10 things you need to know about merchant cash advances

You may be a business owner with a struggling business and are probably looking for options to save your company from going down. The merchant cash advance option may have come to your mind but probably don’t have enough information. This article is dedicated to giving you useful information and taking you through a couple of important points.

1.  What is a merchant cash advance?

Merchant cash advance

Merchant cash advance

Merchant cash advance financing is a financing option that involves the loan of a certain amount of money into a business by merchant cash advance providers in exchange for future credit card and/or debit card sales. It is a financial plan that small businesses take up.

Merchant cash advances help them get quick cash which their businesses need. In exchange, they sell a part of their future sales to the merchant cash provider. This means that if the business makes a sale, the sale is divided between the business and the provider company.

    The terms are agreed between the two parties but the cut is usually between 10-25% of the credit card sale going to the company while the remaining goes to the company. This becomes an easy way for the business to inject cash flow into its operation and then pay back as they continue conducting business.

2. Functions of merchant cash advances

A merchant cash advance is used by the business for all sorts of reasons. The business may decide to use the cash to pay their employees or repay a debt. Other businesses may use the cash advance for advertisements or fund a promotion campaign. Other uses may include the production of more inventory and stocking up products. 

The merchant cash advance is a helping hand for business owners during difficult financial situations. The cash advance becomes a quick solution for these problems.

3. Merchant cash advance is NOT a loan

Merchant cash advance is not a type of a loan. It is described as an exchange of cash the future credit card or debit card sales. It is not considered as a loan and thus treated differently. That is why merchant cash advance providers say that they are not regulated by the loan and interest legislations that have been put in place.

Hence, the interest rates could go higher than you are normally used to. Another difference is that since it is not a loan, the interest rates are not calculated by the annual percentage rate. They are calculated according to the factor rate of the business.

4.   Fast approval

Fast approval

Fast approval

Merchant cash advance is processed within a short period of time. With all necessary documentations and credentials, a merchant cash advance could be approved within 24 hours. The deposition of the money into the business account may take up to a week. This is considered very fast compared to traditional loans which have to go through a series of processes before they approve your loan. A merchant cash advance gives you the fast cash for your business. Thus, it is very attractive to small business owners.

5. Pros of the merchant cash advance

Pros of merchant cash advances

Pros of merchant cash advances

A merchant cash advance has many advantages that attract a lot of people. They include the approval time z and the credential factor, among others

  •  A merchant cash advance does not require many credentials to apply. It’s all about the business and not about the individual. Thus there is nowhere the credit score of the proprietor of the business is in question. The plan solely deals with the business and not the owner.
  • The approval time for a merchant cash advance is just lessee than most other loans in the market. It takes a minimum one week to get the merchant cash advance for your business. It’s why merchant cash advances have become so popular.

6. Cons of merchant cash advances

The plan definitely comes with a few drawbacks which you have to be careful of. The drawbacks mostly affect the interest rate of this plan. The plan doesn’t have an annual percentage rate as it is not classified as a loan. It all depends on the factor rates. This means the rate of interest cannot be controlled. There is an important aspect which you may need to know.

The percentage cut that is paid to the company for every sale is not the same as the interest rate. They are two different things and the charges are different band have to be paid. This may cause confusion for the business owner and thus cause frictions in the future.

7.  Other factors

This sort of financial plan is has a special characteristic. The amount of money from sales that are going to the company varies. This means you cannot plan for the money that is going to be paid from your business to the company. This plays a con card in this case.

However, this characteristic has a flip side. This is because since the cash is not specified, it means that you are not affected as a business when it comes to the low season of your company. There is no specific amount of cash that is specified that your business has to earn each month. Thus, the merchant cash advance company will get paid when you make sales. This relieves your business from the pressure of having to attain a certain amount of sale each month.  

8. Company specifications

 

different companies will come up with different offers

different companies will come up with different offers

In order to attract businesses into their plans, different companies will come up with different offers for your businesses. Thus, you will have to a lot of companies offering merchant cash advances but are customized in different ways to suit different businesses. The key is always to take the plan that works well for your company. It’s all about looking at works with your budget and your sales projections.

9. No collateral involved

Merchant cash advance companies don’t need a collateral as this is not a loan. It is an exchange of future sales for a merchant cash advance. This, collateral becomes irrelevant. It’s all about the agreement put in place when the application of the MCA  was done.

