What Is a Merchant Cash Advance, and Should You Get One?

A merchant cash advance is paid in a lump sum, usually within two weeks. It’s an alternative to obtaining credit cards and business loans that you can use for short-term periods of time. They are sometimes called factoring or invoice financing, but these terms just refer to the different types as ways of getting money from your customers. What do they ultimately mean? This article will give you all the information on what a merchant cash advance actually is and how it differs from other methods like taking out a loan with a bank, using credit cards or opening up lines of credit

A “merchant cash advance” is a loan that allows merchants to borrow money from banks. The loans are repaid by taking out a line of credit with the bank, and then paying back the loan plus interest. These loans can be used by businesses in order to take advantage of seasonal demand fluctuations or unexpected drops in sales.

What Is a Merchant Cash Advance, and Should You Get One?


Running a company is costly, and you may want financial assistance at times.

Whether you need money for new equipment or to increase your inventory, the old adage holds true: “you have to spend money to earn money.” There are various choices for organizations seeking finance, ranging from standard small company loans to the increasingly popular merchant cash advances.

If you’re thinking about it, here’s everything you need to know about eligibility, expenses, and advantages and disadvantages.

What is a merchant cash advance, and how does it work?

A merchant cash advance is a kind of finance in which you get money from a credit card processor or a third-party lender depending on your credit card sales volume.

The financing business is essentially buying a piece of your future credit card sales. You’ll return the advance by an automated deduction from your daily credit card sales, rather than a typical loan with a monthly payment.


Traditional business loans have stricter qualifying restrictions than merchant cash advances.

Notably, you do not need excellent credit. Strong credit card sales are one of the most important variables in deciding whether you’ll be accepted for an advance. You’ll have a greater chance of being approved if you can demonstrate that your company performs a lot of card transactions.

Specifics vary per lender, however you may be eligible if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’ve had your company for at least a year.
  • You already take credit cards and process a few thousand bucks every month.
  • You’re looking for a minimum of $10,000 in funding.

Some cash advance firms may have additional conditions, such as a monthly minimum credit card sales barrier, but these factors will give you a good idea of your chances of securing an advance.

Amounts and applications

Cash advances from merchants are offered in sums ranging from $5,000 to $150,000 or more. The more money you need, the more vital it is to demonstrate large credit card sales volumes.

Cash advances may be utilized for practically any lawful company reason, including equipment or inventory purchases, renovations, advertising, employee training, and more.

The distinctions between advances and loans

Merchant cash advances vary from small company loans in a number of ways, the most significant of which is that you return them automatically using a predetermined percentage of your credit card sales. Instead of making a monthly loan payment, a portion of your credit card sales will be withdrawn daily until the advance is paid off.

The benefit of such a method is that on days when credit card sales are fewer, your payment is also lower. You won’t have to come up with money to fulfill a fixed payment amount, which might be a relief for cash-strapped firms.

The disadvantage is that not having a defined payment amount might make budgeting difficult. Furthermore, since you have no control over the repayment, you cannot reduce the amount of “interest” you pay by making extra payments, as you do with loans.

Cash advances don’t technically have “interest” since the profit to the lender is computed as a predetermined charge; yet, we’re referring to it as such to contrast with loans. Unlike interest on a loan, the charge cannot be lowered.

Loans are strictly controlled. Because merchant cash advances are not loans, they are not subject to the same restrictions as traditional loans. Cash advances, in general, may cost you more in “interest” than a typical loan, in part because the lender considers them to be a higher risk.

When it’s not a good idea to get a cash advance

Just because you could qualify for a merchant cash advance doesn’t mean you should take one. Borrowing money is always a calculated risk, and the terms of loans and cash advances are comparable.

If you’re currently in debt, suffering a sales downturn (especially one that’s out of the usual or doesn’t follow your regular sales history), or if you’re qualified for a loan with better terms and interest rates, you may want to look into alternative options.

Cash advances, even if they don’t have a monthly payment, are still loans that will take a percentage of your business’s profits to repay. If you’re already having trouble paying your bills, adding extra debt can just make things worse.

A cash advance, on the other hand, might be an excellent financial bridge if you’re in good financial health but need to expand or develop but don’t qualify for a typical loan. If you’re qualified for a small company loan, though, it’s typically advisable to go that route.

What is a merchant cash advance and how can I receive one?

After considering your financial alternatives, you may determine that a cash advance is the best option for you. Depending on whatever firm you pick, the processes to get a merchant cash advance may differ. Many credit card processing businesses provide cash advances, or you may apply with a third-party lender.

To apply for a merchant cash advance, follow these four steps:

  1. Please get in touch with your credit card processor or lender.
  2. Fill out an application for a merchant cash advance: Prepare any supporting documentation, such as processing statements, that may be required.
  3. Examine the cash advance offer carefully: Calculate how long it will take to pay off the advance based on the proportion of sales that will be withdrawn.
  4. Accept the advance by signing the following documents: Keep a copy of every piece of documents for your records.

Some firms allow you to obtain a cash advance directly from your merchant dashboard or reporting panel (where you go to see information about your transactions). You’ll only see the choice if you’re eligible in specific circumstances. Check your merchant panel, but don’t assume that if there aren’t any options, you won’t be able to receive a cash advance from anywhere else.

Other factors to consider

Because a cash advance seems to be more casual than a loan, some firms regard it as such.

It’s crucial to realize, though, that cash loans are a legal obligation, and you may be accountable for repaying the advance even if your company goes out of business. Before signing any contracts for financial advances, be sure you read them well and get legal advice if you have any issues.

View our Business Funding Guide today!

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A “merchant cash advance” is a type of loan that allows small businesses to borrow money from banks. The loan is repaid with the future earnings of the business, which are called “dividends”. Reference: merchant cash advance for startups.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is merchant cash advance a good idea?

A: Merchant cash advance is a loan that allows businesses to borrow money for a specific project or event. The funding can be used towards the purchase of inventory, equipment and other business expenses related to growing their company.

Is a merchant cash advance bad?

A: Merchant cash advances are bad because they require a higher interest rate than others in the same category.

Why is a cash advance a bad idea?

A: If you need cash, an advance is not the way to go. This will just put more debt on your shoulders and make it harder for you to get out of if things dont work out. For example, a payday loan can be paid back quickly with one monthly payment whereas an advance can take years or even decades to pay back depending on how much money was borrowed in total.

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