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Matched Savings Program Welcomes Young Savers

More than 125 people in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties have helped finance their higher education or small business using the Individual Development Account (IDA) program, offered by Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD). IDAs provide a 3-to-1 savings match—someone who saves $1,000 and completes the program will receive an additional $3,000. Up to $12,000 total! Most savers are adults, but children 12 years or older who live in households with low-to-moderate incomes are also eligible to enroll.

For example, a 15-year-old saving for college could enroll in the program, save money for three years and graduate high school with a funds for tuition and fees at any accredited education program. Youth can also save to start or improve a business.  

“The IDA program is not a grant, it’s an earned incentive coupled with goal-setting, education and practical experience saving over a period of 6 to 36 months,” says NEOEDD’s executive director, Lisa Dawson. “It’s essentially a financial-responsibility program. The matched funds can put a good dent into a northeast Oregonian’s higher education bill, or pay for the equipment, signage, computer, or other investments needed to launch or improve a business.”

NEOEDD has leveraged more than a half-million dollars that have circulated into our region via the IDA program. Once accepted, program participants receive free education or business-planning and money-management classes, helping them build fiscal responsibility and saving habits that can last a lifetime.

The 2017 income limits for eligibility and other information for the program is here.