We know that education is important to the process of personal asset accumulation. We encourage financial institutions to lend their expertise in this arena. Our community coalitions include hundreds of banks, credit unions, and other financial organizations that offer financial literacy training to low-income taxpayers as a first step toward asset accumulation. Families are encouraged to use a portion of their tax refunds to begin saving.
A valuable tool in helping people keep active savings accounts can be Individual Development Account (IDA) programs. IDAs are matched savings accounts that reward the monthly savings of low-income families who are saving toward a long term asset like a home, post-secondary education or a small business. Matching funds from public or private organizations provide the incentive to save. People who have their tax returns prepared at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites are excellent candidates for IDAs. Many of our coalitions include organizations that combine VITA service with financial literacy programs and IDAs for better service in their local communities.