What is an IDA?

What is an IDA?
An Individual Development Account (IDA) is a matched savings account that enables families with limited financial resources to save and build assets.

IDAs encourage savings by matching participant deposits, which then are invested in one of the following assets:

  • Homeownership
  • Small business start-up or expansion
  • Post-secondary education or job training
  • Home rehabilitation or repair
  • Employment-related adaptive equipment, technology or specialized training

IDAs are about more then receiving match money. They are about building skills that will help individuals and their families move up the ladder of self-sufficiency. These skills are obtained through the completion of training focused on attaining and managing assets. Trainings focus on the specifics of each asset and provide a forum for participants to develop their skills as homeowners, students, entrepreneurs, or employees.

    Financial Education forms the core of IDA training and is provided to every VIDA participant, regardless of the asset goal chosen. In these sessions the participant will learn about financial habits and skills for a lifetime of asset-building. From savings and spending to distinguishing between wants and needs, participants will learn techniques to improve their financial situation--no matter what the level. Participants will develop a spending plan or budget for their household and learn important information about consumerism, credit cards and predatory lending. Credit repair issues will be addressed.
    Homeownership Training is designed to help first-time homebuyers learn the basics about the home buying process. They will not only learn the basics, but will leave the training better prepared to successfully complete the home buying process.
    Small Business Development Training provides the skills needed to succeed as a small business owner and it will aid in developing a business plan. A business plan is an essential document that lenders require for receiving an approval of a business related loan.
    Post-secondary Education Training focuses on accessing post-secondary education, academic planning and options after graduation. The education training will support the participant in achieving educational goals and understanding the career options available after finishing the educational program.
    Home Rehabilitation/Repair Training is designed to help individuals learn about the processes involved in making their homes accessible, habitable or able to be visited. Individuals will learn about aspects of home rehabilitation or repair, including finding a contractor, bidding and much more.
    Employment-related equipment, technology or specialized training supports participants in developing an employment plan, as well as explore with them the equipment, technology or training necessary to obtain or maintain employment.

IDAs are offered by community-based organizations that provide individualized participant support, financial education and asset-specific training needed to purchase and manage personal assets.

IDAs are supported from a variety of agencies, including the federal government, state government and private foundations. Participant savings accounts are hosted by local financial institutions that work with CASA of Oregon, the program administrator.