How to Get a Grant for Your First Home

 

Buying your own home is a dream for many people. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford the down payment required by getting a loan to purchase their own home. Getting a grant for your first home can be a solution, when you do not have other financial means to cover the down payment. Here are the necessary steps you have to undertake to get a grant for your first house.

Find a suitable program

Grants for first time home buyers are available in all US states, but these programs are not the same everywhere you go. The best course of action is to ask your local government for more information on existing grant systems. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is a great source to get started, because this is where you will find all the needed information on the program running in your state.

Make sure that you fit the requirements

Besides being a first time home buyer, you will most probably be asked to meet other requirements. These usually refer to income limits, but again, they vary quite greatly from one state to another and even from county to county. Make sure you have all the information needed, to avoid any later disappointment. The number of people in the household may also play a role, so if you have kids in your care, this information should be required.

Apply for a loan grant

There are lenders who offer loan grants through local home buying programs. Go to your local housing agency and ask for a list with approved lenders in your area. Depending on the area you live in, you may find more lenders willing to help you with your first time home purchase.

Make sure to complete correctly the application form

There is nothing more frustrating than having to resubmit applications because of incorrect or insufficient information being submitted in the first place. Details about your income, employment history, credit history, debt situation, as well as other financial and personal info, are usually required in these applications. If your application goes through, you will get the grant you need to purchase your first home.

 

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Single Mothers Advice: Where to Apply Online for Grants to Finance a Start-up Business

Single mothers usually encounter more financial difficulties than couples, as they need to juggle with paying all the bills, raising their kids, and taking care of themselves in the same time. Starting a business sounds like a good idea, especially since it can help you get out of your financial conundrum and build a better life for you and your children, as well. You are not alone in this endeavor; in a study published in 2010, Forbes estimated that by 2018, about one third of all businesses will be owned by women, and the qualities women have as leaders and business owners are more and more recognized. If you have a great idea for a business and you do not know where to start, here are some tips on how to get a grant for a start-up business.

Where to find grants as a single mother

First things first, you need to know that there are several sources that can help you find a grant to start a new business.

There are:

 

  • Federal grants
  • Local governmental grants
  • Company grants
  • NGO sponsored grants
  • Grants offered by research institutions

Consider the specific organizations in charge of helping people like you find the grant they need for a business. The Small Business Administration is a great place to start looking for a grant, as there are plenty resources available. Women Business Centers are readily available in every state, so here is another resource to get you started.

Community Development Financial Institutions work together with SBA and they offer special help to single mothers with low income wanting to become entrepreneurs. Also, do not overlook searching for private organizations in your area that offer support for single mothers looking to start a new business.

You do not have to leave your home to get in touch with all these organizations. Online websites, like grants.gov and sba.gov are readily available for beginners, and you can find a lot of useful information from them.

Define your niche

Do not forget that it is very important to define your niche. Since there are many people applying for grants all the time, it is a good idea to be well prepared, to maximize your chances to land that grant. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be paid back, which makes them the ideal choice for single mothers with low income. However, you need to pitch your idea properly if you want to take advantage of this opportunity.

Find contests in your niche

Another way to get a grant for your startup business is by finding a contest in your niche. There are now online opportunities for finding such contests, such as Amazon Web Services Start-Up Challenge and MIT programs. It all depends on your niche, of course, but the money you can get in this manner can be quite substantial, making it possible for you to start your business.

Go for crowdfunding

The most important characteristic of a grant is that you do not have to pay back the money, so, besides the possibilities offered above, you also have the option to crowdfund your project. Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, to name just the two most popular platforms, allow you to create a project and draw attention, in order to gather funds for your start-up.

How to apply for a grant

There are several rules to keep in mind if you want a fair chance to have your grant accepted.

  1. Make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements. Since there are institutions offering grants to single mothers, you have to know the requirements for income limit, and others that may apply.

  2. Ask all the important questions. Besides requirements, you need to ask what grants are available, when they will be released and any other important details.

