• About MIDAP

    MIDAP is a partnership of programs, agencies and funders working together to increase financial capabilities among Michigan’s low-to-moderate income residents.


  • About Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

    Used side by side with other financial services, Individual Development Accounts are an effective tool to promote asset development awareness and financial readiness in Michigan.


DSCN0154[1]Megan Smith first heard about the Individual Development Account (IDA) Program from the local Northwest MI Habitat for Humanity (HFH), as a requirement to get a new HFH home. After learning more about both these programs, obtaining a home that was new, efficient, and affordable really made sense for her and her six-year-old daughter, Adriahna.

 Throughout the process, there were times Megan felt as though she had “a lot on her plate” to satisfy both the requirements of the IDA and HFH programs. She put in the 250 hours of sweat equity on her home that HFH required, while working at her full-time job and spending time raising her daughter. To complete her IDA, she took a home buyer workshop and six additional financial fitness workshops. Budget and credit counseling appointments were also required. All of this seemed overwhelming to Megan and it was hard for her to be positive at times. She often felt tired and was doing just enough to get by, but she stuck with it.

 Before opening her IDA, Megan had a savings account and budgeted her money. She planned to reach her goal of saving $1,000.00, (which is the maximum that can be matched), in twelve months and was able to reach her goal in thirteen months. She plans to continue to save regularly for an emergency fund and keep living on a budget. 

 Prior to Megan’s participation in IDA, maintaining a good credit score wasn’t a priority. After taking the credit workshop and attending budget/credit counseling sessions, she was surprised to find out that she had a low score and discovered how that would hurt her financially. Megan learned how to repair her credit and raise her score. There is still work to be done but she did make some progress in improving her credit record.

 Due to problems with her last landlord and some construction delays involving their new home, the Smiths had to move out of their rental before the HFH home was completed. After living with Megan’s parents for the past few months, they are looking forward to having their own space and their own bedrooms.

 The advice she leaves to those joining the IDA Program is to save diligently and quickly. Make the deposits as large as you can and get to the $1,000 goal as soon as possible so you will not fall behind if unexpected expenses occur.   Megan is appreciative of the help given to her by NMCAA and HFH. Even though the construction of her HFH took longer than she expected, she is getting a new 3-bedroom ranch that she will be able to afford. And her daughter, Adriahna, might be able to have that puppy that’s she has always wanted! 

The Petoskey local office of the Northwest MI Community Action Agency (NMCAA) administered the IDA Program for Megan Smith. NMCAA provides financial fitness and homebuyer club workshops and assists participants on an individual basis in the areas of budgeting and credit counseling.