5 Best Merchant Cash Advance Companies
Banks only approve around 30% of loans.1 Merchant cash advances provide an alternative for businesses that need cash fast.
Best OverallFast, easy applicationVariety of lenders and loans
Best for Bad CreditLow credit requirementsAutomated application
Best for Repeat MCAsEasy funding renewal processExcellent customer reviews
Best for Large MCAsLoans up to $2 millionNo minimum credit score
Most ConvenientAutomated approval processFunds available in minutes
To access this loan, you’ll have to complete an application with an authorized lender that consists of a two-page form in addition to required documentation. If you qualify, you’ll be loaned 250% of your average monthly payroll in 2019. You may also qualify to have the loan forgiven if no employees are compensated above $100,000 and at least 75% of the money goes to paying workers. If you can’t obtain forgiveness, the loan must be repaid in two years at a 0.5% interest rate after six initial months of interest deferment.
If you think your business would benefit, apply at a Paycheck Protection Program authorized lender.
So you think you want a merchant cash advance (MCA). You’ve heard that merchant cash advances give you a lump sum of up-front money, which you repay with a percentage of your daily (or weekly) credit and debit card sales. And you want one.
While MCAs are never our first choice for funding, there are reasons you’d want one. Maybe you need money ASAP. Maybe you don’t qualify for more traditional business loans or financing. Maybe you just like the idea of percentage-based payments instead of set payments.
Whatever your reason, we want to help you find the right merchant cash advance company for your business. We’ve ranked your best options and explained what sets them apart.
Merchant cash advances can be a vital source of funding for small-business owners, but their rates can be misleading—and quite high. Make sure you know what you’re getting into by reading our guide to merchant cash advances.
|Company||Lowest listed rate*||Learn More|
|Fundbox||4.66% draw rate||Apply here|
|National Business Capital||Unlisted||Apply here|
|Kabbage||1.5 factor rate||Apply here|
|PayPal Working Capital||Unlisted||Apply here|
|Square Capital||10%||Apply here|
|Stripe Capital||Unlisted||Apply here|
Lendio: Best overall merchant cash advance provider
If you want to get the best possible deal on an MCA, we recommend you apply with Lendio. It’s a lending marketplace, rather than a direct lender. That means that Lendio will compare your application with various lenders, and then report back to you with a list of loan offers.
You can compare those offers to find what works best for you—whether that means comparing factor rates, retrieval rates, or cash amounts. You might even get offers for other types of funding that you can compare with MCAs.
With any luck, Lendio will help you find a merchant cash advance that fits just right.
Fundbox: Best for bad credit
One great thing about merchant cash advances? Their relatively low application requirements, including credit requirements. Fundbox continues that tradition with its low credit requirements. A credit score of just 500 can qualify you for a Fundbox loan.
Now, Fundbox is technically not a merchant cash advance; it offers lines of credit. But its low application requirements make it a great alternative to merchant cash advances. (Note that while Fundbox is not an MCA, it still has a high APR.)
So if you want to get good funding even with bad credit, give Fundbox a go.
Don’t qualify for a business loan? Get a personal loan instead.
CanCapital: Best for repeat borrowing
For many businesses, borrowing isn’t a one-time thing. You might need an MCA to pay for a new advertising strategy, and then need another MCA to pay for some new equipment—and so on. While you can always apply for another MCA, few lenders make it easier than CanCapital does.
When you get close to paying off your CanCapital merchant account, a CanCapital renewal specialist will get in touch with you. They’ll help you figure out future funding so you can continue to get the cash flow you need. (As always, we urge you to borrow carefully.)
If you plan to take out more funding in the future, it’s worth checking out CanCapital’s MCAs.
National Business Capital: Best for large loans
Merchant cash advances can be expensive, so it makes sense that many MCA companies limit the amount they’ll lend. But sometimes, you really do need more money, and you’re willing to pay for it. If that sounds like your situation, then let us introduce you to National Business Capital.
Unlike other MCA companies, National Business Capital offers merchant cash advances that go up into the millions. It’s an otherwise pretty cut-and-dried MCA company (though it offers other business financing products too).
But if you want to go big with your MCA—real big—consider National Business Capital.
