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Merchant Cash Advance
Summary: Merchant cash advances are an advance on your future sales. Keep reading to learn more about what you need to know about how they work, what the costs are, and some of the alternatives to a merchant cash advance.
What’s a merchant cash advance?
Merchant cash advances aren’t loans. They are cash advances based upon the deposits in your bank accounts. Business owners can apply for an MCA and have the funds deposited into their bank accounts VERY fast. In some cases, it’s possible to get funds in 24 hours after applying.
MCA providers look at the riskiness of the business and look at the credit score of the owner differently than other traditional lenders. MCA providers look at your daily business revenue, and your daily cash balance. They then see based on this, if the borrower can afford to pay the back the MCA. As a result, because MCA lenders are looking at the business cash flow, and aren’t looking at the borrower personally – the rates on an MCA can be much higher than general financing. It’s important you understand the terms you’re being offered so you can make an informed decision about whether an MCA will make sense for you or not.
MCA lenders look at holdback
When it comes to MCA, the term holdback is a very popular term. The holdback is the % of your daily deposits/revenue which is being used to pay back the MCA. The holdback % is usually between 10% and 20%. It’s a fixed amount the lender is taking from you in order to repay the MCA. Because repayment is based on a % of your daily deposits/balance, the more money you generate the faster you can repay the merchant cash advance.
MCA holdback vs interest rate
There’s a big difference between the interest rate a business owner is paying for an advance, and the holdback amount. Most MCA providers are charging a factor rate. Unlike traditional term loans, the rate isn’t amortized over the course of an MCA. Typical factor rates for an MCA range between 1.1 to 1.3 over a period of time.
Is a merchant cash advance right for you?
An MCA can make sense for your business if you need cash fast to take advantage of a short term opportunity. It’s important to make sure the costs of the cash advance make financial sense. If they don’t, the high costs of an MCA can overwhelm your business! The MCA has a premium cost. There are many alterantives to an mca such as a term loan, line of credit, and more.
HOW A MERCHANT CASH ADVANCE CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS
When you want to expand your business, you will defiitely need cash. The traditional way is going to the bank and applying for a loan. Bank processes are long, tiring and require a lot of activities for one to get a loan. This is the reason why there is a Merchant Cash Advance.
How to acquire the advance
For one to get this type of advance, the process is simple. Merchant Cash Advance works quite differently from banks in that they don’t focus on personal credits rather business credits. When one wants to apply for a loan, all they need to do is to fill an online form and wait for 24-48 hrs for the loan to be approved. Once the loan has been approved, it will directly be sent to the account of the business, and the owner can access it from there.
Requirements for MCA
There are some requirements in that the business has to have been operational for at least six months and with a consistent revenue of $4000-$5000 in credit and debit sales.
Repayment of advances
The repayment of advances from Merchant Cash Advance is also different because advances will automatically be repaid from daily sales that the business makes. One doesn’t need to go back online to make certain steps to repay the loan. This is also contributed by the fact that they fund businesses that use credit cards during money transactions. This means there was a fee that was agreed during application and is charged in addition to the payment balance.
This is a breakthrough in loans since one doesn’t need to worry about loan repayment. It is automated, and as long as one is earning something a day, the loan will be repaid. This even gets better since you don’t need to worry about the loan when your business isn’t going on so well, and probably you aren’t getting anything off daily sales.
Just like other financial solutions, there are pros and cons, but it would be better to look at the pros and compare them with traditional bank loans.
MCA vs. Bank loans
Bank loans are very detailed, and this would explain the reason as to why they are very difficult to acquire — not forgetting the huge interest rates depending on the different banks. A good businessperson would evaluate the best financial solution that would not be trouble either in obtaining or repaying the loan. This then makes Merchant Cash Advance very flexible and the best option.
Benefits of MCA
There are several reasons and advantages as to why one should choose this option to the others. The first one is ease in application. As stated earlier, one doesn’t even need to go to an office to apply; all they need to do is fill an online form meaning this can be done from home or even at the office.
Time is also essential, and this solution gives the best of it. They guarantee that the maximum time approving a loan would be 48 hrs. One, therefore, can apply for a loan and before they know it, they have already been given the funds they need.
The third advantage is the requirements for application of a loan. Every financial solution has requirements to be met before a loan can be approved. One has to pick a solution that has simpler requirements as this will impact on whether they can get the loan or not.
