John McCauley, CEO of Virginia Commercial Finance and Hippo Lending, was interviewed by host Adam Torres on the Mission Matters Business Podcast.
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In this insightful interview, John McCauley talks about how Hippo Lending has simplified and streamlined the lending process for healthcare professionals.
What mission matters to you, and how did you get started in lending?
Hippo Lending’s mission is to fulfill the hopes, needs, and dreams of healthcare professionals—people McCauley refers to as heroes. The goal, he says, is twofold: to provide debt consolidation to people working in the medical industry, and to help them take advantage of profit making opportunities through eight different loan purposes.
After college, McCauley started his career in public accounting earning a CPA license before moving on and working at a bank as an asset-based lender. A decade later, an entrepreneurial family with capital approached him about their lending company, requesting that he lead it from the ground up. Today, he’s the CEO of both Virginia Commercial Finance and Hippo Lending.
The need for lending services for medical professionals
It’s incredibly common for medical students to emerge from medical schools with a huge amount of debt, McCauley says, after investing in themselves and spending years earning their medical degree. Most accrue debt in ways that can very quickly lead to poor cash flow, making it difficult to manage basic household finances once they’re out of school, even though they’ve embarked on what’s likely to become a lucrative career in the long run. Such circumstances, he explains, call for a lender who’s familiar with the landscape and can help them navigate it wisely.
“They need to find a lender (who) can understand where they are and what their season of life is,” he says. “That’s where Hippo Lending comes in.”
“We do a tremendous amount of debt consolidation, which is designed to improve cash flow into the household,” he continues. What’s more, Hippo’s other lending products allows medical professionals to make business investments, creating ancillary income. Additionally, our products also provide lending for partner buy-ins, equipment purchases, working capital and such. Pretty much every conceivable lending need for any healthcare provider is offered by Hippo Lending.
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Tell us more about your services and how the lending process works.
Several years ago, Hippo Lending pivoted toward working specifically with medical professionals. Today, McCauley says, “We are a national lending company specializing in lending to health care professionals and trying to meet the different needs people have when borrowing money.” He notes that Hippo Lending’s goals include helping customers meet financial obligations, expand their businesses, invest wisely, purchase equipment, and raise working capital as needed.
Hippo Lending uses technology to keep the process as efficient as possible, but there’s also an element of human-to-human interaction. Applications are submitted through the website by answering just a handful of questions; the application is entered into a database, and the applicant is immediately assigned a customer service advocate for the entirety of the lending process. This kicks off a series of calls, the advocate ascertains the customer’s needs and determines what kind of financing is desired, subsequent calls work through the nuts and bolts of a plan tailored specifically to meet the customer’s needs, the loan closes, resulting in a funded loan for the customer.
Virginia Commercial Finance, Hippo Lending’s parent company, is a standalone asset-based lender. McCauley says it provides credit accommodations from one million to 15 million dollars to companies doing up to $300 million a year in sales.
What it’s like to work with Hippo Lending
McCauley says Hippo Lending makes a point of lowering the intimidation factor that often comes with the process of borrowing; just having real conversations with real people, he says, is key to working with medical professionals whose careers are important and expensive to enter. Understanding their needs and respecting their potential, he explains, is part of what makes Hippo Lending’s value proposition unique.
The company, he points out, is inspired by its cultural acronym , “PUSH IT,” with each letter standing for an element of its values: P stands for Passion, as Hippo Lending is passionate about helping healthcare professionals. U stands for Unity, reiterating the team’s belief that solid teamwork brings about the best results. S stands for Servanthood, reflecting the team’s view of customers as members rather than borrowers, he says H stands for Humility,. Rounding out the initials I stands for Integrity, and T represents Thankfulness.
What’s next for Hippo Lending?
As the company is currently in a growth phase, McCauley says it is continuing to execute and scale. The team is also looking to bring on new talent as it expands.
To learn more, visit www.hippolending.com/careers