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Program Contact
Tina Morris-Anderson
Research & Policy Division
(919) 715-7415

Evelyn Zoldak

IDA Program Manager
(919) 733-1387


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Individual Development Account (IDA) Program

Individual Development Accounts are savings accounts that can be used only for purchasing a first home, capitalizing a small business, or for educational or job training expenses. Accounts are held at local financial institutions. Contributions by lower income participants are matched using both private and public sources. All participants receive economic literacy training that includes workshops for cleaning up one's credit, setting up a budgeting and savings schedule, and other basics of money management.

The program is designed to help low - to moderate-income families work to develop financial independence.

How do IDAs work?
IDAs represent a powerful tool used by community organizations throughout the United States to stimulate participants' savings rates, build their assets, and connect these individuals to the economic mainstream.  Private foundations and the public sector fund most of the programs. The following four-step process documents how an IDA participant moves through a typical IDA program.

STEP 1 - Introduction and Orientation
The orientation sessions provide participants with information about the program, asset-building options, importance of savings and the lifetime development of assets.

STEP 2 - Opening Accounts
Program participants open IDA savings accounts with the cooperating financial partners (bank or credit union). Participants sign a contract expressing a commitment to save. The program tracks how much participants have saved, how much they have received in matching funds and the accumulated interest. Participants receive this information.

STEP 3 - Economic Literacy and Training
Participants meet with staff to develop a savings plan. Staff also discusses income and consumer patterns. Participants attend mandatory training on banking, investing and money management.

STEP 4 - Withdrawal, Purchasing Assets, and Beyond

In Step 4, participants, with staff assistance, are ready to make bank withdrawals from their savings. Participants can use funds to purchase a home, continue their education or start a business and continue to save for the future.

Where are IDA Programs?
North Carolina has one of the leading statewide networks of IDA programs with 8 local IDA sites in 24 North Carolina counties. The North Carolina Department of Labor IDA Program will end in September 2015.



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