Lastly, there is the payment of the loan. Here there is a very enticing way to repay this loan. As long as one is making sales the loan is being repaid — no need to go online to do the checking or repayment.
MCA is definitely the best solution as compared to others like bank loans. These several advantages should be reason enough for one to choose this financial solution. There is also the fact that it has been operational for the past ten years and that means it is not in its trial stages.
If one has less than perfect credit or failed to meet the several requirements of a bank, this is a solution to get the necessary cash. No collateral is needed as the loan will be approved on the basis of the profitability of the business. After an analysis of daily profitability is done, the loan will be issued.
You need to determine if merchant cash is good for your business before making the choice of using it since despite it having pros it also has cons which may affect your business if not well addressed.
HOW CAN I TELL IF A CASH ADVANCE COMPANY IS LEGIT
The cash advance industry has taken off in the last decade. It has become a very common way for, especially small businesses, to get short-term financing.
As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to using a financing strategy like this. Let’s break them down so you can make an informed, well thought-out decision on if and when to utilize this option.
First of all, let me explain what it is. It’s technically not a loan. It’s a cash advance where a merchant cash advance financing company, let’s call it MCA from now on for short, gives a business a big pile of cash for a larger pile of cash in the future.
To break it down, let’s say a local retail gift store on the main street of a small town is getting ready for a big festival that draws in tens of thousands of people from around the state.
In order to take advantage of the extra foot traffic and ensuing large volume of new customers, they need to stock up on inventory to meet the demand. They estimate the demand and figure out that they need to purchase $10,000 worth of goods from their various wholesalers.
Of course the problem is that they are short on cash like most small businesses. They can call up an MCA and get a lump sum payment of $10,000. In return, the MCA is going be repaid $14,000. In merchant cash advance parlance, that’s a factor of 1.4 (10,000 X 1.4).
The MCA will make $4,000 on this deal, but the retailer will make a potential of $50,000 from the selling the inventory. The retailer loses $4,000 on the MCA deal, but makes $36,000 ($50,000 sales – 14,000 repayment to MCA = 36,000) overall.
The cool part is that in order for the MCA to get repaid, they will hook up to the retailer’s credit card system and pull out a portion of each sale that is made to pay back the advance until the $14,000 is reached.
Now for the pros and cons.
There are several upsides to this deal for the retailer, as well as some downsides which we’ll go over later.
The biggest upside to MCA’s is how quickly the retailer gets the cash on hand. If he needs to buy the inventory ASAP in order for it to come in by the date of the festival, he can do that more easily with MCA’s.
Other types of financing such as bank loans, credit cards and other loans, require documentation, interviews, application forms to be filled out, credit scores to get checked and so on.
Unlike most loans, MCA’s don’t require collateral as a security for the financing company. That means you’re not risking losing your home or any other assets because MCA’s usually aren’t tied to any collateral. Here is a good resource on collateral backed loans if you’re interested in learning more.
That being said, because the MCA’s connect to your credit card system, the only way they DON’T get paid back is if you go out of business and stop making sales.
That’s also an advantage for the retailer in that the MCA’s get paid in proportion to the sales that are coming in. So if they have a light week, the MCA’s repayments won’t be as large. When there’s a good week, the MCA get’s repaid at a faster rate.
Now for the downsides to MCA’s. There are several that you must keep in mind. But if you can manage these downsides, you can make the MCA work for you.
If you looked at the earlier example of the MCA being repaid by a factor of 1.4, the retailer is paying $4,000 over time to receive $10,000 today. That’s a 40% interest rate. The cost of capital is rather high.
But again, if you have an opportunity that’s going to yield you far beyond the cost of capital and you don’t have any other alternatives, the retailer can still come out on top.
MCA’s are super quick and easy to get. That can be a good thing if you need cash quickly for a great opportunity to grow or make even more money.
It could also be detrimental if a retailer or business uses it to keep their head above water. If the cash isn’t going toward cash generating investments, it can easily be used as a never ending debt cycle system. Given the high cost of capital, this could get you into the danger zone.
At the end of the day, MCA’s can be a great source of quick cash for any business to grow and take advantage of unexpected opportunities. But there are downsides as well that need to be kept in mind if a business is going to use this as a financing strategy.