MCA Consolidation Loan

MCA Consolidation Loan: Fuels and Simplifies Success

Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Gerry Stewart

If you’re seeking financial relief and simplicity in managing your business debts, a MCA consolidation loan could be the game-changer you need.

By merging multiple merchant cash advances into a single, manageable loan, you gain control over repayments and potentially reduce overall costs. Consider exploring this option to streamline your finances and pave the way for business growth.

Within these insights, you’ll find the key to unraveling the complexities of MCA consolidation, offering a clear path to financial optimization for your business.

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Key Takeaways

  • Simplifying payments into one predictable monthly amount
  • Reducing interest costs by up to 50% or more
  • Improving cash flow by extending repayment terms
  • Strengthening credit through fewer inquiries and reduced reliance on financing

What is an MCA Loan and Why Do Businesses Get Them?

Merchant Cash Advance Debt
Merchant Cash Advance Debt

A merchant cash advance (MCA), sometimes called a business cash advance, is a form of alternative business financing. Unlike a term loan, an MCA provides an upfront lump sum of capital in exchange for a percentage of future sales.

Here’s how it works:

  • Advance amount – The MCA provider gives you a lump sum upfront, usually between $5,000 – $500,000.
  • Fixed factor rate – You agree to pay back a fixed percentage of daily credit card sales, typically 13-20%.
  • Daily repayments – A set percentage is deducted daily from credit card receipts until the advance is repaid in full, plus fees.
  • No fixed term – There’s no set repayment schedule. The faster your sales, the faster you pay back the MCA.

So if you got a $50,000 advance at a 15% factor rate, and did $1,000 in daily credit card sales, you’d repay $150 daily until hitting the $50,000 mark.

Pros and Cons of MCAs

MCAs appeal to many small businesses because they provide fast, easy access to capital without requiring strong credit scores or collateral. However, they come with some downsides:

Pros

  • Fast approval and funding in days or weeks
  • Based on business performance, not personal credit score
  • Flexible repayment terms tied to sales
  • No collateral required

Cons

  • Very high interest rates of 36-60% APR equivalent
  • Daily repayments strain cash flow
  • No fixed maturity date
  • Costly penalties for early payoff

For these reasons, MCAs work best as short-term solutions to bridge unexpected cash flow gaps. As long-term financing, the costs can be crippling.

When Do Businesses Get MCAs?

There are several common situations where businesses take out MCAs:

  • Covering payroll/expenses during slow seasons
  • Financing new equipment or inventory
  • Tiding things over until loans are approved
  • Dealing with unexpected emergencies or expenses
  • Rapidly expanding operations or staff
  • Launching marketing campaigns to grow

Unfortunately, some get stuck in an expensive “MCA debt cycle”, where they constantly refinance or take new advances to stay afloat and pay off old ones.

This leads to a snowball effect where multiple MCAs create a cash flow crisis.

The Downsides of Having Multiple MCAs

Merchant Cash Advance Consolidation
Merchant Cash Advance Consolidation

While a single MCA may provide temporary relief, having multiple at once can worsen cash flow issues and profitability over the long term.

Difficult Accounting

With several MCAs deducting different percentages daily, it’s extremely difficult to forecast expenses, plan budgets, and optimize cash flow.

You may not even fully know how much you’re paying in fees and interest.

Inflexible Repayment

Not only are you paying back multiple MCAs simultaneously, but structuring payments is inflexible.

The fixed deductions from sales occur on their schedule, regardless of your other expenses.

Damage to Credit Profile

Each new MCA advance is another inquiry on your business credit file.

Over time, this can negatively impact your score and make securing future financing more difficult.

Less Operating Capital

Since repayments are pulled directly from sales accounts, having several MCAs can mean less operating capital on hand day-to-day.

This strains your ability to cover other core expenses.

Profit Drain

The combined interest costs and fees of juggling multiple MCAs at high rates can significantly affect your operating margins and profitability.

While consolidating your MCAs into a single loan at a lower rate won’t solve all these problems, it can greatly alleviate the burden.

Who Offers MCA Consolidation Loans?

Specialty lenders like Fora Financial and ROK Financial provide MCA consolidation loans, as do some banks and alternative online lenders.

The key is finding a lender who understands the MCA model and offers attractive MCA consolidation terms.