10. Bottomline

It’s all about choosing what works for your business. This plan is very attractive as it’s very simple to understand. However, it has the downside of having very high- interest rates. However, if you can couple with them it’s a plan that could go a long way in making your business a success. It’s all about perspective; what you make of the plan.

How To Declare Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is the legal status of an individual or an entity, in which they are not able to pay the debts that they owe to creditors. Although bankruptcy is declared by court orders, it is an individual who initiates the process. In the United States, bankruptcy cases are handled by the federal courts. Such cases are guided by the rules under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. So, how do you declare bankruptcy?

Declare bankruptcy

Declare bankruptcy

As an individual, you qualify to declare bankruptcy under Chapter 7. However, so as to qualify for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, your income should be below a given level.

So as to pay off your creditors, your property may be liquidated. If you had borrowed secured loans, the options you will have are to pay the creditor an amount which is equal to the current value of the property, allowing the property which you used to secure the loan to be repossessed or to have the secured debt eliminated.

Steps for Filing Bankruptcy            

  • Find out if you qualify

This is the first step that you need to take if you wish to file for bankruptcy. You should qualify for bankruptcy under the conditions stated by law. As earlier stated, your income should be below a given level. Thus, if you still have some income left after paying off your monthly expenses, you will then have to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13.

  • Fill the bankruptcy forms

Fill the bankruptcy forms

Fill the bankruptcy forms

The bankruptcy forms are downloadable from the U.S Court’s websites. They are a large number of forms, where you are required to fill in your incomes and expenses, properties and debts in full detail. Do note that if you fail to list a debt, it will not be discharged after being declared bankrupt. This means it will continue after bankruptcy.

It is recommended that you fill the forms with the assistance of an attorney. However, should you may decide to fill the bankruptcy forms without the help of an attorney (pro se), the non-attorney prepares may assist you with the paperwork.

  • Receiving a bankruptcy trustee

After filing for bankruptcy, a trustee will work on behalf of you towards your creditors. This trustee is assigned to you by the courts. The trustee determines the property that you get to keep as well as ensuring the verification of the information that you filled out in the bankruptcy forms.

The trustee is also tasked with liquidating the non-exempt property. However, this is under the guidance of the rules which dictate which property is exempted from liquidation. These rules vary from State to State and thus it will greatly depend on the State you are in.

  • Credit counseling and debtor education

As an individual filing for bankruptcy, you are expected to receive credit counseling as well as debtor education. Before filing for bankruptcy, you are to get credit counseling, whereas after you are declared bankrupt, you should receive debtor education.

Before the debts are discharged, you are expected to present the Certificates of Completion to prove that you have undergone credit counseling and debtor education. However, ensure that you undergo these with agencies approved by the Department of Justice.

  • Attend the 341 meeting                                                                            

This is an official meeting that is held with the creditors at your trustee’s offices. Its name refers to section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code. You are expected to state why you are filing for bankruptcy and answer questions related to your debts.

In this meeting, arrangements related to the property that was secured as collateral as well as selling off your non-exempt property are made.

  • A permanent orderBankruptcy discharge

After this, you may be awarded a bankruptcy discharge. This is a permanent order that legally makes you to no longer be liable to creditors. Thus, they should not take any legal action against you or communicate to you with regards to the debt.

The bankruptcy discharge may be expected to take effect 60 days after you, your trustees and creditors hold the first 341 meeting.

Good Vs Bad Debt

Financial knowledge awareness, knowledge and management is essential so as to ensure that you take actions that may build your wealth. However, at times we may need some extra funding in the form of loans. Is there good debt or bad debt? So as to understand these concepts, do read on.

Which debt is good?

Which debt is good?

  • Good debt

This is a debt which is considered positive, as it is expected to give you returns or earn you an income. An example of this is mortgage loans. Such debts can also be tax deductible, as is the case when the amount of the loan repayments is higher than the income from rental payments. This makes the borrower entitled to negative gearing.

  • Bad debt

Bad debt is that which is spent on the purchase of items that do not appreciate in value over time. In addition to this, it does not earn you any income nor is it tax deductible. Examples of such debts are using loans or credit cards on entertainment, luxury items or to take a holiday. Bad debt is also one which is taken so as to cater for

  • Which debt is good?

