Business owners can apply for the merchant cash advance and have some funds deposited into the business checking accounts quickly which can take approximately one day after approval. The cash advance providers take time to evaluate the weight credit criteria and the risks in a different way compared to other lenders or bankers.
They look at your credit receipts to know if a company can be in the position to pay back the cash advance on time.As a result, the rates on merchant cash advance can be higher than other options which mean that it is essential to understand the terms and conditions you are being provided with before making an informed decision.
How a Merchant Cash Advance Works
Many MCA companies consider their business transactions to be purchases of future sales rather than loans. The firms determine the amount of funding to provide their clients by reviewing your bank statements, commercial sales, credit card sales, and any other information. The review of these reports provides the firms with the sales performance information that gives them ideas of the future sales.
Holdback amount is a percentage of the credit card sales you make on a daily basis that is applied to the advance. The holdback percentage ranges from 10 % to 20 %, and it remains constant until you repay your advance in full.
Since the whole payment process depends on a certain percentage of your daily balance in the current merchant account, the more transactions a firm does, the faster they can pay back the advance. And should the credit card transactions be lower on a given day compared to others, the draw from your merchant account may be less.
The Difference between an Interest Rate and the Holdback Amount
There are differences between the holdback amount and the interest rate an MCA company charge for an advance. Most MCA providers charge what is commonly known as a factor rate.
Unlike traditional term loans, the factor rate is not amortized over the main course of the advance. The typical factor rates for a merchant cash advance could range from double to triple figures depending on the provider.
Is an MCA Right for Your Business?
A merchant cash advance might be suitable for businesses that require cash quickly. However, to benefit from the available short-term opportunities, it is essential to ensure the total costs of the cash advance make financial sense for your business. Since the qualifying criteria are less stringent than traditional enterprise lenders, a merchant cash advance comes with premium costs.
Nevertheless, many enterprise owners successfully utilize this finance option to access funds for their current businesses. When dealing with an MCA, you should understand that since the advance isn’t a loan and the providers don’t report the client’s payment history to credit bureaus it doesn’t help strengthen or build an enterprise credit profile.
Also, since the MCA rates vary from one provider to the other, and can be higher compared to other options of financing, it is essential to know all the terms and conditions before signing between the dotted lines.
Alternatives to Merchant Cash Advance
There are various alternatives to a merchant cash advance which include invoice factoring and SBA microloans. Most small businesses find short-term loans for a few months and provide terms familiar to small enterprise borrowers.
Depending on the nature of the loans, the periodic payments are usually daily or weekly. The regular payments allow small enterprise owners to distribute the burden of the debt service across the entire month rather than needing more substantial payments at the end of the period.