Avoid predatory lenders who claim “easy consolidation” but hide fees.

How Much Can You Borrow?

Loan amounts range quite a bit but often fall between $10,000 – $500,000. The amount depends on factors like:

  • Your time in business
  • Revenues and financial performance
  • Credit score and history
  • Collateral available
  • Your existing MCA payoff amounts

Aim for a consolidation loan that pays off your MCA balances in full and provides some extra working capital.

What are the Qualification Requirements?

While less stringent than a bank, lenders do have requirements to qualify, such as:

  • Minimum 6-12 months in business
  • Personal credit score of 500+
  • Business revenues over $10,000/month
  • Positive cash flow
  • No recent bankruptcies
  • Collateral like accounts receivable or property

Better terms go to those with stronger credit, higher revenues, and solid cash flow.

What is the Application Process?

Applying for an MCA consolidation loan is relatively straightforward:

  1. Compare lenders and choose one that meets your needs
  2. Gather documents like financial statements, tax returns, MCA statements, and collateral details
  3. Complete the application with business and personal info
  4. Get prequalified to view potential loan terms
  5. Submit the final application with all documentation
  6. Get final approval and close on the loan!

With the right lender, you can often go from application to funding in a few weeks.

How to Choose the Best MCA Consolidation Lender

Cash Advance Debt Consolidation
Cash Advance Debt Consolidation

Not all lenders are equal when it comes to MCA consolidation loans. Here are key factors to consider when comparing your options:

Look for Experience and Specialization

Choose a lender deeply experienced with MCA consolidation, not just generic business loans. They’ll better understand your situation.

Review Customer Feedback and Complaints

Check third-party review sites and the BBB for feedback on lenders you’re considering. Beware of complaints about misleading terms or “bait and switch” tactics.

Compare Interest Rates and Fees

Rates from 10-30% are common but compare all-in costs like origination fees. Taking the loan with the lowest APR will provide the most savings.

Understand Qualification Criteria

Each lender has their approval guidelines. If you have credit or cash flow challenges, seek lenders with more lenient requirements.

Consider the Repayment Terms

Many MCA consolidation loans offer terms from 12-48 months. Choose the term length your budget can accommodate.

Look for Flexible Payment Options

Ideal lenders allow multiple payment options like ACH, checks, and online portals. Automatic payments can also reduce interest rates.

Review Prepayment Options

Check if prepaying early incurs a penalty. You may benefit from a lender allowing prepayments to pay off the consolidation loan faster.

By taking the time to weigh these factors against your specific situation, you can find the MCA consolidation lender offering you the best overall value.

How MCA Consolidation Loans Can Impact Your Credit

Like any financing, an MCA consolidation loan can affect your business and personal credit profile. Here’s how:

Business Credit Inquiries

Each lender you apply with will issue an inquiry on your business credit file. Too many inquiries from shopping around can negatively impact your score. Aim to apply with fewer lenders.

Personal Credit Checks

Most MCA lenders will check your credit score and report as well since you guarantee the loan. If your score is low, focus on lenders that emphasize business performance over personal credit.

Payment History

Making on-time payments on your consolidation loan will gradually improve your business credit profile. Late or missed payments do the opposite.

Credit Mix

MCA consolidation loans show potential lenders you can handle multiple types of credit, not just MCAs. This diversity strengthens your credit mix.

Reduced Balances

By paying off MCAs and consolidating debt, your business credit reports will show fewer outstanding balances. This improves your credit utilization ratio.

Fewer New Inquiries

Once consolidated, you won’t need to open new MCAs as frequently. Fewer inquiries preserve your business credit score over the long term.

While it varies case-by-case, MCA consolidation often improves credit if managed prudently by paying on time, limiting inquiries, and reducing reliance on new financing.

Tips for Managing Cash Flow After Consolidation

An MCA consolidation loan simplifies payments, but effective cash flow management is still vital to your success. Here are some tips.

Create an Updated Budget

With consolidated payments, revise your budget to reflect the new loan costs and free up capital that was tied up in MCA repayments.

Build an Ample Cash Buffer

Having 3-6 months of cash reserves provides a buffer for income fluctuations and unplanned expenses.

