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Your Guide to AFCU

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What makes us Alternatives Federal Credit Union?

The biggest question at the Credit Union always seems to be, "What does Alternatives mean and why should I bank here?" Many bank with us 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.

About Community Development Credit Unions

Alternatives is a Regional Community Development Credit Union (CDCU). A CDCU is a credit union with a mission of serving low and moderate-income people and communities. CDCUs are committed to providing access to safe financial services and education for underserved people. Our Community Programs include Free Tax Preparation, Student Credit Union, Financial Wellness, and Business CENTS.

About your membership

Joining Alternatives Federal Credit Union is simple. A one-time $2 fee covers your Alternatives membership and enrolls you in the Alternatives Fund of Ithaca, Inc., the credit union's not-for-profit field of membership association. A required $5 deposit into your savings account will make you a shareholding owner-member of Alternatives Federal Credit Union. Members have the opportunity to elect their representatives or run for a position on our volunteer Board of Directors.

Alternatives is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The NCUA is a U.S. Government agency that insures deposits up to $250,000.

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