Find Personal Success Through Great Personal Finance Tips

TIP! You must learn proper money management. You should invest your capital and protect your profits.

Do you feel like you are drowning in a sea of debt? Are you having trouble controlling your spending habits? No matter what kind of financial problems you might have, you should do what you have to do to improve your situation. You’ll be able to get on top of your finances again by checking out the personal finance tips that appear below and applying them to your own situation.

TIP! To be on top of global movements in the market, keep up with the news. Especially when trading currencies, it’s important to have a global understanding, something which many Americans take for granted.

Do not invest any money on something that assures you of more money overnight. Internet marketing, for example, is a field that makes it all too easy to waste more money than one makes back. Instead, continue to educate yourself, implementing your own unique techniques and strategies. You will be sure to enjoy your increasing profits.

TIP! In these volatile times, spreading your savings around into multiple areas is a good idea. Spread that money to different accounts such as checking, savings, stocks, gold and other high-interest bearing accounts.

The best way to encourage money to grow is to manage it wisely. Profits need to be protected and reinvested as capital in the business. Investing your current profits to grow them is a good idea, but you have to have good money management skills to make that work. Fixing a firm ratio between profit and reinvestment will help you keep a handle on your money.

TIP! Wherever you go, bring along a small envelope. Use this to store all of your receipts and business cards.

When investing, refrain from ones that have large fees. Brokers that invest your money long term will charge money for the service. The fees they charge play a big role in your total return. You want to stay away from funds that charge a lot for account management as well as brokers that take excessive commissions.

Credit Card

TIP! Do not take on debt when you are trying to balance your personal finances. Don’t let your credit cards tempt you into a mountain of debt.

If you are unsuccessfully trying to pay off the balance on a credit card, refrain from making any new charges with it. Avoid charging things to your credit card by finding another way to pay for your expenses. Pay off the full amount before you begin using it again. Afterwards, try to pay off the full amount every month to avoid interest charges.

TIP! Get health insurance to secure you and your family’s future. Illnesses can spring up suddenly.

You may not know that after a certain period of time, debts expire. To find out what the statue of limitations for old debt in your state is before paying any money on old debt.

TIP! Always negotiate with debt collectors. You debt was probably purchased by them for a low price.

If you eat less fast food or eat out less in general, you can save a lot of money. You will save a lot of money if you just stay in and eat at home.

TIP! Use compact florescent bulbs in place of incandescent bulbs where you can. This kind of bulb will help you reduce your electric bills significantly.

Buying a lot of food just because it is on sale is not always a good deal. You will only save by stocking up on groceries if you eat everything before it spoils. Look for bargains that you can actually use.

TIP! Eating less from restaurants or fast food joints can save you money and promote better personal finances. Fast food menus may seem cheap, but they really are not.

If you use online banking, then consider signing up for the alert features that may be available. Many banks will notify you when changes are made to your account, often through text or email messages. These simple alerts can let you know about big potential problems, such as low balances and large withdrawals, protecting you from overdrafts and even fraud.

TIP! Try not to get too much money from a student loan, unless you’re able to repay it back. If you attend an expensive school while you aren’t completely sure what career you are wanting, then you could wind up in a large amount of debt.

It can be hard trying to figure out your way out of financial trouble. Fortunately, with a little work, you can get your finances back in order. Apply the advice from this article and start making intelligent financial decisions. Before too long, you will discover your problems with money are over.

Great Tips On How To Spend Your Money

TIP! Do not sell stocks at the wrong time! If a stock is earning a good amount, it is best to allow it to sit a little longer. You can look at your stocks that are not doing so good, and figure out if you wish to move those around.

Unfortunately, many families across the globe don’t have the ability to keep control over their finances. A simple lack of knowledge and training is often to blame for this. You, however, will never again fall into this group. The advice in the article will provide you with advice to help you better control your finances and prevent disaster.

