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Merchant Cash Advance Companies: Here Are 6 of the Best (Plus Alternatives)

By Willi Vision Reviewed By Mike Lucas
By Willi Vision
By Willi Vision Reviewed By Mike Lucas

As a business owner, you don’t have time to search for the best merchant cash advance companies. You need money, and you usually need it fast. 

Learn about financing terms, rates, fees and how to qualify for some of the best business cash advance loans on the market. 

  • What Is a Merchant Cash Advance?

    A merchant cash advance (MCA) is an alternative form of financing. MCA lenders advance businesses cash that’s secured against its future receivables or credit card transactions.  

A stack of bills parachutes down from the sky.

What Do Merchant Cash Advance Companies Charge?

MCA companies are specialized lenders offering alternative, short-term financing. They typically use a factor rate to express financing charges on the advances they offer. 

The full amount of interest is charged when an advance is originated, and that cost is built into the repayment schedule.  

For example, if you receive an MCA of $15,000 at a factor rate of 1.12, you’d pay $1,800 in interest. In other words, for every dollar you borrow, you pay back a dollar plus 12 cents.  

It’s important to note that a factor rate is not the same as an annual percentage rate (APR). Most advances are paid off in less than 1 year, sometimes in just 3 months. So the APR may not provide an accurate comparison for evaluating the cost of short-term financing.

Related: Short-Term Loans: Why APR Is the Wrong Metric

Who Qualifies for a Merchant Cash Advance?

MCA lenders can help business owners with bad credit (a score of 500 to 560) obtain financing. Moreover, some MCA companies specialize in startups with only 3 months of operations. Others offer competitive lending rates to large, well-established companies.

The good news is that despite the pandemic, the Federal Reserve 2021 Small Business Credit Summary reports 84% of small businesses that applied for an MCA during the past year were approved.

  • Do You Qualify?

     

    Through Fast Capital 360, you’re likely to qualify for a merchant cash advance if:

    • You’ve been in business 4 months
    • You generate $100k in annual revenue
    • You have a credit score of 500 or better

    Apply now

Here’s our top merchant cash advance companies list with a brief overview of their MCA offerings and qualification requirements:

Table listing top 6 merchant cash advance providers and advance features

 

MCA lenders usually provide funding quickly, in a matter of hours or a few days. Compared to dealing with a bank for a loan, this process typically is much faster. However, the rates are much higher than with traditional bank financing.

Check with the merchant cash advance lenders to learn more about their interest rates and keep in mind: Rates are subject to change without notice, and not all borrowers qualify for the lowest rate.

Our List of Top MCA Lenders

Here are a few of the top merchant cash advance direct lenders and providers:

1. Forward Financing

Forward Financing is one of the best merchant cash advance direct lenders, having helped more than 32,000 small business owners in over 700 industries obtain funding since 2012.

Same-day approvals are available. There are no application fees or hard inquiries to your credit.

How Forward Financing Works

To qualify, applicants should have at least 1 year in business with proof of ownership, at least $10,000 in monthly revenue and a 500+ credit score. 

Funding renewals could be available for owners who are current on payments and who’ve paid 60% of the original balance.

Discounts may be available for early payments in full.

Forward Financing Terms

  • Advance Amount: $5,000-$300,000
  • Payment Term: 3-12 months
  • Time to Funding: Typically received within 24 hours

Why Forward Financing Made Our List

  • Accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • A+ rating with the BBB and rated 4.55 stars by BBB reviewers
  • 4.9-star rating on Trustpilot

2. Credibly

Founded in 2010, Credibly offers financing to businesses in more than 300 industries. Additionally, more than 90% of applicants pre-qualify for funding, according to the company’s website.

How Credibly Works

Applicants seeking financing from this top MCA lender should have a 500+ credit score, 6+ months in business and $15,000+ in average monthly bank deposits. Qualified business owners could see factor rates starting at 1.15.

Credibly charges a 1-time underwriting fee of 2.5% of the total advance amount and a $50 monthly administrative fee.

Credibly Terms

  • Advance Amount: Up to $400,000
  • Payment Term: 3-18 months
  • Time to Funding: As soon as the same day

Why Credibly Made Our List

  • Accredited with the BBB
  • A+ rating with BBB
  • 4.8-star Trustpilot rating

3. CAN Capital

The third firm to make our merchant cash advance companies list is CAN Capital. This top MCA lender likes to establish a permanent lending relationship with a business. With that in mind, the firm provides an easy way to open a second MCA after the first one is paid.

How CAN Capital Works

CAN Capital provides businesses with an advance of working capital by purchasing the business’s future payment card receivables at a discount. Funded businesses make automated daily remittances to CAN Capital based on a percentage of their actual payment card receivables.

You can find out if you qualify by applying online, a process that doesn’t impact your credit score. You can lock in an option by submitting final documents and e-signing the approved MCA contract.

