Serving the community since 1922

Strata offers a new banking resource for Wasco

Strata Credit Union opened its doors to the public with a jubilant grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting.

"Today marks the beginning of a lasting relationship. We are your financial advocate and your neighbor," CEO Brandon Ivie said.

"Opening a bank in Wasco is significant because it aligns with our mission of serving the underserved and the underbanked.

"Wasco is a community of nearly 30,000 residents, and yet only has one bank to serve that entire population. So with us opening our branch, it now provides an additional bank resource to Wasco."

Strata provides an array of banking services, including checking and saving accounts, traditional auto loans, credit cards and lines of credit.

For those who are undocumented, Ivie said, the credit union caters to their needs. "We provide them with services they may not receive from other traditional banks. That is what makes us special."

"All our loan products are available to those with an ITIN."

The IRS will issue an individual a tax ID# to those who are undocumented so they can pay their taxes and build their credit.

"We provide ITIN mortgages, too, so they can live the American dream of owning a home. That is what makes us stand out from the rest."

Being involved in the community is also central to Strata's mission.

Kelly Fargo, VP of community relations, said, "We donated $25,000 to Wasco High School ASB and athletics last year and this year. We are also planning financial literacy events at WHS and hosting some here at the branch for the general public. We'll have workshops in Spanish and English."

She said that education aims to try to make financial resources accessible to anyone. "We're trying to take any fear or intimidation folks may have about banking and be a trusted resource for the community."

Addressing the large Latino population in Wasco is important to Strata, and their staff is bilingual.

For added convenience, there is a walk-up ATM and a drive-thru ATM open 24/7 and a virtual branch one can access through their website (StrataCU.org), where you can chat live face to face with a bilingual staff expert. You can also make deposits and transfer funds through their mobile app.

The WHS marching band and cheerleading team performed at the opening, and catering came from the WHS advanced culinary team.

Local dignitaries, community members and city officials attended. Certificates of recognition were presented on behalf of elected representatives.

Mayor Pro Tem Alex Garcia said, "I am beyond proud of the investment the Strata company has made in our small rural community, being the first credit union branch they have opened outside of Bakersfield."

"Today was a shining example of how a new business connects and builds bridges into a new community."

 

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