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Alaska Federal Credit Union - Alaska Federal Credit Union Facts and History

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The Alaska Federal Credit Union is legally known by the name Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. There are currently more than 50 branches of the credit union spread out over Alaska, in the state of Washington in the Puget Sound area, and in Victor Valley, California. The credit union currently has more than 340,000 members and approximately 4 billion dollars in assets. Its headquarters is located in Anchorage. Alaska and it is regulated and chartered by the NCUA. It is the tenth biggest credit union in all of the United States. The credit union celebrated its 60th anniversary on December 6, 2008.

In addition to the credit union, Alaska USA also supplies business services, such as insurance, commercial loans, and checking accounts. The Alaska Option Network is operated and was founded by Alaska USA and provides services for financial institutions throughout the United States, such as settlement services, switching services, point-of-sale, and ATM services. The credit union also operates and owns several other entities, including:

*Alaska USA Trust Company
*Alaska USA Mortgage Company
*Alaska USA Title Agency
*Alaska USA Insurance Brokers

The Alaska Federal Credit Union was formerly known as the Alaska Command Federal Credit Union when it was founded back in 1948. Originally the credit union serviced federal employees and military personnel that were stationed in Alaska. A surge in the membership of the credit union can be attributed to the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. During this period of the 1970’s, the credit union’s customer base grew by more than 25,000 members. In the same decade, the credit union also received authority to provide services to Alaska Native Regional Corporations by Congress. The current name of “Alaska USA” was adopted in 1975.

The Alaska Federal Credit Union currently has financial centers in Wasilla, Anchorage, Soldotna, Fairbanks, and Kenai. Their credit union accounts are federally insured by the NCUSIF. In addition to commercial and consumer loan and deposit services, Alaska USA also offers:

*Escrow closing services
*Title services
*Real estate and mortgage loans
*Investment management

There were originally 15 members who were responsible for founding the credit union. These founding fathers felt that the local financial institutions were not meeting the credit needs of the newly transferred federal civil service personnel residing here. The credit union was founded when members starting pooling their funds together and extending loans to each other. They also took part in operating the credit union on a voluntary basis. Credit union membership was extended to enlisted personnel and officers in 1953 after the separation of Fort Richardson and the Elmendorf Air Force Base. This was all happening when Alaska was still only a territory. Alaska was admitted statehood in 1959, and the credit union hired its first employee the same year.

The Member Service Center was first established in 1973, and was a call center that sparked an innovation for credit unions across the nation. Now located in Anchorage, this call center is responsible for providing members with a toll-free number for transaction and service requests. With the construction of the pipeline, the credit union expanded its services beyond military personnel in 1974. In 1981, the Alaska Federal Credit Union was approved by Congress to provide services to Alaska Natives on a permanent basis, which is the only time in the history of the country that legislation was enacted in order to serve a specific group of individuals.

The Alaska USA Federal Credit Union first started doing business in Washington in 1983 when it merged with Oak Harbor’s Whidbey Federal Credit Union. Its presence in California started in 2009 when it acquired Victor Valley’s The Members Own Federal Credit Union and High Desert Federal Credit Union. In 2004, the Alaska Federal Credit Union expanded its services to include commercial accounts for businesses in Alaska.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union was the first financial institution in the state to offer PC account access services to its members. The credit union has not only expanded its online services, but has also expanded its in-person branch service by partnering with retail outlets such as QFC, Safeway, and Albertsons. The official website of the Alaska Federal Credit Union is located at http://www.alaskausa.org/.

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