Merchant Cash Advances: Better than Banks in Difficult Credit Climate
Since the beginning of the credit crises over four years ago, banks have become increasingly conservative about lending money. Despite urging from the Obama administration for banks to support the credit needs of small businesses in order to boost the economy and aid economic recovery, cash-strapped companies are not getting the loans they need.
Enter merchant cash advances. Instead of loans, these are advances against earned and projected credit card sales. Unlike a loan, there is no interest on the advanced funds, and no regular fixed payments are required. Instead, the lender providing the money collects a percentage of every credit card sale until the advance (and the premium charged for the advance) is repaid.
For new and struggling small businesses, these merchant cash advances are a life-saver in many ways. First, the funds are usually released within 48-72 hours of application. Second, there are no credit reports, and the application paperwork is usually fairly simple. Third there is no collateral required. Finally, and most importantly, once the first advance has been repaid, a business can draw another advance - often for a larger amount.
The benefit to the lender is that payments are made automatically, via an affiliate credit card processing firm. As well, most of these advances are paid back within a year, unlike conventional loans which often come with multi-year terms.
While it is true that the per-transaction fees on a cash advance often rival the interest rate on a credit card, merchant cash advances are still a better bet because of the lack of fixed payment. If business is slow one month, the repayment is simply lower.
t's clear to see, then, why merchant cash advances make sense for cash-poor small businesses, especially in the fifth consecutive year of incredibly tight credit options. All a business owner has to do is prove that their business has a good track record of credit card transactions, and then accept the funds to help their company grow.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 02:45 PM