Are you looking for information about grant programs that may help with mortgage payments? Through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the federal government offers mortgage payment assistance to the public. States and non-profit agencies have followed the federal government's lead and also offer mortgage payment grants. While competitive, these grants can help homeowners get back on their feet and avoid foreclosure.
A grant is an award of money that does not need to be repaid. Grants are typically provided by non-profit organizations, housing agencies, state governments, and the federal government. Awarded funds are only usable for the purpose for which they were offered and most agencies require recipients to submit periodic updates demonstrating how the funds were used to ensure that they were not misappropriated.
The lack of repayment differentiates grants from loans. Many agencies offer low- or no-interest loans to first time homebuyers and individuals struggling with mortgage payments. Loan assistance programs are more common, but are different programs.
Grants are awarded through a rather competitive application process. The applications themselves are quite complex and failing to answer any question could result in a denial. The good news is that there is literally millions of dollars in grant money made available each year. Many grants are offered only to minorities or to applicants meeting certain qualifications, such as earning a low income. These restrictions reduce the number of applications, meaning that there is less competition for the award. There is also no limit to the number of times an applicant can apply for a grant, which even further increases the odds of receiving the offered funds.
Available Mortgage Payment Grants
There are many different grants available; eligibility for these grants depends on income, residency, the house's value, and the mortgage payment amount. In addition to making mortgage payments, most grants provide assistance with negotiating a lower mortgage payment.
Preserving Homeownership and Savings Education Strategies
Created by Money Management International and the Consumer Credit Counseling Services, this grant assists homeowners who have missed one or more mortgage payments by bringing their mortgage up-to-date. Approximately $1 million in funds are available to homeowners in specific states.
Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program
Offered by the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, this grant offers residents facing foreclosure assistance with mortgage payments. Approximately $35,000 in funds is available.
Greater Erie Community Action Agency
This community agency offers help to Erie residents facing foreclosure due to mortgage payments. Applicants can be as little as one month behind on their payments to be eligible. The agency has approximately $41,000 funds available for assistance.
Dallas Home Connection, Home Buyers Club
Comprised of non-profit lending institutions and homebuilders, this agency makes mortgage payment grants available to members. Recipients can receive as much as $2,500 for their mortgage payments.
Get a Grant to Help with Mortgage Payments
The first step to get a grant to help with mortgage payments is to contact your local HUD office. HUD satellite offices are located in most major cities, but smaller cities have usually contracted their services to non-profit organizations. Your local office will tell you about grants available in your area and how to apply for them.
However, you should also do a little searching on your own. While the HUD office will know of many different grants, it is unlikely they will know about all of them. The federal government's grant website, city's housing authority, and non-profit housing agencies are great resources.
The next step is to thoroughly research these grants to ensure that you satisfy the eligibility criteria and complete their applications. The complexity of grant applications makes it worthless to apply for grants for which you are ineligible. Save your time by only completing applications for those grants that you feel you have a chance of receiving. Non-profit housing organizations and your city's housing authority may be able to assist you with your application.
Prepare to spend some time sitting back and waiting. Each application is thoroughly reviewed by the grant-making agency, sometimes causing a long lag time between when you submit your application and when you are notified about the decision. In the meantime, don't stop making your mortgage payments, or at least pay as much of them as you are able to, or it may look like you aren't taking your mortgage obligation seriously.