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Merchant Cash Advance Consolidation: A Lifeline for Small Businesses
Merchant cash advances (MCAs) have become an increasingly popular way for small businesses to access capital quickly and easily. Unlike traditional small business loans, MCAs don’t require a high credit score or collateral. The business repays the advance through a percentage of its credit card and debit card sales over a fixed period of time.While MCAs offer fast funding, they often come at a high cost. The repayment terms mean you end up paying back far more than the amount advanced. For example, a $50,000 MCA may cost you $75,000 or more once it’s fully repaid. If you take out multiple MCAs, repayment can consume 50% or more of your daily credit card receipts.For many small businesses, MCA debt becomes unmanageable. The high repayment rates mean you struggle to cover operating expenses. MCA consolidation offers a solution by rolling multiple MCAs into one manageable loan with lower payments. Here’s what business owners need to know about MCA consolidation.
How MCA Consolidation Works
MCA consolidation works by paying off your existing MCAs and replacing them with a single loan. An MCA consolidation lender provides the capital to pay off your balances in full. This relieves you of the daily or weekly debits against your card receipts.Instead, you make one monthly payment to the consolidation lender. This single payment is usually lower than the total you were paying to service multiple MCAs. Consolidation stretches out the repayment period, reducing the impact on your cash flow.For example, let’s say you have three outstanding MCAs totaling $100,000. You’re paying a combined $7,500 per month to service this debt. An MCA consolidation loan for $100,000 may have a monthly payment around $2,500.By extending the term, consolidation reduces the repayment burden. This frees up capital to invest in growing your business.
Benefits of MCA Consolidation
The potential benefits of consolidating merchant cash advances include:
- Lower monthly payments – A longer repayment term reduces your monthly cost. This improves cash flow.
- Fixed interest rate – MCAs charge very high effective interest rates. A consolidation loan offers a fixed rate, which is usually much lower.
- Single payment – Making one monthly payment is easier to manage than multiple daily/weekly debits.
- Improved credit – MCAs don’t report to credit bureaus. A consolidation loan can help build your business credit history.
- Access to capital – Consolidation frees up future receivables so you can access capital if needed.
- Better terms – MCAs charge very high rates and fees. A consolidation loan provides better terms and cost savings.
For businesses overwhelmed by MCA debt, consolidation can be a lifeline. It reduces the cash flow drain and creates sustainability.
MCA Consolidation Eligibility
To qualify for merchant cash advance consolidation, your business must:
- Have been operating for at least one year
- Have monthly credit card sales of $10,000 or more
- Have MCA balances totaling at least $50,000
- Have 600+ personal credit score
The lender will review your credit card processing statements to verify sales and existing MCA payments. They want to see consistent revenue and repayment ability.Startups and newer businesses usually don’t qualify for MCA consolidation. The lender looks for an established track record. If you have only had an MCA for a few months, consolidation likely won’t be approved.
How to Apply for MCA Consolidation
Applying for an MCA consolidation loan involves:
- Contact lenders – Reach out to lenders like <a href=”https://www.nav.com/business-loans/mca-consolidation-loan/”>Nav</a> and <a href=”https://www.loanbuilder.com/mca-consolidation”>LoanBuilder</a> for details.
- Submit application – Provide documents like bank statements, credit card processing records, and tax returns.
- Get pre-qualified – The lender will review eligibility and provide pre-qualification terms.
- Accept offer – If satisfied with the offer, accept it and complete the remaining documents.
- Lender pays off MCAs – The lender sends payoff checks to your MCA providers.
- Begin making payments – You begin making the single monthly payment to the consolidation lender.
The entire process usually takes between 2-4 weeks. It’s important to choose an experienced consolidation lender who can execute quickly.
The Downsides of MCA Consolidation
While consolidation can be a lifesaver, there are some potential downsides to consider:
- Closing costs – You may have to pay 1-5% of the loan amount in origination fees.
- Prepayment penalties – Some MCA consolidation loans impose fees if you pay off early.
- Collateral required – The lender may require a personal guarantee or lien on business assets.
- Damage to business relationships – Consolidation cuts ties with your MCA providers.
- Variable rates – Some consolidation loans have variable rates that could increase payments.
- Longer repayment term – While good for cash flow, a longer term means more interest paid.
Be sure to read the fine print and understand the consolidation loan terms. While usually better than MCAs, these loans still carry risks.
Alternatives to MCA Consolidation
If consolidation won’t work for your business, alternatives include:
- Renegotiating MCA terms – See if providers will extend the repayment period.
- Using revenue to pay down MCAs – If cash flow improves, pay them down faster.
- Seeking an SBA loan – Though difficult to qualify, SBA loans have low fixed rates.
- Using retirement funds – An IRA or 401k can be used for a business loan.
- Finding an investor – Bringing in an investor can provide funds to pay off debt.
- Filing bankruptcy – This ends MCA payments but severely damages credit.
For most businesses, however, consolidation is the simplest path to resolving unmanageable MCA debt. The key is finding an experienced lender who can execute the process smoothly.