To qualify, applicants must have at least 3 years in business, gross revenues greater than $150,000 and a FICO score of 600 or higher. Additionally, outstanding tax liens and judgments must be less than $175,000, and any personal or business bankruptcy must have been discharged for at least 1 year.

CAN Capital Terms

  • $595 administrative fee
  • Advance Amount: $2,500-$250,000
  • Payment Term: 6-18 months
  • Time to Funding: As few as 2 business days

Why CAN Capital Made Our List

  • Accredited with the BBB
  • A+ rating with the BBB
  • 4.7-star rating on Trustpilot

4. Rapid Finance

Rapid Finance is another one of the best online cash advance lenders. In addition to offering MCAs, this lender is a provider of invoice factoring, bridge loans, SBA loans and commercial real estate loans, convenient if your financing needs change during your funding relationship.

How Rapid Finance Works

Business owners apply online, and each owner is assigned a dedicated business advisor who helps with the financing process. Once a business is approved, there is a streamlined process if the business needs additional financing.

While the company does not state qualification requirements on its site, other websites have reported the firm provides MCAs for business owners with a personal credit score of 550 or higher. Additionally, financing may be available to startup companies with a minimum of $5,000 a month in bank card receivables.

Rapid Finance Terms

  • Advance Amount: $5,000-$500,000
  • Payment Term: No fixed payment terms as payments are based on the businesses receivables 
  • Time to Funding: As fast as 24 hours after documents are submitted

Why Rapid Finance Made Our List

  • Accredited with the BBB
  • A+ rating with the BBB
  • 4.9-star rating on Trustpilot

5. National Business Capital

National Business Capital is another one of the top merchant cash advance providers, offering MCAs up to $5 million. Though not a merchant cash advance direct lender, National Business Capital partners with more than 75 financing providers.

How National Business Capital Works

The firm doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement. However, they require a business history of at least 6 months with at least $120,000 in annual gross sales. There are no set payments, and repayment is based on an applicant’s day-to-day sales.

National Business Capital Terms

  • Advance Amount: $10,000-$5 million
  • Time for Funding: 1-3 days

Why National Business Capital Made Our List

  • Accredited with the BBB
  • A+ rating with the BBB
  • 5-star Trustpilot rating

6. Reliant Funding

This merchant cash advance provider has been in operation since 2008 and claims to have helped more than 10,000 small businesses across the U.S. Reliant Funding offers financing to small business owners in industries such as auto repair, construction, transportation, franchises, health care, retail, restaurants and bars.

How Reliant Funding Works

Reliant provides MCAs to businesses in certain industries in operation for at least 6 months with $60,000 in annual revenue and a 525 or higher FICO score.  

Apply online, which is fast and easy. You could get approval in a few hours, and funding could arrive in your business bank account on the next banking day after the documents are submitted and the loan is approved.

Reliant Funding Terms

  • Advance amount: Up to $400,000 
  • Time to Funding: As soon as 24 hours

Why Reliant Funding Made Our List

  • 4.8-star Trustpilot rating from more than 1,150 reviewers
  • While D+ rated with the BBB, this equates to a point score between 67-69.99 on a 100-point scale

Ready to apply for a cash advance?

GET APPROVED

MCA Alternative: Business Credit Lines

Business credit lines have terms that differ from an MCA. However, the flexible use of funds this type of financing provides can be useful to your business.

Here are a few lenders that offer business credit lines:

Fundbox

Fundbox specializes in working with business owners who have bad credit. A personal FICO score of 600 is enough to qualify. A line of credit is granted based on a direct financial analysis of the actual business activity and does not require collateral or credit insurance. Fundbox has an A+ rating with the BBB, where it’s also accredited.

Kabbage

Kabbage, a trademark of American Express, offers lines of credit to businesses with at least 1 year in operation. Applicants must also have a business checking account. Kabbage has a 3.5-star Trustpilot rating.

Lines of credit are available from $1,000-$150,000 and are offered as 6-, 12- or 18-month installment loans per credit line draw.

A hand holds a sack of cash.

MCA Alternative: Merchant Systems

Major merchant systems that process card transactions offer funding programs:

PayPal

PayPal offers its merchant customers a working capital advance based on their PayPal sales history. A business must have processed at least $15,000 of sales through a PayPal business account ($20,000 for a Premier account) and used PayPal for business for at least 3 months.

Square

Square makes offers to lend to merchants using its system based on a review of their merchant activity. The system chooses those who qualify and extends offers to eligible sellers. Repayment occurs as a fixed percentage of your daily card sales. You pay one loan fee to borrow the loan.

Stripe

Stripe gives a cash advance to certain merchants who use the Stripe system for payment processing.

Also Worth Considering: Other Lending Marketplaces

Other alternatives to merchant cash advance companies can be found in online lending marketplaces, such as Fast Capital 360, which may have MCA lenders offering better rates and terms. 

Marketplaces are where multiple lenders compete for your loan business. With a single application on Fast Capital 360, get multiple quotes for an MCA, business credit line and other financing options.

Willi Vision
Willi Vision Contributing Writer for Fast Capital 360
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