The Miller Family
"We would like to THANK YOU for the amazing gift of the IDA program! This program came along at a time
in my life when I was "plowing" through school & work as a single mom. I had the goal of one
day owning my own home for our little family & the IDA program provided a way to multiply my efforts!
I was able to complete my education at Weber State University in the Radiology Program, earning a
B.S. degree in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, secure a job in my field (even in this crummy economy) and
find and marry my sweet Scott last summer. The cream on top was having a $6,000 down payment toward
buying a home of our very own. Thank you so much for offering this program, it is truly an amazing
blessing! Our family thanks you for allowing us to participate in and benefit from the IDA program!
Thank you-thank you for enabling us to accomplish such an important milestone in our lives!"
The Carlton Family
"I cannot thank UIDAN enough for providing the support we needed to purchase our
home. Bringing a new baby into our lives and our own home was one of the greatest
moments of satisfaction we have ever experienced. Thank you for making this a reality
for us and many other Utahns."
The Jones Family
"We were very fortunate to be involved in the Utah IDA network. It was a great program
because we were so well instructed and then sent to practice what we were taught
by budgeting and being organized and living within our means. The IDA program helped
to establish a foundation of good financial decisions and opportunities. I would
highly recommend it to anyone interested in a great investment and education for
life. We started while we were poor college students. We saved over 2 ½ years and
were able to receive the full $6000 dollars. We used the IDA money to cover closing
costs and partial down payment on our first home. It was such a security blanket
to know that we had that money available to us. It was nice to feel so prepared
while going ahead with such a big financial decision. We were able to get into a
house that fits us perfectly! Thanks to those involved in UIDAN!"
My experience with the Utah IDA program was amazing. As a single mom
of two little kids, I never thought I would have a chance of buying a
home in Moab. Then when I heard of this program I signed up
immediately. The money management classes that are required at the
beginning were very helpful. I learned that even on a small budget,
it is still possible to save. I put money into my IDA account every
month and two years later I found a good deal on a condo. The home
buying classes that the program gives definitely helped me feel a lot
more prepared going through this as a single mom. I am truly grateful
for this program and believe that without it and the wonderful people
who work for it I would not have been able to afford a home for me and my children.
Joel and Cindy
Joel and Cindy Kieper, married for five years, are the parents of two children: a 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son. The Kiepers were raised in Davis County where Joel works for a national restaurant and Cindy works part time to augment the family’s income. They thought UIDAN was “too good to be true” but did some research and realized that an IDA would help them achieve a dream that seemed unattainable – owning their own home. Cindy and Joel were using a basic budget when they came into the program but learned to be more specific in the required classes. They started budgeting their monthly “date night” money and giving themselves personal allowances. Being strict and intentional with their spending plan has paid off. They purchased their first home in July of 2008 in Davis County and believe their careful budgeting and Joel’s new job opportunity will allow Cindy to be a full time stay-at-home mother next year.
Ben is a student in the University of Utah’s Three Year Part-time Distance Education Master’s of Social Work Program. He will complete his Masters in April, 2009. He works full time as a caseworker for the Division of Child and Family Services. Ben is a native of Utah and moved to Price for the position he has with the State. He and his wife Charity have 3 children.
The funding made available through UIDAN has made it possible for Ben to complete his Master’s program, work full time and have his wife stay home with their three small children.
Ben is extremely appreciative of what UIDAN has done to help him succeed a lot sooner than he thought he would. He has saved for a year and was able to pay in full this semester from his IDA savings account. When he completes his Master’s, he hopes to be hired as a therapist, working with children who or have been in foster homes and their families.
Rachel’s New Beginning
Rachel is a 29 year old single mother with two daughters. She is employed full time and is working toward completing her college education. Rachel joined the IDA Program because she wanted the opportunity to develop a financial strategy for herself as well as set an example for her two daughters. Rachel decided to use her savings toward the purchase of her first home. She received financial management training from USU Extension, completed homeownership training with Habitat for Humanity, and her personal case management was provided by Financial Vital Signs.
