Angela Hickmon had spent 10 years as a loan officer when she agreed to spend a day staffing a booth at a local fair. It was 2009 and she didn’t realize that day was about to change her life. Hickmon’s expertise was in credit, so she clipped a small sign to the company’s booth saying “We improve credit.” The sign was like a magnet. Nine out of ten people who stopped by the booth wanted to talk about their credit score and credit troubles. “It started the wheels turning that there’s a real need for this,” she says. From that day’s encounters, Magic Valley Credit Repair was born.
Angela came to the Twin Falls Idaho Small Business Development Center in 2011 looking for ideas about how to improve and expand the business. Angela is passionate about helping people repair their credit and in running a reputable business that complies with all laws and regulations.
Credit repair work typically involves getting errors removed from credit reports, negotiating with credit bureaus, making payment arrangements and educating people about how to build their credit score. Angela’s greatest reward is helping people re-establish hope as their credit improves. About 90 percent of the company’s clients are referred either by bank loan officers or by previous clients.
Angela wishes she had known about the SBDC before starting her business. That information would have saved months of time and trouble. Initially, she asked for help from SBDC consultant Judi Mellon to improve the business’ accounting system, to learn more about business taxes and to improve processes to ensure that all her clients receive consistently good service. She was also linked with a Boise State University class to help her write a human resource manual. She had already created an employee training manual.
With the SBDC’s help, Angela got her accounting records caught up, has established reliable financial records and continues to improve her understanding of financial reports. She established a budget and set sales goals (which she has exceeded each month). The business has added identity theft and pre and post-bankruptcy services and Angela has begun teaching credit classes. As business has increased, Magic Valley Credit Repair has added an employee and has moved to a larger, more visible location. The company passed their first audit by the Idaho Department of Finance with flying colors.
To view their website click here.