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A Bank Account to "Save the Day" for Low-Wage New Mexicans

May 1, 2008

Albuquerque, NM - It's a bank account that quadruples savings, but there's a catch. Community Action New Mexico and Wells Fargo are teaming up to offer a limited number of "Individual Development Accounts" (IDAs) to low-wage workers who want to save for something big such as a home, college tuition, or starting a small business. The first $1,000 of savings in the accounts will be matched 4-to-1.

So, what's the catch? Patricia Nie, with Wells Fargo in Albuquerque, says savers will be required to complete a financial literacy course first.

"The course covers a wide spectrum of topics. Among the ideas discussed are banking basics, what's involved in purchasing a home and how to finance your education."

A limited number of IDAs will be available statewide to individuals and families who have earned income but live at 200 percent of poverty or less, which is equivalent to about $40,000 or less for a family of four.

As Community Action New Mexico Executive Director Ona Porter explains, the idea is to 'earn it, save it and grow it.'

"The growth is in taking an asset, learning how to manage that asset to leverage it, not only for more money, but for a better life."

Porter believes the savings growth will also contribute to the local and state economies. For more information on the IDA program, contact your local community action agency or visit

Eric Mack/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - NM