Mercy Corps Northwest IDA Application Process


We are happy that you are interested in joining the MCNW IDA program!

UPDATE: As of 7pm, April 2nd, we have received 30 applications and no more applications will be accepted at this time. Unfortunately, now that the application portal is closed, any application in progress will no longer be accessible. 

Please keep in mind: submitting an application doesn’t ensure acceptance. Priority consideration is given to applicants who face the greatest barriers to financial inclusion and asset accumulation. If you were not able to submit in time to be considered, never fear: a new application session will open in June or July.  You can also look for another ida provider in the Portland Metro area by clicking on this link.

Want to get ready for the next application period?

To download a paper application and see what it takes to apply, click 2019 IDA_Application

Take your prequalifying class: Applicants must have completed one of following business classes within a year of applying and submit proof of attendance (if the class was taken outside of MCNW).

1) Mercy Corps NW Understand Your Credit Seminar To register, click here.

2) Mercy Corps NW Business Foundations I: To view upcoming classes, click here.

3) Mercy Corps NW Business Foundations II: To view upcoming classes, click here.

4) Mercy Corps NW Business Plan Workshop: To view upcoming classes, click here.

5) Portland State University Business Development Classes: To view upcoming classes, click here.
(Other classes can be considered for credit towards the requirements. If you have taken a class that comprises at least 18 hours, feel free to run it by us).

Other business workshops may qualify. If you would like to find out if they do, please contact the IDA staff.

If you would like to know more about the IDA and other MCNW programs, we recommend that you attend a Mercy Corps Northwest Orientation session, where you can learn about the IDA program in greater detail and have a chance to ask any questions you might have.


 With your application you also must submit copies of the following:

For those who are recipients of either LIEAP, Public Housing, Section 8, SNAP, TANF, Low Income Tax Credit properties, or WIC: If you can provide documentation of participation certified within the last 12 months on letterhead or some other official document, then you do not have to submit tax returns, verification of income, or bank statements. You only need to include (in addition to the certification letter):

  • Copy of Oregon ID
  • $50 Application fee
  • Optional: An explanation of any special circumstances to be considered

For those who are not receiving any of those forms of public assistance, your application must include:

1) Copy of Oregon ID (or utility bill/lease agreement)

2) Last year’s tax return (If you did not do your taxes, include a statement explaining why)

3) 1 months bank statement from each bank account in the household (personal and business):

3) Proof of income eligibility:

One or more of the following forms of proof of earned income for last 2 months:

– pay stubs showing gross income

– letter of employment–if you do not receive pay stubs or are working “under the table,” please provide a letter that includes the following information: your name, hours worked over the last two months/pay rate, and signature of employer.

– A 2-month profit and loss statement if you have income from self-employment. A profit and loss sheet should show all of your business expenses, which are then subtracted from your gross sales to show your profit. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should allow us to understand how much you are bringing home from your self-employment.

4) An explanation of any special circumstances to be considered (no more than half a page, please)

In some cases we reserve the right to ask for detailed personal and business bank statements for last 2 months for all household members (must have name and account number on the top).

IDA applications will not be considered unless the application is fully filled out (including short essay questions) and ALL required documents are submitted. If you are filling out the application online, you should scan the documents in advance and have them ready to upload to your application. Your application will not be considered unless all documents are attached.

Because the federal government terminated Assets for Independence, the grant program that we depended upon to support our IDA program, we are now asking for a $50 processing fee for each application to help support our operations. Applications without the processing fee will not be considered complete. All applicants will receive a coupon code for a free Mercy Corps NW business seminar (worth $25).

To access a quick pre-qualifying form,  click here.


Email: Huda Al-Hamdani at
Fax: (503) 896-5448
Mail/Drop Off:

Mercy Corps Northwest
Attn:  Huda Al-Hamdani
43 SW Naito Parkway
Portland, OR 97204