Your Ohio based business is growing. It’s time to open another location to reach more customers, hire more employees, or invest in additional supplies and equipment. Applying for an SBA loan takes more time than you may want to spend. Qualifying for a bank loan may be difficult, especially if you have limited collateral or a low credit score. Its’ time to consider getting a merchant cash advance for the capital you need to expand your business.

Merchant Cash Advance: What Is It?

First, understand what a merchant cash advance, or MCA, is not. It’s not a loan. MCA is an alternative financing option that offers a quick influx of capital to businesses like yours. A financing company provides a lump sum payment, deposited directly into your business bank account, in exchange for an agreed upon percentage of your future credit and debit card sales.

How Can a Merchant Cash Advance Help Your Business Grow?

Weigh the Pros and Cons

You may be wondering if getting an MCA will solve all your business problems. Merchant cash advance offers many advantages, but you need to consider the pros and cons together.

Pros
• Available for any business purpose. There are no restrictions on how you can use the funds from a merchant cash advance.
• Quick funding turnaround time. Merchant cash advances are approved, and money is in your account in days. There are no draws or project completion requirements like bank loans or commercial lines of credit.
• Personal credit is not a deal-breaker.
• Simple application process. You don’t need to spend time writing a business plan and creating projected financial statements. Your credit card processing statement and business tax returns are enough to get started.

Cons
• Reduced daily cash flow. The finance company will deduct a small percentage from your daily credit/debit card transactions. You’ll receive your funding upfront and make small daily payments right from your merchant account, no accounting and no check writing required.
• Fees. MCA fees can be higher than on traditional loans. However, the fees are deducted over time rather than in a lump sum like a bank loan with a balloon payment.
• Limited flexibility. There may be less flexibility to change merchant account providers before your MCA is paid off. Once your MCA is paid in full you may be able to change providers and still qualify for a future merchant cash advance.

Compare to Other Types of Business Financing

Personal loans. Signature loans are based on your personal credit scores. Loan amounts max out at around $35,000 and you’ll pay rates as high as 36% APR.

Commercial line of credit. Banks charge between seven percent, up to 25 percent for a $10,000 line of credit.

Merchant cash advance. You can qualify for a $2,500 to $250,000 MCA, with factor rates ranging from 1.14 to 1.48 in as few as two business days.

Analyze the Costs

Factor rate vs. interest rate. Merchant cash advance providers charge a factor rate rather than a simple interest rate on a loan. Factor rates vary according to the amount of the advance, time in business, and the repayment period.

Understand the Repayment Process

Your repayment period can be anywhere from three to 18 months. A shorter repayment period requires deduction of a larger portion of your daily credit card receipts. You’ll minimize the costs and be able to qualify for a new MCA sooner. A longer repayment period allows you to maximize your daily cash flow,

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Merchant Cash Advance

What is a merchant cash advance?
A merchant cash advance, MCA, is a lump sum of capital paid directly to your business and is repaid from your daily credit card sales.

Who qualifies for a merchant cash advance?
Any business in Ohio that makes debit and credit card sales and has a merchant account with a credit card processing company can qualify for a merchant cash advance.

Why does my business need a merchant cash advance?
MCA offers flexible funding for expansion capital, equipment and supply purchases, and payroll funding.

When will my merchant cash advance be paid off?
Your MCA will be paid in three to 18 months based on your daily credit card sales.

How to Apply for a Merchant Cash Advance in Ohio

Now that you’ve decided that a merchant cash advance is the right solution, your credit card processing company may be able to refer you to an MCA provider that works with their clients. You can also find MCA finance companies online. The application process is quick and simple, requiring only your business and personal information and recent processing statements.