Women of the Credit Union

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     This month we are taking a different direction for Women’s History Month. The names Dora Maxwell and Louise McCarren Herring may not ring a bell with you, but they are two very important women in Credit Union History. 

     Let’s start off with learning more about Dora Maxwell. Dora started her credit union pioneering in New York state. In 1932 she was appointed head of the CUNEB branch in New York, New York. Two years later in 1934 she was a delegate to the 1934 Estes Park conference which established the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Over the next several years she represented and promoted CUNA Mutual Insurance and represented CUNA in the eastern part of the country. She was the go-to connection for groups wanting to start a credit union and helped direct them to their corresponding state credit union leagues. In 1946 she was the director of the Organization & Education Department. Because of her accomplishments during her career, she is the namesake for the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award that CUNA presents each year to credit unions for social responsibility projects in their communities. 

     Louise McCarren Herring was another influential woman in credit union history, she is even referred to as the “Mother of Credit Unions”. Louise was an attendee at the Estes Park Meeting that started CUNA along with Dora Maxwell. Louise was committed to the credit union movement and helped establish five hundred credit unions. She also helped establish the private National Deposit Guaranty Corporation, now known as American Share Insurance.  Louise also co-founded the Ohio Credit Union league and managed the KEMBA Credit Union in Cincinnati. She was later inducted into the National Cooperative Business Association’s Cooperative Hall of Fame in 1983. CUNA rewards each year the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action. Which is awarded to credit unions that commit to the “not for profit but for service” philosophy. 

     There are many other important women to the credit union history, but these two helped lay the groundwork for the credit union system still standing today. All of this was done in an era that did not receive successful women with the most respect. Many of their early accomplishments were done only a few years after women were granted the simple right to vote in the USA. Credit Unions continue to lead women’s equality. According to a CUNA study in 2018, more than half of credit unions CEOs are female, which is significantly more than traditional banking CEOs. This month NorthRidge wants to thank all our wonderful women who help make the credit union great! 

Tax Refund Potential

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With tax season upon us, many will be seeing tax refunds crediting our NorthRidge Community
Credit Union accounts. What are some ways that you can better utilize your tax refund? We will dig into
some options that could help you improve your financial life in the year 2020!

    • Getting caught up on old bills. If you have any bills that tend to be close to the due date, or
      maybe are behind. Use your tax refund to get caught up on your bills to avoid late marks on
      your credit or bills going to collections.
    • Adding to your emergency savings. Ideally you should have 3-6 months’ worth of necessary
      expenses in an emergency fund. Being able to set aside even part of your tax refund can help
      you avoid using credit cards or taking out other loans to offset any unexpected expenses that
      could arise in the next year.
    • Paying down high interest debt. Using your tax refund to pay down your high interest debts
      can save you even more money in the long run. If you have a credit card with a high interest
      rate, and are only making minimum payments, making a larger payment can save you
      thousands in interest costs and save you years of payments.
    • Go on vacation. It may not sound like the best financial choice, but if all your bills are current
      and you have money saved for unexpected emergencies, treat yourself to a vacation. Research
      done by the San Francisco State University suggests that people spending money on
      experiences are happier than those that use their money for luxury items they don’t really
      need.

These are just a few examples of how to use your tax refund to better your personal and financial
lives. One thing to remember is always pay attention to your tax deductions. If you are getting a larger
tax refund each year, it means you may be withholding more each paycheck then is needed. However,
you do not want to withhold too little and owe money for taxes. As always, your friends at NRCCU are all
Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors and are willing to sit down and help you budget and grow
your savings!

New Year, New Savings

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The New Year is always a great starting point to change our habits for the upcoming year. How can little changes to savings add up though? Let’s look at some simple options that can start your savings off in the right direction.

