Grants can help single mothers and fathers pay for various everyday bills because they represent free money that you do not have to repay. They are ideal in this regard.
However, you might find it very challenging to find a third-party willing to cut you a check or issue a voucher for every possible need, making your quest less appealing.
Instead, you are much likelier to locate resources that reduce expenses for low-income households. Single moms often earn very little because they must balance work and childcare duties without a partner.
Break down your search by personal, housing, and schooling needs to find the help you need more quickly.
Personal Grants for Single Parents
Single mothers and fathers need to follow a roadmap to find personal grants. The federal government does not provide free money directly to individuals, so you have to find multiple resources.
However, you can improve the chances of finding help with bills if you break down the opportunities by category.
Emergency grants for single moms and dads are often loans that you must repay with origination fees and interest charges. Loans are not free money, but you can use the borrowed funding to help pay regular bills during a crisis.
Government agencies and charitable organizations are notoriously slow and not the ideal place to turn during an emergency. A private lender can move more quickly and approve an application within days rather than weeks or months.
Please avoid borrowing money during a crisis, as it could make matters worse.
Financial hardship grants can help single mothers and fathers pay off debts and other bills or delay their due dates. You have four avenues to pursue that have nothing to do with free money from a third party.
Financial hardship means difficulty making repayments on your loans and debts when they are due each month. Creditors are more likely to forgive unsecured debts for one-parent households when they fear getting nothing instead.
Debt relief programs work best when you demonstrate financial hardship to creditors by stopping payment. You begin by consolidating money into an escrow account. Then, you offer immediate partial payment (roughly 1/3) in exchange for forgiveness on the remaining (2/3) balance.
Financial hardship could also trigger help for one-parent families moms struggling with student loan payments. Several Department of Education programs kick in when graduates have difficulty handling debt.
- COVID Emergency Relief
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
- Pay As You Earn Repayment (PAYE)
401K hardship withdraws mean one-parent households can access money from their retirement account for an immediate and heavy financial need. For example, you could use the funding for medical bills, funeral expenses or to avoid eviction or foreclosure.
You do not have to repay the funding withdrawn from your 401K but could owe taxes. Be very careful before taking this step, as you do jeopardize your retirement savings and their long-term compounding growth.
Solo parents struggling to make mortgage payments due to financial hardship have two opportunities to find the relief provided a Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE – FHA, USDA, VA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac) originated their home loan.
- Forbearance allows you to pause mortgage payments for up to 180 days
- Foreclosure moratoriums restrict when lenders can take back a property
Dental grants for single moms and dads will require creativity because you are unlikely to find free money earmarked for personal oral care. Instead, you might find more success by tapping into programs that help low-income families.
For example, Medicaid pays for emergency dental work for adults in all fifty states with varying coverage levels for other treatment types.
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Also, dental schools rarely provide free oral care. But solo parents living close to a university might benefit from discounted services for low-income patients.
Finally, private companies promote dental grant programs as part of a deceptive marketing scheme. They give away a small service to patients needing extensive oral care and the financial capacity (insurance) to pay for it.
Grants to buy or repair cars can help single mothers and fathers pay for personal transportation needs. Once again, it may prove challenging to find free money earmarked for auto purchases or repair.
Instead, you may have to scout around and try out a variety of other resources.
- Auto insurance policies to cover accidents
- Auto insurance warranties for mechanical breakdowns
- Local DMV might contribute to vehicle exhaust fixes
- Charitable organizations often donate used vehicles
- Churches run outreach ministries
- VA automotive allowance for specialized adaptations
- Vouchers provide discounts for specific purchases
Government assistance programs for single moms and dads probably will not provide free grant money in the form of a check deposited in your bank account because federal agencies do not issue funding directly to individuals for personal use.
Most government-based support deploys at the state or county level, and many programs lower general-purpose bills rather than provide cash payments.
- Medicaid health and dental insurance
- Children’s Health Insurance Plan
- Unemployment Compensation
- State Temporary Disability Insurance
- Social Security Disability (SSDI & SSI)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Women Infants & Children (WIC)
- Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
- Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Single Parent Housing Grants
Housing assistance for single parents follows a similar pattern. The federal government does not award grants to individuals for personal use. However, state and county-level agencies operate programs that lower shelter costs for low-income families.
Rental grants for single mothers and fathers begin at the federal level and filter down to state and county agencies. The local entities administer programs that make apartment living more affordable for low-income families.
- Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) operated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Emergency Rental Assistance Program run by the Department of Treasury during the COVID-19 pandemic
Mortgage grants to help single moms and dads buy a home also begin at the federal level and then flow to specific agencies that administer programs that help low-income families.
Three federal agencies offer down payment grants that could help solo parents qualify as first-time home buyers. Of course, mortgage insurance might boost the size of your monthly payment.
- FHA-researched down payment grants often involve second mortgages with payments that are forgiven, subsidized, or deferred until resale of the property
- USDA helps low-income households afford decent, sanitary dwellings in rural areas
- The VA waives down payment requirements for veterans when the loan balance is less than the appraised value of the property
Schooling Grants for Single Moms
Schooling grants can help single moms pay for tuition, textbooks, lab fees, and other expenses associated with furthering their education. In this case, the federal government does provide free money for personal use, so your strategy is straight forward.
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to apply for monetary help with school. The FAFSA criteria favor solo parents because they often have exceptional financial need.
- Lower incomes associated with one wage earner households
- Lower countable resources in households with dependent children
- Women over the age of twenty-four classified as independent
Single mothers could qualify for these grants listed by Sallie Mae. Winning one or more of these awards could help tremendously with college expenses.
- Pell grants awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need
- Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG) students completing an academically rigorous high school program
- National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) grants go to students in high-demand majors
- TEACH Grants to help students who agree to teach in high-need fields for at least four years after graduation
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) help low-income undergraduates who need extra aid to pay for college
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants help students whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in these two countries
Cosmetology grants can help single moms learn how to join the beauty field as an expert with hair, skin, nails, or makeup. Start by completing the (FAFSA®) form – provided that you plan to enroll in an accredited program.
Cosmetology students qualify for the same need-based financial aid as all other undergraduates attending four-year college programs.
Nursing school grants can help single mothers learn how to assist doctors and other healthcare professionals when providing critical care to patients. As before, start by completing the (FAFSA®) form – provided that you plan to enroll in an accredited program.
Nursing students also qualify for the same need-based financial aid regardless of the type of degree they might be pursuing: CNA, LPN, LVN, ADN, BSN, MSN, or DNP.