Individual Development Accounts

Success Story

The Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program helps refugees and other ORR-eligible populations save toward an asset that will help increase financial independence. The program helps refugees understand what assets are, how the U.S. financial system works, and how to manage their money.

Through the IDA program, refugees can save for one of four assets:

  • Car
  • Home purchase
  • To start or support a business
  • Post-secondary education or training

Participating in the Program

The program serves refugees and other ORR-eligible populations who have been in the United States for less than five years. Refugees who wish to save for a car for transportation to school or work must have been in the country for three years or less when enrolling.

To enroll in the program, participants must:

  • Have a paying job
  • Earn less than 200% of the federal poverty level
  • Not have more than $10,000 worth of assets, excluding one car and one home

The Individual Development Accounts program provides participants with:

  • Financial literacy training (like banking, savings, credit history, writing checks).
  • Asset-specific training (like first-time homebuyer training, business planning, first-time vehicle purchasing).
  • A match of $1 for every $1 saved by the client. Matches are allowed up to $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for households.

Becoming a Grantee

The Individual Development Accounts program is a competitive grant program and funding is limited. IDA grantees are currently funded for a three-year project period. Organizations wishing to operate an IDA program must submit an application when the IDA Funding Opportunities Announcement is open on Grants.gov.

Organizations funded to operate an IDA program must provide:

  • Required financial literacy and asset-specific training
  • Services that support the generation of funds to match the savings of clients who are enrolled in the program

Because IDA grantees must monitor the savings of clients in the program, all grantees must establish a partnership with a bank or credit union to be eligible for grant funding.

Eligible applicants for the Individual Development Accounts program include:

  • State governments
  • County governments
  • City or township governments
  • Special district governments
  • Independent school districts
  • Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education
  • Native American tribal governments (federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
  • Non-profits with an IRS 501(c)(3) status, other than institutions of higher education
  • Non-profits without an IRS 501(c)(3) status, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education

Current Individual Development Accounts grantees .