Nobody wants to think about dying, which is why many people actively avoid planning for their death. Creating a will, buying life insurance, making funeral arrangements—none of these are fun Friday night activities. Not only can it be unpleasant to think about, but life insurance can also be incredibly difficult to figure out. In fact, only 57% of Americans have life insurance.
Part of a new trend of online companies offering life insurance, Bestow breaks down a sometimes complicated topic so you can easily apply for term life insurance to better help your family plan for the future.
Bestow makes the life insurance
application process easy. You can get a quote in seconds—and coverage in
minutes—when you apply online.
It offers 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies with coverage from $50,000 up to $1 million. Premiums are as low as $8 per month—and they never change throughout the life of the policy, so you’ll always know what to budget for. One of the biggest benefits of Bestow is that it doesn’t require a medical exam as part of the application process.
Insurance companies can be notorious for being stuffy. Lucky for you,
Bestow is technically a life insurance agent: it acts as an intermediary
between you and the insurance provider. Bestow
works specifically with North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®, a well-established life insurance company. So even
though Bestow is new, you don’t have to worry about your policy. Bestow makes
the application process simple, while North American
Company for Life and Health Insurance® issues the policies, plus processes and pays claims.
Who Can Use Bestow
According to the website, you need to be
between 21 and 55 years old, have never had a felony charge, and be generally
in “good health” to qualify for a policy offered by Bestow.
It doesn’t clarify what “good health” means, but the application process asks
questions about your medical history, lifestyle and hobbies. Bestow also says they will
not be able to extend coverage if you have been diagnosed or treated for cancer
in the past ten years. As of publication, 20-year policies are only available
to individuals younger than 45.
Bestow is currently available in every state except New York.
Bestow uses data points and artificial
intelligence to determine premiums and coverage. Unlike many other companies that offer life insurance, Bestow does not
require a medical exam for coverage.
The application process pulls available data about you—such as prescription and credit history, driving records, and prior insurance applications—to make a decision.
To start, you’ll need to provide your
name, gender, birth date, height, weight, and state, as well as whether you use
nicotine. That’s all you need to get your free quote! If you like what you see,
you can create an account and answer a few more in-depth questions about your
health and lifestyle, including citizenship, employment, HIV status, and
disability. After you provide your Social Security number and sign, you’ll get your approval and final premium. Your final
number may be higher than your quote based on your health and lifestyle.
You also get a 30-day free “look” period:
you can cancel for a full refund within the first 30 days of purchasing.
Coverage continues through a 60-day grace period from the date of your last
Your beneficiaries can start the claim
process simply online as well. After you initiate a claim with Bestow, the
claim is processed by its insurance provider, North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®.
The beneficiary will need to provide information about themselves as well as
information about the insured person—including the original policy number.
After that, you’ll receive a claimant’s packet and will be required to fill out
more paperwork. If there is no dispute, your claim should be processed within
Term Life vs. Whole Life
Bestow offers only term life insurance
policies. If you’re interested in a whole life insurance policy, you’ll need to
Term life insurance lasts only as long as
the policy, making it a good choice for people who want to cover a specific
time in their life—the length of their mortgage, or while their children are
still dependents living at home, for example. Because these policies do not
last as long, they tend to be less expensive than whole life policies.
Benefits of Bestow
So you’ve spent your Friday night
deciding you want to get life insurance.
Congratulations! Why should you choose Bestow? Here are some reasons why you
No medical exam required
As with everything, though, there are
some downsides to getting a policy through Bestow:
No whole life policies available
Relatively low coverage capped at $1 million
Not available to people over 55
Why Get Life Insurance
If you have dependents—people who depend on your income, like your children, spouse, or older parents—life insurance is a way to help ensure that they will be covered should something happen to you. If you’re ready for a free quote from Bestow, check it out now!
The Fannie Mae Flex Modification Program (FMP) is a mortgage assistance solution designed to relieve borrowers facing financial hardship.
Are you looking to improve your mortgage management but don’t know where to start? Handling mortgage payments is challenging, especially if you’re facing economic difficulties and don’t know where or how to get financial assistance. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Flex Modification Program may be the solution you’re looking for.
Learn what you need to know about the Flex Modification Program: how it works, who qualifies for it, and how you can apply. This comprehensive guide will help you understand the many benefits of FMP for a more stable financial future.
In This Piece:
What Is the Flex Modification Program?
The Fannie Mae Flex Modification program is a mortgage assistance solution designed to relieve borrowers facing financial hardship. This program offers a flexible framework for loans that helps eligible borrowers to modify their monthly mortgage payments and avoid foreclosure.
Modifying the loan terms can make mortgage payments more affordable and sustainable for struggling homeowners.
Get matched with a personal
loan that’s right for you today.
How Do Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Work?
The mortgage market has a few essential entities, including the government-sponsored enterprises called Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Their approach allows lenders to free up funds to provide more mortgage loans to borrowers.
But how does it work? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac helped make mortgages more accessible by buying them from lenders. This allows lenders to have more money available to provide new mortgages to borrowers or invest in other financial opportunities. For example, if a lender originates a mortgage, they can sell it to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, who then include it in their portfolio or package it into mortgage-backed securities.
How Flex Modification Works
The Flex Modification Program offers loan modifications to eligible borrowers experiencing financial hardship. Here’s a breakdown of how the program operates:
You must have a mortgage loan owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
The mortgage loan must be at least 60 days delinquent or at risk of imminent default.
You must demonstrate a hardship that affects your ability to make timely mortgage payments.
The program aims to reduce your monthly mortgage payment to 20% or more below your pre-modification.
The modification may involve adjusting the interest rate, extending the loan term, or forbearing a principal portion.
The goal is to make the mortgage payment more affordable while ensuring it’s sustainable for you.
Apply to the Flex Modification Program through a loan servicer.
The loan servicer will assess your eligibility and collect the necessary documentation.
Once approved, the loan servicer will work with you to finalize the modification terms.
Why Should You Consider the Flex Modification Program?
Before considering the Flex Modification Program, it’s essential to understand its potential pros and cons.
Lower monthly payments: The program aims to reduce your mortgage payment to a more affordable level, making it easier to manage your finances on time.
Protection from foreclosure: By modifying your loan, the program can help you avoid the devastating consequences of foreclosure.
Improved financial stability: By participating in the Flex Modification Program, you can regain control of your financial situation. Providing you with a sense of stability and peace of mind, allowing you to focus on rebuilding your financial health.
Simplified application process: Applying for the program is relatively straightforward, and you can work directly with your loan servicer to navigate the process.
Potential principal reduction: The FMP may offer this, which means that a portion of the outstanding loan balance could be forgiven or deferred, reducing the overall amount owed. This can be particularly beneficial if you owe more on the mortgage than your current property value.
Preservation of homeownership: One of the primary goals of the FMP is to help borrowers preserve their homeownership. The program offers a viable alternative to foreclosure by providing a framework for loan modifications.
Extended loan term: Modifying your loan may result in a more extended repayment period, meaning you’ll make mortgage payments for longer.
Impact on credit score: While participating in the program doesn’t directly affect your credit score, the delinquency prior to modification might be reported on your credit report.