  3. Time is of the essence. Most grants are offered to those who show up first, so try having all the paperwork in place, so you can apply as fast as possible.

  4. Write a professional essay when applying. You can find advice on the matter at the Women Business Center in your state, or you can look online for samples to see how they are written.

 

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Learn How to Get Your Family’s Budget under Control

single parent 300x199 Learn How to Get Your Familys Budget under Control
Having a family budget is essential to avoid overspending. Many families shy away from making budgets because they fear what they write on paper will be too restrictive, and, as a result, some needs won’t be met and certain goals won’t be pursued. This is, however, far from being the truth. Without a carefully planned budget, overspending comes natural. When asked about what the money is spent on, many feel tempted to say that all was spent on necessities and nothing else. A simple writing down of their expenses would bring up some surprises; small amounts spent on coffee, new hobbies, items never used that end up in the back of the garage, add up, eating up the profit margin all families should enjoy from their monthly income. Here are some steps to help you get your family’s budget under control.

Take a look at your credit report
Debt can become a burden for your budget, if it is not well managed. First things first, you need to know where you stand, and reviewing your credit report should be part of your routine. You will be able to find out if there are any problems that need to be addressed so that your family budget can improve. Also, you will have a panoramic view of what is being spent on credit month after month, as this is money you should always have readily available, to avoid penalties.

Know exactly how much you spend on what
It is easy to say that your groceries cost X dollars monthly, as a general rule. You may be quite surprised to see that you may spend more than you think, through small expenses that are never put to good use, like frozen foods that you eventually throw away, or extra sweets that should not be bought in the first place.
The main problem with family budgets is that everyone tends to spend a little more on things they do not really need, even when it is about so called necessities. By putting down on paper the exact figures for everything you spend, you will get the clear picture of how much you are really spending.
Do not forget to include here all the bills, and the money spent with clothes and other things you need around the house. Clear financial records of everything you spend will help you decide where you could start operating cuts, so you can get your family’s budget under control.

Get rid of wasteful spending
Too many times, people end up spending money on items or services they do not really need. Wasteful spending is a tough enemy to go against, but all you need is a bit of knowledge and planning. For instance, if you notice a lot of items being bought and used only once, it means that you need to have a talk with the entire family, to set some ground rules.
Pricing plans for phones, cable TV and other entertaining options may be adjusted, as well. Take a moment to think if you really need to spend that much and if you could get by with a less expensive plan. This simple decision can save you quite a bit of money every month.

Establish goals
Making the same family budget month after month can easily become a routine that everyone comes to abhor. To avoid boredom, establish goals that your family would love reaching. For instance, if you want to save money to create a new deposit, do the math and see how the goal can be achieved. You will find it much easier to give up on wasteful spending this way, too, because you will have a prize, a goal to pursue.

Break the spending habit
One of the most important problems encountered by families is the spending habit. Remember that kids learn from their parents more than just basic rules; they can also take on financial habits that will affect them later in life. Whenever a new expense, even one that is very small, appears, if it is not a necessity, decide against it. This way, you will be able to break the spending habit, and the money you will not spend this way will just pile up in your pocket or in the bank.

We hope you found this small guide useful. Feel free to comment.

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5 Things All Single Moms Must Know about Maternity Leave

