Who wouldn't want “money for free” or “government grants” that just magically falls into
your lap? When you hear this kind of thing, you might wonder “Does money really grow on trees?”. After reading the article "Free Money?", I decided to do a little research of my own, and share what I learned:
If you were to believe the infomercials on late-night TV or perhaps the ads in the local classifieds paper , you would probably assume that it's possible. These smooth talking guys on TV invite you to their seminars, where they will show you how to get all this free money to pay your bills. They have even smoother looking people telling you how they got a grant from government for $ 40,000 to run their small businesses. Or they will tell you that they got thousands of dollars which they do not need to return, to use as they wish.
Now doing a search for "free money" on the internet. The situation only gets worse here. There are over 272,000,000 sites which pop up – just this figure itself is mind-boggling and you begin to believe "Hey, maybe there is something to this stuff..." After all there are so many websites which promise to help you get this supposedly free money.
Do not be misled by all of this. It is all part of a grand scam and you are likely to lose money rather
than gain anything from all of this. Use a little bit of common sense and you will understand why this is
not feasible. As your mother probably said "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is..."
Let's first clear up some misconceptions before we tell you the correct way search for government
Grants are not free rides:
When you apply for a grant, you need to prove to the government that your application is valid and that you meet all of the various requirements. Educational grants will only be given if you can prove that you are really going in for higher education, that you meet the income limits, and that you are an actual student. A request for a grant for any community work is also going to be scrutinised carefully before they approve of it. The old adage “there is nothing known as a free lunch” is true for grants also, probably more so.
Everyone is eligible for a grant:
No, this is not true at all. There are strict eligibility criteria, and you need to check these out carefully before you apply. Age, standard of living, current employment status and many others factors are usually taken into consideration.
It is easy to get a grant sanctioned:
Once again, there are many steps involved, and the process is rather lengthy. But if you are eligible
and your paperwork is correct, then you may get an approval, but it will not happen quickly.
If it is so complicated, why even try:
Do not give up so easily. If nothing in life is free, then nothing in life is easy either. The grants once
authorized, can be a bonanza for those who are in dire need of money. Just make sure that you
ask them clearly about the eligibility criteria and whether you are entitled to these grants. It is not
complicated, but painstakingly long and requires some concentration and a little bit of time. Do not
take the process lightly but the end result, if positive, will be sweet. Really really sweet!
You do not have to return the money, ever:
Another misconception fostered by the TV ads and the websites. If you do not follow their guidelines then you are likely to be asked to return the money and also be penalised. They have many follow-up procedures and you need to keep up with them. If you are forthright in your methods, then the
money does not have to be returned. Also keep in mind that many programs that the "free money" hucksters calls grants are actually loans, which DO HAVE to paid back.
The grants do not exist – they are just scams:
Now you are moving to the other side of the spectrum. The grants do exist, and the governments
have put them up for people and/or organizations who need them in certain sectors of society. Just do not treat them like easy money, hand-me-downs or charity.
Having said all this, let us now discuss some of the factors in this scenario.
There are many grants which are available from the government from small businesses and for community service. They are also available for higher education for some students.
Let us begin by telling you where to look and then about how to apply for these grants.
Grants.gov is by far the best site for getting all the correct information. It is a government site so all
the information available there is genuine and correct. The processes are clearly spelled out, and there
is no attempt to mislead you with a big sales pitch and promises which are not likely to be kept.
If you are a low-income group family then the LIHEAP program is there to assist you with your
energy concerns. Like Grants.gov they are also a genuine agency...they are a part of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, and if you qualify, the assistance is real.
When you begin looking for genuine sites, take care not to be scammed by sites which sound similar
to official sites. Look only for sites which have a URL ending with .gov – since these are a part of the
official machinery. Do not get taken in by this clever scam: Some sites will present themselves as informational sites that have researched the best sites for you, and weeded out the scams. They probably have a personal interest in the ones they recommend.
There is money available, as we said before, but you need to work hard to get it. There is no such
thing as “free money” – that misconception must be removed from your mind before you begin your