Rachel’s new home is a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom town home located in the heart of Salt Lake City that is close to where she attends school, and within walking distance of her daughters’ school. The neighboring town homes are occupied by other single-parent families with whom Rachel and her daughters built close relationships as they assisted in the completion of their own homes. Of her experience in the IDA Program, Rachel had this to say, “I want to sincerely thank you for the opportunity to participate in the IDA program. It has helped me secure a better future for myself and for my daughters. I value the education and saving habits I have developed since I partnered with this program.”
L.M.'s New Condo
L. M. is a 29 year old single mother of two daughters who works for an anti-poverty agency in Salt Lake. She was on section 8 housing and cost Salt Lake County Housing $240/month. She was on FSS and saved in an IDA account, did 200 hours of sweat equity for Habitat for Humanity home in Salt Lake County and qualified for a Home Start Loan.
L.’s IDA was case managed by the Salt Lake County Housing; her financial management classes were taught by USU and her home ownership classes were taught by USU. Her new condo is a 3 bedroom 2 ½ bath unit in a gated community with a rec center with pool and playground equipment for her two daughters. Her parents were so happy and comforted to know that L and her two daughters would have their own home.
J.N. Goes Back To School
JN is a 35 year old single mother with an 11 year-old child who came to the United States from Columbia. As a legal resident, JN worked full time for an antipoverty agency and part time for airline reservations but still fell well below 200% of the federal poverty level. Her financial case management was provided by Salt Lake Community Action.
She completed basic financial management classes and asset specific training in all of UIDAN’s three approved asset areas before deciding to return to college. She had some college in Columbia but was very apprehensive about returning to college after a 10 year break. UIDAN referred her to the Salt Lake Community College TRiO program for first generation college students. They have helped her apply for scholarships and acclimate to college.
Her second semester of college was paid for out of her IDA. She had just earned a 3.85 GPA in her first semester.
Heather saved for three years and worked closely with Linda Walker (pictured left) from Salt Lake Community Action. "After attending the financial literacy class and First-Time Homebuyer class, Heather took everything to heart and implemented it into her life," says Linda. This process has made a big impact on her son as well and has become a good saver. She is also making a difference on the people around her, and will for years to come. SLCAP enjoys the partnership with AAA and the UIDAN network by working with the people and seeing them achieve their dreams. As a means to help Heather visualize their savings and their asset goal, they created a poster and filled in each square equal to the amount they had saved for the month to show their progress towards their new home. Heather and her young son are now sharing a dream together.
Madelyn is a single woman who works at a Salt Lake City Mental Health Center. Madelyn heard about UIDAN at her job. Madelyn’s only debt was student loans but she was struggling financially and thought an IDA was a really good opportunity to achieve her dream of completing her education and buying a home. She opened her IDA account in 2006. Madelyn has returned to the University of Utah and continues to work full time. She had a 4.0 GPA last semester. Madelyn has a beautiful voice and sang in the chorus of Utah Opera’s Grapes of Wrath. Madelyn is continuing to save and will be eligible to withdraw additional money for her financial goals.
Payam is married with 2 children. He came to this country as a refugee and was working at the Asian Association’s, Utah Refugee Employment & Community Center when he heard about UIDAN in 2005. Payam has a high school diploma and is highly motivated to achieve financial self-sufficiency. To that end, he has enrolled in Salt Lake Community College’s airplane mechanic’s course. His IDA helped purchase required tools and pay for one semester of vocational training. Payam has completed his savings but will be able to apply for additional funding for his next semester’s tuition, books and fees.
Ann Fry is Grand County's first IDA graduate. She used her money to start a homeopathic medicine small business.
