Skip to main content

Online Banking

Forgot User ID or Password?

Enroll in Online Banking

Routing Number: 291274085

We will never ask for your login information, do not give it out to anyone.

Women’s History Month

Women in Credit Unions

March is Women’s History Month, and March 8th is recognized as International Women’s Day. At NorthRidge, we are proud to recognize the roles that women have played in history, and specifically, in the history of the credit union movement. We are also proud to recognize the women that still shape credit unions today. Afterall, our NorthRidge team is almost 90% women! Take a look at our Meet the Team page.

This week, we are going to highlight and honor some of these amazing women. 

Let’s rewind briefly: The credit union movement is about inclusion and financial wellness for all. The credit union philosophy is “People Helping People,” a phrase credited to the Mother of Credit Unions.

The Mother of Credit Unions

Louise McCarren Herring was an Ohio native who graduated from University of Cincinnati with a business degree. After graduation, she went to work for the corporate office of the still well-known grocery chain, Kroger. While there, Louise started noticing the effects of debt. This was in the early 1930’s, so desperation and despair were growing increasingly rampant. 

Louise grew outraged at a local organization called “The Bucket Shop.” It was a loan operation that charged insanely high interest rates to desperate people that ran out of other options. Thus, inevitably trapping them in a cycle of debt from which they could not emerge (a similar type of operation still exists today, commonly known as payday lenders).

Then, Louise learned about new financial institutions that were slowly growing on the east coast, known as credit unions. People pooled their resources together and loaned money to each other… at much lower interest rates than The Bucket Shop.

Still fresh out of college, Louise led the development of 13 credit unions to serve Kroger employees. Credit unions at that time were typically much smaller operations ran by volunteers.

The Movement

Credit unions began to spread across the United States. Leaders of this early credit union movement decided they needed to create a nationwide support association. So, they called a conference in Estes Park, Colorado in August 1934 to establish such an organization. Credit union organizations were asked to send a representative to the meeting and the Kroger Company sent Louise Herring, age 23 and the youngest to attend.

This Estes Park conference birthed the Credit Union National Association, or CUNA (which has just undergone a name change to America’s Credit Unions as of 2024), a trade association for all credit unions in the United States of America. Louise Herring was the first female board member for CUNA and utilized that position to launch the Ohio Credit Union League. She went on to help charter over 500 credit unions in her career. She was a key leader in the credit union movement, and a firm believer of the equality of access to affordable banking services for all people from all walks of life.

Louise Herring and quote: "Be ashamed to die until you have won a victory for humanity."

Credit unions across the country still honor and celebrate the impact and importance of Louise Herring’s work in the movement. America’s Credit Unions (formerly CUNA) annually awards the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action. This award recognizes certain credit unions that “demonstrate the exceptional effort to integrate credit union philosophy (not for profit, but for service) into their daily operations and recognize their commitment to superior service to their member owners.” NorthRidge Community Credit Union has won this award twice in the Minnesota capacity and received an honorable mention nationwide in 2022. We are honored to live out what Louise Herring, incredible woman and credit union pioneer, started.