Individual Development Account (IDA) is a matched savings plan that provides a 2:1 match on a savings account to save for home ownership, college, or starting or expanding a micro-business. Participants attend "Financial Fitness" classes and complete a plan based on their asset goals; individuals can access their matched funds after 12 months of saving. In addition to the tangible benefit of saving money, this program helps people gain knowledge and confidence to take charge of their finances and realize their goal.
Who is eligible for the program? Program applicants must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, have earned income, and their assets can not exceed $10,000 excluding their primary dwelling and one vehicle.
The IDA Coordinator communicates with each person on a monthly basis or more, if needed, and program participants set up a joint bank account with SEVCA. The IDA program participants are required to save a minimum of $25 per month for a 2-year period; through the first 12 months the participant can save up to $500. In the second year, they can save an additional $500. The program participants are able to access their match funds after successfully saving for at least 12 months, attending "Financial Fitness" classes, and writing a plan based on their asset goal. If a participant successfully saves $1,000 over the 2-year period, they will receive an additional $2,000 in matched funds: $1,000 from AFI and $1,000 from the State of Vermont.