ECCO’s IDA Program

ECCO is proud to offer the only IDA program for adults in the Lowcountry.  We are currently accepting applications for up to 28 participants. Thanks to our funders for making this opportunity possible for the community.

What is an IDA?

An Individual Development Account, or IDA, is a special savings account for individuals earning 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Income level. When you save in an IDA with ECCO, your savings can be matched 3-to-1. This means that for every $1 that you save, you can earn another $3. Your combined savings and match monies will be used to either start or improve a small business, buy a home, or cover post-secondary education expenses.

This nationwide initiative is designed to support eligible individuals by providing the necessary tools and financial education to achieve economic stability. Learn how to develop a budget and set goals, establish regular savings habits, and invest in productive assets.

Who is eligible for IDA program enrollment?

Residents of Charleston, Berkeley, or Dorchester counties with income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty level (figures shown in the chart below). Has some sort of earned income can come from traditional wages or from some form of self-employment.

Pov guidelines

To qualify, your total household income cannot exceed 200% FPG.


How do I participate and what is involved?
  • Complete the Money Smart Workshop at ECCO – offered quarterly and also online at FDIC: Money Smart – Computer Based
  • Open your account with our Financial Partner and start saving!
  • Meet the savings requirement
    • Make monthly savings deposits of at least $25
    • Save in the program for a minimum of 6 consecutive months
  • Participate in asset-specific ownership preparation training

Please contact Lyndsi for more informatin and be prepared to fill out this form: Income Eligibility Verification 1200 for 2016

You are automatically eligible and only need to bring documentation of one of the following:

  • TANF check from DSS
  • Proof you receive SNAP benefits
  • Medicaid card
  • Proof that your child(ren) participate in Free or reduced lunch at school
  • Your taxes show an EITC refund

If you don’t have any of the items listed above, please bring your tax return from 2015.

In addition, you will need to provide proof of current income (recent pay stub, letter from employer, etc.) or some way to show earned income, and a valid state license or other form of identification (passport, Social Security card).