Limited availability: The program is specifically for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac borrowers with owned or guaranteed loans. You won’t qualify for this program if either entity doesn’t back your loan. However, other programs may exist. Contact your lender if you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments.
Remember, these pros and cons will vary based on your circumstances. It’s essential to consult with your loan servicer and thoroughly review the modification terms to understand the potential benefits you may receive from participating in the program.
Who Qualifies for the Flex Modification Program?
The Flex Modification Program is designed for borrowers struggling with mortgage payments due to financial hardship.
To qualify for the program, you must meet the following criteria:
Loan ownership: The mortgage loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Delinquency or imminent default: Borrowers must be at least 60 days delinquent on their mortgage payments or at risk of imminent default.
Demonstrated hardship: Borrowers need to demonstrate a hardship that affects their ability to make timely mortgage payments. Hardships may include job loss, income reduction, medical expenses, divorce, or other significant life events.
Additionally, you must comprehend what a “hardship” entails to be considered for a loan modification. Each situation is evaluated individually, but common examples of hardships include loss of income, disability, serious illness, divorce, or the death of a co-borrower.
How to Apply for the FMP
If you believe you meet the eligibility requirements for the Flex Modification Program, you can follow these steps and tips to apply:
Gather documentation: Prepare the necessary documents, such as proof of income, bank statements, tax returns, and any other documentation required by your loan servicer.
Contact your loan servicer: Inform your loan servicer about your interest in the Flex Modification Program.
Complete application forms: Your loan servicer will provide the necessary forms and guidance to complete the application process.
Submit documentation: Submit all the required documentation and the completed application forms to your loan servicer.
Follow up and provide additional information: Be proactive in promptly following up with your loan servicer and providing any additional information they request.
Review and accept the modification terms: Once your loan servicer evaluates your application, they will provide you with the proposed modification terms. Review them carefully and, if acceptable, sign and return the necessary paperwork to proceed with the modification.
Remember, each loan servicer may have a specific application process, so it’s crucial to communicate directly with them to ensure you have all the necessary information and are following the correct steps. Having to redo the application process due to easily-avoided mistakes is the last thing you need.
Other Mortgage Payment Help Options
What if I don’t qualify? What can I do? Other mortgage payment assistance options are available if the FMP is not the right fit.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer additional programs catering to different circumstances. Some of these options include:
Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP): This aims to help homebuyers struggling with financial hardship and mortgage payments.
Repayment plan: Allows you to catch up on missed mortgage payments by adding a portion of the past-due amount to your regular expenditures over an agreed-upon period.
Forbearance: Temporarily suspends or reduces your mortgage payments with this program. It can be for a specific period, providing short-term relief during financial difficulties, so you can reassess the situation.
But before you move forward with one of these, it’s essential to analyze your alternatives and consult with your loan servicer to determine the best course of action based on your specific circumstances.
Let’s address some frequently asked questions about the Flex Modification Program:
Does the Flex Modification Program Affect Your Credit Score?
Participating in the Flex Modification Program doesn’t directly impact your credit score. However, the delinquency prior to modification might be reported on your credit report
What if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Doesn’t Own My Loan?
If your loan isn’t owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you won’t be eligible for the Flex Modification Program. However, you should contact your loan servicer to inquire about other available mortgage assistance options or loan modification programs specific to your loan type.
How Long Does the Flex Modification Program Last?
The duration of the Flex Modification Program varies depending on the specific terms of the modification. Typically, the program aims to provide long-term mortgage relief by modifying the loan terms to make payments more affordable and sustainable for the borrower.
The revised terms may involve extending the loan term or adjusting the interest rate. It’s important to discuss the duration of the modification with your loan servicer, as it will depend on your circumstances and the terms agreed upon.
Can I Qualify for the Flex Modification Program if I’ve Previously Received a Loan Modification?
If you have previously received a loan modification, you may still be eligible for the Flex Modification Program. However, the specific requirements and eligibility criteria may change depending on your previous modification and the current guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
It’s crucial to communicate with your loan servicer and provide them with all the necessary information regarding your previous modification. They will assess your eligibility based on your unique circumstances and guide you through the application process.
Remember, these answers are general guidelines, and you must consult with your loan servicer to get accurate and personalized information based on your situation.
What Are the Next Steps?
The Fannie Mae Flex Modification Program provides borrowers with a potential lifeline during financial hardship. It aims to make mortgage payments more manageable and sustainable by offering loan modifications. If you’re facing challenges with your mortgage payments, exploring the Flex Modification Program and other mortgage payment help options can help you find the assistance you need.
To take control of your mortgage management and improve your financial well-being. Consult with your loan servicer for accurate and personalized information based on your situation, and research different mortgage rates to make informed financial decisions.
Quick answer: Yes, it’s possible for undocumented immigrants to get a mortgage loan. They face legal and financial obstacles that don’t stand in the way of other purchasers, but millions have done so successfully.
You don’t need to be a resident to own real estate in the United States. Many documented immigrants own homes. While it’s difficult to get accurate statistics about undocumented homeowners for a number of reasons, in 2014, the Migration Policy Institute estimated that around 3.4 million undocumented immigrants owned homes in the United States.
Keep reading to discover how your residency status impacts the home loan process. We’ll also highlight some important information you should know about your rights when applying for a mortgage.
In This Piece
How Residency Status Affects a Home Loan
Understand Your Rights
How to Get a Mortgage
How Residency Status Affects a Home Loan
Overall, residency status plays a significant role in determining the availability and terms of home loans for individuals in the United States.
Green Card Holders
Green card holders are permanent residents eligible for most types of mortgages available to U.S. citizens. This means they must provide proof of income, credit history and other financial documents to qualify for a home loan. In some cases, green card holders might face additional challenges during the home loan and purchase process. Those can include difficulty in obtaining mortgage insurance or a higher down payment requirement, which can vary based on the lender and the type of loan.
Refugees and Asylum Grantees
Refugees and asylum grantees are individuals granted legal status in the United States due to persecution or fear of persecution in their home countries. They may be eligible for certain types of mortgages. However, their ability to obtain a home loan might depend on their specific immigration status and financial circumstances. For example, refugees or asylum grantees who have been in the United States for less than 2 years might have a harder time getting a mortgage because many lenders require at least 2 years of residency to establish credit history.
Get matched with a personal
loan that’s right for you today.
DACA recipients, or individuals who’ve been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, are not eligible for most types of home loans. This is because they don’t have legal permanent residency status. However, some lenders may offer alternative financing options or assistance programs specifically designed for DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrants.
Additionally, DACA recipients who have obtained an Employment Authorization Document and can demonstrate a stable income and credit history may be able to get a mortgage under certain circumstances.
Understand Your Rights
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability. Immigrants, including those who aren’t U.S. citizens or permanent residents, are protected under the FHA and have the same rights as other individuals.
The right to rent or purchase housing without discrimination based on national origin
The right to be treated the same as U.S. citizens or permanent residents in all aspects of the housing process, including advertising, application, screening and approval
The right to request reasonable accommodations in housing, such as modifications to the physical structure of a home or changes to policies or procedures, if disabled
If you believe you’re being discriminated against during the home loan, home buying or other housing process, you should report it.