Kabbage: Most convenient
One big advantage of MCAs? They’re fast. Term loans can take several days or even weeks to get funded, but MCAs often have a turnaround of just a day or two. And if you need fast funds and you need them now, no one makes getting approved and funded easier—or faster—than Kabbage.
Like Fundbox, Kabbage is not an MCA (it’s a line of credit). But Kabbage’s automated application process can get you approved in minutes. After that, you can get funds through PayPal for near-instant access, or you can wait a little longer for a Kabbage card or direct deposit.
So if you want an MCA because you want fast funds, Kabbage might be a great fit.
The credit card processing companies below don’t call their loans merchant cash advances, but they also work by taking a percentage of your credit card sales—or in this case, a percentage of the credit card and debit card payments you accept through their services.
PayPal Working Capital: Best for PayPal users
PayPal Working Capital is exclusively for PayPal users—whether you use PayPal’s mobile credit card reader or you just accept PayPal payments on your online store. To qualify, you’ll need to have a PayPal Business or PayPal Premier account for at least three months, plus you’ll need to get at least $15,000 in PayPal sales per year.
Square Capital: Best for Square users
If you use the Square mobile credit card reader, you might qualify for a Square Capital loan. Square will use past credit card and debit card sales to decide how much you qualify for. Note that you can’t apply for a Square Capital loan; Square will extend a loan to you if it thinks you qualify. We explain more in our Square Capital review.
Stripe Capital: Best for Stripe users
Is Stripe your credit card processor of choice? Stripe Capital is the new kid on the block, appearing on the market in September 2019. As of right now, there’s no maximum loan size, though Stripe suggests that a typical business owner can expect somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000.2 Of course, your specific loan size will depend on your past sales through Stripe.
FAQS about merchant cash advances
How do I qualify for a merchant cash advance?
When it comes to qualifying for an MCA, the biggest factor is your credit and debit card sales. Since MCAs give you money in exchange for a percentage of your future sales, you need regular, predictable credit card sales to qualify.
Lenders may also look at all the usual business loan qualifications, like how long you’ve been in business, your personal credit score, and your annual revenue.
How long does it take to pay back a merchant cash advance?
The time it takes to pay off your MCA will depend on your retrieval rate and your credit card sales. (After all, you won’t be making standard monthly payments.) Typically, you can expect somewhere between 8 to 10 months, though repayment can be as short as 4 months or as long as 18 months.
At any rate, they’re squarely in the short-term financing camp.
Is a merchant cash advance a type of loan?
No, merchant cash advances aren’t actually loans. You might think that merchant cash advance companies are loaning you money that you repay with your future credit card sales, but that’s not technically correct.
You’re actually selling a percentage of those credit card and debit card sales to the merchant cash advance provider. The money you get up front? That’s payment for that future percentage. So a merchant cash advance provider is a provider, not a lender, because they’re not actually giving you a loan.
But that’s getting a little pedantic, so you’ll definitely see MCAs lumped in with short-term business loans.
What are good merchant cash advance alternatives?
If you’re interested in MCA alternatives, check out our guide to the best small-business funding options to see all your choices. If you’re looking at MCAs because you have poor credit, you might also be interested in our guide to financing your business with bad credit.
What fees do merchant cash advances have?
The fees on a merchant cash advance take the form of a factor rate, which we thoroughly explain in our guide to merchant cash advances. You’ll pay back your advance plus a factor rate with what’s called your retrieval rate or holdback amount, or the percentage of your credit card sales that goes to the MCA provider. (Again, see the guide for more details.)
In some cases, you may also have to pay an administrative fee (like the origination fee on a small-business loan).
While merchant cash advances might not be our favorite form of financing, they can be an important part of meeting your cash flow needs—assuming you have enough credit card transactions to make them viable, of course.
So choose and apply wisely. Hopefully our ranking will make that process a little easier.
Merchant cash advances don’t have to be your only option. Learn how to build your business credit so you can get better loans in the future.
- Justifi Capital, “The Future of the Merchant Advance Industry”
- TechCrunch, “Stripe Launches Stripe Capital to Make Instant Loan Offers to Customers on Its Platform”