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Personal Finance: How to file bankruptcy plus free bankruptcy forms. Create a household personal budget, balance a checkbook register, track expenses and more.
Tip of the Day: Collection Agency Contact - When a collection agency calls you, don't be afraid to answer the phone. Answer and ask these questions: What is your company name? What number do I call to supply new information or to ask additional questions? Where are you located? Who claims I owe this debt? If you do not recognize the debt, demand the agency to mail proof to you. If the agency cannot provide proof, you can send them a cease and desist letter which also forbids them to place a bad credit entry on your credit report.
Personal Credit Advice: If you are short of money and a bill is due that will result in a late payment penalty fee, what can you do? Charge the bill to your credit card, because the interest on it may be lower than the late fee. If you don't have a credit card due to bad credit, get a payday personal loan to fill the temporary cash shortage.
Free government grants for veterans and other assistance programs, including for dependents.
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All discretionary grants offered by the 26 federal grant agencies can be found, plus you don't have to register with Grants.gov to find grant opportunities. However, once you are ready to apply for a grant, you will need to register. This registration approval process takes 3-5 business days.
Free Grant Opportunities Search
Search by keyword, Funding Opportunity Number (FON) or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number.
Search by a variety of categories of funding activities.
Search from a list of agencies offering grant opportunities.
Search by more specific criteria such as: Funding Instrument Type, Eligibility or Sub-agency.
Search for Recovery Act Opportunities.
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Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents
Provides a comprehensive summary of federal government benefits available to veterans and their dependents, including information on alcoholism treatment programs, aid for the blind, burial assistance, clothing allowances, compensation for service-connected disabilities, death payments, dental treatment, dependents' education, education and training loans, etc. Searchable. Web page maintained by the Consumer Information Center at Pueblo, Colorado.
Federal Benefits Manual for Veterans and Dependents
The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a copy of the latest edition at this site plus other information about veteran benefits programs.
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation exists to provide financial assistance to the children of Marines and of former Marines pursuing higher education at accredited universities and colleges, or vocational schools. America's most precious resource is its children, and their development as responsible citizens and civic leaders requires education. The foundation is dedicated to youth, education, and the enduring values and standards that have made our Corps and our country great. For further information call: 609-921-3534.
U.S. Army ROTC Scholarships
Ok, you don't have to be a veteran to get a ROTC scholarship. But check out this site anyway if you are interested.
Veterans Online Application Web Page
The Veterans Affairs Department has launched a new Web site that enables veterans to file online for pension and health care benefits. Unveiled last Friday, the Veterans Online Applications site lets veterans apply for disability compensation, pension and vocational rehabilitation benefits electronically. The site is designed to cut down on the time it takes for vets to receive their compensation and pension checks.
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Why do creditor interest rates change? In a healthy economic environment, personal loan rates and terms improve as lenders can enjoy lower risks of approving applicants as they are in a much better position to repay. But when economic situations interfere with repayment reliability, lenders charge higher rates to offset potential high risk losses. As lender losses escalate, so do credit card and loan rates and fees they charge. Not only does consumer behavior and the economy affect interest rates, but so does government regulations. For example, when the new credit card regulations were launched, credit card companies were restricted on how; and when, they could increase rates on late payers. Hence, that led to higher rates for everyone; not merely the late payers, to offset eventual default losses. Whenever regulatory restrictions ease, lenders and credit card issuers are allowed to be more competitive which encourages lower rates and fees.
Review information was gleaned from the website, and is neither an endorsement by us nor an confirmation of content nor a warranty of any promises made by the website. Use the review information at your sole discretion and sole liability.
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A federal grant is an award of financial assistance from a federal agency to a recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States. For a quick overview of important information about grants, see Top Ten Things You Should Know About Grants. It is important to understand that federal grants are not made for “unrestricted purposes” or to support the existing programs or activities of an organization. They are instead awarded for very specific purposes in response to specific federal legislation. Therefore if you apply for a federal grant you will most likely be developing a new plan that is outside of your organization’s current everyday activities.
How to Find Grants: The best way to find a grant depends on who you are (student, business person, reseacher, artist, non-profit organization, etc.) and what type of grant you are looking for. While it can be confusing, there are many sources of help, including private and federal websites and consultants. If you are uncertain about any terms and their meanings, check out Important Grant Related Terms.
Check out Business Grants if you know that is what you are looking for, Pell Grants and Scholarship Information and Where to Find Scholarships if you are a student seeking financial support, and Research Grants if you are an individual or organization with expertise in a particular field of research.
You may also want to check out a book that provides a step-by-step guide to government contracting success. Though provocatively titled, this experienced consultant shares his secrets of success so you can “make large amounts of money by doing business with and receiving grants from federal, state, and local governments.”
Writing a Good Grant Proposal: Due to the often complex and increasingly competitive nature of grant seeking, many applicants turn to professional grant writing services. However, many grants are still awarded based on proposals submitted by small organizations and “ordinary people”. With some effort and the use of appropriate resources (many of them free), you can write a successful grant proposal! Sometimes, the best way to learn Grant Writing is from a book. Consider this book from the popular “Dummies” series:
Executive Summary - This is the introduction to the proposal, a place to “State Your Case Succinctly and strongly, and summarize the rest of the proposal. It should summarize the Statement of Need, Project description, Budget and Organizational Information. According to the Foundation Center - it is an “umbrella statement of your case and summary of the entire proposal”. This is a key opportunity to “sell” the proposal, making sure it reflects a professional approach and capacity for excellence.
Statement of Need - Explain why this project is necessary, this is the chance to place the project into context. It may be helpful to draw on third party research to help paint the picture of the particular need being addressed, but make sure that it does not become too wordy and that it only contextualizes the project without overwhelming it.
Projection Description - This is the place for the project in detail. If the Executive Summary and Statement of Need are convincing, this is where the reader will explore how the proposal comes into effect. It needs to be logical, and well-thought through. Explain the Goals, Objectives, and Performance Indicators - 1) what you are going to achieve, 2) how you are going to do it, and 3) how you are going to evaluate it.
Budget - Grant Makers are in some ways like any other successful business - they have people that understand money - and more importantly, they understand value for money. Furthermore, they want their money to achieve the best results. So here is where they are looking for evidence of good fiscal policy and practice. The Budget is where to demonstrate that, should they grant it, their money will be in safe hands. Show enough detail to demonstrate understanding of the costs and that they will be delivered according to budget.
Organization Information - Is an opportunity to sell the capacity to deliver. Include a brief history of the school or organization; outline the governance structures that oversee it, and list the main activities, audiences, and services. If there is a history of successful project delivery - include it here. If new to project work - try to draw on the experience the personnel have had elsewhere.
Conclusion - Summarize all of the above, keep it succinct - but ensure to include reference to all the main points from the other sections. This is the chance to build the final picture of the submission for the reader. Do not at this point, add in new information that is not supported elsewhere and try to keep it brief and potent.