Merchant Cash Advance Debt

A merchant cash advance is essentially a lump sum payment made from one party to another with a predetermined payback amount. A typical MCA is a business that obtains $10,000and pledges to repay $13,000 from future sales. You're right if this sounds a lot like a loan. A distinction without a distinction? Perhaps. That is why a brief history and explanation of the intricacies are essential.

Initially, merchant financial advances were repaid as a percentage of future income. The payback terms were, by definition, variable and dependent on future earnings. This strategy was popular, for example, in the restaurant industry, which had difficulty obtaining funds from traditional banks and relied significantly on credit card transactions.

Consider the preceding case, in which a business owner obtained a $10,000 advance and committed to repay $13,000. If the terms of the advance required the funder to receive 10%of monthly credit card receipts, then:

Example 1: 10% of $5,000in monthly sales equals $500. The repayment period is 26 months.

Example 2: 10% of $10,000in monthly sales equals $1,000. The repayment period would be 13 months.

The APR in Example 1 is far superior to the APR in Example 2.

Over time, the MCA business began to convert to set daily payback amounts known as"holdbacks," occasionally through credit card receipts and increasingly through automatic debits known as an ACH payment. This provided greater clarity for both the borrower and the lender, making it easier to calculate the APR on a specific advance. However, even though anAPR is frequently significant to the business owner, the MCA lender rarely presents it in these terms. They're doing it this way for two excellent reasons.

Recognizing that aMerchant Cash Advance has an interest rate implies that it appears and operates more like a loan. MCA Debt companies expressly say in their agreements that advances are not loans because they would be taxed differently and subject to regulatory attention.Advance APRs are exceedingly high and can frighten borrowers. Although the business has grown incredibly competitive, APRs on an MCA can range from 10% to 150%. In some circumstances, the figure is considerably higher.

For obvious reasons, even organizations that have traditionally supplied loan products refer to them as advances in their agreements.

Why You Should Think About Getting a Merchant Cash Advance?

If you're seeking this form of finance, it's most likely because a regular lender has turned you down, or you need immediate cash. You can't think about it in terms of percentages if that's the case. You must consider the opportunity cost of not obtaining the finance, the time saved, and the value of the money to you personally based on your situation. If friends and relatives aren't a possibility, and you aren't in a strong enough financial position to acquire a loan or line of credit from a bank, an MCA may be your quickest and best alternative.

The Advantages of Obtaining an Unsecured Merchant Cash Advance

Most merchant cash advances are unsecured loans, which means no tangible asset is pledged as collateral. Because the funder assumes the risk of the advance, its fees are higher than those associated with standard lines of credit or bank loans. It's critical to understand that the MCA is bearing 100 percent of the risk in this circumstance. You will be requested to sign a personal guarantee, which implies that your credit score will be jeopardized if you default. Furthermore, in the event of a default, the MCA can take steps to collect their money from you, which can be more than a problem.

Quick funding. Merchant cash advances are often processed in less than a week if you meet the funder's underwriting criteria and have the necessary documentation. These are some examples:

3–6 months' worth of business bank statements

Tax return from the previous year

Incorporation Certificate

Photocopy of your driver's license

Personal information was entered into the application, and it was completed.

Tenancy documentation is required. This includes a mortgage deed or a valid lease if you own your property. If you lease your office space, make sure you're up to date because funders will usually contact your landlord.

Most business owners can supply the aforementioned documentation with relative ease. Having these items on hand will significantly expedite the underwriting process.

Credit has improved. Yes, if you manage to make timely payments to the funder, your credit score will likely increase. The credit bureaus can identify that you have secured debt because funders virtually always file a lien on you.

Paying back the debt per the terms of the advance may improve your credit score, in the long run, increasing your capacity to get more beneficial funding in the future.

The Dangers of Getting a Merchant Cash Advance

Filing a UCC – Prepare to get phone calls from brokers attempting to persuade you to accept additional payments. One of the most heinous activities in the MCA industry is known as"stacking." After a lien is lodged against you or your company, this information becomes public after a certain length of time. Thousands of brokers, known as ISOs, buy these lists and "cold phone" business owners to ask whether they need additional finance.

One thing that distinguishes Original Funding from our competitors is that we do not offer such a facility and highly advise our clients to avoid stacking at all costs.Our applicants come to us for assistance and advice. We do not solicit businesses or make outbound phone calls to debt-ridden business owners.

The heinous practice of persuading businesses to take on additional debt they don't need is the same reason we founded Original Funding. Be cautious when receiving a solicitation like this, but prepare for phone calls after an advance because they will come.

Credit Pulls - The fundamental disruption in the lending sector launched by MCA entrepreneurs is beneficial, but it also has a negative side effect. Small firms suffered the most in the aftermath of the financial crisis, as traditional banks withdrew credit from this sector. It was simply too dangerous and impossible for them to provide lucrative loans, and Main Street businesses were deserted in unprecedented numbers. Online loan companies stepped in immediately to fill the hole and took it a step further. They developed easy and efficient online lending applications that shortened the borrowing process and enabled firms to acquire cash faster than banks.

Now for the bad news.Every time you fill out an application, the funder is likely to grab your credit. We've seen cases when naïve business owners who thought they were only comparing rates had their credit pulled hundreds of times in a week.

This can harm a person's credit score, which is why consultative brokerage firms like Original Funding exist to field a single application and shop it to lenders with precisely matched criteria.