What Does IDA Stand For?

Learn about Individual Development Accounts (IDA) and how they help low-income individuals build assets and achieve financial stability. Explore benefits, examples, and statistics on IDA success.

Introduction to IDA

IDA, or Individual Development Account, is a savings account designed to help low-income individuals build assets and achieve financial stability. IDA programs offer matching funds to encourage participants to save towards a specific goal, such as homeownership, education, or starting a small business.

How IDA Works

Participants in an IDA program set a savings goal and make regular deposits into their account. Nonprofit organizations or government agencies then match these savings with a ratio typically ranging from 1:1 to 4:1, depending on the program. For example, if a participant saves $1,000, they may receive an additional $1,000 in matching funds.

Benefits of IDA

  • Asset Building: IDA programs help individuals build assets that can lead to long-term financial stability.
  • Financial Education: Participants receive financial education and training to improve their money management skills.
  • Homeownership: Many IDA programs focus on helping participants save for a down payment on a home.
  • Entrepreneurship: Some IDA programs support participants in starting or expanding a small business.

Case Study: Mary’s Journey to Homeownership

Mary, a single mother of two, participated in an IDA program to save for a down payment on a home. Over three years, she saved $3,000, which was matched with $9,000 in funds from the program. With $12,000 in total savings, Mary was able to purchase her first home, providing stability and security for her family.

Statistics on IDA Success

According to a study by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, participants in IDA programs are more likely to own a home, pursue higher education, and start a business compared to non-participants. IDA programs have also been shown to increase participants’ financial literacy and savings habits.


IDA stands for Individual Development Account, a powerful tool for asset building and financial empowerment. By providing matching funds and financial education, IDA programs help low-income individuals achieve their goals and improve their financial well-being.

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