How to Get a Mortgage as an Undocumented Immigrant
Undocumented immigrants aren’t usually able to qualify for mortgages through traditional services, such as those backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, individuals with an ITIN may be able to get approved for special loans from private lenders. An ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is a unique identifier the IRS uses to process tax returns and payments for those that do not have or do not qualify for a social security number.
Apply for an ITIN
The first step is to apply for an ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. You do this by completing Form W-7 via mail, in person at an IRS-authorized agent or in person at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.
Save for a Down Payment
Because undocumented immigrants can’t usually qualify for federally backed loans, such as those through the FHA, they probably won’t qualify for mortgages with low down payment requirements. Private lenders may require down payments as much as 20% or even 30%. If an undocumented immigrant wants to buy a home, they should start saving as soon as possible. That might mean paying down other debt first.
Get Documentation Ready
In addition to the ITIN, undocumented immigrants will have to provide information to help qualify them for a private home loan. That information can include:
Proof of income, such as recent pay stubs, tax returns or other financial documents
Information about credit history, including any outstanding debts, loans or credit accounts
Recent bank statements that show account balances and transaction history
Identification documents, such as passports or government-issued IDs
Proof of residency status, such as a lease agreement or utility bill in the person’s name
Proof of employment or self-employment, such as a letter from an employer or recent tax returns
Apply for an ITIN Mortgage
Once you have an ITIN, a down payment and all the necessary documentation, you can apply for an ITIN mortgage. Start by browsing the mortgage options in the Credit.com marketplace.
For 33rd consecutive year, Northwestern Mutual achieves highest-available financial strength ratings All four major ratings agencies recognize Northwestern Mutual as industry standout MILWAUKEE, Sept. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — For more than 165 years, Northwestern Mutual’s superior financial strength has meant that policyowners can always count on the company to be there whenever they need. And recently, … [Read more…]
VA disability pay rates in 2023 range between $165.92 to $4,295.92 a month. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) publishes the rates annually. The severity of the disability and family circumstances can affect the rate. A claim takes 104.1 days on average to complete
The veterans disability compensation programs gives qualifying veterans a tax-free monthly payment to help them financially
. The program supports veterans who were disabled or had a condition that was made worse during military service.
Here’s how veterans disability payments are calculated, how to determine how much you might receive in benefits and how to apply for VA disability.
How are VA disability compensation rates calculated?
The VA calculates a veteran’s disability payment by considering three factors:
The severity of the veteran’s disability.
The number and types of dependents the veteran has.
Whether a family member qualifies for Aid and Attendance benefits.
VA disability payments start with a base rate, which rises with the severity of the disability and the types of dependents
. The VA then adds extra money to the base rate if the person’s spouse qualifies for Aid and Attendance benefits, or if the veteran has multiple dependent children.
Severity of the disability
The VA assigns a disability rating to a veteran after reviewing evidence submitted as part of the benefits application or from military records. The VA requires applicants who don’t have enough medical evidence to support their claims to have a compensation and pension exam — sometimes referred to as a C&P
. This exam confirms that a disability is related to military service.
Disability ratings are assigned as percentages. Specifically, disability ratings rise in 10% increments up to 100% (fully disabled). The percentage represents how much the disability decreases the veteran’s overall health and ability to function.
Veterans who have more than one qualifying disability get a combined disability rating. This rating is not as simple as adding the disability percentages together. For example if a veteran has one disability rated at 50% and a second disability rated at 30%, the combined rating is not 80%. The VA determines a combined disability rating, which it then uses to calculate the monthly payment.
Number and types of dependents
The VA adjusts disability rates for veterans who are financially responsible for a spouse, children or parents in any combination. The VA requires proof of their financial dependency.
A spouse is anyone you have legally married, including someone of the same sex as you. The VA recognizes common-law marriages as well
To claim a child as a dependent for VA disability, the child can be biological, adopted or a step-child. Dependent children must be one of the following:
Under 18 years old.
18 to 23 years old but unmarried and enrolled full-time as a student.
Deemed permanently disabled before turning 18.
Aid and attendance status
Certain family members of qualifying veterans are eligible for Aid and Attendance if they:
Require assistance to perform daily care activities such as bathing, preparing food and taking medication.
Live in a nursing home because of physical or mental incapacity.
Have 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes with glasses or contacts.
Have a concentric contraction of vision to 5 degrees or less.
Aid and Attendance is available for the:
Spouse of a living veteran.
Surviving spouse of a deceased veteran.
Permanently disabled children over age 18 who became disabled before turning 18.
Surviving parents that already receive Parent’s Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
If a veteran’s family member qualifies, the VA tacks on an additional amount to their monthly payment.
2023 Veterans Disability Rates
Veteran disability rates are paid monthly. Because they follow the cost-of-living allowances Social Security applies to its benefits, every time Social Security benefits are recalculated to account for inflation, veteran disability rates change as well. This means that veteran disability pay rates can differ from year to year.
There are two categories of veteran disability pay rates: those for unmarried veterans and those for married veterans. Within each category, the combinations of disability rating and different types and number of dependents determine a veteran’s monthly payment. Because married veterans receive higher rates than unmarried veterans, it is important to double-check that you are looking at the correct table when looking up your rate.
VA disability rates for unmarried veterans
VA disability rates for married veterans
Veterans with spouses who qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits, and veterans with more than one dependent child get additional funds each month.
Extra funds for spousal Aid and Attendance
Extra funds for additional dependent children
Examples of calculating monthly VA disability payments
Some monthly payment calculations will be more complicated than others, especially those where a veteran has several dependents. The three example scenarios below are calculated using the amounts in the tables above.
Example 1: Unmarried veteran with dependent children and a dependent parent
John has a disability rate of 40% and is unmarried. He has shared custody of three children, and his dad lives with him. Two of his children are under 18, and one child is over 18. His disability payment is calculated as follows:
Base rate: $849.86
Additional child under 18: $40.00
Additional child over 18: $129.00
John’s base rate is for a veteran who has one child and one parent as a dependent but no spouse. Because one child is included in the base rate, he can only claim the additional amounts for two children. The two children have different rates because one is under 18 and the other is over 18. No additional amount is provided for his dad, because he is included in the base rate.
Example 2: Married veteran with one child
Leanne has a disability rate of 80%. She is married with one child under 18. Her husband does not qualify for Aid and Attendance.
Base rate: $2,212.15
Leanne’s rate is only her base rate without additional amounts, because her husband and child are included in the base rate.
Example 3: Married veteran with spouse who needs daily assistance
Sarah has a disability rating of 30%. Her wife requires medical aid to help with daily activities when Sarah is not at home, which qualifies her for Aid and Attendance. Her wife has one child under 18 from a previous marriage.
Base rate: $612.05
Aid and Attendance: $56.00
Sarah’s base rate includes her wife and her step-daughter. Because her wife qualifies for Aid and Attendance, Sarah receives an additional amount that is also based on her disability rating of 30%.
How to apply for VA disability compensation
If you believe you are eligible for veteran’s disability pay, you’ll need to file a claim for Veterans Affairs to review. Here are the steps to apply.
