Find Out About Housing Resources

If you are applying for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8 housing, then it is important to review other resources that may be available to you, especially if you have been put on a waiting list for assistance.

Waiting lists are notoriously long, depending on the area that you reside within, and it may take weeks, months or years to begin receiving benefits. 

However, there are several other ways that you may be able to reduce your monthly expenses during a hardship through other state and federal programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.

While each program has its own eligibility requirements, you will likely meet income-related qualifications if you have been approved to receive assistance from Section 8 housing. 

Learn About Food Stamps

The food stamp program provides monthly food assistance to low-income households who qualify. By providing access to nutritious food items, the SNAP program ensures the health and safety of participants as well as aids in lifting a household from poverty. 

SNAP eligibility requirements include income and resource limits, citizenship qualifications and work-related requirements. Benefits are only available to U.S. citizens are well as legal immigrants with a qualifying immigration status.

Income limits are based upon the federal poverty line and an applicant’s household size. Not only do income limits determine SNAP eligibility, but also the benefit amount that a household could potentially receive. 

Work-related qualifications require participants to work or participate in a work program for a minimum of 20 hours per week unless considered exempt. Exemptions are provided to certain groups of people, including children, senior citizens and disabled persons.

If you do not meet work-related requirements, you cannot receive SNAP benefits for more than three months out of a 36-month period. 

Food stamps are distributed automatically each month through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The exact date that benefits are deposited onto the card varies between states.

Benefits can be used to purchase most food items, including fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy and grain products. Benefits cannot be used towards the purchase of non-food items, alcohol, medicine, vitamins or tobacco products. 

Find Out How to Check Credit Score & Full Credit Report

Your credit score is a number that lenders, including auto, home and credit card lenders, will use to evaluate how safe or risky you are as a customer. Your credit score is determined by several factors, including: 

  • Your payment history, including whether or not you pay your bills on time as well as whether or not you have any derogatory marks on your report for being late or in default. 
  • Your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of money that you owe in comparison to your credit limits. 
  • The type of credit accounts that you have. 
  • Hard inquiries on your credit report, which is the number of times you have applied for credit recently. 
  • Your age of credit, which refers to the amount of time that you have had your open credit accounts. 

The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to be approved for a line of credit and, generally, the lower the interest rates that you are offered will be. Your credit score will reflect much of the information found in your full credit report.

Your credit report is a more comprehensive look at your credit and debt information. It is compiled by the information that is reported to the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. 

You are entitled to one free credit report through the main credit bureau each year. Additionally, you can utilize several free or low-cost credit reporting websites to view your score and history, including creditkarma.com or nerdwallet.com. Your credit history report will always include your credit score. 

Now that you have downloaded your guide, you will receive a wealth of information that has been consolidated in order to assist you in understanding the information and programs that may be available to you.

Our experts will be providing you with this information over the next few days. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on your inbox. In the meantime, you can review additional resources that can assist you in reducing your monthly expenses as well as expand your options when it comes to affordable health care and housing. 

Discover Discounted Services Available to You

If you are searching for a cheap cable and internet provider, it is worth taking the time to review all of the providers available within your area in order to compare prices, services and determine whether or not the provider offers a low-income assistance program.

Additionally, you may be able to receive a reduction on your internet bill through Lifeline, a federal government program that is available to low-income households that qualify. 

Cheap cable TV for low-income households is possible, however, you must review the packages that you are being offered carefully in order to find an affordable option. Most providers offer a specific set of channels at each pricing tier, often referred to as a “package”.

The more channels that you have, the more you will likely pay for service. By reviewing these packages carefully, you may discover that you are being offered a higher-priced package for one or two channels that you would like to have but don’t really need for the price. 

Low-income car insurance programs are hard to come by, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t steps that you can take to reduce your insurance premium.

Every state has its own minimum coverage policy. Depending on the car you drive and whether or not your vehicle is leased, you may be required to maintain coverage that is higher than your state’s minimum. 

However, some policies include far more coverage amounts than what will likely ever be needed. You should also review any additional services you are receiving for a fee, such as rental reimbursement or roadside assistance, and determine the amount you are being charged for these extra services.

