SELF’s IDA Financial Literacy & Matched Savings Program: CARS NOW!
SELF’s CARS NOW! Individual Development Account Program
Financial Literacy, Asset Education and Matched Savings for Vehicle Acquisition
SELF launched the CARS NOW! IDA program and hopes to bring classes to West Chester to allow 25 participants to save for a safe and reliable vehicle and receive a 2:1 savings match. Not having access to a car in West Chester and Liberty Township is a large barrier for low-income families due to the high traffic areas with few sidewalks and lack of public transportation routes. Having a vehicle not only helps adults get to work and appointments, but access to a vehicle can also affect getting children to school.
SELF will serve clients who are at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and who live or work in West Chester/Liberty Township or have children who attend Lakota Schools. SELF has been hosting a highly successful Individual Development Account Program (IDA) which provides financial literacy, asset education and 2:1 matched savings for low-income people to build assets for the past 8 years. Due to feedback from SELF’s Client Advisory Committee and program staff, we decided it was imperative to add the additional saving option for a vehicle since lack of reliable transportation creates a barrier to success for so many of our clients. SELF will collaborate with LifeSpan to teach financial literacy, provide credit counseling, asset specific education on car maintenance, financing, insurance and more.
SELF will work with Faith Community United Methodist Church to host courses at its West Chester facility. Having this dedicated space in the West Chester/Liberty area is critical because we know the great need for this program, and we know that location is key to accessing services.