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

Fresh Start Accounts

Fresh Start Accounts

The Fresh Start Account is available for members who do not qualify for our regular account due to prior difficulties maintaining a positive account balance. We understand that there may be unforeseen circumstances causing financial hardship. In keeping with Alternatives mission to provide access to transactional services and serve the underserved, we think everyone deserves a second chance. This account offers a Fresh Start.

With a Fresh Start Account, rules governing your account are as follows:

  • Deposits will be subject to "exception" holds under our check hold policy for Fresh Start account holders.
  • If the Fresh Start account overdraws during the six month period, it may be closed immediately or the exception hold period may be extended.
  • The Alternatives VISA Debit Card is not available for a savings account, or for the first three months of a Fresh Start checking account. After three months of maintaining a problem-free checking account, you may apply for the Debit Card.
  • Only one Fresh Start Account per person. If the Fresh Start Account is closed due to overdrafts, you may not have another account with Alternatives Federal Credit Union.

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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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