History of Alaska USA
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial services cooperative, owned by more than 493,000 members throughout the United States and around the world. Alaska USA is a leading credit union in the U.S. and one of the largest financial institutions in the state of Alaska.
The self-help philosophy of credit unions at work in Alaska
Alaska USA was chartered in 1948 at the Alaska Air Depot in Anchorage, when Alaska was still a territory. The 15 founding members felt that local financial institutions were not adequately meeting the credit needs of the federal civil service personnel who had been recently transferred to Alaska. A credit union could satisfy those credit needs, as well as provide other financial benefits. Accordingly, the credit union was founded and members began pooling their savings and extending credit to one another, while volunteering their time to operate the credit union.
In 1953, after the separation of Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include officers and enlisted personnel. In 1959, the same year Alaska became a state, the Board hired its first employee. During the next ten years, membership was extended to personnel assigned to 24 remote Air Force stations in Alaska and Naval Station Adak, located near the tip of the Aleutian Island chain.
The Member Service Center is created
In order to effectively serve members who transferred out of Alaska, the Member Service Center was established in 1973. This was the first call center operation launched by an Alaskan financial institution, and an innovation for credit unions nationwide. The center was originally located in Denver, Colorado, to compensate for Alaska's time zone differences, telecommunications limitations, and postal delays.
Today, Alaska USA operates the Member Service Center in both Alaska and California. Member service representatives are available to answer questions and process member transactions and requests 16 hours a day, seven days a week.