Even a successful small business may sometimes fall short of the money necessary to cover its monthly bills. If this happens to your business, you need to find a quick solution. Loan application and approval processes typically take more time than you may have available, particularly if your liquidity crunch came on suddenly, and you want your business to stay current with your accounts payable. The same is true with most credit line applications.
If you apply for a merchant cash advance, on the other hand, you may be able to procure the necessary funds in as little as 48 hours. Additionally, since merchant cash advances are not a loan but money up front against future revenues, this financing option means your business won’t have to assume additional debt.
What Are Merchant Cash Advances?
Merchant cash advances are advances against credit card sales. According to a 2017 survey carried out by the credit card processor TSYS, approximately one-third of all restaurant and retail store customers prefer to pay by credit card, so credit card sales are a predictable and dependable source of revenue for these small merchants.
Merchant cash advance providers use one of two repayment systems:
• Percentage of credit card sales
In exchange for a sum of cash, the merchant cash advance broker will deduct a percentage of credit card sales from your business banking account either daily or weekly. These debits are known as Automated Clearing House (ACH) withdrawals. ACH withdrawals will continue until the amount you were advanced plus all fees are paid in full.
This system means that there is no set time interval over which the amount you owe will be paid off. If your credit card sales are particularly high in certain months, the debt will be paid off more quickly. Conversely, if your credit card sales drop off, then it will take you a longer time to pay what you owe.
• Fixed withdrawals
In exchange for a sum of cash, the merchant cash advance broker will deduct a fixed amount from your business banking account on either a daily or weekly basis until the advance and all associated fees are repaid.
How Are Merchant Cash Advance Fees Determined?
Merchant cash advance providers work with teams of underwriters. When you apply for this type of cash assistance, these underwriters will assign a factor rate based on their assessment of the risk associated with your business, and this factor rate determines the fees you will pay. So, for example, if you are advanced $10,000, and your factor rate is 1.2, you will end up repaying $12,000, $10,000 of which will be the original amount advanced and $2,000 of which will be fees. The higher the factor rate, the higher the fees.
What Are the Benefits of Merchant Cash Advances?
Merchant cash advances have many advantages for cash-strapped small merchants:
• They’re fast: Providers and their underwriters look primarily to daily credit card receipts to determine the amount your business may qualify for. The approval process seldom takes longer than a week and in some instances, may be completed in as little as 48 hours.
• They’re unsecured: Unless the merchant cash advance provider requires a personal guarantee, you won’t forfeit personal or business assets if something happens to your sales, and you’re not in a position to repay the advance.
• They’re tied to your sales: For merchants whose payments are a percentage of their credit card sales, when sales are down, the amount they are responsible for repaying is less, too.
• Bad credit won’t hurt you: The underwriters associated with merchant cash advance providers are primarily interested in your business’s earning potential and not in its credit history. That means you can get the funding you need to help your business through a rough patch even if your credit score is low.
For more information about how a merchant cash advance may be able to assist your business, contact DelanceyStreet today.