5 Things All Single Moms Must Know about Maternity Leave

The US is the only high income country in the world, where paid maternity leave is not provided, as a distinct right. For single mothers, the time interval after the baby is born is the most difficult, because they can face weeks on unpaid leave, before they can get back to work, and start making money again, to pay for the new demands of the extended family.
There are several things single moms should know about maternity leave, so they can prepare in advance for the challenges that wait ahead. Here are 5 of the most important.
See if you qualify for unpaid maternity leave under FMLA
In the US, maternity leave falls under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, known as FMLA, for short, but the benefits offered are very scarce. 12 weeks of unpaid leave are guaranteed, but only for women working in companies (public or private) with more than 50 employees within 75 mile radius. Also, the worker has to be with the company for one year, at least, or have at least 1,250 working hours on record. For single moms who do not make the cut, the situation can be dire.
According to official figures from 2013, however, only around 60% of the workforce in the US qualifies for FMLA. Besides unpaid leave, you are also provided with a guarantee that you will get your job – or your job equivalent back – when you are ready to work again.
Check the local laws and regulations regarding maternity leave
There are just a handful of states where paid maternity leave is provided for short periods of time. In California, the paid maternity leave is six weeks, and the mom receives 55% of her regular pay. District of Columbia regulations demand employers to provide workers with paid days of absence, but the actual figures can vary from one case to another. If you live in New Jersey, you are entitled to six weeks of paid maternity leave, while receiving 66% of your regular pay.
If you live in Puerto Rico, you are luckier, because you will receive eight weeks of paid maternity leave, at 100% of your regular pay. In Hawaii, the percentage is 58%, while in New York, it is 50%. As you can see, the compensation and the number of weeks of paid leave vary greatly, so it is recommended to check with your state’s laws and regulations first.
Work towards accumulating paid leave for the time interval after birth
One tactic used by single moms in the US is to work towards accumulating normal paid leave days to cover for the time interval they need to be close to the newborn baby. However, this requires a lot of planning, and an unexpected pregnancy is likely to catch the mom unprepared.
Another solution on the same trail of thought is to save as much money as possible to cover for at least the 12 weeks of unpaid leave provided under FMLA. If you combine these weeks and the ones you are entitled to, under normal circumstances, you may be able to stretch the time next to your baby to four months.
See if you qualify for WIC support
WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children and it is a program that offers federal grants for food, health care and nutrition education for low income women and children up to the age of five. You can ask for more information at the local WIC agency in your area. Even if what they offer is not that much, it is worth giving it a shot, as they do offer help for pregnant women during pregnancy and six weeks after the baby is born.
Check TANF and other support programs
If you have low income, it is also advisable to see if you qualify for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Medicaid, and other support programs available in your area. Actually, if you apply for more programs and you qualify for one, you increase your chances for automatic income eligibility with the others.
Getting by as a single mom, especially right after the baby is born, is crucial for your well being and your baby’s well being. Do not hesitate to ask your family and friends for help, to get over the most difficult part.

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Are you a woman and you need a small grant for your home-based or online business ?

Did you know that you can apply for a grant online, through the internet ?

Check-out womensnet.net. Its primary focus is to help women who are trying to start small businesses, home-based or online. The grants are usually not very huge, up to $1000 (no repayment is necessary).

 

Our primary focus is assisting women who are trying to start small businesses, home-based or online. The grants are small, usually $500 to $1000, and are intended to be used to upgrade equipment, pay for a web site etc – the small but essential expenses that can often make the difference between getting started or being forever stalled. The August Amber Grant will be for $500.00. No repayment is required or expected, although it is hoped that you will pass on the kindness by mentoring & helping others along the way. – See more at: http://womensnet.net/get-an-amber-grant/#sthash.8Rjh4pBb.dpuf
Our primary focus is assisting women who are trying to start small businesses, home-based or online. The grants are small, usually $500 to $1000, and are intended to be used to upgrade equipment, pay for a web site etc – the small but essential expenses that can often make the difference between getting started or being forever stalled. The August Amber Grant will be for $500.00. No repayment is required or expected, although it is hoped that you will pass on the kindness by mentoring & helping others along the way. – See more at: http://womensnet.net/get-an-amber-grant/#sthash.8Rjh4pBb.dpuf
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President Obama Speaking on Student Loan Debt

President Obama Speaking on Student Loan Debt

Many young people that once supported Obama, are now thinking the President has enslaved them in student debt. Watch the video below and tell us what you think!

via Source

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VA Adapted Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans

Special Adaptive Housing VA Adapted Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans

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Infographic: Student Debt Crisis

INFO DEBT FULL PADDING Infographic: Student Debt Crisis

Infographic Transcribed:

Student Debt Crisis

The U.S is drowning in student debt.

