As a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, Kootenai Valley Federal Credit Union is committed to our members. We will uphold our fundamental responsibility to actively serve people within our field of membership, and as appropriate, the communities they live in. We will treat all member with respect and dignity and we will offer honest, fair deals to all members at all times. We will deliver a range of low cost product and services to the diverse economic and social make-up of our members and potential members. We will look for better ways to reach out to the unserved and underserved in our field of membership. And we continually, in all facets of operations, demonstrate the value of membership in Kootenai Valley Federal Credit Union.
We will communicate our services to members in a meaningful way so that members, potential members, legislators, regulators, and the community at large will understand and appreciate the unique role that member-owned financial cooperatives play in their lives.
Throughout Kootenai Valley Federal Credit Union's business plan, we will emphasize programs that enable our members to become financially self-sufficient and successful. We will place high importance on consumer education and the teachings of financial thrift.
This statement of Commitment to Members is consistent with our credit union principles of "Not for Profit, Not for Charity, but for Service" and our philosophy of "People Helping People". This statement represents good business practices that ensure the financial strength of our credit union on behalf of our members.
To join this credit union, you must LIVE, WORK, or WORSHIP in Lincoln County Montana. You also must come into the credit union to join. Please bring proper ID. We need four pieces of information and verification of three. We need your name, your birthdate, your physical address, and your social security number.
Your Credit Union was originally chartered in 1956. At that time, the common bond was - Employees of the J. Neils Lumber Company and their immediate family who resided in Lincoln County. The credit union started out in various homes of the board members.
Sometime in the late "60's", the credit union was able to acquire its own building. This building was very small, and very hard to heat and cool. This Building was located in the parking lot of where we are currently. Another change in the late 1960's was the ownership of the local mill. The J. Neils Lumber Company became the Forest Products Division of the St. Regis Paper Company. In 1967, the charter of the credit union was changed to reflect the new name.
In November of 1978, the credit union moved into the building it currently resides in. There were two full time employees and one "sparse" time employee. There was very little change in the credit union until 1985 when the St. Regis Paper Company was taken over by Champion International. Again, the credit union charter was changed to reflect the name change.
Champion International began the local downsizing. The Board of Directors could see that the downsizing of the mill also meant a smaller membership base. In 1993, through application to NCUA, they added the St Johns Lutheran Hospital, the Libby Care Center, the Stimpson Lumber Company, the local Plum Creek Timber employees, and Kootenai Feed and Supply.
In 2000, the Board applied to NCUA to have our charter changed to a Community Chater including all who live, work, or worship within Lincoln County. Because of the downsizing of the Timber Industry and other EPA issues, Lincoln County was also designated as Low-Income by the US Census. Under our current charter, the credit union is designated a Low-Income Community Credit Union.
Being designated as Low- Income means the credit union is able to apply for grants to bring in services for the low- income membership. To date, we have acquired grant funding to start the Draft/Checking account program, the ATM/Debit card program, training for IDA accounts, and setting up our web page with internet/telephone banking.
As your credit union, all the volunteers and staff are committed to helping you, the members, with your financial needs both now and in the years to come. We are people helping people.