Where to Get Government Loans or Grants for Home Improvement

hands working on a home construction loan agreemet

Home improvement projects can be quite costly, and commercial loans can carry high interest, a burden you can carry for many years after the work is done. In certain circumstances, though, governments might be willing to lend a hand. If you find yourself needing to improve your living space but you lack the funds, it's worth at least checking to see if there are any public loans or grants for your project. Here are a few of the agencies that may help you secure a loan for your home improvement if you live in the U.S., and

Eligibility for Home Improvement Loans

In most cases, government-based home improvement loans are geared towards special groups. Those who are seen as being financially stable may not get the chance to benefit from government-based home improvement loans. For most of the loans, the qualifications include.

The applicant must be a homeowner and currently living in the house.

The applicant may be unable to acquire credit from other sources.

The applicant should be categorized as a low-income earner.

The applicant should either be considered aged or have special needs such as physical disability.

These are just some of the special guidelines applied to most government-based loans. The loans have the advantage of having low-interest rates, and long repayment periods. Here are some of the government agencies that may help you secure a home improvement loan.

Area Agency on Aging

The Older Americans Act provides home improvement grants for people above the age of 62. To apply for the grants, you can contact information aggregators like the Area Agency on Aging to find options available in your local community. You may also want to visit your local government housing department for more information about the application process.

As an example of what's possible, some states offer interest-free loans to make homes accessible for older folks, or those with different abilities. Home improvements that might qualify for support include things like wheelchair ramps, seated showers, and installing grab bars.

a person in a wheelchair heads up a ramp

Housing and Urban Development

The best option for those who do not fall in special groups might be the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offices. HUD offers loans and grants through several different programs. The Home Investment Partnership, for example, is a HUD program that offers home repair loans for low-income homeowners. To get started, visit HUD.gov and fill the application forms for your local area.

Home Energy Assistance Programs

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is a government-based program that helps low-income homes cater to heating and cooling costs. The loans can be used to deal with the energy crisis, weatherization, and other energy-related repairs. The Weatherization Assistance Program mainly gives loans to individuals who wish to improve their home's energy cost. The loans are mainly targeted to individuals with low income and those who live in regions where the weather is to the extreme throughout the year. You can apply for the Weatherization Assistance Program loans if your earning is categorized as a low income.

In some areas, you can get tax breaks or other kinds of government assistance for installing green energy resources on your property, whether you're low income or not. The U.S. Department of Energy can help connect you with these locally sourced programs.

two men installing solar panels on a roof

U.S Department Of Agriculture Grants

The U.S Department of Agriculture also offers plenty of home improvement loans. For those who live in rural areas, you may be eligible for housing assistance loans for rural areas. Some of the grants may offer as much as $75,000 for individuals affected by hazards and health issues. Most of the grants have prolonged repayment periods and flexible payment options.

Look Out For Scams

Always look for the .gov ending to domains where you're researching loans and grants, and check to make sure the websites are secure (their addresses will start with "https"). If you see something you're not sure about, search its name and ask if it's legit or a scam.

One "organization" that has been singled out as potentially illegitimate is "The National Residential Improvement Association." This group may be a front for bad actors fishing for personal data about you they can sell on the dark web.

Follow the classic adage when you're wondering if an offer or opportunity is real—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.