Individual Development Account
Policies and Procedures

Mission & Vision
The mission of AAA Fair Credit Foundation’s  Individual Development Account
Program (IDA) is to create opportunities and resources for low and moderate
income Utahns at or below 80% of area median income increase their personal
net worth  through matched savings accounts that can be used for
homeownership, post secondary education, or vocational training, small
business start-up or expansion, and/or assistive technologies for work related
activities and develop savings habits that will maintain financial security.

The vision of the IDA is to promote economic stability in local communities and
increase economic mobility for lower income working Utahns.

Fair Credit Foundation (FCF) values justice and believes that poverty is primarily
caused by economic factors and that solutions to poverty are found by
encouraging asset building through savings, homeownership, microenterprise,
higher education/training and assistive technologies for work related activities.

FCF values the dignity and inherent worth of all individuals and believes that all
people have the right to accumulate assets.

FCF values the knowledge gained from the experience of those who live in
poverty and believes that providing financial skills building opportunities will
encourage individual financial responsibility and permanent habits of saving.

FCF values accountability and integrity among all parties and is committed to
treating clients and community partners with respect and fairness.

FCF values mutual/community responsibility and believes that long-term
solutions to poverty require the collective involvement of individuals, families,
communities, economic and government systems.

Description of the Network

AAA Fair Credit Foundation provides Individual Development Accounts to low
and moderate income working Utahns earning less than 80% of the Area Median
Income.

Fair Credit Foundation’s roles and responsibilities are clearly developed and
determined based on partner organization’s unique core competencies. There are
four key elements:

  1. Community Base Organizations represent direct social service
    organizations, strong credibility and ongoing relationships with low-
    income people, and recruit, refer and support IDA savers;
  2. Financial Partners provide financial expertise, financial literacy training,
    funds for match money and house IDA accounts;
  3. AAA Fair Credit Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, raises the
    matching dollars and provides ongoing financial coaching for
    participants.

Match Rate and Qualified Withdrawals

FCF will match participant’s savings at a rate of 2:1. IDA participants create a
monthly savings goal and identify an asset purchase goal before they begin
saving. IDA participants are expected to save the amount defined in their
saving’s plan agreement each month.

In the event of the need for an emergency withdrawal, IDA participants will
meet with their certified finance counselor and follow procedures outlined in the
policies and procedures manual.

Participants can save a maximum of $1,000 with a minimum savings term of 6
months and a maximum savings term of 36 months. The minimum monthly
savings amount is $15. At the end of the savings’ term, a check is written directly
to the approved vendor for the asset purchase.

Form: F IDA003 Revision: 02/03/2021

Qualified asset purchase includes:

  • First time Home purchase.
  • Accredited post secondary education including vocational training
  • Small business start- up or capitalization.
  • Assistive Technologies for work related activities.

Account Structure
1. Participant’s accounts are joint signature accounts with AAA Fair Credit
Foundation and the participant.
2. Participants make monthly deposits at the participating bank.
3. The financial institution shall pay at least a market rate of interest on the
individual development accounts;
4. The financial institution shall not require an account holder to make any
purchase or enter into any commercial transaction with a specific individual,
business, financial institution or other entity.
5. Match Money accounts are held separately.

Match rate
At the completion of their savings plan, savers deposits will be matched at a rate
of 2:1

Savings Plan
IDA program staff will help the participant determine a realistic monthly savings
amount and a specific asset goal. Participants save the same amount every month
for a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of $1,000.

Participant Requirements
1. Be at least 18 years old;
2. Living in Utah;
3. Earned income that is at or below 80% Area Median Income.
4. Net assets that do not exceed $10,000.00 excluding one car and one home.

Eligibility:
The following are minimum criteria for the IDA program:

  • Successful completion of financial management training is required before
    applications will be accepted.
  • Completed asset-specific training for selected asset goal prior to asset
    Instructions for selected asset will be given at enrollment and
    reviewed in monthly coaching.
  • Signed saving’s agreement to save a specific amount, which must be a
    minimum of $15 of earned income every month.
  • Submission of the following household documents: credit report, last three
    months of bank statements, investment accounts and paystubs, most recent
    tax return, and a current budget to validate eligibility and address any credit
    issues that would inhibit success in purchasing the desired asset.
  • Agree to abide by the program’s rules and responsibilities as described by the
    program staff and in the written materials received and
  • Meet income eligibility requirements by submitting proof of earned income
    that falls at or below 80% of Area Median Income.