The argument posed has always been that good debt is good, whereas bad debt is bad and that it worsens an individual’s financial standing.

Good debt offers individuals good financial prospects in the long-term. This is the case when one invests in their business, borrows a loan for a car that they can afford, takes up a student loan or takes a mortgage. Good debt should not be used to pay off another debt as it leads to more costs in terms of interest, instead, you should go for consolidation loans.

Good debt offers good financial prospects

Good debt offers good financial prospects

Bad debt can be used wisely when the credit card debt is paid by the end of the month to avoid being charged higher interest fees. Generally speaking, bad debt is good only when you can pay it off in the short term.

However, purchase of luxury items would be considered as excessive spending. It is not a good financial decision and neither is it an investment. The use of bad debt requires discipline as one should not exceed their credit limit.

The access to a pool of funds tempts individuals to spend more than they should, leading them to further indebtedness. Credit cards also have a high-interest rate, which takes a hit on one’s financial position.

Good financial decisions involve the purchase of items that appreciate in value. It is clear that it is only good debts that offer you with such assets and returns. A sound investment is only possible with good debts. Good debts are also payable over a longer period of time, whereas bad debts have a higher interest rate and need to be paid using one’s next expected salary, as is the case with online payday loans or credit cards.

They often lead to a vicious cycle of indebtedness as one may need to borrow more money so as to meet their needs or to pay off the loan. Bad debts are enticing as they offer quick and easy access to funds but they have detrimental effects in the long run. Make wise financial decisions and keep away from debt. If you really need to borrow money, make a good decision and let it be good debt.

10 Things you need to know about installment loans

When facing financial constraints, most people may be forced to approach lending companies. They may not have carefully thought about whether they may end up losing more or sinking further into debt and even hurt their credit score. With the current economic situation, there are various forms of lending which are out there to make profit.

Borrowers should be careful not to borrow from such companies to avoid regretting the poor choice they made. Borrowers need to have better understanding and knowledge of the type of loans they want to take out. There are certain things you need to know about online loans for bad credit before deciding whether they are suitable for your financial needs.

  • What is an installment loan?

Installment loans are repaid in scheduled payments

Installment loans are repaid in scheduled payments

An installment loan generally refers to any type of loan that is supposed to be repaid in scheduled payments known as installments. Installment loans relieve the borrower of the burden of having to repay a whole lump sum at one go like other types of loans such as payday loans.

  • Installment loans can be secured or unsecured

There are various forms of installment loans such as auto loans, mortgages and personal loans. These loans are both of a secured and unsecured nature. Mortgages and auto loans are typically secured loans. In both cases, you put up your house or car as collateral in return for a loan. In the event that you default in payment, the lender has the legal right to sell your house or car to recover the outstanding amount.

Personal loans, on the other hand, are unsecured. This means to apply for a personal loan, the creditor does not require you to put up any property as collateral. Instead, the creditor checks your creditworthiness which is determined by your credit score and proof of income which guarantees that you are in a position to make repayments in the future. Installment loans are more flexible as they allow borrowers to distribute payments throughout the loan term.

  • Requirements for application

Requirements for application

Requirements for application

Before requesting an installment loan, you need to meet a few set requirements to secure this loan. These requirements include minimum age legal age of at least 18 years. Secondly, you must reside in the state you choose for your loan option so you cannot approach a lender in Ohio when you reside in Colorado. If you are requesting online installment loans, you must provide your social security number and a saving or checking account. That is because, upon loan approval, your funds will be transferred directly into your savings account. Upon meeting these requirements, then you are eligible for an installment loan.

  • You do not have to be employed to get an installment loan

Most people shy away from loans as some of them require you to provide a letter from the employer as proof of employment. Installment loans relieve you of such pressure. With an installment loan, you do not need to be employed as long as you have a steady source of recurring income. This guarantees the lender that you are in a position to make scheduled repayments (installments) throughout the loan tenure.

  • Additional fees  

It is always important to consider the cost that you are likely to incur while requesting a particular loan before you even start the application process. When requesting installment loans, make sure you’ve checked the interest rates and other fees such as application fees and processing fees.