Decide on an application method. You can submit your application online, by mail, in person at a VA office or with the help of an accredited representative. If you are submitting your claim by mail, you’ll need to download VA Form 21-526EZ and fill it out. Regardless of which method you use, you’ll need to submit supporting documentation. If you need help filing the application and supporting evidence, you can call your regional VA office to ask for assistance.
Gather documentation to support your application. This can include medical records from VA or private doctors and hospitals, as well as statements from people who are familiar with your disability. You do not have to submit your supporting documentation with your claim; however, the VA says that sending in all of your documents together with your application can help them work through the process more quickly.
Submit documentation.Once you have all of your documentation together, submit it with your application to complete your claim. If you filed an Intent to File form or submitted your claim without evidence, gather the documentation and submit it to support your claim.
If you do not have all of your documentation together but want to file a claim, use an Intent to File form instead. The date on which you file the claim becomes your effective date and is still active as long as you complete your claim within 365 days of the effective date. You might qualify for backpay.
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to complete a claim for veteran’s disability?
The VA says that the average time to complete a claim is 104.1 days as of July 2023, which is about three and a half months.
Am I guaranteed veterans disability if I was injured during military service?
No, every claim for VA disability must be reviewed and supported with medical documentation.
While some states offset the high cost of college with substantial financial aid programs, Rhode Island’s offerings are much more limited. In fact, it has one of the lowest rates of state grant aid per full-time undergraduate student; Rhode Island provides about $170 in funding per student, the seventh-lowest amount in the country, according to a 2022 College Board report.
To put that in perspective, consider that South Carolina — the state with the highest level of state grant aid — provided about $2,590 per student.
Though limited, there are still some state aid programs. Whether you have your heart set on attending Brown University, The University of Rhode Island or the Rhode Island School of Design, here are the available financial aid programs specific to Rhode Island.
The cost of education in Rhode Island
There are 13 public and private non-profit colleges and universities in Rhode Island.
Higher education in Rhode Island tends to be much more expensive than it is in other states. Even public universities and community colleges, which are typically lower-cost options, are costly.
Based on the average rates of tuition, fees and room and board for the 2020-2021 academic year, here’s how much you can expect to pay, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics:
Public four-year school (in-state): $26,946 per year, about 26% more than the national average of $21,337.
Private four-year school: $61,692 per year, about 33% higher than the national average of $46,313.
Community college (in-state): $4,806 per year, about 37% higher than the national average of $3,501. (Community college costs don’t include room and board.)
Several factors are behind the high college costs. In addition to Rhode Island’s high cost of living and limited financial aid, it’s also home to several well-known private universities with hefty price tags that drive up average tuition rates. For example, a student’s estimated total cost for the 2023-2024 academic year at the Rhode Island School of Design is $81,810 — nearly double the national average for private schools.
Financial aid options in Rhode Island
Although public schools are more expensive in Rhode Island than in other states, attending a public university is still cheaper than private school — but only if you qualify for in-state tuition.
You qualify for in-state tuition if you meet one of the following criteria:
You attended an approved Rhode Island high school for at least three years.
You graduated from an approved Rhode Island high school.
You lived in the state for at least 12 months prior to enrollment.
Unlike some states, Rhode Island extends residency to undocumented students, including those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. As a result, undocumented and DACA students are eligible for in-state tuition and state aid in Rhode Island if they meet the other residency requirements.
Students may also have trouble finding funding opportunities in Rhode Island because its aid programs aren’t listed in one central location. Programs are usually provided through partnerships with other organizations, so they’re often listed on non-government websites that can be difficult to find if you don’t already know about them.
Although Rhode Island’s options are more limited than those of other states, you may be able to use one or more of the following programs to finance your education:
Other aid programs.
Student loan repayment assistance.
Rhode Island doesn’t have a prepaid tuition plan, but families can use a CollegeBound Saver 529 account to save and invest for a child’s future education. The money can grow tax-deferred in a CollegeBound Saver account, and the withdrawals are tax-free as long as they’re used for qualifying education expenses. Beneficiaries may use the funds at any U.S.-accredited college; they aren’t limited to Rhode Island schools.
Rhode Island has a higher-than-usual maximum contribution limit; families can contribute to an account until its total market value reaches $520,000 per beneficiary.
The CollegeBound Saver 529 has two other benefits:
State income tax deduction: Rhode Island taxpayers who contribute to this account may qualify for a state income tax deduction. They can deduct up to $500 in contributions individually, or $1,000 if they are married and file a joint return.
Starter Bonus: If you have a newborn or recently adopted a child, Rhode Island will contribute $100 if you open a new CollegeBound Saver account and deposit at least $100.
The average total cost of attendance for in-state students at Rhode Island public schools is less than half the average cost of attending a private school.
However, students who want to attend college outside of Rhode Island may qualify for the New England Board of Higher Education’s Tuition Break program. Students who are residents of member states — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont — can enroll in an eligible program at a public community college or university in another participating state at a reduced rate.
According to NEBHE , the average full-time student saves $8,600 per year with Tuition Break. Exact savings depend on the program and state. You can view the eligible programs and schools on the NEBHE website.
Rhode Island scholarships
Rhode Island offers just two state scholarship programs, both of which are awarded based on academic merit and financial need. The programs are typically very limited in scope and are only available to students at particular schools.
The two Rhode Island scholarship programs are:
Rhode Island Promise Scholarship Program
Through the Rhode Island Promise Scholarship Program, the state will cover up to the full cost of tuition and fees for qualifying students who attend the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) full-time for two years..
To qualify, students must be Rhode Island residents and enroll full-time at CCRI for the semester beginning immediately after their high school graduation.
Rhode Island College Hope Scholarship
The Rhode Island College Hope Scholarship is a state-funded award offered to eligible students at Rhode Island College (RIC). It is a last-dollar award, meaning it covers the student’s remaining tuition and fees after other grants and scholarships are applied.
To qualify, students must be Rhode Island residents and in their junior or senior years at RIC with a GPA of at least 2.5. Applicants must be on track to graduate or earn an approved certificate in a total of four years.
Adult students who have earned at least 60 credits within a four-year period at RIC are also eligible for the scholarship over a duration of two years or less.
The Hope Scholarship is a pilot program; currently, it’s set to expire in 2028 unless the state government provides additional funding.
Although state-funded financial aid is limited in Rhode Island, there are scholarships and grants available from other sources. The Rhode Island Foundation maintains a database of scholarships provided by individuals, organizations and companies that are specifically for Rhode Island residents.
Tuition waivers in Rhode Island
If you are eligible for one of Rhode Island’s tuition waiver programs, a portion of your tuition costs will be waived at select schools.
The following groups are eligible for tuition waivers in the Ocean State:
Permanent Rhode Island residents who are 60 or older can take courses at any public institution within the state, and the full tuition will be waived. Admission into particular courses is at the discretion of the university and is based on available space. All other expenses, including textbooks and living expenses, are the student’s responsibility. The program is restricted to those with a household income less than three times the federal poverty level.
Under Rhode Island’s Disabled Veterans Tuition Waiver, veterans with a qualifying service-connected disability who permanently reside in the state can receive a waiver for the full cost of tuition at Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities. Students must apply for and use other financial aid before the waiver is applied.
