If you’re a business owner, chances are you’ve heard of merchant cash advances. You may have even been approached by a lender about getting one. But what are they? How do they work? And are they the right financing option for your business?
In this guide, we’ll answer all of those questions and more. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of merchant cash advances and whether or not they’re right for you.
What is a Merchant Cash Advance?
A merchant cash advance is a type of short-term financing. Unlike a traditional loan, which is paid back in fixed monthly payments, a merchant cash advance is repaid with a percentage of your business’s daily credit card sales.
For example, let’s say you take out a $10,000 merchant cash advance. Each day, a certain percentage of your credit card sales (say, 10%) will go towards repaying the loan. So, if you have $1,000 in credit card sales one day, $100 of that will go towards the loan.
The biggest benefit of a merchant cash advance is that it’s easy to qualify for. Unlike a traditional loan, which often requires collateral and a strong credit score, a merchant cash advance only requires that you have a steady stream of credit card sales.
That said, merchant cash advances do come with some drawbacks. The biggest one is the cost: because they’re easy to qualify for, merchant cash advances often have high interest rates and fees.
Another downside is that you’re using your future credit card sales to repay the loan, which can put a strain on your business’s cash flow.
Finally, merchant cash advances are typically short-term loans, which means you’ll need to repay the loan relatively quickly. This can be a problem if your business isn’t doing well or if you have slow periods of sales.
Should You Get a Merchant Cash Advance?
Now that you know what a merchant cash advance is and how it works, you might be wondering if it’s the right financing option for your business.
As we mentioned, merchant cash advances are easy to qualify for and they can provide much-needed funding quickly. But they’re also expensive and they can put a strain on your business’s cash flow.
So, how do you know if a merchant cash advance is right for you?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Do you need financing quickly? Merchant cash advances can be funded in as little as 48 hours, which makes them a good option if you need financing fast.
Can you afford the costs? Merchant cash advances typically have high interest rates and fees. Make sure you can afford the payments before you take out the loan.
Do you have a steady stream of credit card sales? Remember, you’ll need to repay the loan with a percentage of your daily credit card sales. If your sales are inconsistent, a merchant cash advance might not be the right option.
If you answered yes to all of these questions, a merchant cash advance might be a good option for your business. But if you’re not sure, we recommend talking to a lender or financial advisor before you make a decision.
How to Get a Merchant Cash Advance?
If you’ve decided that a merchant cash advance is right for your business, the next step is to find a lender. There are a few different ways to do this:
You can search online for “merchant cash advance lenders.” This will bring up a list of lenders that offer merchant cash advances.
You can talk to your bank or credit union. Some banks and credit unions offer merchant cash advances, so it’s worth asking if yours does.
You can work with an online lending marketplace. There are a few different online lending marketplaces that connect businesses with lenders, including Lendio and Funding Circle.
Once you’ve found a few potential lenders, it’s time to compare your options. Here are a few things to look for:
Interest rates and fees. As we mentioned, merchant cash advances often have high interest rates and fees. Make sure you understand the terms of the loan before you agree to anything.
Repayment terms. Merchant cash advances are typically short-term loans, which means you’ll need to repay them relatively quickly. But some lenders offer longer repayment terms, so it’s worth asking about this.
Minimum credit card sales. Some lenders require that you have a minimum amount of credit card sales before they’ll approve you for a loan. This is something to keep in mind if your sales are inconsistent.
Once you’ve found a lender that meets your needs, it’s time to apply for the loan. The application process is typically quick and easy, and you should know if you’re approved within a few days.