TIP! Setting a firm, ambitious goal for your future spending can help motivate you to take care of your financial situation in the present. A concrete plan can motivate and guide you, and ensure you work hard and spend money frugally.

Use market trends in your Forex analysis. When you stay informed on a timely basis, you can be sure you are ready to buy and sell at the optimal times. Don’t ever sell when there’s an upswing or a downswing. It is important to have clearly defined goals in order to be successful.

TIP! If you or your spouse have less than perfect credit, the partner with the healthier credit score should apply for any loans you need. If you’re suffering from bad credit, building it can be done by getting a card that you can pay on time.

You can better understand where your money goes when you write down how much you spend every day. Make sure, however, that you do not tuck your notebook away and forget about it. Instead, try setting a full-size whiteboard in your bedroom or office to list your expenditures. When you see what you’re spending throughout the day, your finances will be on the forefront of your mind.

Credit Repair

TIP! If your debt has been turned over to a collection agency, keep in mind that if the debt is not collected, it will eventually expire. Ask an expert about when your debt will expire and do not pay anything to a collection agency that tries to get your money for an old debt.

Do not believe that credit repair organizations can improve your credit history. Many companies put out marketing materials that make broad claims about what they can do for you. This isn’t accurate since what’s affecting your credit score is not identical to another person with credit issues. There is no way to guarantee success in credit repair and if anyone says otherwise, they are being dishonest.

TIP! Garage and yard sales can be a great way to do some spring cleaning and make some extra money as well. If you want, you can also charge your neighbors a fee to sell their stuff at your sale as well.

Avoid excessive fees when investing. Long-term investment comes with a variety of fees. When you calculate your potential profits, these charges should be part of your equation. Stay away from brokers who make too much money off of commissions or a fund that costs too much to manage.

Credit Card

TIP! Save on Christmas gifts by making presents instead of spending money. This can save hundreds in department store prices during the holidays and give a personalized touch to your gifts.

Instead of using one credit card and almost maxing it out, try to have 2 or 3 cards with lower balances on them. The interest of two different payments should be much lower than paying off a maxed out credit card. Also, this won’t damage your score and it could also help you in building it if you could manage two credit cards wisely.

TIP! Use the flexible spending account you have to your advantage. If you come across a medical expense, or have to pay something like a child’s daycare bill, you can use your flexible spending account to save money.

A credit card can a good alternative to a debit cards, if you pay it off in full each month. Credit cards can be used for things such as groceries and gas. Most credit cards offer some kind of rewards, like cash back on these items.

TIP! Make arrangements with your bank for an automatic payment that will clear the balance of your credit card bill each month. This way, even if you forget, you will not be late.

Sign up for online banking alert services that may be offered by your bank. Most banks will let you know about important activity on your account via text or email. You can avoid erroneous charges and overdraft fees by signing up for automated account notifications and warnings.

TIP! You will be a good trader if you know when you should let your profits keep running. However, it is also important to use this concept in moderation.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, many people have issues with controlling their finances. You’ll be less and less concerned the more you apply what you’ve learned from this article. Use these tips to better control finances and to live a little more relaxed.

Prepare In Advance With This Useful Advice

Money issues are one of the most common causes of stress and depression. Use the following advice to resolve your debts and improve your life.

TIP! It is helpful to take along an envelope with you when you are shopping. You can store all your receipts in one place with this envelope.

To improve your personal finances, steer clear of excessive debt when you can. Though certain debts are hard to avoid, including those for home and education expenses, it is important to stay away from incurring expensive, unnecessary debt such as credit card debt. Loans and credit cards charge interest and fees; therefore, it is important to try not to borrow unless it is absolutely necessary.

TIP! Be suspicious of a credit repair company that guarantees that they will be 100% successful in restoring your perfect credit. Lots of credit repair companies want you to think that they can fix any situation of bad credit.

Always know when to file your income taxes with the IRS. To receive your tax refund as quickly as possible, you should file your income taxes early. However, if you are expecting to owe money, you should wait to file until near the due date, which is April 15th.

