Building up a great deal of personal or business debt is a situation that many people have experienced first hand. In some cases, the debts mount up due to a loss of employment, prolonged health issues, divorce or a range of other problems. While many people may see bankruptcy as the only viable option to eliminate the debt and obtain a fresh start, that is not necessarily the case. There are a few resources that may allow the debtor to obtain grants or endowments to pay off all outstanding debt, with no obligation to repay the funds received. Here are a few steps to help you locate possible avenues for obtaining the funds you need.
Identify the reasons for the accumulation of debt. In just about any appeal for assistance, you will be required to provide specific answers as to how the debt was acquired, as well as what efforts you have made to pay on the debt. Knowing how the debt came about will allow you to more efficiently search for individuals and agencies that may be in a position to assist you.
Check on grant programs available through national, state and local government agencies. Depending on your circumstances, it is possible that you may qualify for a grant that will eliminate all or at least part of your outstanding debt. For example, if your financial woes are due to prolonged treatments for a medical condition that prevents you from holding down a job, there is a good chance that some type of financial aid is available (see Resources below).
Identify non-profit agencies that provide limited financial assistance to individuals who are unable to pay their current outstanding debts. Charitable agencies and faith-based organizations are among the non-profits that sometimes provide one time debt relief. As with the government options, there are qualifications to meet in order to be considered for a grant that does not have to be repaid at a later date (see Resources below).
Seek out a sponsor or mentor. It is not unusual for persons who've amassed large fortunes to provide a one-time grant to people who are in need, assuming the individual meets the criteria established by the philanthropist. This is often related to some cause or concern that is of deep interest to the individual making the grant. The grant may be limited to persons suffering with a particular medical condition, or persons displaced due to the elimination of jobs from a given industry.
Apply for assistance from several different sources. Grants to pay off existing debt are usually limited, so it is important to not rely on any one grant application to be approved. Make sure that you meet the qualifications, and provide full and complete responses to any and all questions included on the application.
Be prepared to attend or participate in classes related to money management or job retraining. Conditions of this type are not unusual as part of the approval process related to grants to wipe out existing debt.
When you are approved for a grant, make it a point to contact any other organization you’ve applied with and advice them that you have been approved through another entity and wish to withdraw your application. Failure to do so could lead to suspicion of your motives and cause you to lose the grant.