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Need a financial hand? Reach for ours. 

We may not be able to answer every question you have about our uncertain future, but we can certainly share our financial knowledge right now (the time that matters most). We are here. We are listening and responding - minute by minute and hour by hour.

You’ve got immediate needs. We’ve got answers. 

You don’t have to be a member. Just give us a call or a click. Everyone is welcome. We believe in people helping people and know that local solutions require local teamwork. We are all in this together.


The AFCU Community Assistance Loan Fund 

…to help you fill the gaps due to lost or reduced income and increased expenses at this time.

We’re offering a 0% loan (yep, there’s really no interest!) to bring some much-needed stability to your life as you face unexpected expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We expect demand to be great, due to the suffering caused by COVID-19. We may not be able to accommodate all requests. We may close the program quickly, due to funds being allocated rapidly. Therefore, we advise applicants to apply as soon as the application window(s) open.

Alternatives Federal Credit Union is an Equal Credit Opportunity lender and encourages applications by women, people of color, and WBE and MWBE business enterprises, among others.

A special thank you to the Community Foundation of Tompkins County and our other community partners for making the AFCU Community Assistance Loan Fund possible

Personal loans

  • Loans for up to $3,000 per person to cover costs or lost funds associated with COVID-19
  • Members and non-members are encouraged to apply

How to apply

We’re pairing this financial assistance with compassionate, guiding knowledge from our Financial Counselors and Lending Officers.

Our staff will work collaboratively to help you explore all your options, including other funds and programs at AFCU and elsewhere - to get the maximum assistance you may need.

Business, non-profit, and organizations loans

  • Loans for up to $8,000 per business, non-profit, or organization to cover costs or lost funds associated with COVID-19
  • Members and non-members are encouraged to apply

How to apply

For questions about business qualifications, applications, and more, please contact:
Kathleen Clark, Director of Business Development at [email protected]

We’re pairing this financial assistance with compassionate, guiding knowledge from our Business Counselors and Lending Officers.

Our staff will work collaboratively to help you explore all your options, including other funds and programs at AFCU and elsewhere - to get the maximum assistance you may need.


Personal & Family Resources

Loan Payment and our Solutions Team

At Alternatives, we are your partner along life’s financial road - before, during, and after this collective crisis. We’re good at finding opportunity where folks thought none existed. Whatever burdens you, whatever financial situation you find yourself in, let us help find a solution! Our Solutions Team is on standby ready to discuss your particular situation and walk-through the available options as you navigate the unknown. 

If you’ve lost your job, are facing reduced income or increased expenses and are having trouble financially, we can understand. You are not alone. Connection is key, so reach out now. 

Contact Kaelee Rydzik, Solutions Officer
Phone: (607) 216-3450
Email: [email protected]

Free Tax Preparation Program

It’s your money. Why not keep it? Our Free Tax Preparation Program is extended to July 15, 2020. Due to many logistical hurdles, we’ll be working on a limited number of returns, particularly for low-income families relying on a significant refund. Unfortunately, we must be concerned about potential identity theft and so can only complete drop-off returns for tax clients for whom we prepared a 2018 tax return or who are current members of the credit union. 

Click to learn more.

Financial Counseling to Explore & Navigate Your Options

Feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or unsure of your financial options at this time? Don’t know how you’re going to make it through the next week, let alone month? Our dedicated Financial Counselors are excellent listeners. Talking through problems, looking for solutions, and connecting you with resources you need is what our counselors have always done - and it’s needed now more than ever. Scheduling a 1:1 conversation over the phone or Zoom could be the best step you take today.

Contact our Financial Counselors
Email: [email protected] 


Business, Non-profit, and Organizations Resources

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) 

Alternatives values our relationships with local businesses, especially when the going gets tough. We are a participating lender in the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This program is part of the CARES Act which is designed to assist businesses retain their employees and keep money flowing through the local economy. 

Learn more here.

For information on the SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness Application, please click here.

Please note: The second round of PPP funding has come through as of April 27, and we are again accepting applications. This program has a high application rate, and both AFCU and SBA staff are continuously working with small businesses to process their applications. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all navigate this new territory!

COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund

The new collaborative Tompkins County/City of Ithaca Small Business Resilience Fund program has stopped accepting applications at this time due to volume of applications received. We will alert you if the program opens back up.

Special thanks to all of our Partners for making this happen: Tompkins County Development Corporation (TCDC), Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency (IURA), Cornell University, City of Ithaca, Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD), The Tompkins Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA), and the Tompkins County Workforce Investment Board (TCWIB).

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

Small Business Administration loans are available to small businesses and private nonprofits to help alleviate economic injury caused by COVID-19. The interest rate is 3.75% with a maximum term of 30 years, with exact terms determined on a case-by-case basis. No payments are due for the first 12 months. Applications go directly to the SBA.

Learn more here.

Business Counseling to Explore & Navigate Your Options

Many of you have had to close your business or reduce your operations dramatically due to COVID-19. We have a team of professionals in place to help you figure out how to make sense of a world that is changing every day. Our Business Services Team has been offering free 1:1 support through video chat and over the phone for years. We have a range of resources including technical assistance, legal help, networking & support circles, and personalized business guidance. Your business problems are our problems too. 

Sign up for an appointment here.


We're here with you. We value every relationship and understand that each financial situation is unique.

Now, more than ever, we’re asking you to reach out to us - to explore the options available to you or your business.

Low- and middle-income families will struggle with the cost of staying safe and healthy through this global crisis. Entrepreneurs and small business owners will need flexible financial assistance from folks who know them. Alternatives Federal Credit Union will continue to be a strong partner to families and businesses alike by remaining committed to practical solutions delivered with respect and understanding.

Click here to make a donation to Alternatives Impact so we can keep providing the hands-on financial support that these hands-off times require.

New Hours

Our lobby is closed but our Drive-thru and Walk-up teller station are ready to serve you Monday to Friday from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm and 2:00 - 6:00 pm. We close daily from 1:00 - 2:00 pm to conduct extensive sanitation protocols and decrease employee contact. This protects us all.

Want to join the movement for economic equality? Start here.

Alternatives Federal Credit Union is a nonprofit economic development organization that’s been doing good work in our community since 1979. We’re a cooperatively-owned Community Development Credit Union (a true designation of distinction, even among credit unions!). We focus on education, advocacy, and equal access, particularly ensuring that communities who have been marginalized out of access at mainstream financial institutions are welcome. We have experts on staff who can provide front-line guidance to individuals and businesses through our financial counseling and business technical assistance and education programs. And, of course, we offer everything else you’d like to expect from a bank - savings & checking accounts, notary services, fair & transparent loans, mobile banking and more. 

Take the first step. Become a member today.

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