National Guard service members
Current National Guard members in Rhode Island can qualify for the RI National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP). This is a waiver that covers up to five classes per semester at Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities. Other expenses, such as fees and textbooks, are the responsibility of the student.
To qualify, you must be an Army or Air National Guard service member pursuing an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree from the Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College or the University of Rhode Island. Guard members must serve a one year military commitment after leaving school for every 12 course credits completed with the waiver.
If you were laid off from work and filed for unemployment within the last 60 days, you may be eligible for a waiver of tuition costs at Rhode Island’s public schools. You can check your eligibility and download a tuition waiver certificate on the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training website.
Rhode Island student loans
The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) is a non-profit agency that issues private student loans for undergraduate students, graduate students and parents. It also provides student loan refinancing for borrowers with existing education debt.
Although there are special benefits for Rhode Island residents, RISLA issues loans to borrowers nationwide with competitive rates. Borrowers can take out loans between $1,500 and $50,000 per year, and can use the funds to pay for education expenses at public or private schools.
Some of RISLA’s stand-out benefits include the following:
Income-based repayment: RISLA is one of the few private lenders to offer an income-based repayment option for borrowers who can’t afford their monthly payments. This plan bases your payments on a percentage of your income, and your loan term can be extended up to 25 years. If you still have a balance after 25 years of qualifying payments RISLA will discharge the remaining amount. Borrowers must demonstrate financial hardship to qualify for this repayment plan.
Nursing Reward Program: If you are a new nurse working in Rhode Island and have RISLA student loans, RISLA will lower your interest rate to 0% for up to four years. Any payments you make during this time will solely go toward the principal, helping you save money and pay off your debt faster.
Loan Forgiveness for Internships programs: If you’re a Rhode Island resident or attend a college within the state and complete a qualifying internship, RISLA will forgive up to $2,000 of your student loans held by the lender.
Other financial aid programs in Rhode Island
Despite Rhode Island’s sparse financial aid roster, three other financial aid programs offered by quasi-state agencies could help some students pay for college:
Offered by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, a quasi-state agency, the Wavemaker Fellowship provides qualifying individuals with a tax credit certificate worth the value of their annual student loan payments for up to four years, up to a maximum determined by the borrower’s education level:
If your highest degree is an associate degree, the maximum is $1,000 per year.
If your highest degree is a bachelor’s degree, the maximum is $4,000 per year.
If your highest degree is a master’s degree or higher, the maximum is $6,000 per year.
The fellowship was designed to incentivize graduates to pursue careers or launch new businesses in Rhode Island in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, design or healthcare. You can view the list of eligible job titles and career paths on the organization website.
Health Professional Equity Initiative
The Health Professional Equity Initiative is a new pilot program launched by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner and Rhode Island College.
The initiative provides financial assistance for paraprofessionals pursuing careers as licensed health professionals through programs at Rhode Island College. It can help cover the cost of tuition, but it also provides funds to cover other expenses, such as childcare or transportation, so that individuals can complete their education.
Knowledge for College Scholarship
In addition to loans, RISLA also operates the Knowledge for College Scholarship program. This isn’t awarded based on merit or financial need; instead, applicants complete steps to be entered into a drawing, and the winners are randomly selected.
Selected winners receive $2,000 to cover some of their education expenses with proof of enrollment. To qualify for the award, students must be residents of Rhode Island or attending college in Rhode Island. Students must also register for an account and answer three questions about financial literacy.
Student loan repayment in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, the average student loan balance is $31,780 per borrower — about 8% less than the national average of $34,577.
Rhode Island only has two student loan repayment programs, and both are partially funded by the federal government:
John R. Justice Prosecutor and Defender Incentive
The John R. Justice program gives states federal funds to dole out to qualifying attorneys with outstanding student loan debt. In Rhode Island, eligible residents who can take advantage of the program include those employed as full-time federal or state defenders, and state or municipal prosecutors handling any phase of juvenile or adult criminal prosecution or defense (federal prosecutors are not eligible).
Funds can only be used to repay federal undergraduate or graduate loans; Parent PLUS Loans are not eligible. Funding varies, but in recent years, the average max award in Rhode Island has been $2,000 per individual.
Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP)
Through Rhode Island’s HPLRP, eligible primary care, dental and mental health clinicians can receive financial help with their student loans in exchange for working in high-need areas for a specific period.
In Rhode Island, workers must commit to working in federally-designated health professional shortage areas for at least two years. Participants can apply for service extensions and serve for a maximum of six years.
Award amounts vary by profession, but some healthcare professionals can qualify for up to $20,000 per year for up to four years.
How to apply for financial aid in Rhode Island
To apply for financial aid in Rhode Island, follow these steps:
Complete the FAFSA or the Rhode Island alternative aid application: Most of Rhode Island’s programs require students to submit either the FAFSA or the Rhode Island Alternative Application for State Postsecondary Student Financial Assistance. Although Rhode Island doesn’t have a submission deadline, some programs issue awards on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s wise to submit your application as soon as possible.
Review other requirements: The majority of Rhode Island’s financial aid programs are offered in partnership with other organizations or agencies, so they all have different application requirements. Visit the issuing organization’s website to find out what information is required and program deadlines.
Reach out to your college financial aid office: Some financial aid options are only offered through a specific college. You can contact your college’s financial aid office to find out what programs are available and what you need to do to apply.
Frequently asked questions
What is the FAFSA deadline for Rhode Island?
Rhode Island is one of the few states that doesn’t specify a deadline. To find out when you need to submit the FAFSA to qualify for state-based aid, contact your selected college’s financial aid office.
Who needs to fill out the Rhode Island Alternative Application for State Postsecondary Student Financial Assistance?
Rhode Island designed the Alternative Aid Application for those who don’t meet the FAFSA’s citizenship requirements. Students can submit the Alternative Aid Application instead to apply for financial aid programs.
Rhode Island allows undocumented and DACA students to qualify for in-state tuition and state-based financial aid. However, many of those programs require the FAFSA, and students who aren’t citizens and do not have Social Security numbers are ineligible for the FAFSA.
Does Rhode Island have free community college?
Rhode Island offers free tuition to qualifying students attending the Community College of Rhode Island through the Rhode Island Promise Program. Students can complete two years of full-time study at the school without having to worry about tuition costs.
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Are you looking to learn how to find a free car? Cars are expensive. There’s no doubt about that. Is it possible to get free cars? Getting a free car may sound too good to be true, but it’s possible for people who meet certain requirements, which we will talk about below. In this article,…
Are you looking to learn how to find a free car?
Cars are expensive.
There’s no doubt about that.
Is it possible to get free cars?
Getting a free car may sound too good to be true, but it’s possible for people who meet certain requirements, which we will talk about below. In this article, I’ll show you how to get a free car through different ways, from charity donations to assistance programs, and more.
I understand that there are so many people who would benefit from a more affordable transportation option. After all, a car can be essential to landing a job, getting to work, helping you pick up and drop off your children at childcare (so that you can work!), getting groceries, and so much more.
Low-income families, single parents, individuals with disabilities, veterans and their families, and so many others may particularly benefit from getting free vehicles to improve their quality of life.
Whether it’s making it easier to get to work, taking the kids to school and childcare, or simply attending important appointments, acquiring a free car can have a significant impact on your daily life.
