If you are struggling financially, there are ways for you to get help. From housing grants to health insurance, there are federally funded and private options for you to look at.
You can apply for a grant program such as Section 8 housing or welfare (TANF). But even if you do not qualify for free government grants, do not make the mistake of thinking that you cannot get help.
If you know where to look, you might be able to get low income health insurance plans or benefits that can help you pay your bills or pay off your debts. Find out more about the grants and financial help that you might be able to get today.
Learn About Government Grants for Housing Assistance
If you need help paying for housing, apply for Section 8 benefits. Section 8 is a national program that helps low-income families pay their rent in safe and clean apartments, townhouses and more. Through the Section 8 housing program, a public housing agency (PHA) will work with your landlord to pay a part of your rent.
To apply for Section 8, you need to contact your local PHA. Usually, you can apply online by taking these steps:
- Go to your state’s online website.
- Give personal and income information for you and the family members who live with you.
- Submit your Section 8 application form.
Once your application is accepted, you’ll be put on a waiting list. While you are on the waiting list, you can look for housing lists that are approved by your PHA so that you’re ready by the time your family’s name is at the top of the list.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is another free government grant that doesn’t have to be paid back. With this program, you get cash to help pay for your family’s needs. Section 8 assistance has to be put toward housing, but TANF can be put toward whatever bills you want.
But let’s say that you don’t qualify for free government housing assistance.
There are still ways to make housing costs easier to afford. Taking out the right housing loan can help you keep monthly payments low and get a low interest rate that you can afford. These are some of the best and cheapest options:
- FHA loans – The Federal Housing Administration gives loans to first time homeowners and people with low credit scores (even below 580). These loans are good because they have low interest rates and low down payments.
- USDA home loans – The United States Department of Agriculture gives home loans to help people in the countryside. These loans usually have no down payments and low interest rates.
- VA home loans – Loans given out by the Department of Veterans Affairs are helpful, too. They have low interest rates and no down payments. These loans are only for men and women who have served in the military.
Learn About Low Income Health Insurance
Getting low income insurance is another way you can boost your finances. Health insurance is an important part of your healthcare plan, but many Americans don’t know about all the cheap and free options. The three main medical assistance programs you can apply for are:
- Medicaid – This is low-cost or free care for pregnant women, the disabled and other groups of Americans. To qualify, you have to make less than a certain amount of money.
- Medicare – This is free healthcare for seniors 65 and older. To get Medicare, you usually have to pay into Medicare taxes.
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – This is low-cost or free healthcare for children of families who cannot get Medicaid or private insurance.
Apply for Medicaid online so the government can get your application faster. If you do not qualify for Medicaid and can’t afford private insurance, you can apply for CHIP online, too. If you are 65 or older, you can enroll in Medicare online as well.
If you don’t qualify for government medical help, don’t worry. There are a lot of affordable options you can get that aren’t from the government. With these other options, you don’t have to meet tough income requirements.
The trick to finding affordable health insurance for a low income budget is to learn about the most affordable options. In general, there are three types of plans that you can buy for cheap:
- Short term health insurance plans – These plans only cover you for a short time, like a few months. So the cost is low.
- Supplemental health insurance plans – Supplemental plans can help you pay for things your other insurance doesn’t pay for. It’s usually cheaper to buy supplemental insurance for medical bills that are not paid for by Medicare and other plans than to pay for the bills yourself.
- Catastrophic health insurance plans – Catastrophic plans can help you pay for medical emergencies. They’re for people younger than 30, and they come with low monthly payments and high deductibles. A high deductible means that, if you have a medical bill, you will have to pay a lot of money before you reach a set limit. When you reach the limit, your insurance company will start helping you pay the bills.
Learn About Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability benefits help people who can’t work long term because they have a disability. These benefits are monthly payments that last for as long as the person is disabled and can’t work.
These payments could be very useful for low-income people who can’t work because of a recent injury.
To apply for Social Security Disability benefits, follow these steps:
- Review the list of documents you will need to have to complete the form.
- Get the contact information of the hospitals and caseworkers who have helped you and put it together with your medical records, test results and personal information.
- Fill out the Social Security Disability Application online.
- Fill out and submit a medical release.
To qualify for SSDI, you must have worked at a job that is covered by Social Security.
Learn About Personal Loan Help
A personal loan can help you if you have financial troubles. Personal loans are loans that come from banks or other financial institutions. Unlike loans for houses or cars, personal loans can be used for whatever you want.
Personal loans are good because you can usually get them fast and they can make your credit better by giving you another open line on your credit report. You can apply for a personal loan online by:
- Checking out the terms of the loan (how it will work).
- Comparing offers of different companies.
- Submitting your application online.
To apply for a personal loan, you will need to get pre-approved from a bank, online lender or credit union. Keep in mind that credit unions are known for giving good terms to low-income families and people in debt.
Learn About Credit Card Consolidation Loans
You might want to think about a loan to consolidate credit card debt. If you have different debts from credit cards, this is one way to get your payments into one place. With a debt consolidation program, you can put all of your debts into one account and pay it off with single monthly payments.
The best thing about credit card consolidation loans is that they can help you save money even when you are making payments. That’s because these debt relief loans usually have lower interest rates than credit cards do.
To get started online, you can take these steps:
- See what kind of loan you’re prequalified to get.
- Check out the terms of the different offers you get.
- Pick the debt consolidation loan that works for you.
- Get approved, and finalize the terms with your lender.