REAL Services helps individuals to achieve financial literacy and build their assets through the Individual Development Account (IDA) program, which moves people toward self-sufficiency.
Through the IDA program, for each dollar an individual saves—between $500 to $800 per year—the state of Indiana will match it with $3. This means participants can have up to $1,500 combined savings each year, up to a program maximum of $2,400. Participation requires a minimum monthly deposit of $40, as well as the development of and adherence to a written budget. Participants will also attend case management meetings, financial literacy classes (15 hours), and asset goal training (6-8 hours).
Savings earned through the program can be put toward higher education for oneself or a dependent, home purchase or rehabilitation of a current home, or the opening or expansion of a small business.
The benefits of the IDA program go beyond the monetary savings; participants will attend free trainings and one-on-one sessions about financial goal-setting, come to better understand their credit report and score, have access to referrals and information about various other important life skills, and be empowered to make positive changes in their lives.
To be eligible for an Individual Development Account, you must be:
- Employed or self-employed
- Able to save a minimum of $40 a month
- An Indiana resident
- Willing to attend a mandatory information session to receive an application
- Within income guidelines (Example: income of up to $52,400 a year for a family of four)
- Able to meet the minimum screening requirements