Income determination
Income determination reflects all income earned and unearned and includes the
following:

  • Money wages and salaries before any deductions
  • New receipts from non-farm or farm self-employed receipts from a person’s
    own business or from an owned or rented farm after deductions for business
    or farm expenses
  • Regular payment from Social Security Administration (gross benefits),
    railroad retirement, unemployment compensation, strike benefits from union
    funds, workers’ compensation, veteran’s payments, public assistance, training
    stipends, alimony, child support and military family allotments
  • Private pensions, government employee pensions (including military
    retirement pay)
  • Dividends, interest, net rural income, net royalties and periodic receipts from
    estates or trustsA household must meet the income requirement for three months before they are
    accepted into Fair Credit Foundation savings program. If during the time of
    saving the family’s income increases that increase will not effect their
    participation in the IDA Program. The following documents are acceptable for
    income verification:
  • Copies of paychecks or pay stubs;
  • Written statements from employers;
  • Letters or other documents from income sources, if dated within the last 30
    days;
  • If self-employed, accounting and other business records showing net income
  • Most recent tax return; and
  • Other documents the program site has reason to believe will verify the
    income of the household member.

Income Exclusions

  • Capital gains.
  • Any assets drawn as withdrawals from a bank, the sale of property, a house
    or a car.
  • Tax refunds, gifts, loans, lump sum inheritances, one-time insurance
    payments, or compensation for injury.
  •  Non-cash benefits such as employer paid or union paid portion of health
    insurance or other employee fringe benefits, food or housing received in lieu
    of wages, the value of food and fuel produced and consumed on farms, the
    imputed value of rent from owner-occupied non-farm or farm housing, and
    federal non-cash benefit programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps,
    school lunches, housing and other emergency assistance.
  • Any portion of Social Security benefits deducted to pay Medicare premiums
    that will not be reimbursed.

Application Review
Applications are in electronic format. Please contact us if you need assistance with this format.

The purpose of the application review is to:

  • Determine eligibility to participate in the program.
  • Identify any potential barriers to successfully completing the program and
    make appropriate referrals for assistance.

Application supporting documents include

  • Documentation of income at or below 80% of Area Median Income;
    • Proof of household income (outlined on page 4)
  • Three months of checking and savings banks statements, retirement,
    stocks, bonds and other investment statements;
  • Most recent tax return;
  • Completed household budget including proposed monthly IDA savings;
  • Credit report dated within the last quarter;
  • Credit Score and source of credit score.

Application Approval
A final decision based on the following will be made within 2 weeks of receipt of
complete application based on the following:

  • All eligibility requirements met.
  • Applicant’s current financial situation indicates their ability and capacity to
    achieve the identified savings goal.

Saver documents
Upon approval applicants, must submit the following documents within 2
weeks. These include the following:

  • Savings plan agreement;
  • Beneficiary designation form; and
  • Program Evaluation release form.

Account opening
Saver must open the account within two weeks of approval at an authorized
financial institution.

Emergency Withdrawal Policy
Participants who encounter an emergency and need to withdraw from the
program will receive all funds they deposited plus any interest earned. However,
all matching dollars will be forfeited.

Request Procedure: IDA participants who need an emergency withdrawal
should follow the following procedure:

  • Schedule a meeting with program staff to discuss the situation and to review
    alternative strategies to resolve the problem.
  • Make arrangements with program staff to authorize withdrawal of funds
    from the participating financial institution.

Missed Deposit Policy:
Participants are expected to deposit as agreed in their savings plan agreement
and should contact the program staff immediately if they anticipate difficulty
meeting their monthly deposit.

Failure to deposit may result in termination from the program.

Termination:

  • Fraud or intentionally reporting inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Failure to deposit as contracted and refusing to meet with the financial counselor.
  • Relocation outside of Utah.

Steps for Completing Termination:

  • An email or text through our mobile app is sent to the participant announcing
    his/her termination from the program with specific reasons.
  • The communication informs the participant that they have forfeited any
    rights to the matching money because of termination.
  • Program staff will send authorization to the financial institution holding
    IDA’s to close account.

Successful Completion of the IDA Savings term:
Request for match money: Withdrawals require at least two weeks and must
show proof of the following:
1. Sufficient funds in the account;
2. Compliance with savings plan agreement terms;
3. Completion of asset specific training;
4. Proof of completion of requirements specific to their asset purchase and
5. Client paragraph describing financial impact of the program.

Qualified withdrawal request must complete specific asset terms and be
accompanied by detailed documentation of the planned purchase or expenditure

  1. Home purchase: name of title company, settlement statement,
    mortgage approval letter, and complete the housing survey.
  2. Business start-up: copy of the participant’s business plan has
    been approved by Fair Credit Foundation’s approved small
    business lender. Business plans must include written estimates
    for the cost of services or products to be purchased for their
  3. Education: Tuition bill from the school or training program as
    well as a description of the degree program or course of study.

Processing of Request for Matched Funds:

  • Participant will submit a checklist for asset purchase to IDA Program Staff.
  • A second FCF staff will verify that all signatures are in place and confirm that
    program requirements have been met.
  • The Programs Specialist with Executive Director’s counter signature contacts
    the appropriate financial institution to authorizes the institution to write a
    check to the vendor.