OlyFed to offer help with financial grounding through new banking program

Family Education & Support Services (FESS) is one of 40 non-profit organizations to partner with Olympia Federal Savings (OlyFed) on a new program aimed at what Ryan Betz, vice president for marking and public relations, calls those who are “unbanked or underbanked.”

The program, called Community Checking, is described on the OlyFed website this way:

“OlyFed’s Community Checking is designed to be an affordable transaction account to meet the needs of individuals who haven’t worked with a traditional financial institution in the past or who are looking to reestablish their credit and economic health and well-being. Community Checking comes with financial education support to help build savings, assets and credit.”

Ryan said, “We want to partner with people who share similar values as OlyFed.” OlyFed is known as a dedicated supporter of community activities.

FESS often works to partner with other organizations This partnership is good for those people who FESS serves, said Karin Oceguera, deputy executive director and Chief Financial Officer.

“FESS is excited to partner with OlyFed to offer this resource to our communities,” she said. “It is so gratifying to work with an organization that recognizes a true need and creates a community program in response. We have clients that are determined to take the next step to increasing financial freedom but have met with many barriers. This program works with clients and nonprofits together to decrease barriers, increase resources and increase resilience. We want to thank OlyFed for partnering with us to offer this essential community banking program.”

OlyFed has been considering this program for about 10 years because it recognized the need for it, Ryan said.

When the pandemic hit, the need grew. “So, we decided to support people in a meaningful way – a program that is easy to work with and understand.”

Those people who participate pay a $1 fee to open an account. After that, all services are free, including the financial education component.

Participants will be referred by a non-profit, who will send people to the program who are working hard to improve their lives and could use this kind of banking program to help make that happen.

At FESS, those leading or working with programs like the Parent-Child Assistance Program (P-CAP) will make referrals.

OlyFed is starting slowly, working with a handful of non-profits, including FESS, to make sure all issues have been identified before launching its Community Checking program more broadly.

Read more about Community Checking at the OlyFed website.