  • Americans outstanding credit card debt – 704 Billion
  • Total outstanding student loan debt – $867 Billion

The annual cost of a college education is spiking

  • Private college cost have doubled
  • Public college costs have doubled

Student debt is growing even faster.

  • 2005 – $15,651
  • 2007 – $18,511
  • 2009 – $20,820
  • 2012 – $24,301

Students get some help from the government…

  • Value of a pell grant – $4,550
  • 33% of students receive federal tax credits
  • 66% of students who receive direct government aid in the form of grants and loans

But debt is taking a financial toll…

  • Average monthly payment on a student loan – $250
  • 10% – Graduates whose payments exceed 25% of their income
  • Time it takes to pay off an average student loan – 10 Years

Graduates are getting less out of a college education

  • Bachelor degree holders who are jobless – 54%
  • Graduates who take jobs for which college degrees aren’t required – 33%
  • Time it takes to pay off an average student loan – 10 Years

What’s your take on the student loan debt crisis?

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Student Debt Forgiveness Plans Skyrocket

Below is an infographic from the WSJ. It depicts the amount of grad school debt owed by the typical borrower upon graduation, by program, in 2012 dollars. It’s pretty shocking.

student debt infographic Student Debt Forgiveness Plans Skyrocket

Source: WSJ

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5 Ways To Find Homes Rent to Own

how to rent to own 2 5 Ways To Find Homes Rent to Own

One of the hottest trends these days is the topic of rent to own homes. Why? With so many consumers fighting bad credit and recovering from the housing crisis of 2008, it has essentially become a win win situation for buyers, as well as sellers. It positively impacts buyers by allowing them to: rebuild credit, buy a home they could not otherwise afford, save money on a down payment, and much more. It helps sellers because it allows them to quickly move the property in circumstances where the house doesn’t easily sell. One of the greatest things about a rent to own home arrangement is the buyer doesn’t need perfect credit. So how do you go about finding these homes?

  1. Search Craigslist – Craigslist is still one of the top places online to find real estate for sale–especially rent to own homes. One thing that you have to be weary of when researching on CL is the huge amount of scams that run rampant on the site. Two scams that you need to watch out for are: a) the ad states a “too good to be true” rental price in a nice neighborhood. You reply with the best intentions and the “landlord” states you must check your credit report for free. b) Same as above, only scammers list phony housing opportunities (even houses that aren’t for rent or sale) and ask you to send payment up front. Despite these scams, there are still a wealth of rent to own listings available on the site. You can also create an ad stating you are looking for such an opportunity. Again, be weary of the scams you’ll encounter. Use your best judgement.

  2. Your Local Newspaper – Even though newspapers are being slowly phased out while everything moves digital, you can still find really great deals in the classifieds of your local newspapers. Many baby boomers still utilize this form of advertising and thus, its still a wonderful asset for research. Another plus is that the scams are less rampant on newspaper classifieds. So while you may not find as much volume of listings, the potential for scams is less likely.

  3. Put Signs Up In the Neighborhood You Want to Live In – As crazy as this sounds, it truly works. You can purchase cost effective, bright colored correplast signs with your message on it and display them all over town. Your message could state, “Rent to Own Home Wanted: Call, XXX-XXX-XXXX” It doesn’t need to be fancy. just needs to get the message across. One thing you need to be careful of when applying this strategy is your local ordinance laws. Depending on your city/county/town, this method could get you fined. Exercise your best judgement.

  4. Contact Realtors & Investors – Simple, yet very effective. The more realtors and investors you contact, the more opportunities you have of finding your dream rent to own home. Many listings aren’t even advertised through traditional channels. Why? Because highly networked realtors and investors already have a client list which they broadcast their deals to. They ultimately “sell” the deal as soon as they receive it. You too can get on this list just by contacting them and asking to be put on their list.

  5. Use an Online Rent To Own Homes Database – Possibly one of the quickest ways to find rent to own homes is to utilize an online database like that at HousingList.com. Their database is updated daily with the more homes than any other site currently on the web. If you want to reduce the chances of getting scammed, and you want to find a real opportunity, then we suggest giving HousingList.com a try.
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