A merchant cash advance is seemingly a fair deal for owners of small businesses. However, when a deal is too good, then there are likely to be other side effects involved. Merchant cash advance loans cause grave problems in the cash flow system of a company. For instance, there are annual percentage rates that are charged annually, the whole cost of the loans and the fees charged and repayment schedule that you make daily can lead a business into an ocean of debts. A merchant cash advance should, therefore, be a business owner’s last option in situations where direct financing is needed.
What is a merchant cash advance?
A merchant cash advance is a sum of money paid to businesses by the providers in trade of a part of the future credit or debit card sales made by the company in question, plus a small fee that both parties agree on. The payment is usually short term and in small quantities as opposed to a large amount of cash required by standard bank loans monthly.
How a merchant cash advance works
Over the years, merchant cash advance has majorly been associated with businesses and companies that draw their revenues from credit and debit card sales. Recently, the merchant cash advances have been opened to other businesses as well. The providers of factoring (the substitute name for a merchant cash advance) technically do not view this product as a loan. A merchant cash advance involves upfront cash given to you by the providers, and in exchange, the providers get to keep part of the future sales you make.
The repayments of merchant cash advances have been structured in two ways:
A percentage of the credit card sales
This method allows the merchant cash service provider to deduct a particular portion from the credit or debit card sales you make until the full amount that is agreed on is recovered. The amount repayable is always more than the initial amount received from the financiers. Mostly, the time frame for repaying the amount is usually between three to twelve months; however, the more sales you make, the faster the repayment of the merchant cash advance. The speed with which you pay the loan is dependent on the monthly credit and debit card sales you make. The percentage of sales you make is estimated based on the monthly revenue projected. The sales are always likely to fluctuate over time, therefore, making the repayment period longer or shorter. In most cases, it takes longer than the consumer expected.
Fixed daily remissions
This type of payment plan involves daily or monthly withdrawals depending on the monthly revenue estimated. The payment is, however, consistent with the percentage of the sales that would be deducted if the purchaser chooses to use the other payment structure. This payment is not reliant on the amount of credit or debit card sales; therefore, the fluctuation does not affect the payment plan. The purchaser will still pay the amount agreed on whether the sales increase or decrease.
How does one get a merchant cash advance?
The process of obtaining a merchant cash advance is easy and fast. Since the merchant cash advance relies on sales made by the business, the credit score of the company is not required. Most applications for the product are usually made online, and the approval can be done the same day. Once the purchaser has applied for the product online and submitted the form, the approval can take up to two days. The remission of the cash is immediate thereby making this a reliable money lending option to business owners.
Advantages of a merchant cash advance
The pros include:
The process of acquiring a merchant cash advance is fast since no paperwork is required; therefore, less time is taken in acquisition as compared to bank loans.
No collaterals or guarantees are required thereby making a merchant cash advance an easier way of getting capital for your business.
If the amount of credit or debit card sales reduces, the payment goes down. The borrower, in this case, will not be stressed with the payment of the loan.
The qualification for a merchant cash advance is informal since no documents or tax returns are required.
The repayment is done automatically; therefore, the borrower is not worried about making payments.
Disadvantages of a merchant cash advance
Every pro has its cons. Likewise; a merchant cash advance has its cons. They include:
The cost of borrowing (fees and interests included) can be tripled up to 350% thereby making it an expensive source of capital.
The borrowers cannot finish the repayment of the loan early since the payment is fixed.
A merchant cash advance can interfere with the standard cash flow; the fixed amount payable plus the fees fluctuate according to sales made.