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Dubuque woman reaps rewards--and freedom--from saving
DUBUQUE, Iowa (4/15/11)--Dupaco Community CU, Dubuque, Iowa, has helped member Delora Beal discover the rewards of saving--and the freedom it can create.
Click to view larger image Delora Beal prepares to drive home in her newly acquired car, a purchase made possible through her participation in Dupaco Community CU’s Individual Development Account (IDA). Beal systematically saved $1,900 from her paychecks an amount matched by the Iowa Credit Union Foundation. She also received 12 months of financial coaching and an auto loan from the credit union. (Photo provided by Dupaco Communiy Credit Union)
After three years without a car--relying on her feet and a beat-up bike for transportation--the 44-year-old Beal recently became the owner of a 2004 Dodge Intrepid, thanks to her participation in Dupaco’s Individual Development Account program. In the program, a grant from the Iowa Credit Union Foundation matches the savings of the participant dollar for dollar. Dupaco opens the savings accounts and provides the financial coaching required by the program requires to ensure the participant’s goals are met. Beal saved $50 from every paycheck until she had accrued $1,900. That amount was then matched by the foundation. Exactly a year and two days later she was able to buy her car. “Delora took a serious effort into saving as much as she could to increase her match,” said Dupaco Community CU’s Cindy Hilkin, one of Beal’s financial coaches. “She attributes her success to systematic savings. She plans on continuing this type of saving for her auto insurance.” Hilkin helped Beal find a solid vehicle and get an auto loan through Dupaco. Beal credits her success to Dupaco’s financial coaching--and she says the experience has taught her some valuable life lessons. “I've learned that it’s a lot easier to save than what you think. You can still live and save money,” she said. “It makes you re-evaluate your spending habits. It makes you think about the importance of what you really need in your life.” Beal moved to Dubuque from Arizona with her son and a friend three years ago. They packed what they could into a tiny car--some clothes, important paperwork and a computer---and said goodbye to Arizona and steady employment. She eventually found temporary work in Dubuque, but she took a cut in pay. Her employer recently had a new position become available, but it requires travel. Beal hopes her vehicle will make her eligible for the promotion. Two days after buying her car, she was getting the paperwork together to get an Iowa driver’s license and license plates for the new car. Even though she has met her goal in Dupaco’s savings program, Beal says she will continue saving. “I’m looking ahead into the future, and I’m just hoping that having a way to get around will help me better my life. Just knowing I have a car is a whole different sense of relief,” she said. “For the first time in I don’t know how long, I’m just taking care of me.” Participants must meet income guidelines and be residents of or purchase assets in the state of Iowa to qualify for an individual development account. The savings and matching funds are then used by the individual to purchase a specific asset, such as a home, starting or expanding a small business, paying for education or job training, or purchasing a vehicle to get to work.


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