Only Take the Necessary Financing

Avoid the temptation to take on new debt except when critical. Rely on the consolidation loan and revenues.

Accelerate Payments When Possible

Making extra principal payments reduces your overall interest costs and pays off the loan faster.

Regularly Review Statements

Monitor your loan statements closely each month to catch any fees or billing errors. Dispute issues immediately.

Optimize Accounts Receivable

If you have outstanding invoices to clients, improve collections processes to speed up AR and increase cash on hand.

Negotiate Vendor Terms

See if critical suppliers can extend payment terms so you hold onto cash longer before outlays.

Track Expenses Closely

Use accounting software or spreadsheets to closely monitor where money is going. Trim unnecessary expenses.

With disciplined cash management and a careful eye on finances, MCA consolidation loans can be a stepping stone to steadier long-term growth.

Alternatives to MCA Consolidation Financing

Cash Advance Consolidation Company
Cash Advance Consolidation Company

If consolidation won’t work for your situation, here are a few other options to explore:

Renegotiate with MCA Providers

See if your current MCA provider can modify to lower rates or longer terms. While unlikely, it’s worth asking.

Explore SBA Loans

SBA 7(a) or 504 loans provide longer repayment periods and lower costs than MCAs but have stricter eligibility.

Consider Debt Settlement

You may negotiate lump-sum settlements on outstanding MCA balances at a discount. This hurts credit but provides relief.

Seek Out Patient Investors

Equity sources like friends/family, angels, and some VCs offer more patient growth capital than MCAs.

Attempt Accounts Receivable Factoring

Factoring companies purchase your AR at a discount, which frees up near-term cash flow.

Evaluate Bank Loans or Lines of Credit

Traditional bank financing is generally less expensive than MCAs if you can qualify.

Weigh the Costs of Bankruptcy

Filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy stops collections and discharges debt but makes future financing very difficult.

If you exhaust other options, accepting a slower growth trajectory while relying only on internal cash flow may be the most prudent path, even if difficult.

The key is being realistic about tradeoffs and making informed decisions.

Avoid the Debt Spiral After Consolidation

Cash Advance Consolidation Loan
Cash Advance Consolidation Loan

After finally consolidating your MCAs, the last thing you want is to end up back in the same situation with mounting debt.

Here are some tips to avoid the debt spiral:

Stick to Your Approved Capital Budget

Follow a capital expenditure budget that aligns with your post-consolidation cash flow. Approve new purchases carefully.

Limit New Financing

Unless critical, avoid new loans or credit lines right after consolidating. Pay off existing debt first.

Build Cash Reserves

Having cash savings avoids reaching for financing at the first cash crunch.

Adopt Lean Operations

Limit expenses through frugal methods like buying used equipment, optimizing workflows, and eliminating waste.

Institute Approval Controls

Require secondary sign-off for new financing requests to provide accountability.

Ban Financing for Discretionary Expenses

Do not allow financing non-critical expenses like holiday parties, owner draws, etc. Stick to needs.

Delay Large Purchases and Projects

Defer major growth initiatives requiring capital until revenues support them sustainably.

Monitor Revenue Closely

If sales sag, adjust quickly by pausing hiring or cuts rather than taking on debt.

Avoiding quick-fix financing is challenging but forced financial discipline positions you for true long-term success. The lean times won’t last forever.

Understanding Annual Percentage Rates with MCA Consolidation

How APRs are Calculated for MCA Loans

Unlike term loans, MCA providers do not disclose annual percentage rates (APRs) for cash advances.

This makes comparing costs difficult. However, consolidation lenders will provide APRs, which account for fees and compounding interest.

Review APRs closely to understand true costs.

Why Consolidation APRs are Usually Lower

An MCA consolidation loan will often have an APR of around 25-35% compared to 50-60% APR equivalents for MCAs.

This APR reduction comes from both lower interest rates and longer repayment periods.

Lower APRs save significant money over time.

Consider the APR Impact on Fees

Some lenders advertise deceptively low rates and then charge hefty origination fees equal to 5-10% of the loan amount.

When calculating APRs, this dramatically increases costs. Opt for loans with low rates and limited fees.

The Role of Money Lending After Consolidation

Build Ongoing Relationships with Lenders

Once you consolidate with a lender, maintaining contact and financial updates positions you for better rates on future needs.

