Individual Development Account



Individual Development Accounts

Family OutdoorsAchieving Dreams and Building Assets through Matched Savings

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United Way offers the Individual Development Account (IDA), an innovative matched savings program that allows families to build assets and develop skills for financial self-sufficiency.

Through the IDA participants benefit through financial skills development, financial coaching, access to financial services and training related to the participant’s primary savings goal.  The IDA is a statewide program that provides opportunities for individuals with low-to-moderate income to:

  • purchase a first-time home
  • pay for college or job training
  • start or expand a small business

United Way of Central Alabama coordinates the IDA’s through the Assets for Independence Program, an initiative of the Office of Community Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  IDA’s are available to qualifying hard-working Alabamians whose incomes and assets fall within federally determined limits.

What is the Individual Development Account Program? Click for Answer

  • The IDA is a special U.S. government funded savings program allows qualified applicants to have up to $2,000 of earned income savings matched with $4,000 for a total of $6,000 that can be used to help achieve personal financial goals – towards the purchase of a home, for college related/job training expenses or to start or expand a small business.
  • The IDA program is part of Assets for Independence, a federal program administered by the Office of Community Services of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. United Way of Central Alabama serves as an administrator for the IDA program.

How does the Individual Development Account work? Click for Answer

With the IDA, qualified participants can get up to $4,000 in matching funds to put towards a home, college or small business.  Once enrolled, participants:

  • Open a free Individual Development Account Savings Account (a no-fee savings account) at a partnering financial institution and make monthly deposits of at least $25 which will be matched by a federal grant program
  • Begin the free financial education classes to set financial goals and become financially self sufficiency
  • Once the savings goal is achieved, participants’ savings are matched with IDA Matching Funds to be used for a home purchase, towards college/job training expenses or to start or expand a small business

By enrolling in the Individual Development Account program, you will learn the benefits of saving, receive financial education and credit counseling (if needed), become eligible for free income tax preparation assistance and have the opportunity to develop smart financial habits that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

How do I enroll in the the Individual Development Account program?   Click for Answer


Opening an Individual Development Account is easy. Once you complete the Application Form and submit on-line, you will be contacted by an Individual Development Account representative to guide you through the process. They will work closely with you, answer all of your questions and help you learn financial responsibility so that you can watch your assets grow!
How do I know if I qualify for an Individual Development Account?  Click for Answer

To be eligible for the IDA program, individuals must have:

  • Earned income
  • Annual adjusted gross income of less than $47,700 for a family of four or an individual income of $23,340.
  • No more than $10,000 in total net worth excluding an automobile and home
  • IDA Income Eligibility – Persons in Family and Adjusted Gross Income
    • 1 Up to $23,340
    • 2 Up to $31,460
    • 3 Up to $39,580
    • 4 Up to $47,700
    • 5 Up to $55,820
    • 6 Up to $63,940
    • 7 Up to $71,060
    • 8 Up to $80,180

For families with more than 8 persons, add $4,020 for each additional person.

How do I get started on my Individual Development Account? Click for Answer

  • Submit the IDA on-line application.
  • Once submitted, a United Way representative will contact you and guide you through the process
  • Once enrolled, begin making monthly deposits (minimum of $25 per month) into your IDA – a free savings account with no fees
  • As your savings grow and are matched, you move closer to achieving your dreams

To learn more about United Way’s IDA program and to confirm your eligibility call us at (205)458-8970 or (888)-421-1266 or  email us at




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