A cash advance is different from obtaining a loan at a traditional bank because your creditworthiness will not determine whether or not you will be approved for the advance. You will receive an advance from a lender who will examine your credit card receipts to determine whether or not you will be able to repay an advance. Because your lender will not consider your credit scores, the type of advance is a riskier undertaking for him or her, and he or she will charge you higher interest rates. That’s why you will need to make sure that you read the fine print before you sign the contract to ensure that the cash advance is right for you.
What Is the “Holdback”?
Most people are unfamiliar with this term. The percentage of credit card sales that will be applied to your advance is what is known as the “holdback.” The holdback percentage is typically between 10 and 20 percent and is a fixed amount throughout the life of the advance. The amount that you will repay the lender each day will be determined by the daily balance in your merchant account. Therefore, if most of your transactions are credit card transactions, you will be able to repay the advance quickly. If you encounter a slow day, the amount that you will need to repay that day will also be lower. In other words, the amount that you will pay your lender each day depends on the number of credit card receipts you receive.
How Is the Holdback Amount Different from the Interest Rate?
The interest rate your lender will charge you is different from the holdback amount. Most of the time, cash advance providers charge what is known as a “factor rate.” This is different from a traditional loan because the rate is not amortized over the life of the advance. It depends on the provider, but a typical factor rate for a cash advance ranges between double and triple digits.
Would a Merchant Cash Advance Be Right for You?
A cash advance might be worth it if you need money quickly for a short-term reason, but the cost of the advance has to be right for your business. That’s because a cash advance will cost you more than a traditional loan. Even so, many business owners take advantage of an advance when they need money right away for business expenses.
Keep in mind that the payments that you make will not be reported to the credit bureaus because a cash advance is not a loan. Therefore, a merchant cash advance cannot help improve your credit scores. Also, remember that interest rates are different for each provider.
Do You Have an Alternative to the Merchant Cash Advance?
Yes, there is an alternative. Small business owners often find that a short-term loan is a better alternative for them. Those who have great credit scores are able to access a business line of credit to pay their immediate expenses. Some of these loans are offering business owners terms as short as two months that are more familiar to a small business owner. You will make payments by the day or by the week so that you will not have to make large payments at the end of each month.
In addition to the fact that this is a traditional loan, every payment that you make on time will be reported to the major credit bureaus. Therefore, this loan will be able to help you strengthen your business credit profile.