Why do free cars exist?
Free cars exist to help people who need transportation.
There are many organizations whose sole purpose is to help you get a free car because they know how much it can change a person’s life.
Below are some organizations that may help you find a free car:
Nonprofit Organizations— Some nonprofit organizations give away cars for free to those who need one. They work with local partners and households and accept donations of old cars and used cars, which are then fixed up and given to those who need them. These organizations usually target specific groups of people, such as low-income families, working families, single parents, military families, or disabled individuals, who may find it hard to afford a car on their own.
Churches and Private Charities— Churches and private charities may offer car help in your community as well. They usually work on a smaller scale, providing help to local residents experiencing hardships and may just give out a free car here and there. These organizations often rely on donations from members of the community and local businesses, and they require applicants to demonstrate a genuine need for a vehicle. You may need to contact local churches and charities directly to learn more about how to get a car for free.
People donate their used cars all the time. Their reasons may be either because they have no use for the car, they want to avoid the hassle of selling a car, for tax breaks, or they want to help others.
Who can benefit from free cars?
There are many people who can benefit from a free car, such as:
Low-income families— If your family is struggling with money and you are finding it hard to afford your bills, you might be eligible to receive a free car if you can show your need to an organization.
Single mothers and single parents — Single moms and parents need transportation so that they can get to work and also be able to bring their children to childcare. Not having a car can make this much more difficult.
Domestic violence victims — Having reliable transportation can be important for the safety and well-being of domestic violence victims. Some organizations have experience providing a free car in this situation and understand the need for privacy.
Disabled individuals — If you have a disability, you might be eligible to receive a free car to help you get around and be more independent.
Veterans and military families — Veterans and military families can also benefit from free car programs. There are organizations dedicated to providing assistance to those with a military background, to repay them for their service and sacrifices.
Victims of natural disasters — If you have experienced loss from a natural disaster, then you may benefit from many charitable free car organizations.
Of course, there are many more people who could benefit from finding affordable transportation as well. This is not a full list of those who might need a free vehicle.
Now, you do want to be cautious with getting a free car. If you are receiving government assistance, such as housing assistance, welfare, or food stamps, then accepting a free car may be considered income and it can affect your benefits. This is something that you will definitely want to think about as you do not want to lose these benefits.
How To Get A Free Car
There are organizations that help you get a car when you need a free vehicle. And there are other ways to find a free car as well. Below are some of the options that you may want to look into:
1. 1-800-Charity Cars
1-800-Charity Cars (also known as Free Charity Cars) is a nonprofit organization that provides free vehicles to eligible people, including domestic violence victims, the medically needy, victims of natural disasters, veterans and military families, and families transitioning from public assistance to work. It was the first charity of its kind in the nation.
This is the original free charity cars organization and they have given away over $70,000,000 in cars (over 9,000 cars) nationwide since they started the organization in 1996.
To apply, you will need to meet their eligibility criteria and submit an application on their website. Some of their eligibility requirements include being over the age of 18, being a resident of the U.S., having a valid driver’s license, being at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, and having a genuine need for a vehicle.
This is a good place to start if you need a free car and you’re wondering where can I get a donated car for free.
2. Vehicles for Change
Vehicles for Change was started in 1999 and has given out over 7,500 cars to low-income families for little to no cost.
This organization helps residents in the states of Maryland and Northern Virginia. Cars are repaired and restored by people seeking workforce training as auto mechanics.
Donated vehicles are provided to families in need who meet their eligibility requirements. Eligible applicants must have a verifiable job offer or be working at least 30 hours per week, have no DUIs, and have a valid driver’s license to begin the application process.
3. Good News Garage
Good News Garage is a car donation program to look into if you’re trying to find a free car. They provide refurbished free cars for low-income families that meet their eligibility requirements. They give out around 200 cars to families in need each year and have provided around 5,500 cars since starting in 1996.
This organization is available for those in need who live in the New England area of Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
Good News Garage also has a transportation program. If you need to get to a job or get your children to childcare, then their program Ready To Go may be able to help you with this as well.
4. Online Car Donation
OnlineCarDonation.org is another platform that donates refurbished vehicles to needy individuals and families.
Online Car Donation gives free cars to people such as those with physical challenges, families living in homeless shelters, military families, and more.
You can apply by filling out their application form on their website and providing the required documents to prove your eligibility.
After you submit your application for a free car, if you are chosen, you will be contacted within 30 days. If you do not hear back within that time frame, their website says you can apply again as applications are only valid for 30 days.
5. With Causes Charitable Network
The WithCauses.org Network helps individuals and families in need by providing resources and assistance, which includes help getting a free car. The eligibility requirements may vary, so visit their website to find out if you qualify and how to apply.
6. Salvation Army free car program
The Salvation Army offers a free car program for eligible candidates.
They mainly focus on helping domestic violence victims, families in dire financial situations, and the homeless. Visit your local Salvation Army branch to inquire about their car donation program and how to apply.
7. Cars 4 Heroes
Cars4Heroes donates free cars to first responders, military veterans, and their families who are in need of transportation.
Cars 4 Heroes was started in 1996, and the organization currently gives away over 300 cars a year in the Kansas City, Kansas, metro area.
You can fill out their application form on their website and provide the required documentation to be considered for a free car.
8. Local church
Your local churches or other religious institutions may have programs that provide free vehicles to families that need help getting a car.
You may want to contact your nearby churches to find out if they have any car donation programs and how to apply or if they have eligibility requirements. They may know someone that they can connect you with to help you get a free car.
9. Check Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist
Many people often give away their cars or sell them at low prices on platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.
If I was wondering about free cars near me, then I’d browse through these websites regularly to find out if anything is available. The search can be customized by entering your budget and location to see if anything suitable turns up.
10. Find a job that gives you a free car
There are jobs that may give you a free car as well, in case none of the above options works for you.
Some job positions that may come with a company car include sales representatives, district managers, or regional directors who spend a lot of time traveling between different offices.
To start your search for jobs that give you a car to take home, you can look for job postings with phrases like “company car provided” or “full-time vehicle provided.” Job websites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor make it simpler to find such job listings by using specific keywords, so you may try searching for those. I did a quick search and was able to pull up jobs easily by typing those phrases into the keyword search bar.
Some employers might offer a car allowance instead of providing a free car. In this case, you would receive a monthly stipend to use toward your vehicle expenses. This would offset some of your car expenses, such as monthly payments or maintenance.
Also, if you know someone who currently has a company car, you can try asking them for tips and advice. They might even refer you to open positions at their workplace, and this can help you get a job with a free car as well.
11. Look for a free dealer donation
Dealer donations are a little more difficult of an option, as car dealers are in the business of making money, not giving away all of their cars that make them that money.
But, it doesn’t hurt to try if you have the time to write a letter and reach out to a car dealership.
To obtain a car dealer donation of a free used car, you’ll want to start by seeing what local dealerships are in your area. You can research their involvement in charitable activities to see if they even give out free cars (maybe do a simple search of the dealership’s name plus the term “free car” or something like that), as this will show you that they are open to the idea of donating a vehicle to those in need of a free car.
