Merchant Cash Advance Alternatives[yoast-breadcrumb]
Merchant Cash Advance Alternatives: Other Ways to Get Financing for Your Small Business
Hey there! If you’re looking for some extra cash for your small business, you may have heard about merchant cash advances. These can get you money fast, but they often come with super high interest rates and fees. As your friends here at Delancey Street, we want to make sure you don’t get stuck with an expensive cash advance when better options are out there.In this article, we’ll go over some alternatives to merchant cash advances so you can find the right financing option for your business. We’ll keep it real with you – no fancy financial jargon here. Just the straight talk you need to make the best choice.
What is a Merchant Cash Advance?
First things first, let’s quickly go over what a merchant cash advance is.A merchant cash advance is where a company gives you an upfront lump sum of cash in exchange for a percentage of your future credit card sales. You pay back the advance little by little each day through small deductions from your card transactions.The pros:
- You get the cash fast, usually in a few days
- Approval is easier than a bank loan
- Your credit score doesn’t matter much
- Crazy high fees – we’re talking over 100% APR
- You have to pay back quickly, often in less than a year
- Daily payments can stress your cash flow
So merchant cash advances can help in a pinch, but they’re realllly expensive. Let’s look at some better options, cool?
Alternative #1: Term Loans
One of the top alternatives to consider is a term loan from an online lender. These loans give you a lump sum upfront that you pay back monthly over a set period of time (the “term” – usually 1-5 years).The pros:
- More affordable rates than merchant cash advances
- Fixed monthly payments are predictable
- Can borrow larger amounts
- Approval isn’t guaranteed
- Takes 1-2 weeks to get funded
Banks have gotten kinda stingy with small business loans, but online lenders like Kabbage and Lendio have stepped in to fill the gap. Their term loans are definitely worth checking out if you need more working capital.
Alternative #2: Business Lines of Credit
If you don’t need a huge lump sum but want funds available on demand, a business line of credit could work.With a line of credit, you’re approved to borrow up to a set limit. You can access the funds as you need them by writing checks or transferring to your business account. As you pay back the balance, that money becomes available to borrow again.The pros:
- Only pay interest on what you use
- Can withdraw multiple times up to your limit
- Flexible for managing cash flow
- Lower limits than term loans
- Need a strong credit score to qualify
Alternative #3: Invoice Factoring
Need cash ASAP? Invoice factoring lets you borrow against unpaid customer invoices.Here’s how it works:
- You submit your outstanding invoices to the factoring company
- They give you a cash advance on the invoices (usually 80-90% of the value)
- When customers pay, the money goes to repay the factoring company
- Get funded in as little as 24 hours
- No credit checks or minimums
- Ongoing access to capital
- Customers will pay the factoring company instead of you
- Higher cost than loans if repaid quickly
Alternative #4: SBA Loans
If you need a large amount of cash for major expenses like equipment purchases or renovations, SBA loans are the way to go.These loans issued by banks but guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, so they’re easier to qualify for.The pros:
- Low interest rates (6-8% APR)
- Long repayment terms up to 25 years
- Can borrow up to $5 million
- Tons of paperwork and strict approval process
- Can take months to get approved and funded
Alternative #5: Equipment Financing
If you need cash specifically to purchase equipment, equipment financing lets you spread out payments over time.With equipment financing, the equipment itself serves as collateral. You make regular payments until the equipment is paid off.The pros:
- 100% financing with no down payment
- Pay only for the equipment – no extra fees
- Flexible payment structures
- Limited to just purchasing equipment
- Payments don’t help your credit score
Companies like Balboa Capital provide equipment financing with online applications and fast approvals. It’s great for upgrading your tools or vehicles.
Finding the Right Financing – Things to Consider
Phew, that was a lot of options! Here are a few tips to help you pick the right alternative for your situation:
- Consider the rate and fees – Merchant cash advances have crazy high costs. Aim for rates below 10% APR if possible.
- Think about the repayment timeline – Can you handle daily payments from sales or do you need a monthly plan?
- Factor in qualifications – Your credit, time in business, and revenue could determine your financing options.
- Compare amounts available – Do you need a few thousand or several hundred thousand?
- Read reviews and talk to others – Get feedback from fellow business owners on their experiences.
- Crunch the numbers – Calculate the true cost and cash flow impact before committing.
The most important thing is understanding the full terms and doing the math for yourself. We know you’ll make the smart choice for your business! Feel free to reach out if you need a hand.