TIP! Buying your lean protein in bulk will allow you to save time and money. Buying in bulk is always cheaper when you are going to use everything you purchased.

Use multiple credit cards instead of maxing one out. You will pay a significant amount of money in interest. In most cases, this won’t do much damage to your credit scores, and, if you manage your cards wisely, it may even help you improve the state of your credit.

Frequent Flier

TIP! Swap energy-efficient CFL bulbs in to replace older, incandescent ones. This will help you save the environment money on your electric bill.

If you travel by air frequently, it might pay for you to sign up for one of the frequent flier programs. There are many credit cards that offer rewards for purchases that you can use to get discounted or even free air fare. It is also frequently possible to redeem frequent flier miles at many hotels where they may be good for a free room, or a discount on your booking.

TIP! Always put away money to save first when you get paid. Leaving this money aside will keep you from spending it.

Always pay your monthly utility bills before they are due. When you pay them late, you damage your credit. Also, other places could charge you with late fees that could cost you a lot of money. Paying your bills in a timely manner is the best way to use your money wisely and avoid costly fees and complications.

TIP! A program you can enroll into if you’re traveling by air a lot is a frequent flier mile program. Most credit cards come with reward programs, many of them providing discounted or free airfare.

The Internet can be a great way to find discounts and coupons that are not otherwise available. Make the most of your budget and have more money to contribute to your savings by always taking advantage of coupons and discounts.

TIP! In order to repair your credit, you need to get yourself out of debt first. In order to pay off any debt that you have, you should try to save money in other areas of your life.

Get back in control of your life by making a plan to get your finances under control and sticking to it. Having your finances in order will help reduce the amount of stress you are feeling and will allow you to pay attention to other aspects of your life which may be getting neglected.

Ways To Stay On Top Of Your Finances

TIP! Keep up with world money markets so you know what is happening. It’s problematic to ignore international news in favor of U.

You really don’t want to take all your hard earned money and just throw it away. Are you looking for ways to better manage your money? You may void asking people you know, worrying that they will think badly of you. The below article will provide you with some personal finance tips to help you out.

TIP! If this is the wrong time for you, you should not sell. If a stock is earning good money, just let it stay as is.

Do not sell stocks at the wrong time! If you are getting money from one stock more than another, let that one stay. Take a look at stocks that are performing less well, and think about making some changes with them.

TIP! When trading in the Forex market it is important to watch the trends. Always be informed, this way you know when is the best time to buy low and when to sell high.

When you do Forex trading, keep an eye on the trends. When you stay informed on a timely basis, you can be sure you are ready to buy and sell at the optimal times. It is usually a bad idea to sell when a currency is experiencing a trend, whether it is an upswing or a downswing. If not wanting to ride out a trend all the way, have clear goals.

TIP! One way to improve your finances is to refuse to pay full price for anything. It is time to stop shopping without thinking and start comparing prices among the brands, don’t just purchase the same old one which is more expensive.

A credit repair company may guarantee they can improve your credit report, don’t believe them. Such a practice is absolutely illegal, and these companies are likely to run off with your money before doing anything to help you with your credit score. This is not factual because the afflictions of your credit do not necessarily resemble the credit issues of others. To guarantee success would be a fraud and no one should make this promise.

Credit Cards

TIP! Be patient if you want to retain control over your personal finances. It is quite tempting to run out and purchase the newest electronics on offer.

In order to build good credit, you should be using two to four credit cards. If you have only one credit card, building up your credit score will be a long process. Do not get more than four credit cards if you want to stay in control of things. Start off with just two different credit accounts and add new ones if and when necessary.

TIP! Stop buying things with your credit card if you cannot pay it off. Try to lower your expenses as best as you can and look for other payment methods, so that you don’t max your credit cards out.

Make a plan of what you hope to achieve financially in the future, so that you have some goals to aim for. Having a solid plan is an effective motivational tool, as it helps you to keep a reward in sight, which is more satisfying than pointless spending.

