On January 5, 2016, Airryn Big Eagle (Crow Creek Sioux) purchased a home after saving for two years through Hunkpati Investments’ matched savings program. As a Native community development financial institution and a member of the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition, Hunkpati Investments’ matched savings program, also known as an Individual Development Account (IDA) program, enables tribal members to build assets through homeownership, secondary education, or business development. By participating in this program Airryn Big Eagle was able to receive $8.00 for every dollar she deposited into a special savings account.

Airryn says, “I always dreamed of owning my very own vehicle, my own business, and having a home to call my own. As a young Native American woman, I never thought that I would have any of those things. I believed that all of the above was nothing but a dream, and that’s all it would ever be.”

Airryn began working with Hunkpati Investments in 2012 to build her personal financial skills, improve her credit, and start her own business. She enrolled in the matched savings program in July of 2013 and discovered homeownership might be a possibility for her. She says, “I could not get the idea of becoming a homeowner out of my head. It had always been a dream of mine.”

Airryn took the homeownership preparedness course that Hunkpati offered, and learned about all of the expenses and steps she would need to take in order to make her dream come true. She looked into several financing options and ended up choosing the USDA Rural Development loan. She comments on the moment she found out she was approved for her loan, “I cried like a baby. I was worthy of a home loan!”

After a long commitment to saving and much research, Airryn was able to use the funds from her Individual Development Account as a down payment for a home within her budget. She went through the necessary steps to close the loan, and is now a proud homeowner.

Read Airryn’s Testimony