Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) Definition
A merchant cash advance is not a typical loan. Finance institutions that offer this kind of financing advance money to small businesses in exchange for a portion of their daily debit card or credit card sales, with an extra fee. MCAs can be fast, simple ways to acquire a business loan without the need for collateral, even when your credit score is terrible.
MCAs have numerous benefits, including an easy process of approval and quick access to money. Also, you can get a merchant cash advance with a bad credit score. Additionally, it is ideal for various business purposes. However, this type of financing has its drawbacks. In comparison to a traditional loan, an MCA has higher fees. Moreover, the daily deduction of credit card sales minimizes cash flow, and it is hard to move to another merchant service provider.
In case you possess little or zero collateral, a lousy credit rating, or a limited business history, an MCA could be an ideal source of funding. Due to relaxed eligibility standards possessed by providers of merchant cash advance, the majority of small businesses can easily qualify. Additionally, companies that make a significant percentage of their sales via credit card payments, like a retail store or a restaurant, can easily qualify for merchant cash advances to finance their working capital in the short-term. This loan can also help with inventory purchases, loan payments, unexpected costs, and more.
The application for a merchant cash advance is an easy and quick process. Since the repayment is made through daily credit card sales, MCA providers will check the credit card processing statements to ensure you are generating adequate revenue. Some MCA providers will also ask for bank statements and your credit score. Application for an MCA is mostly done online, and approval of applications can be done the same day. Because quick money is costly, MCAs are expensive. They have the highest capital cost. For the application to be approved, you will need to submit various documents. These documents include a driver’s license, bank statement, business tax returns, voided business check, credit score, and credit card processing statements.
The average repayment period for a merchant cash advance is eight to nine months. However, this period can be as long as 18 months and as short as four months. It all depends on your company. The more the portion of your credit card receipts that is being deducted by the lender, the shorter the period of repayment. But this will mean that you will have a tight cash flow.
MCAs & Factor Rates
Providers of merchant cash advances use a factor rate as opposed to an interest rate to calculate their fees. A factor rate is a figure that you use to multiply the amount of the loan to determine the amount to repay, and it ranges between 1.14 and 1.48. When a factor rate is converted to an annual percentage rate, it can begin at 15 percent and go up to triple digits.
The reason why merchant cash advances are this expensive is that they are targeted at riskier borrowers. These borrowers are usually new businesses and those businesses that have a bad credit score. Due to this high risk, the fees and the rates are high.
MCA Cost Example
For instance, assume that you are advanced $20,000 with a 1.18-factor rate. This means you will need to pay $23,600, which is $20,000*1.18, with your credit card receipts. This appears like the interest rate is 18 percent, but it’s not. The true cost of the MCA is determined by its annual percentage rate. In case the lender is deducting 15 percent of the credit card receipts, and you are estimating receipts of $25,000 per month, you will clear the loan in 189 days with daily repayments of $125. This means that the annual percentage rate is 65.95 percent, which is very high.
If you need financing and banks will not give it to you because you are risky, then a merchant cash advance is ideal for you. You will be able to finance your inventory, working capital, other debt payments, and more, without worrying about your credit score and limited business history.