10 Best Grants for Paying Off Debt In 2023 | Application Steps


If you are to borrow money to cover your educational costs, you would have tremendous debt as you start your career. This article explores the top grants for paying off debts in 2023.

If you are having difficulties repaying your debts, there are repayment assistance programs and free grants to help reduce portions of your debt. You can repay your loans and get out of debt faster by using grants.

As a student, if you have federal or private student loans, You might be eligible for grants based on your profession.

As an entrepreneur, Times are hard for small businesses; dealing with business and debt can be a nightmare. Fortunately with the help of a grant which is available to entrepreneurs can help them survive and succeed in the competitive business environment.

What is a Grant?

A grant is an award, more often a financial award, given by a company or government to an individual or company to reach a goal or incentivize performance. Grants are gifts that you do not have to pay back under most conditions.

These include education loans, research money, and stock options. Some grants have vesting periods or lock, also known as waiting periods before the grantee can take ownership of the grant.

This article provides detailed information on the 10 best loan grants available for you to pay off some or all your debts, the basics of applying for grants, and how to apply for grants.

Best Grants for Paying Off Debts

Here are our top picks on the best grants for paying off debts in 2023:

  1. National Health Service Corps
  2.  Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program
  3.  Tech Grant
  4.  Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP)
  5.  Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program
  6.  National Institute of Mental Health Loan Repayment Program
  7.  NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program
  8.  NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program
  9.  The NHSC Student Service Loan Repayment Program
  10.  Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

#1. National Health Service Corps

Loan payback scheme through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC): Under this program, licensed primary care practitioners can earn up to $50,000 in exchange for two years of work at an NHSC location. You can use this program to repay federal and private student loans.

Here are some of the qualifying professions for this program

  • Certified nurse-midwives
  • Dental hygienists
  • Dentist
  • Health service psychologist
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Physician assistants
  • Psychiatric nurse specialists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Allopathic and osteopathic physicians

The funds received through the National health service corps loan repayment program are exempt from federal income and employment taxes.

#2. Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program

The Health Resources & Services Administration administers this program. The Nurse Corps, Loan Repayment Program, reimburses qualifying RNs, RNs in advanced practice, and nursing instructors for up to 60% of their remaining student loan debt.

If chosen for the award, you must agree to devote a minimum of two years of your nursing career to a designated critical shortage institution or an eligible nursing facility. The benefits that you receive through this program are taxable as income.

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#3. Tech Grant

This grant is a federal program for students who want to take teaching as a career. If qualified, you can receive up to $4,000 per year to help pay for your study.

In exchange, you must consent to work for a minimum of four years as a teacher in a high-need institution that serves low-income kids in elementary or secondary school.

The government changes the grant into a debt that needs to be returned with interest if you are now qualified to fulfill the Tech Grant’s service obligations.

#4. Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP)

This is a program for department of justice employees. Under this program, the Justice Department will pay back certain federal loans for highly competent attorneys in return for a three-year service commitment. Those who qualify may get up to $6,000 annually to pay their debts.

#5. Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program

Under this program, healthcare professionals can get up to $40,000 to repay their loan in exchange for working for at least two years at the IHS facility tribally operated 638 health program or an urban Indian health program.

An IHS recruiter will help you to find employment at eligible sites. You can use this loan repayment program to repay federal and private student loans. The following professions are eligible for this program

  • Advanced practice nurses
  • Behavioral health professionals
  • Allopathic and osteopathic practitioners
  • Dentists
  • Chiropractors
  • Dietitians
  • Dentists
  • Medical laboratory scientists
  • Nurses
  • Optometrists
  • Acupuncturist
  • Pharmacists
  • Physical therapists
  • Social workers

#6. National Institute of Mental Health Loan Repayment Program

This loan payback program participates in numerous loan repayment schemes run by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These were developed for doctors of medicine conducting biological or behavioral research funded by domestic or federal agencies.

Qualified professionals can make up to $100,000 to pay off their student loan debt in return for a two-year commitment to research services. The NIH will reimburse you for any federal and state taxes incurred due to benefits you have received, even if the repayment aid obtained through this program is taxed as income.

#7. NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program

Healthcare professionals are encouraged to work in underprivileged communities through this initiative. If qualified individuals agree to work at the designated location for a minimum of three years, they may be eligible to earn up to $75,000 in student loan payback help.

Some of these professionals are:

  • Nurse practitioners
  •  physician assistant
  •  pharmacist
  •  registered nurses
  •  substance abuse counselors, and many more.

The benefits you receive through this program are not taxable.

#8. NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program

This program is part of an effort to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic in rural communities. Eligible clinical can get up to $100,000 to pay their student loans in return for three years of service at a rural NHSC-approved substances use or disorder treatment facility.