TIP! Get rid of unwanted items and make a little money by having a yard or garage sale. It can also be profitable to ask neighbors if they would like you to sell their extra items for a small fee.

If you have a spouse, then see who has the better credit and use that to apply for loans. You can improve bad credit by regularly paying down credit card debt on time. After achieving good credit scores, spread the debt between both of you.

TIP! Your car is very important to your life. Comparison shop before buying a car; you’ll get the best price if you visit all the dealers to see who is selling your dream car for the least expensive price.

Once you’ve read this article, you should start understanding the information that’s been provided and soon you will be able to fully take care of your own finances. If you couldn’t understand a particular tip or two, research it more to ensure you completely understand it.

Federal Research Grants for Small Business Owners

smallbusiness2Small business owners seeking for financing sources can turn to the federal government to kick start their business ventures. Every year, the government grants billions of dollars in the form of grants to small business owners, thus assisting them with research and development without the need of repayments.

To successfully apply and obtain the government grants for small business owners, you must review the grants you’re concerned with.

For instance, if your small business is involved in scientific research and development, you may be eligible for federal grants administered by the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

SBIR program

The SBIR program focuses on the entrepreneurial sector to support domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research and Research and Development (R/R&D) that has commercialization potential. Through investment of federal research funds and awards-based program, SBIR safeguards small businesses and lets them compete on the same playing level as larger companies. SBIR offers monetary assistance to fund the startup and development stages of a business, as well as encourage commercialization of the brand’s product, service or technology. This effort is part of SBIR’s mission to build a strong American economy.

SBIR aims to:

  • Fuel technological innovation
  • Meet federal research and development standards
  • Nurture participation in entrepreneurship and innovation by economically and socially disadvantaged individuals
  • Improve commercialization of innovations resulting from federal research and development funding within the private sector

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for the SBIR program, small business owners should be operating in the United States. SBIR beneficiaries must meet certain criteria as follows:

  • Business must be for-profit and offices are located in the United States
  • There should be no more than 500 employees, including affiliates
  • Business must be more than 50% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens in the country.
  • Recipient may be owned and controlled by more than one venture capitalist, hedge fund or private equity firm given that no one such firm owns the majority of the stock.
  • Phase I beneficiaries with multiple prior awards must meet the standard requirements for progress toward commercialization.

The SBIR Program includes three phases:

Phase I. This is to establish the feasibility, merit and commercial potential of the proposed research and development efforts and to identify performance quality  of the small business recipient prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR Phase I awards do not exceed $150,000 total costs for 6 months.

Phase II. This is to continue the research and development efforts put into Phase I. The amount of funding given is based on the results gained in Phase I and the scientific and merit and commercial potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Only Phase I recipients are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR Phase II awards do not exceed $1,000,000 total costs for 2 years.

Phase III. This is where small businesses continue to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II research and development activities. The SBIR program doesn’t fund Phase III.

STTR program

STTR is a competitive small business program that helps in expanding funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development field. The program’s core mission is to expand the public-private sector partnership to incorporate joint venture opportunities for small businesses and the country’s leading nonprofit research institutions. STTR’s key role is to encourage necessary innovation and advancements to meet the nation’s 21st century scientific and technological challenges.

Small businesses must meet certain requirements to be eligible in the STTR Program.

  • Business must be American citizen-owned and independently operated
  • It should be a for-profit business
  • Key researcher need not be employed by small business
  • Business size should not exceed 500 employees

The nonprofit research institution must also meet certain criteria for eligibility.

  • It must be located in the U.S.
  • May be a nonprofit postsecondary educational institution (college or university)
  • Must be a domestic nonprofit research organization
  • Must be a federally funded research and development center

The STTR is also structured in three phases:

Following submission of proposals, agencies make STTR awards based on small business/nonprofit research institution qualification, degree of innovation, and future market potential. Small businesses that receive awards then begin a three-phase program.

