July 18, 2011
A Member’s Dream Becomes Reality With Alliant Credit Union
Cedar Rapids, IA – A lot has changed in the past year for Ashley Hochstedler. She recently graduated from the University of Iowa with an electrical engineering degree and business minor. She started her first full-time position at ITC. She got married. But most recently, Ashley and her husband purchased their first home!
Ashley signed up to become an Individual Development Account (IDA) saver in April, 2010. Since then, she’s been saving a little each paycheck into her IDA savings account and working diligently with Brooke Holven, her financial coach at Alliant Credit Union’s Cedar Rapids branch. Ashley saved $2,000 and then was able to get her IDA savings account matched for an additional $4,000 to assist with the down payment of her first home.
An IDA is a matched savings account where savings of a participant are matched by a grant from another organization. Through the Credit Union Family Partnership Program, Alliant Credit Union opens a savings account, and matching funds will come from the Iowa Credit Union Foundation thanks to private grants received by the Foundation. Participants will receive up to a two dollar match for every one dollar saved, depending on asset choice.
The savings and matching funds are then used by the individual to purchase a specific asset, such as a home, starting or expanding a small business, paying for education or job training, or purchasing a vehicle to get to work. Participants must meet income guidelines to qualify for an IDA account.
Being a participant of the IDA program, Ashley was required to complete financial education classes before purchasing her home and receiving the savings match. Ashley said, “The classes helped put into perspective how much I spend on certain items each month and how I should alter my spending. The classes have taught me how to save and budget my money.”
The training and dedication Ashley experienced during the last fifteen months has been instilled into Ashley for future asset purchases. When asked how this opportunity has impacted her outlook on future purchases, Ashley said, “For major purchases, I will use a similar approach to the IDA savings program and set aside a certain dollar amount from each paycheck, putting it into an account that I will not allow myself to make withdrawals from.”
“Ashley was a very motivated saver from the beginning. She had a goal in mind and worked two jobs in order to save for her IDA purchase,” said Brooke Holven, Ashley’s financial coach at Alliant Credit Union. “The financial education classes Alliant Credit Union provided as well as the 1st Time Homebuyers Education class Ashley took really helped guide her in saving that little extra money each month so she was able to reach her goal.”
As for advice to others purchasing their first home, Ashley said, “Plan ahead and budget your savings – at least a year or two in advance. Think about how much you want to spend and then set up a savings plan.”
Alliant Credit Union is an award-winning, full-service financial institution with offices located at 1200 Associates Drive, 1402 White Street and 250 Mercy Drive, Dubuque; and, 200 1st St. SE, Cedar Rapids. Alliant Credit Union has nearly 9,500 members and $87.3 million in assets. For more information, visit www.alliantcu.com or call 563-585-3737 / 800-928-4328.
Image: Ashley Hochstedler1.jpg -- Ashley Hochstedler standing outsider her new home. Ashley participated in Alliant Credit Union’s Individual Development Account program.
Image: Ashley Hochstedler3.jpg – Doug & Ashley Hoschstedler standing outside their new home. Ashley signed up to participate in Alliant Credit Union’s Individual Development Account program April, 2010.