With false promises of stimulus loans spreading on social media like wildfire, it's easy for many vulnerable Americans to be taken in by what appears to be legitimate news. The fact is, you can’t borrow against your stimulus check.

If you’re in need of money, the government does have a number of loan options available. In many cases, these loans are easier to qualify for than private loans. Read on to learn more about available government loan options, qualification requirements, and the application process.

What Stimulus Loans Are Available in 2024?

There’s no such thing as a true stimulus loan. You can’t borrow money against your stimulus check, and there are no stimulus programs that lend money to individuals. However, the government offers many types of loan programs to support communities, businesses, and individuals.

Social Security Loan

Social Security loans don’t exist. You can’t borrow against your benefits. There was a loophole that many beneficiaries used to collect benefits at age 62 and then repay them by age 70.

The loophole doesn’t exist anymore, and new policies don’t leave any room for this borrowing option. If you start collecting benefits before you’re 70 years old, you’ll have 12 months to suspend the benefits from the date you start receiving them. You’ll also have to repay the benefits you’ve collected.

Stimulus Loan for Rent

While there are no stimulus loans for rent, there are many financial assistance programs that can help.

Small Business Loans

If you need help starting or growing a small business, SBA loans are available. These loans are available through credit unions and local banks. You can borrow up to $5 million through the loan program, but you may have to provide a personal guarantee.

There are several other types of loans available for those who are self-employed, such as microloans and specific business loans for women.

Student Loan Forgiveness

Federal education loans fund graduate and undergraduate college education as well as research-related courses.

In August 2022, President Biden announced student loan debt relief for eligible borrowers. Since the initial announcement, the Biden government has canceled billions of dollars in student debt, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of borrowers. If you already have a student loan, check to see if you qualify for debt relief.

If you don’t qualify for loan forgiveness but are struggling to keep up with monthly payments, you can apply for student loan payment forbearance or an income-driven repayment plan.

Watch Out for Scam Stimulus Loans

The U.S. government doesn’t offer free grants, money, or stimulus loans for personal needs. Social media posts sharing claims about a $40,000 federal stimulus loan have grabbed the attention of thousands of Americans.

There are no stimulus loans approved by the government, as described in these posts. Instead, these posts are either a scam or a marketing ploy used for a loan service. A program of this nature would need to be approved by the Congress.

We recommend being vigilant when you come across such posts. Don’t believe everything you read on social media and always rely on information provided on official government websites, such as Benefits.gov, USA.gov, and GovLoans.gov.

Are You Eligible for A Stimulus Loan?

While there are no stimulus loans available, you may qualify for a government loan for housing, education, or business. Government loans usually serve those who are generally unable to qualify for similar loans offered through private lenders. For this reason, they often have lenient eligibility requirements.

For example, you can qualify for an FHA mortgage loan with as little as a 3.5% down payment. Credit score requirements are also generally lower (500-580) compared to conventional loans. You can also borrow a USDA loan with no down payment.

If you have bad credit and are looking for government loans, use the loan finder tool to see what you may qualify for.

How To Apply for a Stimulus Loan

Each government loan program has its own application process, eligibility rules, and deadlines. Read through the program guidelines on GovLoans.gov to learn more about how to apply for the loan.

If you’re applying for a federal student loan, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the first step in the process, and you can use it to apply for financial aid.

SBA loans are guaranteed by the Small Business Administration and delivered through participating SBA lenders. You’ll need to find a lender in your area and apply for a loan through them.

Other Available Government Grants and Loans

Other than the options listed above, the federal government also has many other grant and loan options, as listed below.

Government Grants

The government doesn’t have grant programs for individuals, but they do for organizations that work with projects and programs funded by the government. Federal grants are usually designed for:

  • Businesses
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Law enforcement
  • Universities
  • State and local governments

Housing Loans

The federal government finances a large number of mortgage loan programs for buying homes, interest rate reductions, home improvements, and improving energy efficiency. Many of these loans have lower down-payment requirements, competitive interest rates, and low credit score requirements.

Some of the most well-known loan programs include:

  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • FHA 203(k) loans
  • Refinancing loans
  • First-time homebuyer loans

Agriculture, Rural, and Farm Loans

The government offers several types of loans to encourage farming and rural development. Loans make it easier to purchase livestock, farm machinery, equipment, and feed.

There are also several other types of loans available for commercial fishing industries, mariculture, and aquaculture. The Rural Housing Farm Labor Housing Loans and Grants program offers money for developing and maintaining housing for farm laborers.

Loans for Veterans

Eligible service members, reservists, veterans, and surviving spouses can also get specific loans and benefits from the federal government. Veterans Administration (VA) loans can be used to purchase a home and to refinance.

Other than VA loans, you can also get a cash-out refinance loan, Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), Veterans Life Insurance Policy Loan (where you borrow part of the cash value of a permanent life insurance policy), and Cash Surrenders (where you permanently surrender your permanent life insurance policy and walk away with the cash).

Disaster Relief Loans

Disaster relief loans offer funds for repairing home damages due to natural or man-made disasters for commercial businesses, housing, and farming. If your home, farm, or business is hit by a disaster, a disaster relief loan can help workers and owners fund repairs to buildings and machinery, as well as cover losses to crops so they can re-establish their properties and businesses.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the White House also announced Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to help small businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The SBA also offered the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans during the pandemic to help businesses keep their workforce employed.

Get Your Stimulus

The IRS recently issued a statement notifying non-filers to file their tax return for the year 2020 to get their IRS stimulus check. If you were eligible but haven’t received your Economic Impact Payments issued during the coronavirus pandemic, now is the time to file your tax returns.  Better late than never.

Social media posts about stimulus payment loans are untrue because the government has no such loan programs. However, if you’re facing financial hardship and are unable to get a loan from a private lender, you can apply for government loans for housing, education, or business.

Weigh the pros and cons and compare government loans to private loans before you do so. Check to make sure you’ll be able to afford the loan payments before you borrow.