If you’re a small business owner with limited collateral, no preexisting banking relationships, or poor personal or business credit, odds are you may be considering a merchant cash advance. A merchant cash advance is a financing option that provides merchants with a large up-front sum of cash in exchange for a percentage of future sales. Usually, merchants can qualify for a merchant cash advance simply by providing minimal documentation to prove that they process above a certain amount of credit and debit card sales per month. Merchant cash advance providers then collect a percentage of all future card sales until the original amount plus interest is repaid.
Merchant cash advances can seem appealing due to their basic signup requirements and quick time to funding, usually within 7 to 10 days. There is also usually no need for a high credit score, personal guaranty, or lengthy loan application process. But merchants should be aware of a few potential drawbacks to the merchant cash advance industry. Since a merchant cash advance is technically defined as a percentage of future sales rather than a loan, it is not subject to interest rate regulation. This means that you can end up paying much higher rates over the life of a merchant cash advance than with a traditional business loan. Additionally, the unregulated nature of the market means that you should shop around for rates in order to avoid a predatory repayment plan.
We have compiled a list of seven merchant cash advance providers below. Please note that although many merchant account providers claim to supply merchant cash advances, most of them are actually reselling the services of third-party companies like those listed below. Because of this, if you choose to sign up for a merchant cash advance through your payment processor, be sure to research the actual merchant cash advance company responsible for financing and managing the account.
Please note that CardPaymentOptions.com has not assessed the legality of the financing methods offered by the following providers. This list also does not constitute an endorsement of any kind by CardPaymentOptions.com, and the order in which these businesses are listed does not imply a ranking of any sort. This list is simply a resource for merchants who are considering merchant cash advance financing. Merchants are strongly encouraged to research the pricing and services offered by these providers before agreeing to their terms.
CAN Capital / AdvanceMe, Inc.
A wholly owned subsidiary of CAN Capital, AdvanceMe, Inc. (advanceme.com) is one of the largest merchant cash advance providers in the industry. CAN Capital, which was formerly known as Capital Access Network, appears to offer most of its cash advance services under the AdvanceMe name, but merchants may encounter both names when dealing with this company. The company, which is located in Kennesaw, Georgia, advertises financing amounts from $5,000 to $150,000 and loan availability in as few as three days. AdvanceMe, Inc. is currently showing an “A-” rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on 14 complaints in the last three years, and we have found roughly a dozen complaints about the company on other consumer protection websites.
BankCard Central / Working Capital For Merchants
BankCard Central (bankcardcentral.com) is a Kansas City, Missouri-based merchant services provider that also offers merchant cash advances. Formed in 1992, BankCard Central is unique among credit card processors in that it appears to operate a separate merchant cash advance division known as Working Capital For Merchants (workingcapital4merchants.com). The company advertises that merchants are qualified for cash advances if they have been in business for more than one month and process over $10,000 monthly. The company’s website also states that it is able to offer up to $1,000,000 in funding to eligible merchants. Our review of BankCard Central’s credit card processing services currently awards the company an “A,” and the BBB is showing a grade of “A+” at this time with accreditation pending.
Merchant Cash & Capital
Founded in 2005, Merchant Cash & Capital (merchantcashandcapital.com) is a merchant cash advance provider with headquarters in New York City. The company advertises that it can offer up to $500,000 per location to businesses that have been in business for at least three months, average $10,000 in monthly gross revenue, and have no open bankruptcies. Merchant Cash & Capital has been accredited with the BBB since 2011 and currently shows an “A+” rating based on eight complaints in the last three years. We have also found a handful of negative reviews about the company on other websites, mostly concerning the company’s customer service.
Merchant Money (gomerchantmoney.com) began in 1997 as a merchant account provider called Legacy Merchant Services, but the company incorporated Merchant Money in 2005 as it expanded into the merchant cash advance industry. Merchant Money advertises that it can offer funding of up to $250,000 to merchants, often without regard to credit history. The company’s website states that a merchant will need to switch credit card processors in order to receive a cash advance through Merchant Money, but Merchant Money is willing to reimburse 50% of a merchant’s early termination fee up to $145. Merchant Money is currently showing accreditation with the BBB and an “A+” grade based on two complaints in the last three years.
Capital For Merchants
Capital For Merchants (capitalformerchants.com) is a Troy, Michigan-based merchant cash advance provider that is partnered with North American Bancard. Founded in 2005, the company’s website advertises that it can provide merchants with up to $500,000 in financing. It is likely that Capital For Merchants requires merchants to process payments through North American Bancard in order to receive and pay off a merchant cash advance. Our review of North American Bancard currently awards that company a “D,” but Capital For Merchants is showing an “A+” with the BBB at this time based on zero total complaints. There appear to be no merchant cash advance reviews about the company on other consumer protection websites.
Rapid Advance (rapidadvance.com) is a merchant cash advance company headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Like most companies in the industry, Rapid Advance requires no personal guaranty and accepts repayment in the form of a portion of a merchant’s credit card sales. However, Rapid Advance advertises that it does not require merchants to process payments through a specific merchant account provider, meaning merchants are free to obtain a Rapid Advance merchant cash advance and keep their current credit card processing contract. Rapid Advance currently has an “A+” grade with the BBB based on only two complaints, but we have found roughly ten Rapid Advance negative reviews on other consumer protection sites. Additionally, Rapid Advance was the subject of a generally negative special report published in 2010 by the Washington Business Journal (available here and here).
Rapid Capital Funding
Founded in 2007, Rapid Capital Funding (rapidcapitalfunding.com) is a Miami, Florida-based company that provides merchant cash advances for small and mid-sized businesses. The company’s website lists minimum requirements of at least six months in business, a U.S. location, and monthly revenue of at least $10,000 for merchants to receive a cash advance. Rapid Capital Funding currently advertises on its website that it has an “A” rating with the BBB, but the company actually has a rating of “A-” based on 12 complaints filed in the last three years. There are also a handful of Rapid Capital Funding negative reviews scattered across other consumer protection websites.
If your business offers merchant cash advances, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.