Individual Development Account Program
Since 2003, PROCEED has been committed to improving the quality of life for individuals and families by teaching them the basics of finance. Low-income clients who qualify work with experienced staff members to develop and reach long-term financial goals. Whether trying to pay for college, expanding a small business, or buying a home, clients will develop the skills they need for long-term economic stability. Not only do clients have the opportunity to move off public assistance and into employment, but they can also become economically self-sufficient.
The foundations of economic self-sufficiency are education and practice. With this in mind, clients work with an experienced staff member to develop a reasonable and attainable long-term financial goal. They then meet at least once a month to continue developing a savings plan, discuss income changes, make the appropriate changes to their financial goals, track expenses, and review credit reports. Participants deposit at least $25 per month during the first month of the program and at least $40 per month during the second and third years.
Through ongoing educational programs, clients learn to develop their own budget and set their own financial goals; to maintain regular savings habits; and to invest in assets, whether that means a college education for their children or a new car to get to work. Participants must attend 18 hours of financial management education in the first year of the program and approximately 10 hours of training with a focus on responsible asset choice during the second year. Staff members work with clients until their goals are achieved.
Up to $1,500 per year of a family's savings will be matched dollar for dollar ($4,500 for three years). At the end of the program, the family's asset dealer receives two checks as payment for the asset, one from the participant's savings and another from a separate pool of matched dollars.
To be eligible, clients must be adults who have at least one dependent child. The family must reside in Union County. All savings accumulated during the program must come from the family’s earned income. The gross earned income cannot exceed 200% of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s 2010 poverty guidelines.
For more information or to find out how you can get involved, contact Hildegarde Santiago at (908) 351-7727, ext. 284.
JR, a single mother of two, was referred by one of our partners. She came to our office and wanted to learn more about the IDA program. She Joined the IDA program in 2006. JR attended several First Time Homebuyer workshops as well as completed the financial education and home ownership classes required by the program. In December 2009, she made an offer on an affordable unit in Newark, and she was approved. JR said, “The classes were very helpful, and they instilled in me a sense of discipline in managing my money. PROCEED Inc. was very helpful throughout my house buying process, and I would recommend their IDA program to anyone trying to purchase a home”. In January 2010, JR withdrew her savings to put as a down payment. She said, “I am very happy that I am a part of this program because my dream has come true. It really taught me how to save money”.