  • Installment loans have fixed interest rates

Installment loans have fixed interest rates

Installment loans have fixed interest rates

Very often, borrowers suffer from rising interest rates. Some traditional forms of borrowing have varying interest rates such that they end up paying more in the long run. This makes it even expensive for the borrower such that he/she may delay in making payments which could adversely have a negative effect on the credit score. By providing fixed rates, installment loans give borrowers a golden chance to budget their finances over the repayment period, hence keeping them more at ease. This is one of the differences with payday loans.

  • Installment loans improve your credit score

Borrowers strive to maintain a clean credit score for future borrowing. A good credit score opens up avenues for borrowing and somehow acts as a guarantee that the borrower cannot default in making repayment. There are forms of traditional borrowing which could hurt your credit score if you are late in making payments or if you default altogether. Installment loans improve your credit score with time. With every payment or installment made, your credit score improves. Borrowers with bad credit, therefore, can redeem their creditworthiness. Installment loans have no credit check.

  • Installment loans do not have credit checks

do not have credit checks

do not have credit checks

For those who are haunted by a low credit score, installment loans offer a ray of hope to them. Borrowers on this bumpy road of bad credit installment loans can apply for bad credit installment loans from installment loan direct lenders who do not check your credit score but transfer your funds directly to your bank account.

  • They are fast

Installment loans with bad credit are tailored for emergency situations such as unexpected medical bills, funeral expenses or car repairs. Installment loans transfer funds to the borrower’s account on the same day or on the next business day. Application of an installment loan also does not require a lot of documentation, making the loan processing much faster.

  • Installment loan companies

This is a very important aspect to consider before requesting an installment loan. Borrowers should carry out research to ensure that they are dealing with a licensed company. Rogue lenders are on the rise nowadays and borrowers need to be more vigilant. The borrower should ensure that the lending company is licensed by the state before borrowing from them. Direct lender installment loans are the most preferred option.

Card Debt Trends

Credit cards give the borrower access to a pool of money. They get to borrow money which does not exceed their credit limit. The cost of living is on the rise and so is the cost of debts as well as the update of loans by most individuals. As an individual’s cost of living becomes higher than their flow of income, they will seek out sources of funding so as to get by. There are various options available ranging from payday loans, peer to peer loans and debt consolidation to credit cards.

credit card debts

credit card debts

The use of credit cards is common among many individuals across the world. This also applies to most citizens in the USA. The numbers seem to be on an upward trend with each passing year.

As per the data recorded in the third quarter of the year 2015, US consumers owed credit card debts that amounted to $712 million. The average amount of credit card debt owed by each US household was $15355.

Data related to the nominal income and the cost of living was recorded over a period of 12 years (2003-2015). Between 2003 and 2008, the median household income had a steady percentage increase which was higher than that of the overall cost of goods. At some point in the year 2008, the increase in the percentage of both the nominal income and the cost of living were at par.

Thereafter, the percentage change in the cost of goods has been on a gradual increase over the years. On the other hand, the percentage change of the nominal income has been fluctuating, having a downward trend between 2008 and 2010. From the years 2010 to 2015, the percentage change of the median household income has been steadily increasing, but at a rate lower than that of the overall cost of goods.

In as much as the number of credit card users and the amount of debts owed seem high, there is a possibility that the figures may be higher. This is because most individuals are usually shy to state the amounts of debt that they have. It is likely that most borrowers state half the amount that they owe while others may not know the total amount of their debt.

The following reasons indicate why the cost of debt loans is increasing:

  • The credit card interest amounts to $2500 or higher

Consumers incur an average cost of $2,630 annually on interest charged on their credit cards. This is calculated with the assumption that the Annual Percentage Rate is 18%.

  • The cost of debt increases as one’s income increases

credit limits

credit limits

High income households have the advantage of getting higher credit limits. However, this is not the case of low-income households. Therefore, the higher the amount of the credit card debt that a low-household income incurs, the higher the percentage of the amount owned up by the debt on their annual income.

The spending of higher income households will not affect their finances as much as it does to lower income households.

These card debt trends prove that in as much as the credit card is a popular means of getting funds, the impacts are negative and lead to further indebtedness. The interest rates are higher than any other type of loan and the rates seem to be on a constant upward trend. Take charge of your finances and do not be part of the borrowers counted as statistics in credit card debt.