  • Saving Change – That small amount of change on your paycheck is a great way to start building your savings. If you took $0.79 from each paycheck that would be $20.54 a year just from small amounts of change.
  • Cut Down on Specialty Coffee – If you get a specialty coffee 3 times a week, that is potentially $780 a year spent on coffee. Cutting down to 2 times a week could save you $260 a year!
  • Lessen eating out – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends at least $3,000 a year on eating out alone! If you spend $10 on lunch every day of the week, it doesn’t seem like much, but that adds up to $70 a week and $2,600 a year. If you prepare your own lunch for $5 each day you can save over $1,300 a year.

There are many ways to work towards a savings goal each month! The goal is finding what works for you, and your budget. Every little bit saved does add up more than you think. If money for Christmas was more tight than you wanted, maybe adding a Christmas Club account would be perfect for you. Please speak with any of our financial experts for ways to start building your savings today!

Safer Holiday Shopping

Safer Shopping Tips 101

The holiday season is in full swing, how can you shop smarter and safer when debit card fraud can happen anywhere and at any time? Your friends at NorthRidge Community Credit Union want to help give you some tips and tricks that you can use to better protect yourself.

  • When shopping always use the chip reader for your payment. When swiping your debit card, the merchant stores that information. That information can be used to steal your debit card information. But, using your debit card’s chip will scramble your debit card information, this way the store doesn’t have all your information on file.
  • When given the option always process your debit card as a credit purchase to avoid entering your pin when paying for purchases. This way if someone was able to see your card numbers, they cannot use your at an ATM.
  • Check your account regularly. Use your NorthRidge Community Credit Union online banking to better track your account. The sooner you catch fraudulent activity, the less account damage they can do.
  • Be careful of scam emails. If a stores system is hacked, those that stole information may try emailing customers to get more information from them. When you receive emails that seem suspicious do not open any links or respond to the email. Find and use the official phone number for the business and confirm if the communication is real or fraudulent.

Do not be fearful though, if something happens, you are protected. Anytime you notice activity on your account that seems out of the ordinary or you just have a question about how to stay secure, contact us and we will help keep you safe and protected this holiday season.

Gratitude with Your Finances?

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November has been declared National Gratitude Month, but how can that tie into your finances? At NorthRidge Community Credit Union, we want to challenge you this month to find gratefulness in different aspects of your financial life. We could always tease, that you should be grateful that you have a credit union that helps look out for your financial future. We offer you lower interest rates and localized service just for starters.

But we think you should be most grateful that you see the benefit of having an outstanding banking service. US News reported in 2018 that over 14 million Americans do not have a primary bank account. This limits their ability to cash checks, obtain a debit card, and even keep their money in a safe location.

Often, we are looking at the big things in life for feelings of gratitude. You may get discouraged that your savings is not where you want it to be, your loan payment may be a day late, or your checking account gets down to the last penny. All these things can be overwhelming but let us start with the first step, you already have an account! That is a big step in the right direction towards financial success.

Let us use the month of November to grow your gratitude with your finances. Start this month with a new challenge for yourself. Here are a couple of tips:

  1. If you are discouraged about your savings account, plan to set aside $5-$20 from each paycheck this month. For a typical biweekly paycheck, you could save $10-$40 this month!
  2. If your account gets to low each month, think about those extra entertainment or fun expenses that maybe you can pass on this month.
  3. If your loan payment is always tough to come up with, try breaking it into two smaller payments spread out across the month.

Finally, remember we are grateful for you to be a member of our community and we here to help you find more in your finances to be grateful about. Let us grow our gratitude together!

Is Your Mobile Phone Safer Than Your Computer?

Image of hooded person masked behind binary code with red question mark obscuring his/her face, they are standing next to a smart phone.

