hand holding moneyIt’s late at night, the TV’s on and you see a commercial. It tells you that if you just buy this wonderful book, you’ll learn the secrets to get free money from the government to pay your credit card bills, renovate your home, and start a business!

It sounds so wonderful, but is it too good to be true? Yes, it’s too good to be true.

Before you shell out some of your hard earned money to learn how to get a government grant, learn the facts. The government does give away a lot of money every year in the form of grants, but most government grants go to state and local governments or nonprofit organizations that in turn use the money to administer community programs. The federal government rarely awards grants to individuals directly.

If you or someone you know is in need, the government has many assistance programs that might help – they’re just not called “grants.” There are programs to help with heating bills, or starting a business, or health insurance for children, and much more. If you’re an organization seeking a grant you should check out grants.gov, the official source to find and apply for a grant from the federal government.