Grants and Public Assistance
- The U.S. government provides numerous grants and public assistance programs to citizens in the most dire financial need. Low-income families and individuals who meet state regulated guidelines are often eligible to receive funding through welfare programs to ensure basic survival needs. Depending on your income, number of dependents and employment status, you might be eligible to receive food stamps, Medicaid and monthly cash allowance benefits. Contact your state department of health and human services -- or a similar agency -- for application information and eligibility guidelines. You can also explore Benefits.gov website for personal grant opportunities.
- Crowdfunding is a way of soliciting donations from a public audience by setting a financial goal and pleading your cause. This is typically accomplished by setting up a profile on a crowdfunding website. You compose a short summary of your needs and outline a specific financial goal you need to meet to resolve your financial issue. Your case is received and verified by web administrators and -- if approved -- posted publicly with links to accept pledges and donations. The Modest Needs organization helps needy families and individuals raise funds for anything from overdue utility bills to funds to cover medical expenses. Edu Lender (edulender.com/community/) is a similar site focusing on the financial needs of struggling college students.
- Hosting community social events is often a fun and effective way to raise money to help put a dent in your debt. If you belong to a church, community center or similar facility, look into renting a conference or banquet room to hold an event. Depending on the cause of your debt and personal situation, some organizations may loan you the space free of charge. Pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners are relatively inexpensive to organize and provide an opportunity for neighbors to come together in a social atmosphere. Estimate the costs of food and materials and expected head count to establish a fair yet profitable admission fee. Promote the event at least one month in advance via email marketing, flier distribution and posting ads in local bulletin boards.
- You can easily earn money to clear your debts -- while clearing unwanted clutter too -- by selling discarded household items. Take a look around your garage, basement, closets and storage units for seldom used belongings and assemble a sales inventory. One man's trash may be another's treasure. Gather all unwanted items and hold a yard or garage sale to make immediate on-the-spot sales. You may be able to increase your profit by listing items on eBay where buyers can bid in online auctions to "win" your items.
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