The Difference Between Government Grants and Loans

The Difference Between Government Grants and Loans

There is a substantial difference between government grants and government loan programs. One glaring point is that grants are essentially free money from the government while loans will require a time of repayment. There are far more nuisances between the two, however.

Government Grants

Firstly, it’s important to note that billions of tax dollars are generated from small businesses every year. Naturally the United States government wants to do everything it can to encourage new business startups. It also wants already established businesses to succeed.

Government grants are readily available if you know what you’re looking for and can meet the specific criteria laid out by the various government agencies. There is not a standard small business grant available from the government in the same way as there is a loan, but there are millions of dollars available in government grants that can be applied for and earned by small business owners.

The government works to consolidate these loans on their various websites, but the sheer number of grants made available on a daily basis makes it impossible to check for updates and relevant material without assistance. With the help of specialized search software, you can find all available grants that meet your individual criteria in a single setting rather than spending hours drilling down into the agencies in search of grant programs.

Once you find applicable grants for your business offerings and employees, you’ll need to apply for the grant by writing a grant proposal. When applying for a grant, your current income is not usually considered nor is your credit. This means that those with poor credit are far better off seeking government grants than loans. This is especially true if repayment of loans has been a problem in the past. Unlike government loans, government grants don’t need to be repaid so long as the criteria are set.

Government Loans

Government loans, on the other hand, are similar to a typical loan program. The government doesn’t loan money directly to the small business owner. Instead, the government backs loans made by commercial banks to small business owners. These are called SBA loans and are very common.

The SBA loan gives small business owners a chance to start or grow their business with low interest rates and support from the government through the loan process and repayment period. To obtain the loan, however, you’ll be expected to complete a substantial amount of paperwork and submit to a underwriting of your personal and business accounts.

Once your determination and ability to pay has been documented, you’ll be released the sum of money and you’ll finally have the money you need and favorable terms for repayments. The government loan does require a repayment plan spread over many months, but there are far fewer restrictions on the use of the money under a government loan program than there are under the government grant program.

Federal Government Grants

Christopher Fischer is a contributing writer for an informational resource about small business grants.

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