125 North Fulton St. Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-4611
Toll Free: (877) 273-AFCU      Contact

Community Programs

More than a financial institution, Alternatives' mission is to build wealth and create economic opportunity. We do this by offering education and asset building programs.

Business CENTS (Community Enterprise Networking and Training Services) is our small business development program offering education, counseling and support services to micro-entrepreneurs.

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) An IDA is a special matched savings account designed to assist individuals with low to moderate income on their path toward asset ownership through matched savings and financial education. Participants in the IDA program may save toward the following asset goals: higher education, first home purchase and small business.

Money Wise is a seven week course that provides people with the tools to confront financial issues in their lives. Topics covered include: income and debt, expense tracking, setting and saving toward goals, practical economics, record keeping, insurance, predatory lending, establishing and repairing credit, conscientious consuming, and investment options.

Money Matters 
is a series of specialized workshops focusing on various financial topics.  

Free Tax Preparation Free tax preparation service for individuals and families with a modest income. Volunteers help tax filers receive their maximum available tax credit.

Student Credit Union Financial education and savings programfor school-aged children and youth in Tompkins County.

Community Partnership Lending (CPL) is a way to partner with non-profits to expand lending to their underserved clients.

Investment Opportunities for those interested in supporting Alternatives with market rate investments or to help even more, below market rate investments.

The Livable Wage Study shows how much money is needed to live in Tompkins County. The study provides a benchmark for local employers and employees.

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The Credit Path

As Alternatives Credit Union has grown and changed, our use of the Credit Path model of financial empowerment has changed as well. Originally developed by Bill Myers as a way of understanding our members' financial situations and incorporating that into our business planning, the Credit Path describes where people are situated at various points along a continuum between poverty and self-sufficiency. Our job, as a community development financial institution, is to help our members move along that continuum by empowering them to make decisions, and offering opportunities, that will move them towards financial self-sufficiency. more»


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