Altana Federal Credit Union
Laurel Federal Credit Union, Avanta Federal Credit Union
Montana Counties: Yellowstone, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Golden Valley, Wheatland, Musselshell, Dawson, Hill, Petroleum, Custer, Cascade, Choteau, Garfield, Carter, Wibaux, Gallatin, Big Horn, Broadwater, McCone, Liberty, Daniels, Fergus, Powder River, Phillips, Blaine, Sheridan, Fallon, Meagher, Park, Richland, Prairie, Judith Basin, Rosebud, Treasure, Roosevelt, and Valley. Wyoming Counties: Fremont, Sheridan, Big Horn, Johnson, Hot Springs, Washakie, Teton, Park, and Sublette.
Altana Federal Credit Union’s history began in 1949 when nine Montana refinery workers pooled their money into a cigar box in an empty boxcar. Their vision and philosophy – a desire to promote thrift and savings to improve the financial lives of members and their families – are still carried within the institution today.
In 1949, nine refinery workers pooled their money into a small fund to empower the community of Laurel, Montana, with access to affordable loans and promote fiscal responsibility through saving. The organization, then known as Laurel Federal Credit Union, made a net income of just one dollar that year. Their goal of fostering financial opportunity in their community far outweighed the desire for large profits. And their passion fueled their success. By 1967, the credit union reached one million in assets with 1,298 members.
Over the next several decades, the credit union expands its service area by opening two new branches in Red Lodge and Columbus, Montana, and merging with two nearby credit unions. Today, the organization, now known as Altana Federal Credit Union, far exceeds what the original nine founders envisioned. Altana’s field of membership extends across 46 counties in Montana and Wyoming and continues to grow to approximately 500 million dollars in assets. Its original purpose remains unchanged: people serving people is still at the heart of every decision.
When it became nearly impossible for working-class people to obtain loans at traditional banks, Altana’s founders (whose signatures are pictured) came together to create a financial institution with their blue-collar friends and families in mind. This image displays a page of Altana's founding paperwork. By pooling their funds together, the founders gave their community members the ability to lend and borrow money safely.
This image displays several of Altana’s former executives and chair members breaking ground on their Columbus, Montana location in 2009. Altana expanded rapidly after the turn of the century, establishing five new branches and gaining thousands of new members from 2000 to 2010.
In this image, several members of Altana's team pose by its renovated 1979 Volkswagen bus in front of one of its newest branches. Today, one of Altana's main focuses is community outreach. The credit union uses the van to establish brand awareness and show appreciation for its members by attending local events and giving free ice cream to the community.