What are Personal Grants and How are they Useful?

Grants

Grants are monetary sums paid to individuals for a specific reason, such as so they can pay for their energy bills, or so that they can fund a business. Unlike government-backed loans, grants do not need to be repaid. While it is possible for private individuals to receive grants, more often than not they are paid out to state governments, businesses, or charitable organisations. Sometimes private organisations also issue grants to individuals to help them to find work, education, or housing.

This post will explore the subject of personal grants in greater detail, explaining how they are useful:

Grant Purpose

The purpose of grants is to give people who are struggling financially a much-needed cash injection. This article’s focus is on individual grants as ones given to state governments or businesses. The U.S. government did not traditionally give grants to private individuals. Instead, charitable organisations and funding groups did this. The U.S. government is now giving personal grants to people, because of the ongoing financial crisis and rising inflation. Grants do not have to be repaid, which means that individuals are able to take them out without having to worry about paying them back or having interest added on.

Federal Grants

Traditionally, grants were only issued to businesses or state governments. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic (and the financial crisis that followed in its wake), the U.S. government has made available a number of grants for individuals, although you do need to meet a number of stipulations otherwise you won’t be eligible. Due to the high cost of gas, some states are also considering making grants available for $100 (or more) to help homeowners and tenants fuel their homes. In order to learn about which grants you might be eligible for, contact your local government office, or read a guide.

Eligibility

If you want to take out a personal grant, then you will need to meet the grant’s eligibility criteria. These criteria can be found on the actual grant application page. Thankfully, the criterion for many grants is not particularly strict at the moment. Unless you are making over a million dollars a year, you should qualify. Grants have been released so as to give cash injections to a variety of different households, from middle-class ones all the way down to lower class ones.

Non-repayable

Personal grants are non-repayable, meaning that you don’t have to pay them back, no matter how many you access. The only other option that many people have aside from personal grants is to take out a loan. The difference between a grant and a loan is that grants do not need to be repaid, so they don’t accumulate interest. Loans on the other hand are repaid over a fixed period of time, during which they accumulate interest and become a lot more expensive. Make sure that you are applying for government grants, however, and not government loans. It’s easy to confuse the two sometimes.

Repayable

Straightforward

Applying for a government grant is straightforward. All you need to do is to fill out an online application and then wait for a response. If your grant is declined you will be given an opportunity to appeal the adjudicator’s decision. If your grant is accepted, then your money will reach your account on the day that’s stated in your acceptance letter. The benchmark is set very low for these grants, so unless you make a lot of money at work or have a huge amount of savings, you should be accepted for the grant that you are applying for.

Helpful

Grants are very helpful, especially for people that are struggling financially. The ability to be able to turn to the government and receive money is not one that’s found in many countries. The U.S. government is doing its best at this time to help people, ensuring that they receive the help that they need. If you are really struggling, you may also qualify for local state-government run food banks. A food bank is a place where food is distributed to people on low incomes and the homeless. They are different to soup kitchens, which are kitchens run for homeless people almost exclusively.

Short-term

Grants are a short-term fix. This is something that you need to bear in mind. The U.S. government isn’t going to continue to issue these kinds of grants to people for much longer. When the financial situation resolves, these grants will become a thing of the past. For that reason, you should try to apply, even if you don’t necessarily need to take out a grant at the moment. You can save the money and then use it in the future if you ever need to. If not, you can always return it as a state donation.

Crisis

The world’s experiencing an unprecedented financial crisis and a recession is looming. The price of food and gas is higher than ever before, so it’s not surprising that the U.S. government are issuing grants to help people to pay for these things. Taking out a grant is a great way to offset the cost of these things and still be able to pay for your essentials. As mentioned previously, you should apply for one of these grants even if you don’t absolutely need to, because you can’t predict when you might need to in the future. A government grant can help you to get through this current economic crisis unscathed.

Waterfall

Lastly, it’s worth knowing that government grants have a waterfall effect, meaning that once you qualify for one, you likely qualify for several others. It’s worth exploring the different grants that are available to you when you make your initial application and then apply for them if you are accepted for the first. By virtue of being accepted for a grant, it’s an indication that you are in a bad situation financially (or have the potential to be), which means that you should in theory also meet the criterion for other grants.

Personal grants are a godsend for many people. Unemployment is at an all-time high, inflation is growing by the day, and the prices of essential groceries are becoming almost unaffordable. A government grant could be just what you need to survive.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.