Once you have a list of local dealers to reach out to, there are ways to get a free car from a dealership. You can write a letter talking about your situation and reasons for requesting a donated car. You should talk about your struggles and the positive impact the donation will have on your life (such as, what a donated car will help you do).
When writing your letter for a free dealer donation, here are some things to think about:
Write the letter to the dealership’s owner or general manager, as they will likely have the authority to approve a car donation or be able to talk to someone who does have that authority.
Explain your situation fully and provide the specific reasons why you need a car.
Talk about how a car donation would improve your life and allow you to overcome challenges or achieve goals.
Provide information on any relevant programs or resources, such as a community organization or nonprofit, that may support your request for a free car.
After you have written your letter, submit it to the dealership. You may do this by sending it to the physical mailing address of the person, their email address, or perhaps even handing your letter to them in person.
Here are answers to common questions you may have about finding a free car:
What are other transportation options if I can’t find a free car?
There may be a long waiting period if you are applying for a donated car. If you are not able to find a free vehicle, then you may need to look into other options to get around town. Here are some ideas on how to get around if you don’t have a car of your own:
Public Transportation— If you live in a place with public transportation, then this option is something to look into. One great thing about public transportation is that you won’t have to pay to maintain a vehicle or repair anything. Of course, public transportation sometimes takes longer and may not be widely available to you (unfortunately, there are many towns in the U.S. that do not have great public transportation options), and that is something to think about. Also, more and more cities offer public transportation at no charge. You may have to apply for a special card to get this free service, or it may be available to everyone. It’s worth asking around about because it can save you hundreds of dollars a month.
Carpooling — Carpooling is an option to think about if you are unable to find a free car, especially for people who live in areas with limited public transportation. Car owners may be looking for riders so that the expense of ownership is offset a bit. You’ll need to share the cost of expenses, such as gas, tolls, parking, and wear and tear. You may be able to share rides with coworkers, friends, or neighbors. To save money, you could offer to trade babysitting, gardening, or home repairs for the ride. Also, check out carpooling apps that apply to your local area.
Rideshare Services — Now, rideshare most likely won’t be the most affordable option, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. Rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, may be able to get you to where you need to go if you don’t have any other options. To save money, use an app that compares rideshare companies and finds you the cheapest price. And, as far as your work commute, it’s good to know that some companies offer rideshare services as a benefit to their employees and will pay for the full cost or part of it.
How can I find free cars given away near me?
Yes, you can find free cars given away near you. There are many local organizations that may be able to help you out. You can research the various charity programs in your area and see if you meet their eligibility requirements for a free car.
Many charities, such as Charity Cars, provide free vehicles to people in need. These organizations often target specific groups of people, like veterans or victims of domestic violence.
Next, reach out to local branches of organizations like the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries. These organizations may also auction off donated cars at affordable prices. Reach out to your nearest branch to learn more about available vehicles and to find out if they hold any auctions.
Another option is Online Car Donation, which aims to provide free cars to as many people in need as possible. Fill out their application to see if a reliable used car is available for you. They also offer trucks, vans, and sometimes even modified vehicles for individuals with disabilities.
Remember to be patient but also to keep trying, as it can sometimes take time to find the right opportunity for a free car. And, many times your application is only good for 30 days, so keep in mind that you may have to submit it over and over again.
Is Free Charity Cars legit?
Yes, Free Charity Cars is a legitimate organization that connects eligible people with free vehicles. They have high ratings and many endorsements.
How to get a car if you can’t get a free one?
If you’re not able to get a free car, you do have some other options, such as learning how to get a cheap car and learning the best way to get a car loan with a low interest rate.
Here are my tips for finding a cheap car:
Shop around for cars that are affordable to you: Many organizations offering a free car may also give you the option of purchasing a refurbished vehicle from them at a much lower cost than elsewhere. Otherwise, check out your local dealerships, online car-selling platforms, and even Craigslist to find the best deals on reliable cars in your area. Don’t limit yourself to just one site; shop around and be patient until you find a car that fits your budget.
Buy a used car: Buying a used car rather than a brand new one can save you money. Pre-owned vehicles tend to be more affordable and can still offer reliable transportation.
Negotiate for the best price: Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price of the car with the car seller or dealership. They may be able to lower the price, especially if you can show them that similar cars are around for cheaper prices elsewhere.
Check your credit score: Before applying for a car loan, make sure that you know your credit score. A better credit score increases your chances of getting a lower interest rate on your car loan. If you can, I recommend you take the steps to improve your credit score (even while searching for a free car) in case you need to apply for a car loan.
You can learn more about building up your credit score at Everything You Need To Know About How To Build Credit.
Shop around for car loans: Just as you should shop around for the best car deal, you should do the same for car loans. Different lenders may offer different interest rates and loan terms.
Choose a shorter loan term: While a shorter car loan term means higher monthly payments, you’ll pay less in interest overall, making the car less expensive over the years.
There are plenty of options for finding cars that may not be entirely free but are still affordable to you.
Related content: Save Money With These Top Tips For Buying A Car
How To Get A Free Car — Summary
I hope you enjoyed today’s article on how to get a free car.
If you need a car but cannot afford one, there are several ways to possibly get a free car. Many programs and organizations exist to help people get a free car, especially if you belong to certain categories, such as low-income families, veterans, domestic violence victims, or those transitioning from public assistance.
Remember, you do want to be cautious with getting a free car as well. If you are receiving government assistance, such as housing assistance, welfare, or food stamps, then accepting a free car may be considered income, and it can affect your benefits.
To find free cars near you, it’s important to explore local nonprofit organizations, as well as community centers, churches, or social services agencies that may have information about free car programs or resources in your area. Some jobs come with a company car that you can take home.
Here are some potential resources to assist you in getting a free car:
Local nonprofit organizations
Online car donation websites
Community centers and churches
Social services agencies
Remember that just because you meet the eligibility requirements for a free car and apply for one, it does not mean that you will succeed. There are many people who would like to receive a free vehicle as well. However, you can increase your chances of getting a free car if you can show that you have a need and you have a story to share (since people personally review the applications to see who needs the car the most).
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The Realtor survey was sent out in late July to 55,751 randomly-selected residential Realtors. NAR received 1,919 responses by the mid-August close date of the survey. The homebuyer survey was conducted by Morning Consult in June 2023. Of the 2,201 respondents, 587 were white, 560 were Hispanic/Latino(a), 533 identified as African-American/Black and 521 identified at Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI).
In the realtor survey, Millennials were the largest home buyer generation represented. Forty-two percent of agents reported that they were working with Millennials, followed by Gen X at 22%, Baby Boomers at 12%, Gen Z at 8% and Civics (those aged 78 and older) at 1%.
White homebuyers were the largest racial group represented at 58%, followed by Hispanic/Latino(a) at 11%, African-American/Black at 10% and Asian-American at 3%.
Over half of the Realtors (51%) reported they their buyers were first-time buyers. In the buyer survey, 71% of white respondents reported they currently own a home, while 67% of African-American/Black responses said they do not currently own a home. In addition, 89% of Hispanic/Latino(a) buyers, as well as African-American/Black buyers said they will be first-time buyers, compared to just 65% of white respondents.
