Though it is not often talked about, the Individual Development Accounts program at the SCCAP is one of the largest in the state.
The program helps candidates create accounts and practice a monthly savings routine. It then uses money from state allocations and federal dollars from the Assets for Independence, or AFI, to give them a minimum of a 3-to-1 match on their funds.
This money can then be used to improve assets through buying or renovating a home, funding post-secondary education for the participant or a dependent, or starting a business.
The program also encourages financial planning. Participants must provide invoices at least 48 hours before they can make any withdrawal and attend a financial literacy class and one-on-one planning sessions.
Kelly Walter, the IDA coordinator for SCCAP, said she has some of the best numbers and saving percentages by participants in the state. She currently manages 244 IDA bank accounts comprised of 80 active members and 42 inactive participants, meaning they have completed saving but are no longer receiving matches and have yet to spend their funds.
She said the program has a waitlist, but they are always taking names, especially for residents of Owen, Brown, and Morgan counties. We hope to be posting some profiles of successful IDA participants soon. For questions about the IDA program, please call the Monroe County office at 339-3447 ext 229.