Asset Building Tools FAQ

Q. What is an IDA?
A. IDAs, or Individual Development Accounts, are special matched savings accounts designed to help families and individuals of modest means establish a pattern of regular saving and, ultimately, purchase a “productive asset.” A “productive asset” is something of value that is likely to return substantial long-term benefits to its owner – benefits like security, stability and opportunities for more income.  Watch this helpful video for more information.

Q. Is anyone in Wisconsin eligible for WWBIC's IDA program?
A.WWBIC's IDA program is currently only available for residents of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (certain Section 8 or public housing residents).

Q. What is a "savings match?"
A. A “savings match” is a promise by the agency to supplement an IDA Participant’s savings deposits at a specific rate. For every dollar that you save in your IDA, you will be matched 2:1. The maximum number of accounts that a family can have is two.

Q. What is required of IDA participants?
A. IDA Participants are asked to commit to:
•Make regular savings deposits (the amounts are determined on an individual basis)
•Complete Make Your Money Talk series
•Participate in quarterly Asset Builders Classes
•Work with a Financial Coach on an on-going basis

Q. Why would anyone give away money like that?
A. IDA savings matches are not “giveaways.” Participants earn matches by saving their own hard-earned dollars and taking other steps to prepare for the future, like attending Financial Capability classes. Furthermore, providing match dollars is a way to help hard-working low-income families and individuals build a more stable and secure future.

Q. Is there more to an IDA Program than just savings matches?
A. Absolutely! People need more than just cash to become successful asset owners. For this reason, participants in the IDA program attend both Make Your Money Talk and special ongoing Asset Builders classes. These workshops are designed to help Participants acquire or polish the personal and financial skills that are essential for long-term success; such as skills for debt repayment, re-establishment of credit, household budgeting and savvy consumer habits.