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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Rima Shamieh

My IDA [Individual Development Account] experience was just incredible. I saved a few bucks every week and after a year, I had a savings account with $3,000 in it! And I'm glad that the MoneyWise class was required, because it really helped me develop a healthier relationship with money. So many of the skills I learned in class seemed so obvious, but I never thought/knew how to do them until we went over them in class. For example, tracking my spending made a HUGE difference in how I now spend money. Also, the exercises in the beginning when we explored our relationships with money - I discovered I'm a carefree, spirited, impulsive spender. It helps to put a name on things.

After accruing thousands of dollars in debt from student loans from when I was an undergraduate, I was determined to do all I could to stay out of debt for when I continued my education. The IDA really helped. I feel so much better prepared to build equity and save for my future. Thanks, Alternatives!


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