Pine Bluff, AR — Participants in the Southern Good Faith Fund’s Individual Development Account (IDA) program have saved over $1 million. The low-income, Arkansas participants are using the money in their special matched savings accounts to pay for college, put a down-payment on a house, or start a small business.
Individual Development Accounts help people with little or no savings build both financial assets and fiscal acumen. Southern Good Faith Fund was the first organization in Arkansas to offer an IDA program and has been a leader in the field, helping lift hundreds of low-income families out of poverty and into the middle class. Currently almost 300 low-income families have an IDA account with Southern Good Faith Fund.
Individual Development Account programs require participants to learn financial skills and make investments that increase in value. “These accounts are not a hand out or free money,” explains Angela Duran, president of Southern Good Faith Fund. “These accounts are designed to help lower-income families build assets and start them on a path to financial security.”
Southern Good Faith Fund participants must save regularly and deposit at least $20 each month into a savings account. Participants must also complete a series of financial education courses covering topics such as money management, credit management, and financial services. Once participants reach their saving goals, usually over a period of two to three years, their savings are matched $3 for every $1 they have saved up to a maximum of $2,000 for an individual or $4,000 for a household.
Since the IDA program began in 1999, 50 participating families have purchased homes, 77 homes have been renovated and over $2 million in home mortgage loans have been acquired. Sixty nine participants have pursued a post-secondary education, and 38 small businesses have been created or expanded.
For more information about Southern Good Faith Fund’s IDA program, visit www.southerngoodfaithfund.org or call 888-323-6233.