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

Personal loans

Opportunity Lending® makes credit available to as many members as possible, over a wide range of credit standings, at excellent rates.  

Alternatives FCU offers loans at competitive rates to members who already have a good credit history. We also work to help members develop good credit records. As members handle small loans successfully, they can build up to larger amounts and better rates. 

Responsible borrowing gives people a way to move towards financial self sufficiency. Borrowing, when used responsibly, can be a positive strategy towards greater wealth.

Notice to out of area applicants
Alternatives Federal Credit Union is a Regional Credit Union. We offer a full range of banking services to anyone who lives in Ithaca, Tompkins County and the adjacent counties of Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Seneca, Schuyler and Tioga. For anyone living outside this area, we offer savings accounts and certificates. Some loan services are available after two years membership.

Avoid predatory payday loan products

Payday Credit Plan
This loan product, designed to meet immediate cash needs in emergency situations, is structured like a Line of Credit and carries a $40 annual fee and an 18% APR. Five percent of every loan is deposited into a savings account for the borrower to build funds for future emergency financial needs. Payday Credit Plans must be paid off with your next paycheck deposit or benefit check/deposit, but can be renewed with no additional fee. 

Requirements for Payday Credit Plan:

  • Must be an active Alternatives FCU member for six months
  • Employment or Benefit direct deposit must be already established, and automatic transfer is required for payment 
  • Same employment or benefits established for last six months  

Secured loans

New auto loan
When you go to your auto dealer for a car and your Credit Union for a loan you may be able to get a better deal on the car. Dealers charge more for the car to cover their discounted financing package. You can also borrow at low secured rates to refinance current year models or previous year models with less than 18,000 miles or you can purchase a recreational vehicle, boat or motorcycle.

Used auto loan
Excellent rates are available for our members who want to buy or refinance a used auto up to eight model years old. If you are interested in purchasing a used recreational vehicle, boat or motorcycle, this loan will meet your needs.

Older used auto loan 
Excellent rates are available for our members who want to purchase or refinance used vehicles up to 11 model years old. 

Share secured loans
If you need to establish credit, want to meet a need without depleting your savings or want to borrow money without the need for a co-signer, consider a Share Secured Loan. The loan is secured by a Share Certificate that earns interest while securing the loan. It's a cost-effective way to borrow from yourself since the interest rate is only 2% greater than the rate being paid on the Certificate.

For three easy ways to apply for an auto loan, see bottom of page. 

Unsecured personal loans

Signature loan
Members borrow for a large variety of reasons: home appliances, small home repairs or home improvements, vacations, medical needs, computers...the possibilities are endless. Our loan officers will work with you to establish an affordable repayment term.

Debt Consolidation loan
This loan comes to the rescue when debt becomes a problem. Funds are used specifically to pay existing debt and help members get onto our Credit Path® toward financial security.

Back on Track loan
This loan is for when unforeseen expenses such as auto repairs, medical or dental expenses, house repairs and veterinarian bills come your way.

Credit Builder loan
This loan is for members who find themselves without a credit history. The Credit Builder loan provides credit to low income and first time borrowers and helps establish credit by using alternative credit verifications.

Line of Credit/Overdraft protection
Apply for a Line of Credit today, and have funds available when you need it. Interest doesn't begin until the funds are used and the Line of Credit does double duty as overdraft protection. Should your checking (share draft) account overdraw, the Line of Credit advance covers overdrafts. The Line of Credit is rainy day and overdraft insurance.

Alternatives VISA debit card
The debit card provides ATM access and allows for purchases wherever VISA cards are accepted. Funds for purchases are withdrawn directly from your checking account, allowing for all the convenience and benefits of a credit card without the monthly payment. Many members combine this card with a Line of Credit for added convenience and protection.

Opportunity Lending uses credit bureau scores to determine loan rates for secured and unsecured loans.

  • For those with a perfect credit history and ability to repay, our rates are some of the lowest in town.
  • No credit history? We can work with you to establish credit.
  • Some problems in the past? Please see us instead of finance companies. 

    Three easy ways to apply
  1. Check our personal loan rates
  2. Call our Anytime LoanPhone 24/7 at (866)529-8722
  3. Apply online
  4. Stop in and get a loan application at our front desk, or make an appointment with loan officers Phil Shay or Rubi Noe.

"Alternatives gives community members a chance. I think the name says it all. You gave me a loan opportunity. I feel a sense of accomplishment. My next goal is a house!" - Borrower

For more information contact

(607) 273-4611 Ext. 721
Toll free: (877) 273-AFCU Ext. 721

Online Access

eStatements Prior to Dec. 2012 »

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Your gift to Alternatives Impact helps our community!

Chris Setlock

In the spring of 2014, we learned that our minivan needed repairs in excess of it's value. We'd already been cutting back on our auto use, and were trying to walk and bike more. We'd been talking with friends and reading about cargo bikes as a car alternative. Around the same time, a new business, "Boxy Bikes" opened in Ithaca, which specializes in electric and cargo bikes. We found a model we were interested in, and approached alternatives seeking financing. Alternatives set us up with a signature loan, and a "green loan" discount on our rate. Thanks to Alternatives, we are now the happy owners of a "Yuba Mundo" Electric Cargo bike. We can get anywhere we need to go, using no gas, and creating no emissions. I can carry two passengers, or a weeks worth of groceries. The loan will be paid off in two years, and the bike could last for many more, at a fraction of the cost of an automobile.

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