Numerous unofficial advertisements and infomercials promise to help you pay off your debts with no money out of your pocket and without having to repay the funds. They often promise government grants or "free money." The truth is the government is not going to hand you free money just because you need it and only a limited number of people qualify for grants. No government grants exist specifically for paying off personal debts. Government grants are generally offered for objectives like education, health care, job training and nutritional assistance, and they are gifts of financial assistance to individuals or organizations for government-authorized purposes, not for personal debt assistance.
Complete the prescreening process to find any benefit or assistance programs for which you may be eligible. The official benefits website of the U.S. government is Benefits.gov, and it provides a list of benefits available and information about applying for assistance programs. Use the search tools to find potential benefits that will help you get rid of debt and bills incurred through medical costs, school expenses or other personal debts.
Fill out the confidential eligibility questionnaire found on the government benefits website. Your responses will produce a list of benefits customized to your needs within all assistance categories. You can also search through government benefit and assistance programs listed by state, federal agency or a specific category, such as "veterans" or "teachers."
Check the official government grants website to find grants for which you may qualify. The benefits and assistance programs offered through the government are not the same as government grants. The official government grants site is Grants.gov, and it holds information on more than 1,000 grant programs. The government provides access to roughly $500 billion in annual grant awards.
Determine your qualifications for specific grant categories. You may have to prove you have a severe economic hardship or disability or you may have to be willing to participate in a job program to receive grant money. For example, teachers may be eligible for grant money to pay off education debt by agreeing to work their first couple of years in an economically-disadvantaged school.
Apply for grants that suit your particular needs. If you are trying to start a small business, returning to college or obtaining your teaching credential, there are likely to be grants available to help you achieve your goals. The general idea behind government grants is to provide assistance to individuals and businesses for education or other endeavors that will benefit communities by providing funds that are not a loan and never have to be repaid. They put individuals and businesses in a position to get rid of debt without paying extra money on yet another loan.
The monies received through a government grant are tax- and interest-free, but you will have to work to get the funds.