PostHeaderIcon Debt consolidation? Debt relief Grants?? Govt assistance?


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My friend is in the middle, she makes too much apparently for food stamps or similar programs, although I can’t help her figure out what those numbers are. The people at the office were less than helpful so I told her I’d try here.

We looked into Debt Consolid and then Debt GRANTS and we have a good idea what the differences are, but where can I go for TRUSTWORTHY information from the government?

When I do a search, you know, everyone is looking for a sucker to give them their money. She doesn’t have it.

Any online sites that are like .gov for info?

Any suggestions for ‘middle class’ getting financial help? She doesn’t want to lose her car or her house, it’s about all she has left. She is trying to find something smaller but she has kids.
Okay, I hope you get to read this! Thanks!

Between hubby and kids she has 5 people in the home. I think they make about 40k a year but I can’t be sure on that part. She’s in VA too. No kids are under five years old etc.

2 Responses to “Debt consolidation? Debt relief Grants?? Govt assistance?”

  • spalmer says:

    I have not heard of any valid debt grants. Debt consolidation is real; however, you are often not saving anything from this service. Your monthly payments are lower because they spread the payments over a longer period of time (and you’ll pay more interest)… plus, the majority of these services charge a price (up-front) of at least $500.00. My sister looked into consolidating her debt recently and was happy until I did the work on Excel to show her that she would actually end up paying more back if she went through with the consolidation (her car is due to be paid off in 6 months and they extended the payments another 36 months).

    As for food stamp income eligibility… if you post her state and number of household members I will look for you… google the state plus Food Stamp income eligiblity and you can usually find it. You can also look at the 2010 federal poverty guidelines to get an estimate on if she would meet criteria for those in poverty… for a family of 3 the poverty level is $18,310/year and for a family of 4 it’s $22,050/year (Hawaii, Alaska, and DC residents not included). Many states will allow you food stamps if your income is 130% of the federal poverty level or below (provided that you meet the other criteria). This is the site for the 2010 federal poverty levels: https://www.cms.gov/MedicaidEligibility/Downloads/POV10Combo.pdf. For Indiana, here’s the income chart: http://www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/3097.htm. Some states have information that is easily accessed on the internet and other states are harder… but if she’s under 130% of the federal poverty level, she will likely qualify. There are many people who are the working poor and really the only answer is to either make less money and qualify for benefits (but you can never really get ahead this way) or to pick up a second job to earn more and pay off debts (which will then free up some money each month). How many children does she have? Would it be more cost effective for her to rent a smaller home or an apartment? Has she put her house on the market to sale it does she have an underwater mortgage? Good luck to your friend.

    Edit: Luckily VA is an easy one to find. For a family of 5 the maximum annual income (gross) is $32,664.00/year. She could calculate if it would benefit her family (with her husband of course) for one of them to accept a lower-paying job (provided that one could be found) in order to qualify for food stamp assistance. $793/month would be the maximum food stamp allottment for a family of 5 — and they may only receive $500 – $600 (it will depend on income). So, they would possibly have to lose $8,000/year in income, but may be able to receive $7,200 in food stamp benefits (annually)… they could weigh their options. I’m not sure what debts she has, but getting those paid off should be the biggest goal (because that frees up the monthly money). Encourage her to cut all the costs that she can (canceling cable or switching to basic cable, cancelling internet, switching to pre-paid cell phones, carpooling to work to save on gas, shopping at thrift stores, eating at home, and even visiting the local food banks if necessary) in order to put as much as she can towards debt. If she or her husband can pick up extra shifts or a second part-time job that will help or if any of her children are older, they could mow lawns, dog-walk, or babysit and help pay for their items. Good luck again to your friend. I do know how your friend feels… I was receiving food stamps last year and a raise took me over the income limit by $2.00/month… luckily another raise as brought me up enough that I’m not struggling anymore, but it’s difficult when you feel like you’re working and still cannot afford to pay for food and bills.

  • Lindsey M says:

    Good debt settlement or consolidation service
    http://www.gooddebtsettlement.com

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