What do Jennifer Garner, Jay Z, Cameron Diaz, Will Smith, Jay Leno, Tony Hawk, Morgan Freeman and Steven Colbert have in common? Hint: it’s not their fame, good looks or wealth…
In fact they're all lucky owners of the Tesla S car. And they're just a few of many celebrities who also own one. Starting at $70,000+ — and closer to to $100,000 with options — it’s no surprise that they have plenty of money to spend. But these folks also see it as a statement that they “care about the planet.”
Reports show more and more younger people (18-34) are opting not to own a car at all because it’s not “green”. Many more people of all ages struggling to get by don’t have that luxury. They need a car to get to work, to medical appointments, to their kids’ school, and more.
It’s ironic that the U.S. Department of Energy loaned Tesla almost 500 million dollars to develop a car that is essentially for the rich. Meanwhile Obama’s “cash for clunkers” program took lots of older — and inexpensive — cars off the road. It may have a tiny impact on the environment some day, but at what real cost to people trying to earn a living and support a family?
Discover your program today!
Studies show that lack of a car is the number one reason why low income workers lose their jobs. Though public transportation and access to “Zip Cars” and the like may be common in the city, that’s not where all the jobs are. It’s also not where a lot of people can afford to live, or where they want to raise their children.
Studies also have shown that the most effective way to help struggling families get off public aid is to give them a loan for a car. If you need a car to get to work — and for many other reasons — you probably will not get a very favorable loan from a bank or other commercial lender. But fortunately there are a number of agencies that exist to help people get a car! You may have heard of the biggest and perhaps you haven't had much luck with them. The good news is there are at least half a dozen reputable organizations that can help you get a car. Our new article Money For A Car reviews them and also provides ideas for other places to look for help. Be sure to check it out if a car would make a big difference in your life!
Is there A Government Loan for you?
Lots of people hear about grants and are anxious to find them. But what about government loans? They differ from grants of course in that they have to be paid back — typically with interest. But they are a lot easier to get than real grants. And in fiscal year 2015 the U.S. Government gave out almost $4.5 billion (yes, billion!) in loans.
Many of these loans went to other agencies and to corporations (like the Tesla example above….). But there are also loans that are available to regular people like you. They mostly fall into one of six different categories. One is loans for students (or parents) for school like you can get by completing the Free Application for Student Aid. Others are for individuals and families buying or repairing a house — or providing living space for farm workers. Many go to businesses and to people who are trying to start a business — and there are even special loans for companies that are trying to get contracts with the government. There are also many Agriculture Loans for farmers and ranchers, including some interesting ones for young people. Disaster Relief Loans and loans for veterans are the two other categories.
If you’ve ever used benefits.gov you know you can fill out a questionnaire to see what benefits you qualify for. Well there’s another questionnaire that you can use to see what government loans you may be able to get! See our new review of Government Loans to find out more.
Big news about FAFSA - and more Pell Grants
A couple of important announcements came out in September about the Free Application for Student Aid. In the past many people have run into a problem filling out this critical application because of all the information needed about parents’ tax return. The deadline for FAFSA came far before the deadline for tax filing and so the information needed wasn’t available. Students would get accepted at colleges they wanted to go to but they needed to reply before knowing whether they would have enough money to pay for it.
That will change beginning in October of 2016 because of a change in the deadline and a big change in what parents must report. That will be a relief to many and is long overdue. It will also increase the number of students who will be able to get Pell Grants (government awards to low income students for school). See how these changes could affect you!
Have you heard of microfinancing? It started as a way to help people in developing countries. Now it is becoming more and more common in the United States. If you don’t have much money or a relationship with a bank — but you do have a good idea and willingness to work at it — micro financing could be for you. Take a look at microfinancing and some new developments in that area: it could change your life!
Lots of opportunities for you to go after in this “National Work and Family Month”. Happy October and Happy Fall!