Phase I. This is the startup phase, where up to $100,000 is granted for approximately one year to help fund the exploration of the scientific, technical, and commercial feasibility of a technology, idea or project.

Phase II. In this phase, up to $750,000 is awarded to help expand the results gained in Phase I. Research and development activities are performed during this stage  and the developer starts to consider commercial potential. Only Phase I award recipients are considered for Phase II.

Phase III. This is the stage during which Phase II innovation moves from the laboratory into the marketplace. This phase is not supported by any STTR funds. Small businesses must seek other financial resources in the private sector or other non-STTR federal agency to obtain the needed funding at this stage.

Federal Grants for Students

student and teacher looking smiling at the library

College can be tough financially. It’s an investment that needs tons of expenses – the reason why students seek financial aid from the federal government to help them shoulder tuition costs and other school fees. This financial aid comes in the form of grants and scholarships where students are taking advantage of to attend school for free or less.

To help students enroll at higher education institutions, the U.S. Department of Education (ED)’s Office of Federal Student Aid provides information on funding options, which include grants, scholarships and loans for post-secondary education. Grants and scholarships are called as “gift aid”, which is a no-strings attached deal because they are free and doesn’t need to be repaid. Scholarships are often merit-based, while grants are typically need-based.

To apply for federal student aid, you will have to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

Types of federal grants available

ED  provides a myriad of federal grants to students who wish to attend four-year colleges or universities, community colleges, trade or career schools.

Federal Pell Grants

This type of grant doesn’t need to be repaid. It’s usually granted only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or any kind of professional degree. However, students enrolled in a postbaccalaureate teacher certification program can be awarded a Federal Pell Grant.

You are not qualified to get this grant if you have a criminal record or are subjected to “an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense.”

Federal Pell Grant awards may amount to more than $5,000, which will depend on your financial needs at present, costs of attendance, status as a full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less. You cannot receive Federal Pell Grants from more than one school at a time. Federal Pell Grant beneficiaries receive the full amount they qualify for.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) 

Like Federal Pell Grants, FSEOG doesn’t have to be repaid. In order to obtain an FSEOG, the FAFSA should be completely filled out so your school can learn how much financial aid you need to have. Students who will get Federal Pell Grants and have the most financial need will obtain FSEOGs first.

It’s advisable to check with your school’s financial aid office to determine whether your school of choice offers the FSEOG since this program is “campus-based” and not all schools participate.

Eligible students can receive between $100 and $4,000 a year, which depends on financial status and need.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants

A Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is unlike other federal student grants because it entails applicants to take certain kinds of classes in order to receive the grant, and then do a specific type of job to keep the grant from turning into a loan.

This grant program awards up to $4,000 a year to students who plan to complete or are completing a course required to start a teaching career.

In order to be eligible for a TEACH grant, you must meet basic criteria for federal student aid programs, complete the FAFSA, enroll as an undergraduate, graduate or postbaccalaureate student at a TEACH Grant program participating school, enroll in a TEACH-Grant-eligible program, meet specific academic achievement requirements (usually having a score above the 75th percentile and at least a 3.25 GPA average), complete TEACH Grant counseling, and sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

Under this grant program, eligible recipients are awarded money to college or trade school students to assist them in their educational expense payments. However, this type of grant has a special eligibility criteria.

In order to qualify for this grant, you must:

  • Not be eligible for a Federal Pell Grants based on your expected family contribution. However, you must meet the remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements.
  • Have a parent or guardian that was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died during active duty performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11.
  • Be under 24 years old or enrolled in a postsecondary institution at least part-time at the time of death of your parent or guardian.

Federal Grants for Individuals Affected by Disasters

 

Tuscaloosa TornadoAmerica has spent billions of federal taxpayer dollars for natural disasters alone. Natural disasters such as superstorms and earthquakes strike small towns and cities, ruining vast crop fields and coastlines, damaging homes and affecting businesses.

