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

Student Credit Union

Since 1990, Alternatives' Student Credit Union (SCU) has provided financial education, financial services, and the opportunity for youth (under 19) to manage their own money.

Students have the opportunity to be trained as tellers and process transactions for other students.

Below are Alternatives Student Credit Union branch locations & times:

Lehman Alternative Community School
111 Chestnut St.

Wednesdays 12:30-1:00 p.m.

Beverly J. Martin Elementary School
302 W. Buffalo St.

Thursdays 8:00-8:15  a.m. 

Cayuga Heights Elementary School
110 E. Upland Rd.
Wednesdays 8:45-9:15 

Enfield Elementary School
20 Enfield Main Rd.
Tuesdays 7:45-8:15 

Fall Creek Elementary School
202 King St.

Wednesdays 7:45-8:00 a.m.

Belle Sherman Elementary School
501 Mitchell St.
Thursdays 7:45-8:00 

Caroline Elementary School
2439 Slaterville Rd., Slaterville Springs
Thursdays 7:40-8:00 

Northeast Elementary School
425 Winthrop Dr.
Wednesdays 7:40-8:00 a.m.

Northern Lights Student Credit Union
St. Paul's Methodist Church
402 N. Aurora St.
Mondays 2:25-2:45 p.m.

Ithaca High School (deposit only)
1401 North Cayuga St. (G104) 

South Hill Elementary School
520 Hudson Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
Wednesdays 7:40-8:00 a.m. in the cafeteria

Financial education begins with a savings habit. Our programs encourage students to make deposits every week no matter how small. We find that when students build their own savings they start to show interest in learning more about money.

“In a world where it is assumed that young people would rather rob a bank than work in one, Alternatives Credit Union is 'Alternative' in everything, especially in how they're willing to act toward teens."
- SCU Volunteer

In a study of college students, economics professor Angela Lyons of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found one striking similarity among those who had good financial skills: Nearly all said their parents had gotten them into the habit of saving as young children, suggesting saving is a behavior that comes from experience, not knowledge.

“I love saving every Wednesday because it is good to have money when you need it. I think that everyone should save because then they could have money for things they want or need.”
- elementary student, age 8

Student Credit Union benefits include:

  • A higher dividend rate than our regular savings accounts.
  • Checking accounts with no minimum balance and no monthly fees (A co-signer is necessary if the student is under 18).
  • An Alternatives Visa Debit Card is available if the student has a checking account.
  • An Alternatives ATIRAcredit card is available by application with a qualified co-signer.  Another way to build a positive credit history.
  • An Individual Development Account (IDA) is a matched savings plan for funding education (family must meet income requirements).

Accounts can be opened at any of our school branches or at Alternatives Credit Union. The membership fee is $2.00 and a $1.00 initial deposit is required. For students whose parent or guardian is already a member of Alternatives, membership is FREE.

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
- Benjamin Franklin

Save, and it will grow to this in…

Weekly Savings 3 Months

6 Months

9 Months 1 Year 5 Years 10 Years
$ 1 $13 $26 $39 $52 $260 $520
$ 3 $39 $78 $117 $156 $780 $1,560
$ 5 $65 $130 $195 $260 $1,300 $2,600
$10 $130 $260 $390 $520 $2,600 $5,200
$20 $260 $520 $780 $1,040 $5,200 $10,400

For more information, e-mail us!

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Your gift to Alternatives Impact helps our community!

Joe Nolan, Home Green Home

My family's credit union has been Alternatives since '96; We liked the mission, and who could resist banking in a converted house? In 2005 I started thinking about a retail start-up called "Home Green Home" that would sell healthy and eco-conscious home furnishings and renovation supplies. The Business CENTS class helped me to understand and develop the elements of a business plan, and set me on the path to taking the big leap.

At every stage, I've felt well supported by Alternatives' friendly staff. From one-on-one consultation to business banking and credit needs, I've received quick, helpful service at Alternatives. We always look to partner with organizations that share our values, and Alternatives fits the bill.

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