Having working capital is one of the top priorities for small business owners. Cash flow keeps your business moving, and so-called cash advances traders (merchant cash advances) appears to be the fastest way to have cash at your disposal. But before launching to request a cash advance to go the fast way, you should keep in mind the following: This option can be more expensive than you expect.
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- What are they? Cash advances are a financial option that allows consumers to access loans generally of small and short-term amounts. According to sales made by credit card, companies receive a cash advance from a financial company by direct deposit.
- The financing amounts vary between approximately $ 5,000 and $ 1,000,000, depending on the annual sales made with a company’s credit card.
- The business owner agrees to repay the loan with an added amount that is based on a percentage of sales. This results in the daily payment to the lender if that is how often your credit card processor pays you. For example, with an advance of $ 25,000, a business owner can choose to pay 10% (or another percentage) of daily, weekly or monthly sales based on the average monthly income of the business credit card. That percentage is known as the withholding percentage until the money, plus the charges are returned to the lender.
- Business owners accept payment terms based on a factor rate that averages between 1.1 and 1.4. For example, when applying a factor 1.2 rate to the advance of $ 25,000 mentioned above, the total reimbursement amount would be $ 30,000. Keep in mind that this can result in a very expensive form of financing. Paying a factorial rate of 1.2 on a 4-month loan is equivalent to an APR of 112%! Therefore, before requesting a cash advance, we recommend using a Factor Rate to APR Converter to know exactly the cost of your cash advance and at what interest it would be equivalent if it were a traditional loan.
- Cash advances usually have a short term: financing lasts between 3 and 12 months.
- One of the benefits of cash advances is that lenders are generally very flexible with respect to your credit score (remember: a solid credit score is one of the most common requirements among traditional lenders). In general, they do not require a minimum score and base their approval decision primarily on the activity of the merchant account.
- Cash advances are an attractive option for business owners who need money quickly to buy new equipment, replenish inventory or have more cash available to cover the payroll of employees and make their business prosper. Cash advances are also attractive because of their speed: you can have the money available between 2 and 5 days. In addition, there are fewer requirements to obtain them compared to traditional loans. For example, no guarantee is required.
However, before rushing to request a cash advance due to these attractions (absence of collateral, quick access to funds and fewer requirements), you should consider other options. Harrisonl is an alternative lender that does not require collateral, has less stringent requirements than most lenders and a quick and simple process: you can receive the money you need within 4 to 10 business days.
Advantages and disadvantages of cash advances
- Fast cash to reach your company’s goals
- A low credit score is not an inconvenience to apply for.
They may be suitable for seasonal businesses such as certain restaurants, shops, or tourist services where sales fluctuate
- The simple and uncomplicated application process, with fewer requirements than most commercial loans
- As with any other commercial loan, the cost (the lender’s fees or the factorial rate) can be deducted from your taxes
- You must have an account with a credit card processor
- The average annual percentage rate is between 80% and 120%
- Some lenders require a history of more than two years in sales made with credit cards
- Annual sales by credit card must be at least $ 50,000
- If your sales are low, it takes longer to return the cash advance
- It is considered an “aggressive” form of financing, where lenders can add rates of between 5 and 10% on the amount borrowed.
- They are not subject to federal regulations, resulting in poor transparency in the way rates are applied
- High costs and frequency of payment can cause cash flow problems
- Short duration and little time to return the money: between 3 and 12 months
- Late payment fees may apply
Requirements to request a cash advance
- Your FICO credit score, however, is not one of the main requirements. This is different from most lenders, which rely on your credit score to assess how risky it is to grant you a loan and, therefore, calculate the interest rate that will apply to you. Cash advance lenders settle for low credit scores since they base their decision primarily on the activity of your merchant account.
- You probably already have an account with a credit card processor, but you may need to open a different account that is compatible with the lender’s requirements.
- To complete your application you will need your social security number and your tax identification number. In addition to answering general questions about your business, you will need some documents such as copies of your bank statements and credit cards. You may be asked for proof of citizenship or provide copies of your business rental agreements.
