Dupaco MoneyMatch helps woman break free from poverty

August 28, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa (8/28/15)--A Dubuque, Iowa, woman has become the first person in her immediate family to become a homeowner, thanks to her participation in Dupaco Community CU’s MoneyMatch savings program.

With the individual development account (IDA) program, where Dupaco Community, based out of Dubuque, matches a person’s savings with a dollar-for-dollar grant, Ermina Soler broke a cycle of generational poverty.


Ermina Soler of Dubuque, Iowa, saved enough through Dupaco Community CU’s MoneyMatch savings program to buy this house and break a cycle of generational poverty in her family. (Dupaco Community CU Photo)

Soler, 37, who grew up in the Brooklyn, N.Y., projects, had always lived in rental properties, sometimes with housing assistance. Through MoneyMatch, she was able to stick with a savings plan for the first time, accumulating funds for a down payment on a three-bedroom ranch home. She saved $4,000, which was matched by the grant.

The program gave her a structured saving plan and she had chosen the right goal to work toward, said Dupaco.

RJ Montes, branch manager at Dupaco’s Pennsylvania Avenue branch helped Soler with her mortgage loan.

“Ermina empowered herself to break that cycle of poverty,” Montes said. “Not only did she do this for herself, but she’s very driven to help others break that cycle, too. This program allows people to understand these opportunities are possible.”

The matching grants are from the Dupaco R.W. Hoefer Foundation or the Iowa Credit Union Foundation. The savings and matching funds are used to purchase a specific asset such as a home, small business startup, education or a vehicle.