“Savings For Independence” Through Midland College

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

Have you've ever wanted to buy a home or start a business but just not had the money? Well, a new program with Midland College might be able to help you out. It's all part of their "Savings For Independence."

The "Savings For Independence" is a Match Savings Program. It's meant to help you or your family plan long-term if you want to buy a home or start a business. And if you meet the requirements, folks with Midland College said they'll match how much you save, three to one.

For administrators at Midland College, it's a pretty good plan. The 600,000 dollar grant awarded Monday will help people with low-income to start and manage a long-term savings account.

"I, as a college graduate and middle-income American, get tax benefits when I purchase a home; I get to write off interest and property taxes on my income taxes. Individuals of a lower income are unable to benefit from those types of tax incentives," said Alfredo Chaparro, the Community Services Director at Midland College.

Chaparro said that's a problem this program looks to help solve.

"This program is very important, because it realizes that saving is a very important part of being a successful citizen," explained Chaparro.

And administrators with Midland College said the money will go towards building at least 60 homes and 15 small businesses. They said it really is about helping people would don't have a lot of money to get started and invest in an already booming economy.

But if you do qualify, there are some steps you'll have to take to get part of that money.

"Participants in the program need to do three things: they need to complete financial literacy, asset specific classes, and establish a habit of saving," said Chaparro.

And one sponsor helping with those classes is Community National Bank.

"But we have volunteers that come from the bank. They are all bankers that do volunteer to help teach these classes at Casa de Amigos," said Renee Rivera, with Community National Bank.

If you are interested in hearing more about the program, or applying, you can call the Midland College Business and Economic Development Center at 684-4309 or online at http://www.midland.edu/bedc/ida