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Our Mission

To help build and protect wealth for people with diverse identities who have been historically marginalized by the financial industry, especially those with low wealth or identifying as Black, indigenous, or people of color.

We are certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

CDFIs share a common goal of expanding economic opportunity in low-income communities by providing access to fair financial products and services for local residents and businesses.

Without access to basic financial services, affordable credit, and investment capital, a community cannot thrive. Yet, for low-income and marginalized communities, that access has been historically denied.

As a CDFI credit union serving Tompkins, Tioga, Cortland, Cayuga, Seneca, Schuyler, Steuben, and Chemung Counties we are proud to find  solutions for those left behind by the mainstream financial institutions.

As James Baldwin wrote, "anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor". Our work is to find ways to promote economic justice and remove some of the obstacles for building wealth in the communities we serve and care about.

We appreciate you joining us in this mission.

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.

Click here to read our digital brochure

Your rights under the Civil Rights Act


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Make a choice for a more economically just community.

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