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The following is the list of qualified professionals:

  • Certified midwives
  • Clinical pharmacist
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • Allopathic and osteopathic physicians
  • Nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists
  • Psychiatric nurse specialists
  • Registered Nurses
  • Substances use disorder counselors
  • Psychiatrists

#9. The NHSC Student to Service Loan Repayment Program

Eligible students in their final year of school can receive up to $120,000 if they agree to a three-year service commitment to work at an approved site. To qualify, the student must be in dental, medical, or nursing school.

The benefits received through NHSC students to service loan repayment programs are not taxable.

#10. Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

The SBIR offers grants to small businesses to participate in federal research and development with the potential for commercialization.

It’s a highly competitive awards-based program that helps companies to achieve scientific excellence and technological innovation.

To qualify for SBIR grants, you must operate a for-profit company and satisfy other requirements.

How to Search for a Free Grant

Below is how you can search for grants for paying off debts as well as other free rants:

  • Federal government: use Gov loans to find potential loan repayment programs and grants.
  • Professional associations: such as the association of American medical colleges and the American dental association, maintain databases of available scholarships, loan repayment programs, and grants.
  • State education agencies: many states in the United States have grants and student loan assistance programs for their residents. Visit your state education agencies to find opportunities related to your profession.

The Basics of Grant Application

It is essential to understand the five basics before thinking or applying for a grant or funding :

  • Determine your eligibility for specific funding opportunities
  • Get familiar with the overall procedures of grant rewards and applications.
  • Ensure to identify the right funding opportunities
  • Learn the requirements you will need to agree to if awarded the grant.
  • The final step is to apply for the grant.

Now let’s learn how to apply for a grant (step-by-step guide)

Before applying for a grant, you must understand how the three phases of a grant life cycle work. There is the pre-award stage, when the grants are announced and the eligibility is determined.

After that, there is the award phase, when the grant recipients have been picked, and the final phase, the post-award phase, when the grant proposal is put into action and winners are expected to report on their progress and use of the funds.

How to Apply for a Grant

Below is a simple guide on how you can apply for grants for paying off debts as well as other rants:

  • First, read the complete grant application, including guidelines and eligibility requirements, to ensure the requirements are met.
  • Research and understand the priorities and strategy of the loan repayment organizations and for the grant.
  • Assemble data, plans, and budget information that are requested before going for it. The data and number of related questions must be accurate because some organizations will dismiss inaccurate information.
  • Answer all the questions. Some questions are multi-pronged, so make sure you answer all the elements of the questions accurately.
  • Be direct with your answer and give the grant evaluator a complete picture of how you want to carry out your program.
  • Give the budget request adequate attention because this is the most critical component of a grant application.
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In your budget request, you must ensure the following:

  • Your budget is in line with the budget requirement listed by the organization.
  • The request is, at most, the maximum amount of the grant.
  • The request is in unity with your program plan outlined in the grant.
  • Request sustainable investments that will sustain themselves for years and not have to be purchased yearly.
  • Make sure you review the requirements. After reviewing and clearly articulating the problems, barriers, and how the program plan will handle these problems, you are fully ready to submit your application.

FAQs – Grants for Paying Off Debt

How do you get money you don’t have to pay back?

Applying for a personal grant is one solution. The government provides subsidies to aid Americans in meeting their financial obligations and getting through difficult times.

What is a debt hardship loan?

A hardship loan is finance intended to assist those experiencing a financial crisis brought on by an unexpected cost or a lack of income. A hardship loan can be used to pay for unanticipated expenses, such as a medical bill or automobile repair, and cover regular expenses like rent and food.

Can you be forgiven for debt?

This is known as debt forgiveness, when the lender partially or entirely forgives a debtor’s outstanding balance on a loan or credit account. The borrower typically has to be eligible for a particular program before the creditor may forgive all or part of the amount owing.

How many years until debt is forgiven?

In California, the statute of limitations typically lasts four years for consumer debts resulting from written contracts. This covers debts from credit cards, auto, personal, private student, and medical loans.

Are there grants to pay off debt?

Best grants for paying off debt in 2023:

National Health Service Corps
Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program
Tech Grant
Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP)
Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program
National Institute of Mental Health Loan Repayment Program
NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program
NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program
The NHSC Student to Service Loan Repayment Program
Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)


To be awarded grant money can be a long and strenuous process, but it can be done. It has to be done correctly to avoid waste of effort. Although the results are worth the effort, the satisfaction and sense of winning a grant will not only sponsor your project but also motivate you to push forward and chase your goals harder.


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