“Your Money Stays Here at Your Local Community-Minded Credit Union”
Alternatives Federal Credit Union is an Ithaca-born Community Development Federal Credit Union founded in 1979 with a vision for “empathetic financing to lift people out of poverty.” Our Founder and first CEO Bill Myers, along with four friends chipped in $25 each to form our social justice-minded credit union.
From these humble beginnings, we led with a steadfast vision of providing low-cost services to small businesses, low-income households and non-profit organizations. We also launched the first living wage study when we discovered our own tellers (now called MEA’s) were unable to afford rent without first securing parental or other assistance. By launching this groundbreaking living wage study, we set the standard and shaped the narrative for why paying a living wage was a “moral imperative” for not just our credit union, but for all other area employers.
What makes us unique is our local-first community programs, initiatives, free credit counseling, free business coaching, and a variety of free financial literacy programs provided to those in elementary school students to elders. Because we’re a credit union, we invest your money back into the local communities that we serve. Through Alternatives Impact, our 501 c3 non-profit, we also raise money to help those families, businesses, and neighbors in need, particularly during COVID-19.
Currently led by our CEO Eric Levine, Esq., we serve over 11,000 members and have over $140 million in assets. We continue to hold fast to our values of ownership, innovation and collaboration. These values and the dedicated staff who champion them each day create a community-minded and engaged work culture. As an award-winning credit union, we hold dearly to our mission to find innovative ways to serve those most neglected by the mainstream financial industry. We also both empower and rely on our front-line staff to relay member and community needs, so we can innovate solutions to meet those needs through socially conscious investments, programs, and initiatives.
We also believe in giving back. In addition to donating to causes that match our values, our employees are avid volunteers – time that is paid for by the credit union. We look forward to continuing to serve our members and our community in even more compelling and vibrant ways into the future.
125 N Fulton St, Ithaca, NY 14850
To read stories published in The Ithaca Voice about Alternatives Federal Credit Union, click here.