A merchant cash advance, also known as a MCA, is a loan specifically designed to help small businesses fund inventory and other short-term capital needs. It’s an alternative financing option that can provide quick cash when you need it most. Unlike a traditional loan, which is repaid over time with fixed monthly payments, a merchant cash advance is paid back only when you sell your goods or services. That means there are no monthly repayments like with a traditional loan — just one lump sum repayment at the end of the agreement. Because of this structure, MCAs tend to have lower interest rates than traditional loans. Read on to learn more about what a merchant cash advance is and how it compares to other financing options.
What is a Merchant Cash Advance?
A merchant cash advance is a type of financing that is structured as a short-term loan to help small businesses with inventory or even payroll. A business might consider a merchant cash advance if it has bad or non-existent credit and can’t qualify for a traditional loan. A merchant cash advance is typically repaid through the business owner’s sales revenue, rather than a monthly payment like with a loan. A merchant cash advance typically comes at a higher interest rate because there is no fixed repayment plan. A MCA is not a loan, but an advance on future sales and is not regulated by the federal government like traditional bank loans. Because of this, the process for getting a merchant cash advance is much quicker than a traditional loan since there is no credit check or application.
How Does a Merchant Cash Advance Work?
A merchant cash advance works much like a traditional loan. A company will give you a certain amount of money (often tied to the amount of inventory you have) and you pay it back with interest. For example, say you’re a small clothing retailer that needs to purchase inventory for Black Friday. If you’ve already exhausted all of your own cash flow, you may need to turn to an outside source for funding. If you get a merchant cash advance, the lender will provide you with the funds to buy the inventory upfront. Then they’ll expect you to sell the inventory and pay them back — plus interest — once you’ve made the sale.
How is a Merchant Cash Advance Different from a Traditional Loan?
A merchant cash advance is different from a traditional loan in a few key areas:
- Flexibility: Since there are no fixed monthly payments, you can take as much — or as little — cash as you need, when you need it. You don’t have to worry about whether your credit score will qualify you for a loan or how much you can borrow.
- Speed: While a traditional loan may take months to go through the approval process, a merchant cash advance can often be approved in just a few days. There is no credit check, so there’s no need to wait for a lender to review your report and score.
- No collateral required: While a traditional loan requires your business or personal assets as collateral, a merchant cash advance does not require any collateral.
Pros of Getting a Merchant Cash Advance
A MCA can be a useful tool for small businesses in need of quick cash. Here are some reasons why you may want to consider getting a merchant cash advance:
- No credit check: Since there is no credit check, a merchant cash advance is a good option for those with a limited credit history or even no credit history at all.
- Quick funding: Since there is no credit check, the approval process for a merchant cash advance can be quick. Once approved, you can have cash in your hands in as little as a few days. A traditional loan can take months to go through the approval process.
- No collateral: Unlike a traditional loan, you don’t need any collateral to get a merchant cash advance. This is particularly helpful if you don’t own any assets or have limited assets that could be used as collateral.
Cons of Getting a Merchant Cash Advance
While a merchant cash advance can be an attractive option for many small businesses, there are also some drawbacks to be aware of:
- Higher interest rates: Since a merchant cash advance is not a fixed payment, the interest rate is higher than a traditional loan.
- No fixed payment: Unlike a traditional loan, there is no fixed payment with a merchant cash advance. Once you sell your inventory, you will have to pay back the entire amount at once.
- No repayment plan: Unlike a traditional loan, you don’t have a set repayment plan. Since the lender is getting their money back from future sales, there’s no fixed repayment schedule.
How to Choose the Right Financing Option for Your Business?
When it comes to choosing the right financing for your business, there are a variety of options to consider. A merchant cash advance can be a good option for some businesses, but it may not be the best choice for others. To best determine what option is right for your business, consider: How much money do you need? Do you need a smaller amount of cash or do you need a large influx of capital? What are the terms and repayment schedule like? You’ll want to review all of the details of each financing option to see what works best for your business. What are your other options? There are a variety of financing options out there. Before signing any contracts, make sure you understand all of your options.
A merchant cash advance is a type of financing that can be a good option for businesses in need of quick cash. It is a short-term loan that can be used to fund inventory or cover other short-term expenses. Since there are no fixed monthly payments, a merchant cash advance comes with higher interest rates.