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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Rima Shamieh

My IDA [Individual Development Account] experience was just incredible. I saved a few bucks every week and after a year, I had a savings account with $3,000 in it! And I'm glad that the MoneyWise class was required, because it really helped me develop a healthier relationship with money. So many of the skills I learned in class seemed so obvious, but I never thought/knew how to do them until we went over them in class. For example, tracking my spending made a HUGE difference in how I now spend money. Also, the exercises in the beginning when we explored our relationships with money - I discovered I'm a carefree, spirited, impulsive spender. It helps to put a name on things.

After accruing thousands of dollars in debt from student loans from when I was an undergraduate, I was determined to do all I could to stay out of debt for when I continued my education. The IDA really helped. I feel so much better prepared to build equity and save for my future. Thanks, Alternatives!


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