The ORR Individual development accounts (IDA) program helps refugees and other eligible populations save toward an asset that will help increase their financial independence. Participants receive a $1 match for every $1 saved. Matches are allowed up to $2,000 per individual and $4,000 per household. Under the IDA program, the matching funds, together with the refugee’s own savings from their employment, are available for purchasing one (or more) of four savings goals: home purchase; microenterprise capitalization; post-secondary education or training; and in some cases, purchase of an automobile if necessary to maintain or upgrade employment.
As a grantee of the ORR IDA program, PACE provides matched savings accounts to refugees whose annual income is less than 200 percent of the poverty level and whose assets, exclusive of a personal residence and one vehicle, are less than $10,000.
The ORR Microenterprise Development (MED) program offers microloans up to $15,000 to help new refugees and asylees start, sustain, or expand a small business. The interest rate is only 2.5% and the term is up to 5 years. The processing fee is $100. Loans over $15,000 are also available.
In addition, PACE provides free one-on-one counseling and financial literacy training which is intended to assist refugees in understanding the American financial system, budgeting, saving, and credit. PACE also provides training focused on specific savings goals. The specialized training ensures that refugees receive appropriate information on purchasing and managing their asset purchases.
For more information about the ORR IDA and MED program administered by PACE, please contact:
Senior Business Counselor, PACE
Wai Ling Chin
Business Counselor Manager, PACE