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Friday, October 17, 2008

Free Money! Really.

I've been meaning to post this on this blog for a LONG time, but haven't ever gotten around to it. I REALLY wish that I had known about this program 3 years ago!!

In case you didn't know Utah has a program called The Utah Individual Development Account Network (UIDAN). This is a program to help low income families ( click here for income limits) and individuals save money to use towards:
  • Home ownership for first-time home buyers;
  • Post-secondary education or certified vocational training for the account holder (institution must be accredited);
  • Small-business development or business capitalization;
This is how the program works:

After taking the required 8 hours of Basic Financial Management Training, you can open an account with as little as $15. You can save up to $1,500 in your IDA (Individual Development Account), and UIDAN will match it 3 to 1, giving you an additional $4,500. After particpating in the program for 3 years you would have a grand total of $6,000 to use toward education, home ownership or opening a small buisness.

There isn't really a downside to the program, the only rules are that:
  • You must put at least $15 into the savings acount each month;
  • You are not allowed to put more than $62.50 a month into the savings account;
  • You must particapte for a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 36 months;
  • The money can only be used for the three above mentioned reasons;
  • You need to attend a personal finance and money management workshop series;
  • Must complete asset-specific training for selected asset goal prior to purchase;
  • Required to give support to others in the program through on-going peer support meetings;
  • Have regular contact with a case manage;
  • Agree to address any credit issues that would inhibit your success to purchase the desired asse;
  • Agree to abide by the program’s rules and responsibilities as described by the program staff and in the written materials receive.
All in all, it really sounds like a wonderful program. If you are already saving for one of these three things, you might as well use this program and get FREE MONEY!

Also, if you are interested in other first time homebuyer programs (nationwide and in Utah) I posted a list on my blog.

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