that claim the government provides grants for debt relief. The government does have some grant funding for debt relief but this money is never available to individuals. Many of the websites use this technicality to confuse the issue. So why do they do that? Well, the simple answer is that they are trying to sell you something.
The vast majority of government funding that is available to individuals comes in the form of government benefit programs. None of these programs offer debt relief. But if you are having a tough time with personal finances especially in the case where you have either lost your job or are considered to be low-income, these benefit programs may help you get your finances under control. All benefit programs are administered by states. Benefits.gov is a one-stop website provided by the federal government to identify where to apply for these benefit programs in your local area.
But if you are simply in debt and you earn too much money to apply for benefits but not enough to meet your current expenses, you are not going to solve this issue by applying for a government program. That does not mean that there is not help out there for you to turn to. There is. But getting your debt under control is not going to be achieved by applying for free money to pay off your bills.
Student Loan Grants
If your debt problem is mostly caused by a large amount of student loan debt, there are actually some grant programs available to help pay down this type of debt. Usually to become eligible for a student loan repayment program, you have to work in a specific industry. Employers use these programs to attract talented employees often in fields that experience a shortage of workers. There are opportunities for teachers, public defenders, public service professionals and to those that go into the armed services. If you have more than one federal student loan, you may also benefit from consolidating your student loans. This can result in one monthly payment with lower interest rates. But be aware that this is only for federal loans and that private student loans can not be consolidated through this method.
Medical Bill Assistance
If you or a family member is facing a mountain of medical debt, there is assistance available to help you sort out your medical bills. An option to consider is hiring a medical billing advocate to look over hospital charges. Often medical billing contains mistakes that result in a much higher bill being issued than what is expected. It is possible to negotiate with a hospital to have your bill reduced or to work out a payment plan and you can do this yourself or choose to hire an advocate to work on your behalf. When medical debt is overwhelming, filing bankruptcy may be another route. If you are experiencing a financial crisis due to medical bills, you should seek local support as well as many local programs offer help to low-income individuals struggling with medical expenses.
Home Mortgage Relief
If the source of your debt is your home mortgage, there is more help available now than ever before to help homeowners stay in their homes due to the recent housing crisis. The Department of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development offer this website to provide information to homeowners about all current government programs related to home mortgages. You may be able to have your payments reduced or have your interest lowered. And in cases where you owe more on your home than it is currently worth, there is even a principle reduction program. Some of this assistance is temporary. For example the HARP or Home Affordable Refinance Program ends December 31, 2015. Look into every program offered to find help getting your mortgage payments under control. The HUD even offers free counseling for homeowners looking into these programs. Call 1-888-995-4673 to speak to a HUD-approved housing counselor to discuss all of the options available under these programs.
Credit Card Debt Counseling
For those with massive credit card debt, there are no programs similar to what is offered with home refinancing. But by hiring a consumer credit counselor, you can receive the help you need to get your credit card debt under control by developing a plan that is manageable. Credit counseling will help you explore all your options to consolidate your debt and work out the best possible situation going forward with your creditors. In most cases, you will have to pay for this service. But often these services are offered by non-profit organizations and the cost should be around $50 per month or less. Fully check out any credit counseling agency before signing up. Check with the Better Business Bureau or your state’s Attorney General before hiring an agency to represent you.