Comments From IDA Savers
"I have felt like the IDA saving program has taught me a ton! It’s funny how if you just set money aside without thinking too much about it how easy it is to save. I have had the money that I’ve been saving just automatically get deposited into my IDA account. Because it was set up automatically I haven’t even noticed where it has gone to. I have found that it is more of psychological thing to save. If you know you don’t have the money than you just don’t us it. I have tried to save a little additional money aside from my IDA account and it has worked. As soon as I get my paycheck I just put 10 dollars in my savings account. It has become a habit. I plan on continuing to save for my education. I’m very grateful that this program has taught me this great lesson. I plan on setting up an automatic savings account the same way this one is set up but have it do 70 dollars a month. With that money I will pay back student loans if I find it necessary to have to use them or hopefully just pay for school with that money. Thank you for this great program that has taught me how to save. I will continue to save the rest of my life." ~ CB
"Thank you for al of your assistance and long-term coaching. It is making a difference in my life and I tell everyone about your program. I purchased my first home last year and IDA was a large part in helping me learn how to save and manage my money, and credit scores. My credit score went from a 630 to over 800 in two years. I am thrilled to be out of college with my BS. I am excited to be daring to take on running a small business and have a good deal of confidence and know how, due to a good deal of patient assistance and help from you." ~ RW
"My wife and I became interested in the IDA network because we wanted to have financial goals. We keep track of our money pretty well but we didn't really have any specific goals when it came to our finances. After attending the classes we realized that our financial success really depends on the goals we set with our money. Whether it be saving for retirement, home, a new car, or college for our children we needed to tell our money where to go and not just hope that some day we'll have money for these things. We plan on using the IDA to purchase a home. That is our next big financial goal." ~ DK
"I have had the privilege of participating in the IDA program now for well over a year now. As a single, working mother I have experienced the difficulties involved with trying to balance a daughter, a job and a rigorous educational path. I am aware because I have done it for the last three semesters and I am proud to say that not only have I been able to do it but I have done it well. I've made Deans list multiple semesters in a row by maintaining a 3.5 G.P.A or higher each semester. I know that I am capable but without the help of the IDA program I would not be able. In addition to the financial support, the IDA program coordinators Martha and Heather, have been a consistent source of encouragement. They've personally supported and assisted me to overcome barriers that have come up along the way and this I know, has been vital to my success. As a single mother, the difference between being capable and able has been a painful reality in my life for a long time. The financial support I have recieved through the IDA program for tuition has allowed me to finally close the gap between capable and able." ~ TL
"UIDAN has made a significant difference in our lives. As a young, newly married couple, supporting ourselves, we have always had the ambition to continue our education. Through the IDA program, we have pursed our dreams, and my husband is working toward obtaining his Juris Doctorate. Through AAA Fair Credit Foundation, we have learned basic financial skills and tips that we will carry throughout our marriage and our families life. As studies have shown that furthering your education, helps to make you more marketable, and therefore increases your income, and net worth. Through this education, we feel that my husband will be able to have a career in this line of work that he is so passionate about, and will secure a more reliable position in the future. As a result of UIDAN, we have continued to save in case of an emergency, and feel that this will continue to better prepare us in our future. We feel very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the UIDAN program. We have and will continue to refer others to the program, as we are proof that this is a successful, reliable and amazing program." ~ E/L S
"I really love this program, I feel so good when I get my IDA statement every month, it makes me feel that I can save and move forward in life. I have more confidence to save, even $10 over time becomes a lot. Thank you for this program!"
"The asset purchase has paid for itself many times over. The skills that I was able to gain have helped me to double my income from when I started the program. We have savings in the bank and no consumer debt. Thank you so much for this chance to become more successful." ~ CS
"Thank you for the opportunity that I had to go through the program. It allowed me to go debt free in my undergraduate work. I have developed a sophisticated budget that allows me to track on a weekly basis, how much money I spend in specific categories and how much I have left. This budget was created from the information and supplies I received during the IDA program. I have a savings still, and am currently pursuing higher education in masters degree in nutrition and sports medicine as well as a doctor of chiropractic degree. Unfortunately, the cost of the program exceeds my ability to save up for, but my experience with the IDA progam is helping manage my student loans and finances to where I am confident in my ability to use my assets wisely. I have also convinced others to start the program and am confident they will see positive results as well." ~ AS
“UIDAN has been a wonderful blessing in my life. First off it has gotten me into good habits like saving and budgeting. I also know that it’s important to get a good education. I love IDA because now I can get a good education and not be in debt. Furthermore it has allowed me to do things, with my time that I wouldn't be able to do, like serve/teach in a foreign country, had I not saved and planned. Thanks for the secure and happy life!” ~ RW
