Do You Qualify to Start an Individual Development Account? Here's How It Might Help

Do You Qualify to Start an Individual Development Account? Here’s How It Might Help

( – If you struggle with saving money, there is a program that might help you reach your financial goals. An individual development account (IDA) is a special kind of savings account that matches every dollar you save with four times that amount. Each sponsoring partnership differs depending on where you live, so qualification parameters may vary, but you generally have to meet income requirements to participate.

Other stipulations typically include attending a financial education class run by the program and limiting how you can spend the savings — buying a house, furthering your education, or starting a business.

For instance, Save Smart is an IDA program helping students sock money away for college. Requirements for the incentive include:

  • Proper identification
  • Filling out an application
  • Depositing $25
  • Proof of income for your entire household

To keep receiving the money, you must meet specific savings goals, stay enrolled in a course about financial planning, and meet other defined steps. 

To find out which IDAs are available in your area, contact your state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Ask about the qualification requirements and apply. Be sure to follow the protocols outlined in the plan to maximize your savings.

If you consider an IDA not offered through a government agency grant, check its legitimacy before divulging any personal information. has a list of scams to avoid.

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