When broken up by race or ethnicity, white buyers are more likely than other races to report not yet having a purchased a home mainly due to lack of availability in their budget, while Hispanic/Latino(a) buyers are more likely to be hampered mainly by the inability to save a sufficient down payment. AAPI buyers are most likely to be waiting for prices to drop and African-American/Black buyers are most likely to report trouble getting approved for a loan due to credit issues as the main reason they have not bought yet.
Generationally, Gen X (12%) and Baby Boomer (11%) buyers are more likely than other generations to be waiting for prices to drop (only 9% of Gen Z buyers and 6% of Millennial buyers are waiting for prices to drop). However, Baby Boomers are the least likely to be concerned about competing with all-cash buyers, with just 24% listing this as a concern compared to 34%-42% for the other generations.
Exploring finance options
According to the Realtor survey, 77% of their prospective buyers who have applied for a loan, have been approved, while 6% have applied but been denied. Of those who have been denied, 12% report it is due to low credit score and 9% report it was due to insufficient down payments.
Black/African-American buyers who have not been approved for a loan are more likely than other racial or ethnic groups to have been denied due to low credit scores, at 32% versus 17% or less for the other racial and ethnic groups.
Realtors reported that 68% of their buyers were considering a conventional loan, 38% were considering an FHA loan, 8% were considering a VA loan and 7% said their buyers did not need home loan financing. FHA loans more likely to be considered by African-American/Black and Hispanic/Latino(a) buyers than white and AAPI buyers, and white and AAPI buyers were most likely to not need financing, at 8% and 9% respectively, compared to 4% or less for other racial and ethnic groups. Broken down on generational lines, 25% of Baby Boomers report not needing financing, compared with just 8% or less for younger generations.
First time buyers (54%) are more than twice as likely as repeat buyers (22%) to consider an FHA loan. Divided among racial and ethnic groups, African-American/Black buyers (62%) and Hispanic/Latino(a) buyers (57%) are more likely to consider FHA loans than other groups (34% or less). Generationally, younger buyers are more likely to consider FHA loans with 57% of Gen Z buyers reporting they have considered an FHA loan, compared to 11% of Baby Boomers.
Among buyers who were eligible for FHA or VA loans, 20% of realtors said their buyer clients have not considered VA or FHA because they do not want to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) (21%) or they are worried their offers will be less competitive with these options (19%).
According to the survey, 53% of realtors say that at least one issues is holding their latest buyer back from saving a competitive down payment, with 23% reporting current rent or mortgage payments holding buyers back, 17% reporting credit card balances or payments, 12% reporting student loan debt and 11% citing car loans.
First-time buyers are significantly more likely to struggle with these challenges than repeat buyers, with twice as many first-time buyers reporting that they are struggling with credit card payments (22% vs. 11%), and student loan debt (17% vs 7%). When broken down via race and ethnicity, AAPI (52%) and white buyers (52%) were more likely than African-American/Black buyers (31%) and Hispanic/Latino(a) buyers (36%) to report that nothing was holding them back from saving for a down payment. Along generational lines, younger buyers are more likely to be held back by student loan debt (20% of Gen Z, 15% of Millennials, and 8% or less for older generations), car loans (16% of Gen Z vs. 3% of Baby Boomers) and childcare expenses (12% of Gen Z, compared to 2% of Baby Boomers). Overall, the older the buyer the more likely that none of the above issues are holding them back from saving for a down payment, with 70% of Baby Boomers reporting that none of these issues are holding them back compared to 40% of Gen Z buyers.
Despite their challenges, only 23% of Realtors reported that their buyers dealing with these challenges have applied for down payment assistance programs, while 12% of consumers reported that they were unaware of these programs.
The number one reason, at 30%, Realtors cited as to why their buyers who were aware of down payment assistance programs did not apply was that their income was too high. This was followed by 19% who said their buyers didn’t know enough about the programs and 17% who were worried about the competitiveness of their offers in a multiple bid situation.
First time buyers were three times more likely to have applied for down payment assistance programs than repeat buyers at 30% compared to 10%. Similarly, the younger the buyer, the more likely they are to have applied for a program, with 36% of Gen Z buyers reporting they had applied versus 11% of Baby Boomers.
Among racial groups, AAPI buyers were the least likely to have applied to a down payment assistance program at 13% versus 22%-31% for other groups. In addition, they were the most likely to say they were unaware of the programs at 26% compared to 8%-13% for other racial groups.
Location, Location, Location
When determining the location of their future home, 71% of realtors reported that their buyers were determining the location of their next home base on the location of their job or the job of someone in their household. Of the remaining roughly 30%, 16% said their buyer work fully remote and 14% reported that they buyers are retired. They are typically looking for 30 minutes or less of driving time (consumers reported 25 minutes or less).
Baby Boomer were the most likely to be retired at 61% compared to 2%-9% of other generations, while Gen X buyers were the most likely to work fully remotely at 24% versus 9% to 14% for other generations. Millennials (84%) and Gen Z buyers (86%) are the most likely to determine the future location of their home based on the location of their job (28% to 67% for older generations), and similarly, first-time buyers (83%) are more likely than repeat buyers (57%) to determine location based on the location of their job.
Compared to other racial or ethnic group, Hispanic/Latino(a) buyers were most likely to determine the location of their future home based on the location of their jobs, at 82%, compared to 69% to 74% for other groups. White (16%) and African-American/Black buyers (12%) were the most likely to be retired or not workings (other groups ranged from 7% to 8%).
Nearly half (49%) of Realtors said their buyers have no preference between existing and new construction, however white buyers were significantly more likely than other racial groups to prefer existing homes at 46% compared to 27% to 35% for other groups.
The vast majority of Realtors (89%) said their buyer clients were buying a primary residence, while 6% reported they were buying an investment property and 5% said they were buying a vacation or rental home.
Discrimination remains under reported
Of the Realtors surveyed, 1% of Realtors reported that their buyer experienced discrimination during buying process, while 13% were unsure. Among the 14 Realtors who reported that their buyer experienced discrimination, the most common form of discrimination came in the form of loan products offered by the lender (43%) or that the buyer did not receive a call back from the lender (29%). Realtors who reported that their clients experience discrimination, said the most common reason was race (57%), followed by age (29%), and familial status (21%).
Other common sources of discrimination reported were color, religion and national origin (all at 14% each), as well as sex, disability and sexual orientation (all at 7% each).
Despite experiencing discrimination only 7% of the agents said their clients reported the discrimination to a government agency or legal aid organization.
In the consumer study, roughly one in six prospective buyers reported experiencing discrimination during their home buying process, with more than half of Black, Asian, and Hispanic buyers reporting that this was due to their race or ethnicity. White buyers are equally likely to report discrimination but are more likely than others to say this was based on factors other than race or ethnicity. NAR reported that based on both studies is believes that most of this discrimination goes unreported.
Consumers who experience discrimination reported that this most often manifested in their being steered towards or away from specific neighborhoods and in stricter requirements. Among successful buyers 50% of Hispanic/Latino(a) buyers experienced steering, compared to 29% of white buyers and 12% of African American/Black buyers, while 17% of AAPI buyers, 24% of White buyers and 12% of African American/Black buyers reported stricter requirements.