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Individual Development Accounts

A Great Way to Finance Your Business or Education

These special savings accounts can provide a great way to finance post-secondary education or start-up or expansion of a business. If you meet income and net worth guidelines, you can use an Individual Development Account to quadruple your savings through donated matching funds, up to a maximum of $12,000.

What is an IDA?

Download a PowerPoint presentation about IDAs here.

Información sobre Cuentas Individuales de Desarrollo 2015 aquí.

The Individual Development Account, or IDA, is a special savings account to help individuals of modest finances save money to invest in post-secondary education or a business. The IDA program is a 3:1 matched savings program. This means that for every $1 you save, the program will match it with $3. Once you reach your savings goal, the money can be spent on your business or for education or training at an accredited institution. In addition to saving money, participants learn about financial management and planning through free, required classes facilitated by NEOEDD. Business owners will learn important skills such as cash flow, financial management, and marketing. Education participants will prepare information on their course of study/training and how it relates to their future goals. The objective of the IDA program is to encourage a habit of saving money in order to increase future earning potential. Save a little bit today, to grow tomorrow.

Interested in a pilot program for a vehicle purchase? Click here.

Where do the matching funds come from?

The IDA Initiative is supported by funding from the Oregon IDA Tax Credit. The Oregon IDA Tax Credit allows anyone to support IDA participants and receive a 75% credit on their state tax return. For more information, click here.

What can I use IDA funds for?

IDA funds can be used for business expenses such as fixed assets (equipment, buildings, vehicle, etc.) or working capital or training (rent, inventory, specialized training, etc.). IDA funds can also be used for educational expenses from an accredited post-secondary education or training program.

What can I not use IDA funds for?

You cannot pay yourself, pay past debts (purchases made with credit cards or other loan products) or pay for trips or home improvements. Funds are paid directly to vendors who sell you the items or education/training. Funds must be spent in increments of at least $500, so they are not appropriate for making smaller purchases unless those purchases are made from the same vendor at the same time.

Are there limits to the amount I can save?

Yes. The amount varies depending on what you are saving for and how long you want to save. You must save at least $25 a month and you must save for a minimum of 6 months, up to a maximum of 36 months. You cannot save more than $1,000 in any 12-month period.

Savings Period 6-12 Months 13-24 months 25-36 Months
Maximum Amount of Savings $1,000 $2,000 $3,000
Maximum Amount of Match $3,000 $6,000 $9,000
Total Maximum Amount of IDA $4,000 $8,000 $12,000

If you are saving for post-secondary education, you can save up to a total of $3,000. This would be matched by $9,000, for a total of $12,000 available to pay for educational expenses at an accredited education/training institution.

If you are saving for a business fixed asset (equipment, buildings, vehicle, etc.) you can save up to a total of $3,000. This would be matched by $9,000, for a total of $12,000 available to invest in your business. If you are only saving for business working capital (rent, inventory, marketing, website, etc.) you can save up to a total of $1,000. This would be matched by $3,000, for a total of $4,000 available to invest in operating expenses for your business. Our staff will help you create a savings plan and timeline that fits your ability to save and your goals.

What are the criteria to qualify for an IDA?

You must be 12 years old or older and be able to open a bank account. Household net worth must be equal to or less than $20,000 (not including your home, most expensive vehicle, and $60,000 of retirement savings) –- we can help you figure this out. You must have income, and proof that household income is at or less than what is shown in the Household Income Qualification table below. If you are saving to start a business, it is helpful to have a business concept and an idea of what you want to spend your money on.

How do I prove my household income/net worth?

Household income is based on the combined income of every person in the household. Your household includes everyone that you live with or report as a dependent on your income tax return, regardless of whether or not they are related to you. The following are examples of household income: taxable wages, salaries, tips, net earnings from self-employment, gross income as a statutory employee, Social Security, Social Security Disability Income, and Temporary Aid to Needy Families.

Net worth is determined by subtracting the total of all of the household debts (loans, medical debt, past due bills, etc.) from the total market value of all household assets (savings, retirement, property, etc.). Household net worth must be equal to or less than $20,000 (not including a home, vehicle or $60,000 of retirement savings). NEOEDD staff can help you figure out your net worth.

Refer to the table below for income and eligibility guidelines. The most common proof of household income is your most recent federal tax return. You will also need to show proof of current household income, such as current paycheck stubs, profit and loss from a business, and/or unemployment statement. 


Household Income Qualification (Maximum Income for Oregon IDA Eligibility)

Persons in Family or Household

Yearly Income


















What are the steps to open an IDA account?

Call NEOEDD staff to make sure you are eligible. If you are eligible, we will set up a time to meet with you and help you complete the application. You will complete an IDA application worksheet, provide proof of income (copies of tax return, pay stubs, etc.) and pay a $25 application fee. 

How/when do I spend my IDA savings and match?

Before making your first withdrawal of funds, you will be required to make deposits into your IDA savings account for at least six months and complete a financial literacy course provided free by NEOEDD. If you have a business IDA, you will also be required to complete a business planning class (21 hours) and a written business plan with cash flow projections. Education IDA participants must complete an education plan. NEOEDD can provide assistance as you complete your plan. Once your plan is approved, you will be sent forms to withdraw funds to make your purchases. Receipts are required for all purchases. If you miss three monthly deposits in a six-month period, you may be terminated from the program.

Is there a residency requirement?

Yes, you must be a resident of Oregon and live in Baker, Union or Wallowa counties to participate in our program. There are other IDA programs in other parts of Oregon. You can find our partner organizations here.

What are the tax implications of an IDA?

Read more about tax information from this flyer (PDF).

CASA, the organization that contracts with NEOEDD to administer IDAs in our region, offers tax information, and even a free tax-filing service for people with a household income of $58,000 or less, on their website:

Need to establish or repair your credit history?

This year, NEOEDD is also offering access to credit-building loans in conjunction with new IDA accounts. If you need to establish or repair your credit history, these loans could help. These loans are not contingent on being accepted for an IDA. It is a separate service that VIDA has arranged to offer as a courtesy to clients who could benefit from it.

Need more information?

Read about IDA graduate Connie Melton.

Contact NEOEDD at 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454.

Or email one of our staff:

Sara Miller

Lisa Dawson

Kristy Athens

Las formas están disponibles en español.


Program Sponsors

This program is made possible by contributions from Umpqua Bank and Community Bank