IDA Savings

The Business Center for New Americans offers a specialized savings program
for refugees called the Individual Development Account (IDA).

The IDA program rewards low-income refugees who:

  • Successfully save money
  • Complete a financial literacy course
After an applicant has met these requirements, the BCNA IDA grant matches their savings, matching each dollar saved with a dollar in grant money, up to $2,000 per individual or $4,000 per family.


While the client has control over the money he or she saves, the "matching
grant" is kept in a separate account which can only be used for:

  • the down payment on a first home
  • to start or grow a small business
  • to pay for further education, vocational training, or re-certification

Income Requirements

IDAs are designed by the Federal government to reward low-income working
individuals and families.  To qualify as "low income", household income must
be no more than:

     Family size         Income
1 person      $24,280     
2 people     $32,920    
3 people     $41,560    
4 people     $50,200  
5 people     $58,840  
6 people    $67,480  
7 people     $76,120   
8 people    $84,760   


Not only does BCNA match clients' savings, but our required seminars help
ensure that our clients are prepared to take on the responsibilities of home or small business ownership as well as select the best options for further
education or vocational training.

These sessions cover a range of topics, including:

  • Budgeting
  • Goal Setting
  • Managing Credit
  • Investment and Saving
  • The Home-Buying Process
  • Starting a Business

All classes are free and are held at BCNA.


Interested in learning more about IDAs?  Contact Francess Smith at 212-898-7850 or