How to Get Help With Bills: Free Resources
One unexpected emergency can wreak havoc on your finances, wiping out your savings and leaving you with piles of unpaid bills. Thankfully, there are nonprofit and government programs as well as crowdfunding resources that can help you overcome financial setbacks. We’ve compiled the best resources that can help you understand how to get help with bills and get back on your feet.
Charities that help with bills
There are many charities eager to help out if you’ve fallen on hard times. Below are some of the most well-known nonprofit organizations that can help you pay medical bills or find safe housing.
Charities that help with car costs
For millions of Americans, a reliable vehicle allows them to travel to work, visit family members, and go to doctors appointments. Without a car, everyday life can screech to a halt. These charities specifically help individuals and families get from point A to point B safely.
This organization distributes cars to families in need, makes low-interest loans for car purchases, and matches savings for down payments, among other services.
Ways to Work is a nonprofit that helps thousands of families with less than perfect credit obtain auto loans up to $6,000 every year.
Founded in 1996, this organization provides low-income families with refurbished vehicles. It repairs donated vehicles in the New England region, then turns them over to those in need.
Charities that help with medical bills
Even with insurance, many are left with expensive medical treatments. Without insurance, out of pocket medical expenses can be astronomical. The below charities understand this struggle and want to help eliminate overwhelming medical debt.
United Way’s 2-1-1 program helps people understand complex health care options by connecting them with resources on a range of issues, from disaster relief to health services.
The NAFC is made up of 1,200 clinics across the US where struggling individuals and families can seek affordable medical treatment. It helps fill in the gaps by providing dental, medical, pharmacy, vision, and other health services.
This nonprofit offers help with medical bills for uninsured individuals and families. Programs help cover everything from copays to deductibles to travel costs.
Family Reach helps families that are fighting cancer by helping pay for everyday living expenses. It also help families with financial planning so they can avoid the bankruptcy that so often accompanies a cancer diagnosis.
Charities that help with utility bills
A brightly-lit home and running water are conveniences that are easy to take for granted until they’re suddenly gone. If you need help with utility bills, consider one of these programs.
This reputable organization’s HeatShare program helps families with electricity, natural gas, and oil and propane costs on a yearly basis.
Modest Needs has been working since 2002 to provide temporary financial aid to people who live paycheck to paycheck. The organization awards grants that can be used to pay for short-term expenses.
Citizen Energy’s program called Joe-4-Oil provides 100 gallons of heating oil to low-income individuals in 16 states. In Massachusetts, it awards families $150 credits to put toward their gas bills, while it installs solar panels for free in California.
Charities that help with housing costs
Housing costs are typically one of the largest monthly expenses on the budget. If you’re having trouble paying that bill when the first of the month rolls around, or if you’re searching for a safe and affordable home, these charities want to help.
The Community Action Partnership strives to combat poverty, improve lives, and change communities for the better. It has helped over 148,000 families find safe and affordable housing through its various programs.
For over a century, this organization has been providing affordable housing to veterans, the elderly, and those with physical and mental disabilities. Volunteers of America has properties in 40 states and Puerto Rico that it uses to house those in need.
Mercy Housing is passionate about serving low-income families, people with special needs, and the elderly by finding them affordable housing. The organization renovates existing housing and also builds new rental properties.
Government assistance with bills
Depending on your situation, government programs can be a lifeline while you get back on track. Federal and state programs offer assistance for everything from mortgage payments to phone bills.
Government help with medical bills
Whether it’s a trip to the emergency room or long-term chemo treatments, these visit can lead to hefty medical bills. The below government programs can help you avoid medical bankruptcy.
PACE, which stands for Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, offers help with medical bills for low-income elderly folks. Those 55 and over can receive funding for the cost of adult primary day care and home care.
Under CHIP, children up to age 19 whose families make up to $49,200 per year can receive free or low-cost hospital visits, dental care, prescriptions, and more.
While this organization is a 501(c)(3), it helps people find government assistance through state-sponsored programs. The organization’s website lists government programs that help with health insurance, disease screening, general medical care, and more.
Government help with utility bills
It can be easy to fall behind on monthly utility bills, especially in the summer and winter months when the weather is the most extreme. The following government programs can make sure you have a safe and comfortable home.
The LEAP program helps low-income households pay their heating and cooling bills and reduce their overall energy consumption.
The Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline Program offers a monthly discount of $9.25 on phone bills to low-income individuals and families.
The Weatherization Assistance Program gets to the root cause of high energy bills by optimizing the energy efficiency of homes for 35,000 low-income households every year. The program helps households save a yearly average of $283.
Government help with mortgage payments and safe housing
These government programs are designed to eliminate the financial barriers that prevent families from having a safe and affordable place to call home.
The Section 8 program helps people secure affordable and sanitary housing. Local public housing agencies (PHAs) provide housing vouchers to people so they can choose their own housing and pay the difference after applying the voucher.
This mortgage program allows qualified veterans to trade equity from their home for cash to help pay off debt or make home improvements.
The Rural Development Program helps those living in eligible rural areas make rent or mortgage payments through direct loans and grants. Funds can be used to buy or improve land, build new housing, purchase and rehabilitate buildings, and more.
Using crowdfunding to pay bills
Emergencies like car accidents or devastating house fires can wipe out your savings account and leave you with bills for years to come. Countless people have launched emergency fundraising efforts through GoFundMe when they didn’t know how to get help paying bills.
Crowdfunding lets you raise money from your friends, family, and community online. While some people aren’t sure if their need is worthy enough for an online fundraiser, there is no cause too small or too big for GoFundMe.
Why free fundraising makes a difference
Most government and nonprofit programs have strict eligibility requirements, long wait times, and a capped amount of money they can offer. These factors often make it difficult to receive the financial help you need, right when you need it. Online fundraising is often the quickest and most efficient way to conquer mounting bills and find emergency financial assistance. Through GoFundMe, you can start fundraising right away and receive your donations within just a few days.
Setting up a GoFundMe takes just a few minutes, and we make it easy to share your fundraiser with people who can rally around you. We also offer a free fundraising platform, which means you can keep more of your donations.
Tips for running a successful fundraiser
- Add photos and videos to your fundraiser to help tell your story and captivate readers.
- Use social media to promote your fundraiser.
- Aside from social media, share your fundraiser link with everyone you know through text messages, emails, and phone calls. Read our blog post 42 ways to share offline for more ideas.
- Learn how to ask for donations effectively so people will be more willing to donate.
- Be sure to post a fundraiser update a few times each week to remind people that you still need help.
See how others use GoFundMe to pay bills
When unfortunate circumstances left them in dire straits, these folks found help through crowdfunding.
Olivia was just an average middle school girl living in a small town in Indiana when a cancer diagnosis turned her world was turned upside. After chemotherapy failed to stop the cancer, doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant. Olivia’s family couldn’t afford the $350,000 surgery, so a friend came to the rescue and helped raise over $300,000 in just five months through GoFundMe.
Jen and her daughter were driving home on a Wisconsin highway when they spotted a car in flames on the side of the road. They pulled over to help and discovered that the family ran into car trouble shortly after being discharged from the hospital. The family’s 5-year-old son Jackson had been in the hospital recovering from a liver transplant. Wanting to help them during a tough time, Jen started a GoFundMe. She raised over $50,000 so the family could purchase a new car and go to doctors appointments.
Find financial relief right now
Becoming debt-free doesn’t need to take months or years when you can start raising funds for bills right away through crowdfunding. If you still need emergency help with bills after exploring government and charity programs, GoFundMe can allow you to find financial stability. Start a fundraiser today and begin focusing on what matters.