Alternatives is committed to small businesses. We want your business to succeed, and we are looking for long-term lending and deposit relationships. We ask for comprehensive information for the application and have provided a list of requested items below. The information is needed to enable us to make a responsible loan decision. While this can be time-consuming, our experience shows that careful financial planning is a significant factor in the success of a business.   

Please note: Alternatives is a regional credit union. We offer business loans to businesses located in Ithaca, Tompkins County, and the surrounding counties of Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga, Cortland, Cayuga, and Seneca.

What you will need to apply for a Business Loan at Alternatives:

  • Loan application form
  • Personal financial statement
  • Business plan (including all necessary financial statements)
  • For existing businesses, three years of financial statements and tax returns

Support for idea development and compiling these important documents are available through our Business CENTS® Program.

What we look for in a business loan applicant:

Steady income sufficient to repay the loan and other obligations.

  • A good credit history.
  • Sufficient collateral that is readily identifiable, with a wide market of resale.
  • Financials in line with or exceeding peers.
  • Owner equity in the business. 

Often, a business cannot provide the level of information we request. In that case, we will review the loan with the information presented. If the information provided is not sufficient to grant the loan, we reserve the right to require additional information. The loan may be considered for approval on the basis of the owner(s) personal credit.  

To provide a complete application, please enclose the following items:

  1. Three years financial statements and tax returns, as well as current (to within three months) financial statement (including income statements, balance sheets, and supporting schedules). Statements must follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
  2. A Personal Financial Statement from each principal of the business.
  3. A description of any collateral offered or purchase receipts or price quotes for new equipment.
  4. Pro-forma projections month by month basis for two years or the length of the loan, whichever is less.
  5. Business plan detailing the structure of the business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and ownership), a description of the product or service offered, the marketing strategy, an evaluation of the competition, a listing of trade references, and the names of the business principals.
  6. If the business is a corporation or partnership, include a copy of the certificate of incorporation or partnership papers, and a resolution from the Board of Directors or partners authorizing the loan request and designating who will sign loan papers.
  7. Personal guarantee(s) of the owner(s) of the business are required for each business loan. The requirement may be waived, for non-profit businesses only, at the discretion of the Credit Union. A personal guarantee demonstrates the signer's commitment to seeing the business succeed and means that the principals are personally responsible for the loan payments. This guarantee is requested by other financial institutions as well and is a legal requirement for credit unions.

The credit union can provide resource materials for business planning and analysis, and we run a series of business seminars. For members with credit needs beyond our limits and terms, we may be able to work with the Small Business Administration (SBA) or can aid in placing loans with larger institutions.

Do you have any questions?