As a solution, the federal government has set up DisasterAssistance.gov, which allows individuals impacted by a natural disaster seek for government benefits and other kinds of emergency financial aid. The website has a wealth of information pointing to provide emergency aid to homeowners, business owners, people with disabilities, Veterans or servicemembers, students, seniors and members of American Indian Tribes or Alaska Native Tribes that have suffered losses during a natural disaster hit.

Check out some of the features that DisasterAssistance.gov offers to individuals to help them with disaster relief:

Individuals and Households Program (IHP) – Housing Assistance: Managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the program helps you and other household members affected by a natural disaster take care of expenditures and various needs associated with housing that cannot be met by insurance or other forms of disaster assistance. Forms of housing assistance include temporary housing, replacement, repair, and semi-permanent/permanent housing construction.

Requirements

To obtain funding or assistance for your housing needs resulting from a disaster, you must:

  • Have losses in an area that’s been declared a disaster for individual assistance by the President of the United States.
  • Have not filed for insurance benefits, have no insurance, property is not covered by insurance, or have insufficient insurance settlement to cover losses and damages.
  • Be a United States citizen, a non-citizen national, or an eligible alien.
  • Permanently reside in the declared disaster area and were living at the time the disaster occurred.
  • Not be able to live in your home at present, cannot get to your home because of the disaster, or your home needs repairs due to the damage caused by the disaster.

Individuals and Households Program (IHP) – Other Needs Assistance: This program, which is also run by DHS, offers aid to individuals and households affected by a disaster. Similar to IHP’s Housing Assistance, this program enables individuals and their families address needs and expenses that cannot be covered by other forms of insurance or disaster assistance. Other needs assistance include medical, dental, funeral and personal property.

Requirements

To obtain funding or assistance for your “other than housing” needs resulting from a disaster, you must:

  • Have losses in an area that’s been declared a disaster for individual assistance by the President of the United States.
  • Have not filed for insurance benefits, have no insurance, property is not covered by insurance, or have insufficient insurance settlement to cover losses and damages.
  • Be a United States citizen, a non-citizen national, or an eligible alien.
  • Have serious needs and necessary expenditures related to a disaster.
  • Have acknowledged assistance from all other sources for which you are eligible, such as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans.

Home and Property Disaster Loans: Managed by the SBA, this program provides affordable, accessible and suitable financial assistance to homeowners and renters who have experienced damages and losses due to a natural disaster. Financial assistance is available through low-interest, long-term loans for losses that are not met by insurance or other forms of recovery assistance.

Up to $200,000 are available for homeowners to help them repair, replace or restore their primary dwellings back to its pre-disaster conditions. Both renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to replace damaged personal property such as clothing, appliances, furniture, automobiles, etc. This loan cannot be used to replace expensive or irreplaceable items, such as recreational vehicles, antiques, collections, fur coats, pleasure boats, etc.

Requirements

To be eligible for this benefit program, homeowners and renters must have sustained physical damage and reside in a disaster declared area.

Business Disaster Loans: Also operated by the SBA, these disaster loans are the main type of federal assistance for rebuilding, repair and restoring of non-farm, private sector disaster losses. This disaster loan program is the only type of SBA assistance not limited to small businesses.

Businesses of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair, replace or restore damaged real property, inventory, equipment and machinery, and other business assets.

Requirements

To qualify for this type of loan assistance, businesses or private non-organizations must have sustained physical damage and be headquartered in a disaster declared region.

Federal Grants for Veterans

grants-veteransThe U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers medical and hospital care services, educational aid, housing, as well as job training opportunities for veterans and servicemembers.

Here’s a list of government grants/benefits that VA provides to improve quality of life of veterans.

Compensation

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): This monetary benefit is payable to a child, parent or surviving spouse of a servicemember who died during active duty, while on active or inactive duty for training or from service-connected disabilities. It’s a tax-free compensation that offers parents income-based benefits.