- Applications are available online and are simple and fast. Approval usually takes only 24 hours and funds are available in a few days. Depending on whether you choose daily, weekly or monthly payment terms, you should start repaying the loan as soon as your merchant account is active.
- Although cash advances do not have strict requirements, keep in mind that they are a very expensive option due to the high reimbursement rates resulting from applying the factor rate. In some cases, it is a good option, when the sales made by credit card are high and constant, so high refunds do not reduce the available cash. But do not forget that there are alternative forms of financing that grant commercial loans with the same benefits (or more) and for much less.
- Similarities and differences between cash advances and commercial loans
- Cash advances are not loans in a strict sense because they are based on future sales made with credit cards. But like a small business loan, they are a short-term financing option.
- Both types of financing provide a borrowing amount to borrowers, but while the loans have a fixed interest rate, cash advances are based on percentages of sales made with credit cards that are therefore variable.
- Commercial installment loans have fixed monthly payments, while cash advances are paid daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the volume of transactions.
- With a loan, you always know the amount you must repay. However, the repayment amounts of a cash loan vary daily, weekly and monthly.
- In 2019, the average annual percentage rate of a commercial loan with a term of 7 years is between 7.75% and 9.75% (on loans between $ 25,000 to $ 50,000). For example, Harrisonl loans start at 7.75% and under no circumstances exceed 29%. However, the annual percentage rate in a cash advance is much higher: average between 80% and 120%. You can compare here different interest rates of different lenders and types of loans.
- Conventional loans for small businesses may require a guarantee or guarantee, income 1.25 times greater than expenses and copies of account statements and balance sheets. Cash advance lenders do not require collateral or need to review your income and operating expenses. For them, the most important thing is that you have enough sales made by credit card to be able to return the money.
- Most conventional loans require a good or excellent credit score, while cash advances can be approved even if the applicant has a poor credit history.
- The amount of a commercial loan can be equivalent to 20% of a company’s income, while cash advances can be equivalent to approximately 50% of annual sales made by credit card.
Conclusion: is it a cash advance that suits you best?
- Cash advances are an attractive financing alternative if you cannot easily access another source of cash or do not want a loan to appear on your credit report. They can also be a reasonable financial solution for seasonal businesses. However, keep in mind that using a cash advance instead of a commercial loan can result in your debt triggering and being difficult to control.
- If you are tempted to ask for a cash advance because the application process seems simpler or because you need funds as soon as possible, we recommend you consider other alternatives beforehand.
- The process to obtain a commercial loan from Harrison is as simple and fast as a cash advance for merchants: you can receive the funds within 4 to 10 business days, but the benefits do not stop there. There are additional advantages that cash advances do not offer, such as the following:
- Loans of between 5,000 and $ 400,000 that fit the needs of your company
- Comfortable stable monthly payment terms (between 24 and 60 months), and fixed payment amounts every month, so you don’t get any surprises
- Monthly interest rates ranging between 1% and 2.5%
- By making your payments on time you develop your credit to qualify for more financing in the future
- Annual sales of $ 30,000 and 9 are required in the business, an amount and a shorter period of time than in cash advances
- When you compare the cash advances and commercial loans of Harrisonl, the differences and results remind you of Aesop’s famous fable, “The turtle and the hare”: while the hare rushed and acted too quickly, the turtle advanced to a constant rhythm being the first to reach the goal. If you also rush to opt for a cash advance, you may regret realizing too late that a commercial loan was actually the best option.
- Get in touch with Harrison and let one of our financial specialists guide you through every step of the loan process. The online application is free, it will take only a few minutes to complete and does not affect your credit score. You can know immediately if you qualify for a loan. After sending the basic information about your company, we offer you the best financing solution for your business needs. Once you agree with the offer and the terms, you will receive funds in a few days. It’s that simple!
- With a commercial loan from Harrison, you will cross the finish line ahead of other business owners who opted for cash advances from merchants, and you will do it comfortably, at your own pace, and knowing that you made the right decision.