Waterloo, IA - Jamekia Washington never thought she would be able to own her own home, let alone own her first home in less than a year. But thanks to the Iowa Credit Union Foundation’s (ICUF) Individual Development Account (IDA) program and Cedar Falls Community Credit Union, Jamekia’s dream has become a reality.
Although she had a full-time job, Jamekia had a considerable amount of credit card debt, and wasn’t sure if she would ever have the opportunity to own a home.
Then, Jamekia heard about ICUF’s IDA program through Operation Threshold, a Waterloo nonprofit organization, and signed up immediately.
“I just thought it was awesome that there was actually a program out there that matched you dollar for dollar,” said Washington. “You can’t find anything out there like it.”
Jamekia took a second job to begin saving as much as she could each month, but in order to earn matching funds from Cedar Falls Community Credit Union, she was required to enroll in a financial management class. The financial education classes teach IDA savers about home buying, credit and managing money.
Marybeth Foster, ICUF Executive Director, said she generally seeks low-income people motivated to open a business, buy a home or finance an education.
Washington has taken the financial management lessons she learned to heart. She still works 60 hours a week at two jobs because she wants to build a comfortable savings cushion.
"I just kind of thought since I'm just moving, I don't know how my expenses are going to play out. So it will be good for me to keep my part-time job just to make sure I keep myself ahead financially," she said. Read more here
(Photo Credit: Rick Tibbott/Courier Staff Photographer)