This relationship lending provides access to capital.

Seek Patient Lending Sources

Patient capital from sources like community banks, credit unions, CDFIs, and government programs comes with longer-term loans and more flexibility than MCAs.

Weigh the Risks of Alternative Lenders

While easy to access, be cautious of high-cost alternative loans that seem similar to MCAs.

Carefully compare APRs and terms.

Using Accounts Receivable Financing Selectively

Benefits of Factoring for Immediate Cash

Factoring your accounts receivable provides quick access to cash tied up in unpaid customer invoices.

This can help cover urgent obligations before consolidation funding arrives.

Cost and Risk Considerations

Factoring is expensive long-term at upfront fees of 1-5% and interest rates of around 36%.

Defaults on factored invoices also pass risk back to you.

Use selectively for short-term needs.

Policies to Avoid Abuse

Set internal policies limiting factoring volume and frequency.

Require approval for each instance to avoid becoming overreliant.

How Consolidation Impacts Card Payments and Processing

Renegotiating Merchant Account Terms

With consolidated repayments, negotiate lower credit card processing fees or discounted equipment.

Improved sales volume from debt relief can provide leverage.

Potentially Lower Processing Volumes

If consolidation loan payments are made via ACH instead of credit card, your monthly processing volumes may decrease, saving on interchange fees.

Opportunities for New Equipment

Without large daily MCA debits, you may be able to upgrade processors or finally implement new POS systems using cost savings.

Managing Payoffs of MCAs

Monthly Payment
Monthly Payment

Timing New Funding with Payoffs

To avoid missed payments, time the funding of your consolidation loan to align closely with final payoffs to your MCA providers.

Leave no gap.

Payoffs May Require Mediation

If MCA agents resist accepting payoffs or attempt unreasonable fees, work with your consolidation lender as an advocate and mediator.

Early Repayment Policies

Review any early payoff policies with existing MCA providers.

Factor required fees into your requested consolidation loan amount.

How Lenders Compare for MCA Consolidation

Seek Established MCA Consolidation Specialists

Opt for lenders specializing specifically in MCA consolidation like ROK Financial. Their expertise provides better terms and understanding.

Comparison Shopping is Key

Submit inquiry forms to 4-5 lenders to compare loan offers.

Having options empowers you to select the best overall package.

Consolidating Multiple MCAs into One

Itemize Individual MCA Balances

Compile detailed accounting for each outstanding MCA balance to pay off.

Consolidate the total into your requested loan amount.

No Need for Small Batch Consolidations

Unlike debt settlement, it’s best to consolidate all your MCAs simultaneously to maximize interest savings.

There’s no benefit to partial consolidation.

Streamlining Ongoing Accounting

With all MCAs consolidated into a single loan, recording payments and managing cash flow become much easier.

Refinancing Options Beyond MCA Debt

Refinancing Equipment Loans or Lines of Credit

If you have existing equipment financing or credit lines at high rates, consolidation loans can potentially refinance these balances as well.

Business Credit Card Consolidation

Some lenders may also allow consolidating high-interest business credit card balances along with your MCA payoffs.

Mortgage Refinancing Not Ideal

Most advisors recommend not consolidating longer-term debt like mortgages with shorter-term MCA consolidation loans.

Alternatives to Full Consolidation

Debt Management Plans

A nonprofit credit counselor can negotiate reduced interest rates and payments on your behalf with MCA providers.

Less drastic than full consolidation.

Opening a Business Savings Account

Setting up a dedicated savings account to build cash reserves provides borrowing flexibility and avoids constant reliance on new financing.

Buying Out MCA Balances

If business performance has improved, consider paying off individual MCA balances entirely in lump sums without necessarily consolidating.

However, not all consolidation lenders are equal. Finding an experienced provider offering the best rates and terms for your situation is crucial.

Consolidation buys you time to repair finances and build sustainable growth.

However, discipline is still required to avoid returning to debt over-reliance. 

Latest Trends for Corporate Debt

Corporate Debt by Country
Corporate Debt by Country

Conclusion

A MCA consolidation loan is the remedy for businesses navigating complex debts. Dial 888-653-0124 to discover the transformative power of financial consolidation and secure your business’s future.

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Gerry Stewart
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