Engaging our community to end poverty

FAIM Matched Savings Account and Coaching

FAIM IDA stands for Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota Individual Development Account. It is a matched savings account program designed to help you build savings to do one of three things:

  1. Buy a home
  2. Get a higher education
  3. Start a small business

Savings matches are not “giveaways.” You earn savings matches by saving your own hard-earned dollars and taking other steps to prepare for the future.

  • For every $1 you save, $3 will be added to your designated FAIM account.
  • We will match every dollar you save with $3 until we’ve provided you with $2,880. That’s the maximum amount we can add to your account.
  • In the end, you will have the $960 dollars you saved on your own, plus the $2,880 matching funds we’ve added, which will bring your grand total of $3,840 to use for a down payment on a home, tuition or to start a business.
  • There is no risk. If for any reason you are not able to continue saving, you will receive the money you saved and any interest that it earned.

We will provide you with guidance and coaching. Plus, you’ll be enrolled in our Common Cents class, which is a requirement for this program. You’ll have help improving your credit, reducing your debt and improving your ability to budget and save your hard earned money. All of our assistance is confidential and tailored to meet your needs.

See the FAIM Flyer.

How to connect
For more information or to get started, please contact us at 218.726.1665 or email us at coaching@communityactionduluth.org.







To participate in the FAIM Matched Savings Account program you must:

  • Be a Minnesota resident 18 years old or older.
  • Have earned income.
  • Be at or below the total household income limits in the chart below.
  • Have assets below $10,000 (not including retirement accounts, 1 primary vehicle and 1 primary residence).

Income requirements apply. You must be at or under the following program guidelines:

Household Size Income Limit (200% of poverty)
1 $24,280
2 $32,920
3 $41,560
4 $50,200
5 $58,840
6 $67,480
7 $76,120
8 $84,760

For each additional person, add $8,640.


Spending Your Money



Once you have saved your money, you will want to spend it on the goal you were saving to achieve—an education, buying a home or starting a business. There are requirements to meet before you can spend your savings and we will help you with all of them. To spend your FAIM funds you must:

  • Complete Common Cents: the money and homebuyer class.
  • Complete an education plan if you are saving for your education.
  • Complete a business course and a business plan if you are saving to open a business.
  • Submit the appropriate payout information, including vendor W9 and required pre-and post-documentation.
  • Provide updated income information at the end of the program.



How to Apply/Online application

To apply you will need the following items:

  • A filled out FAIM application.

FAIM applications can be picked up at Community Action Duluth’s front desk or found online here. Once complete, please send as an attachment to coaching@communityactionduluth.org or print out and bring to your first appointment.

  • Your most recent tax return.
  • Your most recent paystub to show proof of earned income.
  • Your current and valid photo ID.  If your present address differs from your ID, please also bring in address verification which can be a recent bill in your name with your current address listed.

To enroll in the FAIM program:

  • Schedule an appointment by calling us at 218.726.1665, or email us at coaching@communityactionduluth.org.
  • Bring everything listed above, plus your bank account number and routing number for auto-deposits.






FAIM Success Stories

Mercedes and Jonathan
Mercedes and Jonathan were able to purchase their first home in May of 2017 by taking advantage of two programs—Community Action Duluth’s Pathways to Homeownership program and 1Roof Community Housing’s program. They started by enrolling in the FAIM Matched Savings Account Program to help save for their dream and also learn everything they needed to know about improving their credit score. They also consulted with their Pathways to Homeownership coach who worked with them over a six-month period navigating through everything they needed to know and do to purchase their home.

John and Rose
It was a two-year process of learning and saving for John and Rose before they bought their home. During that time they worked closely with their Pathways to Home Ownership coach. They increased their income and watched their budget closely. Today, they are proud homeowners who continue to do very well.