A government grant is awarded to an organization or individual who needs to fund a project or other endeavor.
In most cases, grants are given to organizations that qualify for funding. Individuals may also be eligible for grants for certain types of projects. However, an individual can’t receive a federal grant to pay for personal expenses.
It’s important to understand that government grants are not the same as federal benefits. When many people think of “free” money from the government, the programs that come to mind are actually federal benefits, not grants.
Below, learn more about the difference between grants, loans and benefits and discover what types of financial help you may be eligible for.
What’s the difference between a grant and a loan?
The federal government provides money in the form of grants, loans and benefits. A grant is something that funds a project such as:
Grants are awarded to individuals and organizations that submit an application and undergo an in-depth eligibility screening.
The money from grants must be used for a specific purpose, and does not need to be repaid. Most grants are used towards projects that help the public in one way or another.
The government also provides loans in certain situations. The main difference between a grant and a loan is that loans must be repaid. In addition, loan repayments usually accrue interest.
Loans can be used to fund many of the same things as grants. For example, you may qualify for a loan to cover expenses relating to education, housing or disaster relief.
To get a loan, you need to prove your eligibility and submit an application to the appropriate government department. There are a variety of government agencies that provide loans to qualified individuals.