Disability Compensation: Another monetary benefit that’s tax-free and is made payable Veterans with disabilities as the result of injury or disease occurred during active military service. Also, compensation is paid for post-service disabilities that are associated with or secondary to disabilities while in service and for disabilities recognized to be linked to situations of military service.

Special Monthly Compensation (SMC): This tax-free compensation is paid to Veterans, their spouses (and those surviving), and parents.

For Veterans, SMC is made payable to special circumstances such as specific disabilities (ex. Loss of one leg). For spouses, this compensation is pair based on the need of aid by another individual.

Education and training

There are VA-approved educational institutions that can help Veterans with enrolment and school fees.

Scholarships such as the Pat Tillman Military Scholarship and the expanded Fry Scholarship enable Veterans to and their surviving spouses to afford higher education.

The Pat Tillman Military Scholarship covers direct funding of tuition and fees, and books and living stipend for eligible veterans, servicemembers or military spouses who wish to pursue undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate degrees as full-time students at a public or private, US-accredited institution. The Choice Act of 2014 expanded the Fry Scholarship which provides study-related expenses to surviving spouses of servicemembers who have died on active duty after September 10, 2001.

Housing loans

VA provides Veterans, servicemembers and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. The federal agency offers home loan guaranty benefits and other housing-related programs to help you purchase, build, or repair your home for your own personal occupancy.

VA-approved private lenders provide the home loans, where VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to offer you with more reasonable rates and terms. Benefits include Purchase Loans, Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program, and Adapted Housing Grants.

Life insurance

VA offers life insurance benefits to provide financial security and protection to your family, given the perils involved in military service.

Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI): This low-cost group term life insurance program is provided for servicemembers, where coverage may be extended for up to two years if the servicemember is disabled at separation.

Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI). This insurance enables Veterans to change your SGLI to a civilian program of lifetime renewable term coverage after being separated from service.

Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI): This insures the spouses and children of servicemembers with SGLI coverage. Dependents are automatically covered for free.

Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI): This insurance is SGLI’s automatic feature that offers payments to servicemembers who suffer physical losses, such as blindness, amputations or paraplegia, due to traumatic injuries while on active duty.

Service-Disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance (S-DVI): This life insurance grants coverage to Veterans who have been awarded a VA rating for a new service-connected disability in the past two years. Disabled Veterans are qualified for free coverage and have the chance to acquire additional life insurance.

Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI): This mortgage life insurance renders protection to disabled Veterans eligible for a VA Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant.

Federal Grants for Low-Income Individuals

low incomeThe federal government has introduced a vast array of programs designed to provide financial assistance specifically to low-income persons. Low-income grants are being handed out every year, something that Americans deem useful to cover their student debts, rental or housing payments or starting a new business. Besides Social Security and disability benefits, many government agencies assist in providing low-income persons and families their basic needs such as housing, food, medications, even electricity.

If you consider yourself a low-income individual, an adult and a U.S. citizen, you may find yourself eligible to apply for these grants.

Check out these websites will help you find the grant, benefit or loan you’re looking for:

  • Benefits.gov is a one-stop resource for securing benefits. The site is affiliated with several federal agencies and organizations that offer improved, personalized access to government benefits and assistance programs.
  • Disability.gov also features tons of resources that provide grant information and opportunities for low-income individuals and families, where you are virtually connected to a slew of government agencies, programs and services that can help you seek the financial support in your community.
  • Grants.gov is a place where you can seek out and apply for government grants. The site also presents an overview of the process on how to apply for the grants.

The federal government also introduced programs that help low-income individuals and families…

Pay for food

Low-income individuals can get help paying for their food. How? They can apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or formerly known as food stamps) benefits. There is a local SNAP office in every state, city or community so contacting them is easy and within reach. The office must be filed under ‘food stamps’, ‘human services’, ‘social services’ or any similar title.

