125 North Fulton St. Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-4611
Toll Free: (877) 273-AFCU      Contact

The Alternatives Group

THE ALTERNATIVES GROUP
In order to fulfill our development mission, we've found that at times, a regulated insured financial institution is not the most appropriate vehicle. While we are known as Alternatives Federal Credit Union, some of our most exciting community development work is accomplished through one of the other affiliates in the Alternatives Group. Each of the five corporations in the Group shares a common mission. Each is chartered separately and has an independent Board.

Alternatives Federal Credit Union is a member owned, community development financial institution. Established in 1979, Alternatives is a non-profit 501(c)(1) cooperative (run by a member-elected volunteer board) offering a full range of traditional credit union services: deposits, transactions and loans. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration Share Insurance Fund. The Credit Union provides management services to the Alternatives Group.

Alternatives Impact, as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation, accepts donations for the Alternatives Group. It is through generous donations that many of our mission-focused programs are able to operate: Business CENTS, Individual Development Accounts, Free Tax Preparation, and the Student Credit Unions. 

Alternatives Fund was the sponsor of Alternatives Federal Credit Union, established in 1970 as a trade association of community groups, cooperatives, worker-owned businesses and individuals. The Alternatives Fund provides a field of membership for the Credit Union.

Tompkins County Friends of Alternatives, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2002 to provide opportunities to invest secondary capital in Alternatives Federal Credit Union. Supporters of Alternatives pool their funds in uninsured long-term investments.

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The Credit Path

As Alternatives Credit Union has grown and changed, our use of the Credit Path model of financial empowerment has changed as well. Originally developed by Bill Myers as a way of understanding our members' financial situations and incorporating that into our business planning, the Credit Path describes where people are situated at various points along a continuum between poverty and self-sufficiency. Our job, as a community development financial institution, is to help our members move along that continuum by empowering them to make decisions, and offering opportunities, that will move them towards financial self-sufficiency. more»


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