August 6, 2009
Estherville, IA – Despite the current economy, Christy Mart’s dream of owning a home has now become a reality. Mart closed on her first home on July 21 in Wallingford, becoming the first Iowa credit union Individual Development Account (IDA) saver to purchase a home.
Mart had her savings matched by $4,000 through the Iowa Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Union Family Partnership IDA program, which she was able to use on the down payment of the home. As a part of this program, Mart also receives financial education through Employees Credit Union.
An IDA is a matched savings account where the savings of a participant is matched by a grant from another organization. The savings and matching funds are used by the individual to purchase a specific asset, such as a home, starting or expanding a small business, paying for education or job training, or purchasing a vehicle to get to work. Participants must meet income guidelines to qualify for an IDA account.
“The goal of the program is to help demonstrate to low-income Iowans the importance of savings in an effort to end poverty and to help working Iowans become financially independent,” said Mark Peters, CEO, Employees Credit Union in Estherville.
Employees Credit Union is one of nine Iowa credit unions in the Credit Union Family Partnership IDA Program providing the IDA savings accounts. The matching funds come from ICUF thanks to private and federal grants.
“I am so thankful for this opportunity,” said Christy Mart, Credit Union Family Partnership IDA program participant. “The whole experience has just been amazing and continues to get better and better. Everything worked out perfectly to help me purchase this home and I am so lucky to have been given this opportunity and for the generous financial support provided through the credit union IDA program and Employees Credit Union.”
“We are proud to have been able to help Christy achieve her dream of owning a home,” said Peters. “Not only that, but she has learned more about money management that will guide her into the future.
Marybeth Foster, Executive Director, ICUF said “Christy is our first Iowa credit union IDA saver to purchase an asset and we couldn’t be happier. She is such a hard worker, and we’re thrilled to have helped her become more financially secure.”
Founded in 1995 as the philanthropic arm of the Iowa Credit Union League, the Iowa Credit Union Foundation's primary focus is to eliminate poverty in the state of Iowa. The Foundation seeks to carry out its mission to help Iowans build wealth, responsibility and independence through its various programs, grants and scholarships. For more information, visit the Individual Development Account section of IowaCreditUnionFoundation.org.
Photo: LtoR: Marybeth Foster, Executive Director, Iowa Credit Union Foundation, Christy Mart, IDA Saver, and Lana Ross, Executive Director of Community Action Agencies and ICUF board member.