You can also get in touch with The National Hunger Hotline, which assists people in finding meals and emergency food from food pantries, government programs and grassroots organizations across the country.

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) supplies low-income older adults vouchers or coupons that can be exchanged for foods (e.g., fruits and vegetables) at farmers’ markets and community-based agricultural programs.

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child Nutrition Programs include the National School Lunch Program, which affords low-income parents nutritional meals for their children. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) supplies free, nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas.

Pay heating or electric bills

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) aids eligible low-income individuals and families pay for their energy expenses such as heating and cooling bills. Contact the LIHEAP state or territory agency or Indian Tribe or Tribal Organization agency for more information.

The Weatherization Assistance Program also helps low-income families make their homes more energy efficient by reducing their heating and cooling costs. You can learn more about how the process works and see if you’re  eligible for the program. To get weatherization assistance,  there are several state weatherization agencies available near you.

Pay for housing

Make your home more accessible by applying for grants that can help you with home rehabilitation and repairs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA’s) Single Family Housing Repair program awards loans to very low-income homeowners to repair or upgrade their homes. The program also offer grants to elderly very low-income homeowners to eliminate health and safety hazards.

Additionally, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) introduces grants that are available to service members and veterans with permanent and duty-made disabilities to help them  purchase, modify or build a home that accommodates disability.

Pay for phone bills

Lifeline is a government benefit program that supplies a monthly discount of $9.25 per month on a landline or wireless telephone service  for low-income customers who are qualified. The federal Universal Service Fund supports this program, which is available in every U.S. state, territories and tribal lands.

Federal Grants for Seniors

You probably know that the federal government is continually providing various types of grants for its U.S residents and even for those who are abroad. But did you know that there are government grants aimed at improving the lives and wellbeing of senior citizens in the country?

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Furthermore, most senior citizens are eligible for federal grants that are not specifically tailored for them. And while those that are available are geared for organizations that offer elderly assistance and care, there are grants awarded to individual senior citizens.

Each year, there are grants available to support the needs of the elderly. These individual grants aim at enhancing the way of life for senior citizens in areas that include education, housing, nutrition, and starting a business. Individual senior citizens looking for financial assistance need to work through organizations and agencies.

Various departments of the federal government offer grants that are designed with a specific purpose.

Here are a few examples of federal grants for seniors:

  • Capital Assistance Program for Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities: This program offers financial assistance for the transportation needs of senior citizens and individuals with disabilities where public transportation services are unavailable, inadequate or unsuitable.
  • The Foster Grandparent Program : This program is authorized in 1965 by Congress as a way to allow low-income older adults to obtain benefits while providing personalized services to children with special needs.
  • Mortgage Insurance-Rental Housing for the Elderly: This program grants quality rental housing for elderly persons. Funds are available to support programs which insure mortgage lenders against potential losses and which augment rental housing opportunities for older adults.
  • The Nutrition Services Incentive Program: This program furnishes funds to state agencies that focus on serving aging and Indian Tribal organizations to help them with food and commodity purchases from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These purchases will be used for service programs like home-delivered meals as part of USDA’s nutrition efforts and advocacy.
  • Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. This program funds grants to encourage older adults (persons 55 and up) to volunteer for community service programs.

Obtaining grants for seniors

If you would like to apply for grants aimed at seniors, you can check out the CFDA – Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance top find the grant you’re looking for.  The CFDA catalog lists tons of available grant opportunities from all U.S. federal agencies and branches. You can ask for a copy of this catalog by mail or have a readable PDF version downloaded at a federal government website.

When leaf through a CFDA catalog, you can get a good idea of the types of grants that you like to apply for. Before applying, however, read the guidelines carefully. Some of the grant solicitations for seniors may entail documentation to accompany your grant application such as proof of income, tax returns, personal identification or even pay stubs. Just ensure that you fill out your application accurately and completely.

Make sure to follow deadlines since some grants are only available for a short time. Missing the due date will automatically result to disqualification from your sought after government grant.