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

Opportunity Lending


Alternatives makes credit available quickly, to as many members as possible, over a wide range of credit standings, at excellent rates.    

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, Schuyler, Seneca, and Tioga. For people living outside this area, we offer savings accounts and certificates. Some loan services are available after two years membership.

Secured auto loans are available to people who live in and register their vehicle in New York State counties north of Orange and Putnam counties. This excludes any vehicles for business use or vehicle loans through the Business Loan Department.

(Rates current as of January 23)

Secured Loans APR (Autos, boats, motorcycles, etc. 2010 and newer)
Loan maximum: $50,000

Credit score Up to 36 months Up to 48 months 60 months 72 months
740+ 2.99 3.74 3.99 4.24
680 - 739 3.49 4.24 4.49 4.74
640 - 679 4.49 5.24 5.49 5.74
600 - 639 6.99 7.74 7.99 8.24
550 - 599 9.99 10.24 10.49 10.74
549 or less 14.99 15.24 15.49 N/A

Older Secured Loans APR (Autos, boats, motorcycles, etc. years 2007, 2008, and 2009) Loan maximum: $25,000

Credit score Up to 36 months Up to 48 months
740+ 6.99 7.24
680 - 739 7.49 7.74
640 - 679 8.49 8.74
600 - 639 10.99 11.24
550 - 599 12.99 13.24
549 or less 17.99 18.00

  • 0.25% discount for direct deposit
  • 0.25% discount for automatic payment from a direct deposit or Alternatives account. 
  • Additional .25% discount for hybrids and cars with 30 MPG (HWY) or more
  • Loyal member discount 0.25% APR. Member must meet all three criteria:
  • Minimum one year membership
  • One or more previous loans with no payments more than 30 days late 
  • Active Alternatives VISA debit card (minimum six transactions per month for the previous three months)
  • Maximum discount 0.50%
  • 72-month loan terms are limited to loans of $20,000 or greater and up to four model years old.
  • Autos, boats and motorcycles must be registered in Upstate New York.

    Signature Loans APR (Personal, autos older than 2006, computers, short-term, etc.)
    Credit score 12 months 24 months 36 months 48-60 months
    740+ 7.99 9.50 9.75 10.25
    680 - 739 8.99 10.75
    640 - 679 12.50 12.75 13.00 13.50
    600 - 639 14.50 14.75 15.00 15.50
    550 - 599 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00
    549 or less 18.00 18.00 18.00 18.00
  • 0.25% discount for direct deposit
  • 0.25% discount for automatic payment from a direct deposit or Alternatives FCU account.
  • Liens may be placed on collateral, including vehicles older than 2003, but signature rates apply.
  • Debt consolidation loans over $20,000 and/or 24 month term may be subject to a 2.00% rate increase.
  • At 18% APR, no discounts are given.

    How Alternatives lending works
    One of the conundrums we face is how we can invest in our members while maintaining the financial stability of the Credit Union. We have looked for ways to safely extend credit to more members. We believe our new loan process will do that.

    Our loan approval procedure for personal and auto loans has something for everyone.

    • For those with a perfect credit history and ability to repay, our rates may be the best in town.
    • No credit history? We work with you to establish credit.
    • Credit problems in the past? See Alternatives FCU before you go the rental centers or finance company route. We now approve more loans.
  • Description Term APR
    Back on Track Loan
    For emergency needs. Documentation required. Maximum loan $4,000.00
    Up to 48 months 8.00%
    Credit Builder
    For first time borrowers. Maximum loan $1,000. Includes discounts for direct deposit and automatic payment.
    Up to 18 months 14.00-14.25%
    Energy efficiency/solar loan
    For energy efficiency improvements to your primary residence.
    Maximum loan $20,000.
    Up to 120 months 5.49-6.49%
    Line of Credit
    No annual fee. With or without Alternatives VISA Debit Card.
    Revolving 14.25%
    Share Secured Loan
    An equal amount to the amount borrowed is placed in a Share Certificate and loan rate is 2.00% above what the shares are earning.**
    Up to 60 months See**




















    Online Access

    eStatements Prior to Dec. 2012 »

    Loan Rates
    Deposit Rates

    Donate »

    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.

    Education »

    Discover how you can gain control of your finances...

    Alternatives Federal Credit Union ("Alternatives") provides a hyperlink to Google Translate´┐Ż for convenience only and without any responsibility for the accuracy of translations. Alternatives has no control over this unrelated, free and entirely computerized translation program. Computerized translations are only an attempted approximation of the website´┐Żs original content and thus Alternatives makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of any translations. Persons using translated information do so at their own risk.