Last Updated on October 31, 2023 by Lori Pace
This might be a bad new for you but you should know that contrary to what you may see in the media or online, the federal government does NOT offer grants or “free money”. If there is any websites or publications claim to offer free money from the government, they are all scams.
However, good news is that the government offers federal benefits programs, and many other grants to assist individuals and families who are in financial need to become self-sufficient, or reduce their expenses.
What Is Government Grant?
One of the many ways that the government finances ideas and projects to stimulate the economy and provide public service is through grants. Grants are used to support innovative research and critical recovery efforts. The Catalog for Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) contains a list of grants that have been supported. You can also find information about federal grants and search for government grants at grant.gov.
Who can get a grant?
Grants from the federal government are awarded to:
- Local and state governments
- Research labs
- Enforcement of the law
- Non-profit organizations
Most grants are intended to benefit a specific part of the population or the entire community.
Look and Apply for Government Grants
Grants.gov is a free website that allows you to search for and apply for grants. For application forms or grant information, commercial sites might charge fees. Grants.gov consolidates information from over 1,000 government grant programs. It is there to assist states and organizations in applying for grants.
- Eligibility – The majority of funding opportunities are available to organizations and not individuals.
- How to Apply – Find tips and tools that will help you in the registration and application process. Learn how to create a grant proposal.
- Email Notifications – Sign up to receive email notifications about new grant opportunities.
There are many different grants from the government that you should consider to support your family.
“Free” Government Grants and Money Scams
It’s likely a scam to receive information that claims you are eligible for a free money from government grants. Find out more from the Federal Trade Commission to help you recognize and avoid grant frauds. You can report to the FTC if you’ve been a victim in a grant fraud.
If you are unhappy with the information or have not received it, contact your state consumer safety office.
Find out more about federal loans and how to get them legally and safely.
What is a loan from the federal government?
The purpose of government loans is to pay for education, help with housing, business, or respond to an emergency. Because recipients must repay loans (often with interest), loans are not the same as grants.
There are many types of loans that the federal government offers, including:
- Student loans
- Housing loans including catastrophe and loan for home improvement
- Small business loans
Look for Government Loans
GovLoans.gov is the official, free website of the federal government. Commercial sites may charge fees for information or forms. They provide information about loans for agriculture, businesses, disaster relief education, housing and for veterans.
- Eligibility – Use the online tool to determine eligibility.
- How to Apply – Each loan program has a different application process.