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

What makes us Alternatives?

The biggest question at the Credit Union always seems to be, "What does Alternatives mean and why should I bank here?" Many bank at Alternatives because of our community focus and social change philosophy, while others have chosen us simply for our services. Our social mission is integrated into our economic mission, so for whatever reason, joining Alternatives is making a choice towards a more economically just community.   

Alternatives Federal Credit Union is no ordinary financial institution. We are a Community Development Credit Union (CDCU), member-owned, locally controlled and self-supporting. Our purpose is to meet the financial needs of the members of our community. We believe that by controlling the flow of funds within a small community, the community can build itself to suit its own needs and be more self-reliant.  

We take pride in our services, policies and procedures because they contribute to a better society, a healthier community or a financially sound member. Some of our more innovative programs include: Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), Business CENTS (our small business development program), Student Credit Union, the Free Tax Preparation Program, lending for minority and women-owned businesses, affordable mortgages, and much more. 

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Belle Sherman Elementary School Students

On a Tuesday afternoon, students in the Cornell Cooperative Extension's directed SIFE (Students with Interrupted Formal Education) program at Belle Sherman Elementary can be found hard at work learning about money and getting hands-on banking experience depositing money into their Student Credit Union accounts at Alternatives. The students, all refugees from Burma, range in age from 2nd to 5th grade. more»


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