With more and more of us utilizing our mobile phones more often than our computers, the question becomes, which is safer? The answer however is not black and white. Our phones are typically safer, but that also depends on how you use it. Did you know your phone could be attacked with malware and hacked into? One of the biggest differences between mobile and PC security, is that once your computer is hacked into, it is harder to remove the hacker’s software. They can keep stealing your information even after you remove the program that allowed them access. On your mobile device however, once you remove the hacker’s software, they can no longer access your device. Keep in mind though, they still have the information they stole from you. Here are a few tips to be safer on your mobile device:

  • Make sure your phone is password protected. It does get old having to unlock your phone every time you want to use it, but keeping your phone password protected can help protect your information. If you ever accidently leave your phone somewhere, it prevents someone from gaining access to the items on your phone.
  • Only download apps and content from trusted sources. Google Play Store on Android and App Store on iPhone have security measures in place to help protect malicious apps from being downloadable on your phone. However, if you download from other app stores, they may have hacker software on them.
  • Be careful using public WIFI options. If a WIFI hotspot is asking for multiple permissions on your phone before giving you access to the WIFI, this may be a sign the network is not safe to use. Giving access on your mobile device allows hackers to steal your information. Also, try to limit airdrop and file sharing over the WIFI network.
  • Always update your phone to the newest operating software. Most new updates include increases to security, which better protects your personal information on your mobile device. Also updating apps on your phone, can protect you from malicious hacks.
  • Do not jailbreak your device. Many people like jailbreaking their device so they have more control over personalizing their phones. This makes your phone more open for hackers to get in and find your personal data. Phone makers have security in mind, changing settings puts you at higher risk.

These are just a few tips that can help protect you on your mobile device. No matter how careful you are, hackers will always be trying to gain your personal information. Keep your passwords unique and do not repeat the same password for different accounts. Your personal information is worth protecting.

Annual Meeting BBQ

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Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Time: 3:45pm – 6:30pm
Location: Virginia Office, 921 17th Street South, Virginia, MN 55792

NorthRidge is so excited for this year’s annual meeting- Our Better Together BBQ! We welcome all families for delicious food, family fun games and events, drawings and more.

3:45pm: Registration Starts
4:00pm – 6:15pm: Events
5:00pm – 6:00pm: Food Served
5:30pm – 6:00pm: Business Meeting
6:00pm – 6:30pm: Drawings in Office and on Facebook for Prizes


Chain of Hearts

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Northridge Community Credit Union kicks off this years Chain of Hearts fundraiser January 16th, 2018. This fundraiser benefits Minnesota and western Wisconsin’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Gillette not only treats kids with disabilities and complex medical conditions in all Minnesota counties, but also treats kids from 40 of the 50 states and 12 countries.

The mission is to help patients and their families improve health, achieve greater wellbeing and enjoy life. This encompasses the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’. This years’ money goes towards Minnesota and Western Wisconsin Children.

Credit Unions for Kids is a collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues, and business partners engaged in fundraising activities to benefit Children’s Miracle Network affiliated hospitals. All money raised through Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids program supports Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, helping kids with disabilities and chronic conditions. Gillette is based in St. Paul, with clinics located in Minnetonka, New Brighton and Duluth.

Project Elf

Project Elf

Project Elf is a program at Mesabi East where a group of high school students raise money through donations to help less fortunate families within our school district have a brighter holiday season. With the funds raised, the students hope for items on a list of “needs” and “wants” for each child provided by the parents. The program facilitator takes a small group of students to shop for the families. The students are given a budget and purchase the needs of the children first and then with the remaining funds they will get some of the wants on the list. The students do an amazing job of working with the budget they are given and making the decisions that will allow the budget to stretch, giving the children as much as possible. The value of this program is really two fold. We are able to help many of our students receive basic needs that they may have a Christmas time and it also teaches those who volunteer the importance of becoming involved in their community.

Project Elf is funded strictly through the generosity of various companies, civic organizations, church groups, and individuals in our communities in the form of monetary donations, gift items, food and other items needed. There is no overhead cost for this program and every donation received goes to the children. Project Elf has been successful by seeing the same students wanting to volunteer each year as well as many new students who want to get involved. Also, we have many who are repeat donors who give generously each year and continue to support this program to ensure its success. The greatest moment is when we have a past recipient become a donor to the program. There is no greater gift than to see it come full circle for some people!

Together, East Range Rotary and NorthRidge are matching every $1 up to $1000!! Donations are accepted at any NorthRidge location until December 15th!