“I have had a phenomenal experience with the Utah IDA Network. I started out as an intern for the program to fulfill college credit. I began very skeptical at how much the program could impact its target population. After one day with Martha Wunderli, I learned that the program does impact its target population and they are thriving from the experience. This inspired me to join in as a saver and switch roles. This money is going to pay for my Graduate studies in Public Policy at the University of Utah. I want to put what I learn from my master's program into practice helping lesser advantaged populations. I couldn't have asked for a more positive experience with Utah IDA Network. Thanks for making my life goals more attainable.” ~ HB
“I joined the IDA program in June 2007 and think it is very exciting. It seemed so impossible to get ahead or break even. Saving seemed some what hopeless but it has been great to see that what I am putting away is adding up. This program gave me hope with the match it made the difference for my savings.” ~ KH
"I had lost hope on ever having a home of my own until I found this program. I am a single mom that works hard. I work full time and go to school part time and with no degree and the income to back up a home I felt it was hopeless. With a program that can match what I save and more I feel I have a much better chance at getting a start on having a home - my first home. The ability to give my son a yard to play in and have something I can build value and equity in is great. It sounded too good to be true to find a program that would help me. I took financial classes to qualify for this program which have helped me learn a little more about credit and money management. I think this program could continue to help so many if they are willing to be good savers and apply the knowledge they have been given." ~ LP
"I heard about the UIDAN program through a friend at college. I thought it sounded like a great idea since both me and my husband were enrolled in college and felt like we would never be able to save enough money to purchase a home. We attended the financial classes, found out more about the program, and decided that it was for us. We started saving in April 2007. Since then I have graduated college and started an entry level career and my husband is working part-time and is on track to graduate spring 2009. It can be difficult at times to find the extra money to save each month with our limited salaries; but when we think about the end goal, it is a lot easier. I know that if we were not part of the UIDAN program, there would be no way that we could be ready to purchase a home a year from now. This program has truly provided us a way to learn how to save and plan for the future." ~ KRB
"Your financial management courses have opened my eyes and introduced me to a different level of financial management. The courses were well organized and covered real life topics like credit score, buying a house, a car, or managing credit cards. I have learned how debt management can impact my life, my family, and my community." ~ LM
"The IDA network has been very helpful from the start with the availability of financial classes and home purchasing classes. The IDA network provided valuable resources to help us learn and apply important knowledge for first-time homebuyers. We would not be where we are today without the IDA network." ~ AR
"Due to issues regarding financial aid, I was required to pay for 1-2 semesters on my own before being able to receive financial aid. As a low income individual, after paying rent and other utilities, I had very little left over each month to save for school. Thus, I was beginning to lose hope that I would be able to return to school. After discovering UIDAN, I was able to save a manageable amount of money each month, and I was able to resume with my studies. I am now in my second semester of my area of study, Vocal Performance. Had I not discovered UIDAN, none of this would have been possible, as I would still be struggling to save the money to pay for school." ~ MG
"It has always been an ambition of mine of obtain my degree. Once I went out into the real world I discovered that one individual cannot provide for their family without a degree. I had tech school certificates, but those were not enough to obtain a sufficient career. I started going to school and did not anticipate all of the additional costs associated. After reviewing my financed I discovered that if I did not have help, I would no longer be able to continue my education. A friend suggested that I check into the UIDAN program. The joint saving not only enabled me to continue my education, but has also taught me money management, and how to save." ~ EM
"Through the classes that I had to attend to start the program I learned more in the six weeks about finances and budgeting than I have learned my entire life. The education has helped me to realize how easy it is to save money. With the match savings program it not only teaches me to save money but it rewards me for doing it. Our IDA allowed us to purchase a 20' tandem axle trailer, allowing us to cut our manual labor in half saving us time and money. Thanks to everyone who has worked with me to make saving every month as smooth as possible. Saving money has developed into a life changing habit." ~ TM
"The IDA grant gave me a place to start as I worked on continuing my education. As a result of the help I received in learning about managing money and saving the same amount every month I have been able to incorporate those techniques into my daily life. I am still saving $60 a month in an account and am constantly trying to build that savings account up so that I do not have to use credit cards to pay for anything. As a result of this program I have been able to return to school and have
eliminated all of my consumer debt. Thank you so much for all of the financial training, the guidance given as I learned about going back to school, and the financial asssistance I received. It has improved my life immensely." ~ MB