The state agency that helps low- to middle-income Iowans buy homes has been affirmed with a “double-A-minus” rating by Standard and Poor’s Rating Services. Shawna Lode, spokeswoman for the Iowa Finance Authority or IFA, says that’s one of the highest-possible ratings. Lode says the double-A-minus rating is very positive for the I-F-A and for the whole state of Iowa, citing the agency’s many strengths and confirming that they’re on the right road for continued success. She says the rating shows IFA is of very high credit quality and is a low risk.

Lode says IFA got the same rating from S-and-P when it received its original Issuer Credit Rating, or I-C-R, in September of 2004. The S-and-P rating system ranges from a high of triple-A to a low of D, so she says the double-A-minus is a very high rating that reflects the Iowa agency’s legislative support and our “rebounding” state economy. In the last five years, IFA’s asset base increased by 68-percent and grew by ten-percent in fiscal year 2005 alone.

Lode says not all Iowans will recognize the name of the Iowa Finance Authority, but many thousands have used its programs. She says IFA is 30 years old this year and is the state’s housing finance agencies, offering a variety of programs to bring affordable housing to Iowans.