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Frequently Asked Questions

United Way of Central Alabama, Inc.
3600 8th Avenue South
P.O. Box 320189
Birmingham, AL 35232-0189

DeForrest Brown

Phone: (205) 458-8970
Fax: (205) 323-2872

Other Information


Opening an Individual Development Account is easy. Once you complete the Application Form and Intake Survey and submit on-line, you will be contacted by an Individual Development Account representative to guide you through the process. They will work closely with you, answer all of your questions and help you learn financial responsibility so that you can watch your assets grow!


Get up to $4,000 towards a home, college or small business!

1. Find out how to qualify by contacting the Alabama Asset Building Coalition

2. Open a free Individual Development Account (a no-fee savings account) and make monthly deposits of at least $25 which will be matched by a federal grant program

3. Begin the free financial education classes

4. Use your earned income savings and match funds for a home purchase, towards college expenses or to start or expand a small business

Contact the Alabama Asset Building Coalition at 2-1-1, 1-866-869-4921 or 205-458-8970


It’s easy… A special U.S. government savings program allows you to have up to $2,000 of earned income savings matched with $4,000 for a total of $6,000 that can be used to help achieve your financial goals – towards the purchase of a home, for college related expenses or to start or expand a small business.

By enrolling in the Individual Development Account program, you will learn the benefits of saving, receive financial education and credit counseling, become eligible for free income tax preparation assistance and have the opportunity to develop smart financial habits that will benefit you for the rest of your life.


How to triple your savings and make your dreams come true

What is an Individual Development Account?

Assets for Independence is a federal grant program administered by the Office of Community Services of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The program assists qualifying individuals who open an Individual Development Account (IDA) by matching earned income with local and federal funds. The IDA promotes savings and financial stability, and enables participants to acquire a lasting asset—a first-time home, your college education or start or expand a small business!


How do I qualify for an IDA?


Qualified IDA investors qualify based on annual adjusted gross income. Please refer to the income eligibility chart below. In addition, IDA investors must have no more than $10,000 in total net worth excluding an automobile and home. To confirm eligibility and to open and IDA, please call 2-1-1 or 1-866-869-4921 or (205) 458-8970.


IDA Income Eligibility


Persons in Family 
Annual Income
Up to $22,980
Up to $31,020
Up to $39,060
Up to $47,100
Up to $55,140
Up to $63,180
Up to $71,220
Up to $79,260


For families with more than 8 persons, add $4,020 for each additional person.


What do I do once I qualify?

Representatives will guide you through the process and serve as your personal contact throughout the program. You will begin making monthly deposits (minimum of $25 per month) into an IDA – a free savings account with no fees--and participate in financial training classes – offered at no cost. As your savings grow and are matched, you get closer to your dream and can withdraw up to a total of $6,000 to apply towards your goal.