Making ends meet has gotten demonstratively more difficult over the last 30 years. It is not uncommon for people to work multiple jobs and still come up short.
If you find yourself in this situation, there may be more options than you think. For example, personal grants might just be what you’ve been looking for.
As you probably know, the government sets aside money to help students pay for college through grants. Students apply for these grants and if they are accepted, receive money towards their schooling that they never have to worry about paying back.
As it turns out, grants for education only makes up one facet of personal grant arena.
The most well-known grant is most likely the Pell Grant. It is given based on financial need and is meant specifically for higher education purposes. While the Pell Grant is the most famous, there are also lots of other federal grants in which it may be a good idea to apply. For the 2021-2022 academic year, students can receive up to $6,495 via Pell Grant funding.
There are grants set aside specifically for families struggling financially. These grants go a long way in helping single parents who are trying to raise their kids on a single income. That isn’t to say they can’t be a great help to two-parent families as well.
If you or a family member has a disability, either congenital or sustained, there are a multitude of grants and services designed to help you live as “normal” a life as possible.
There are even grants out there to help you pay off loans. This is, of course, a much better plan than taking on additional debt to pay off previous ones.
Be on the Look Out
Like with pretty much anything good, there’s quite a bit of fraud and scams associated in the “grants game.”
The most frequent scam you are likely to find consists of services offering to find grants for you for money. Assuming they don’t just bail as soon as they get your money, the best they can do is tell you about grants that you could’ve found with some semi-diligent googling.
That said, this mostly applies to federal grants, which are relatively easy to find. Private grants can be a bit trickier to come across, making a service like this less sketchy. Still, you could find private grants yourself as well with more vigorous googling.
When it comes to fraud, they will likely be more nefarious. In all likelihood, they will just pretend to be a grant themselves. Providing information like your social security number is fairly standard when it comes to applying for loans. That means, if you fall for it, they will have pretty much all of your information.
There are various ways to make sure a grant is legit. First and foremost, you can just stick with federal or state grants that are easy to verify.
If you just happen to be keen on finding a private loan, research, research, research. Try to get in contact with someone from the company offering the grant, make sure you speak with someone who has heard of it. If you’re still suspicious, try to find contact info from a different source. Make sure all the ‘t’s are crossed and the ‘i’s are dotted before you give out any important information.