Finally, you should review your policy and speak with an insurance agent to determine whether or not there are any discounts that you may qualify for to help you reduce your bill, such as a defensive driving course, multi-policy or safe driving discount. 

Low-income home loans are available through government home assistance programs such as FHA loans, USDA loans and VA loans. These loan programs can generally reduce a lender’s eligibility requirements for a mortgage, including income requirements, as well as provide better loan rates.

While you will still need to apply for a loan through an approved lender, these programs guarantee a portion (or all) of a mortgage, reducing the risk to lenders in order to private you with better loan terms and help you to get qualified. 

Understanding Government Grants

Government grants provide financial assistance to federal, state and local departments and outreach programs that routinely provide assistance to qualifying low-income households. Programs that are offered on federal, state and local levels may include various eligibility requirements that must be met in order to receive assistance or benefits. 

These outreach programs can provide numerous benefits and aid households in rising from poverty by offering assistance towards food, shelter, utility costs, health insurance and other monthly expenses.

If you are currently experiencing hardship or you are part of a low-income household, it is recommended that you review further information on federal and state programs such as: 

  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 
  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). 
  • The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
  • Medicaid. 

You can learn more about local outreach programs by contacting your local Department of Health and Human Services and your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). Your local offices should be able to provide you with additional resources for local outreach programs that you may qualify for. 

If you are in need of emergency food assistance, you should contact your local food bank. Food banks routinely provide free, nutritious meals to those who meet income guidelines, typically on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. 

If you are applying for Section 8, but you are in need of emergency housing assistance, your local PHA may be able to refer you to additional resources while waiting for a decision on your application or while on a waiting list.

Your local PHA can also provide you with information on local homeless shelters, should these services be needed. 

Find Out About Affordable Health Insurance

You may qualify for several cheap health insurance options depending on where you live, your income and other factors. If you have not done so already, you are strongly encouraged to complete an application on HealthCare.gov as this federal website will provide you with more information about the insurance options that are available to you. 

If you have low income, you may qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is a federal and state health insurance program that provides health insurance coverage to millions of Americans each year for little to no cost.

Eligibility requirements are primarily income-related, however, some states also include categorical requirements that must be met to receive Medicaid benefits. 

If you are a senior citizen or you have a disability that is recognized by the Social Security Administration, you may qualify for Medicare. Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides affordable coverage to senior citizens and disabled persons.

The program allows members to select the type of coverage that they would like to receive at a cost that is partially based upon income. Additionally, those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid can receive a reduction (or elimination) of Medicare costs. 

HealthCare.gov will inform you as to whether or not you may qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, based upon the information that you provide. If you might qualify for coverage under one of these programs, HealthCare.gov will also forward your information to your local Medicaid or Medicare office. 

You can view health insurance quotes through the HealthCare.gov website. Your quotes will also be based upon your income level, as you may be eligible to receive credits to reduce your monthly insurance premiums, depending on your income.

Each insurance quote will include different insurance options through the providers within your state, so be sure to view each option carefully. 

Learn About HUD Loans

HUD homes offer homebuyers the opportunity to purchase a home at a discounted price. HUD homes are homes that were previously foreclosed upon that were part of a government program, such as an FHA loan.

In order to recover from the loss in a foreclosure, mortgage loans for HUD homes are typically less since that are offered below their market value. There are also additional programs offered through the HUD for these homes that can further reduce costs, such as the Good Neighbor Next Door program, which provides discounts to first responders. 

HUD home loans can be provided through any approved lender as the HUD does not provide mortgages directly. You can complete a HUD home loan application through an authorized lender and, depending on other factors, you may also be able to apply for a government loan program, such as FHA loans, USDA loans or VA loans, based upon your qualifications. 

If you are searching for bad credit home loans, it is worth taking the time to learn more about FHA loans, as these loans can often reduce credit score eligibility requirements. FHA loans may be an option if you have a mid to high credit range within the 500s or higher.

To get qualified for a home loan with bad credit, you should speak with approved lenders within your area in order to determine whether or not you meet reduced eligibility requirements.