Individual Development

Individual Development Account

An Individual Development Account (IDA) is a matched savings program provided by AAA Fair Credit Foundation that helps individuals and families build assets. Funds can be used to purchase a first home, post secondary education and to start a small business. Cottages of Hope has agreed to be the case managers for Weber County.

Ronnie, a Weber County Saver, saved $6,000 for college in 2011.
Ronnie, a Weber County Saver, saved $6,000 for college in 2011.

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A Shift in behavior and confidence

  • The program goes beyond simply matching the savings of the household. The true intent is to create a shift in behavior and confidence in financial matters. First, the program develops the habit of saving by requiring at least one year of monthly deposits. Several households will consistently save over the course of two to three years. With a minimum of $15 a month and a maximum of $62.50, the program becomes accessible to a broad range of potential savers.

Invaluable education opportunities from beginning to end

  • Before a household can participate they must complete 8-10 hours of basic financial education. Then, prior to closing the account the participant must enroll in classes specifically related to their financial goal. First time home buyers for instance, must complete classes geared towards understanding technical financing issues and basic negotiation skills. This not only assists the household in preparing financially (using the matched $’s) for the purchase, but it adequately prepares them to be confident during the experience.

Developing and accomplishing financial goals

  • The program assists households in developing and accomplishing financial goals like paying for school, starting a new business or buying a home. The Utah Individual Development Account Network (UIDAN) staff begins by helping the family prepare for the program by evaluating financial resources and potential threats. The Network will also enroll the participant into the initial financial education classes. After being accepted, the household states their desired use or goal for the matched savings. Community based organizations (CBO’s) are then brought into play as case managers to assist the household in accomplishing their goal. Support is provided from beginning to end to ensure that success is achieved.