Credibly merchant cash advance review
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- Transparent and fast application and funding process
- Offers a wide range of business financing options in addition to MCA
- The fees are high relative to many competitors
Credibly, (Credibly) is a financial technology (fintech) company that offers Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) funding by leveraging modern data science and technology. The company also provides various other types of business financing, including working capital loans, business expansion loans, business lines of credit, equipment financing, invoice factoring, and more.
Based in Southfield, MI, Credibly was founded in 2010 to help lead the small business funding industry into the future of financial technology. The company uses advanced data science not only to make smarter and faster approval decisions, but also with the goal of creating a best-in-class customer experience. Credibly has provided over $1.5 billion in financing to more than 19,000 small and mid-sized businesses throughout the United States.
What are the benefits of an MCA from Credibly?
Simple application process and fast approvals
Credibly’s application process begins online with a prequalification based on answering a few questions about the business’s desired funding amount, contact info, and monthly revenue. Within 24 hours you will receive a quote from a dedicated business consultant, whom you can also contact immediately for additional information. In order to finalize the agreement, you will be asked to provide a variety of information to verify the business’s financial standing, including:
- Business mortgage statement if you own; business lease agreement if you rent
- Unexpired government-issued picture ID of all owners
- Bank statements for the most recent 3 months
- For advances over $100,000 the most recent business tax return is required
Credibly will also run a personal credit check on you.
If you are satisfied with the offer and the terms, funding is typically delivered immediately – often the same day. (It is always a good idea to read the documents completely and in great detail, preferably with the help of your attorney, to be sure you are not agreeing to anything you may not be able to live with later.)
Low personal credit score not a barrier
MCAs are made based on the business’s ability to make payments out of future credit card sales, so the approval process is not specifically tied to the owner’s personal credit score. Credibly can thus fund a business that has a solid history of credit card sales, even if the owner has a very low credit score. As a result, an MCA may be a good option for a business owner with poor credit, which often disqualifies them from obtaining more traditional types of financing. Owners with higher credit scores may qualify for more favorable terms, including larger funding amounts or smaller total payback amounts.
Funding for businesses with as little as six months of operations
Generally speaking, the longer a company’s operating history and the stronger its financials, the better Credibly’s offer will be. However, even companies in business for as little as six months can receive an MCA from Credibly, which also requires that a business have at least $15,000 in monthly revenue in order to qualify.
Flexible and variable payments
For standard MCAs, Credibly takes a percentage of every credit card sale. Hence if sales are slow in a given period, the business pays less than it would in a period with normal sales. This variable payment method is designed to leave the business with more cash to cover its other needs than would be the case if the MCA required a fixed, regularly scheduled payment (as is the case with an ACH Merchant Cash Advance.) Credibly structures the payments to take a percent of credit card sales that will allow the MCA to be paid off in 3 to 18 months if the business’s sales are in line with historical averages. If sales are stronger than usual, a business can complete its payments ahead of this schedule. Conversely, if sales are slow the MCA could be paid back over a longer time frame.
No worry about late payments
Because Credibly takes the payments directly from the credit card processor at the point of sale, there is no action required of the business to make its payments. Hence there’s no worry that the owner might forget to make a payment and incur a late payment fee.
What are the downsides of an MCA from Credibly?
Upon approval of an MCA, Credibly charges a 2.5% underwriting fee. It’s simply a fee that is added on to the amount you must pay back, and it is typically deducted immediately from the funding amount you receive. Hence if you are approved for $100,000 in funding, you will only receive $97,500 after the underwriting fee is taken. While 2.5% is not unheard of in the industry, it is definitely at the high end. In addition, Credibly charges a $50 monthly administration fee for servicing the account. Many MCA providers do not charge any monthly fees. Further still, if there are ever insufficient funds in your account for the daily remittance to Credibly, a $25 insufficient funds fee will be assessed. The bottom line is, with Credibly the fees can add up.
Who is a Credibly MCA appropriate for?
- Business owners with less than stellar credit but strong sales numbers
- Businesses that do a significant percent of their sales via credit card
- Businesses that need immediate funds for new equipment, inventory, or working capital but are unable to qualify for more traditional types of financing
- Businesses that could qualify for traditional business financing but which need funds now and do not have the extensive time required to navigate the application and approval process, which can be very slow
Who is a Credibly MCA not appropriate for?
- Businesses that have access to other, less costly types of financing
- Businesses with longer term funding needs, permitting them to endure the slower process of applying for and receiving standard business financing
- Businesses that do very little in credit card sales
- Businesses in industries deemed to be higher risk, like adult entertainment, gambling, cryptocurrency, nightclubs, etc., which are typically not eligible. Check with Credibly to see if your industry qualifies.
The basic financials of a Credibly MCA
The basics of how an MCA works are rather straightforward:
- The MCA funding company advances the business a fixed amount of cash, in return for the business’s agreement to repay a larger amount over time;
- The MCA funder receives these payments by automatically taking a fixed percentage of every credit card transaction done by the business, until the total agreed-upon amount is paid.
- The exact numbers involved for any given MCA are, of course, a bit more nuanced. In order to have a better estimate of what the financial cost of an MCA is to the business, a deeper dive is required. We provide a more complete explanation here.
Credibly is very clear on its website about its rates and fees, which is not the case with all MCA providers. Here are some of the parameters around the MCAs from Credibly:
|MCAs offered||Standard MCAs (advancing money against payment from future credit card sales), ACH MCAs (payments to the MCA funder are in fixed amounts at fixed time intervals), as well as many other types of funding.|
|Funding size||Up to $400,000 (no estimate given as a percentage of average monthly credit card sales)|
|Minimum personal credit score||500|
|Typical factor size||1.15 and up|
|Administration fee||$50 per month|
|Payback period||Typically 3 to 18 months|
Credibly has some confusing reviews online. For example, it has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and yet every one of 7 reviews there is horrible. Granted, 5 of those are specific to PPP loans, which many companies had problems with. The company has 86% positive reviews and 11% negative on Trustpilot, with a 4.1 out of 5 rating.
What regulatory protection do you have with Credibly?
It is important to be aware that the merchant cash advance industry is an unregulated industry, meaning that many of the protections you would have in taking a business loan from a bank or other regulated financial institution do not exist. When it comes to MCAs, the motto must be “Caveat Emptor.” i.e., let the buyer beware.
First and foremost, in the world of regulated finance there are usury laws in each state that limit the amount of interest that can be charged on a loan. It is thus illegal for regulated financial institutions to charge astronomical (i.e., “usurious”) interest rates.
However, an MCA from Credibly or any other entity is not actually a loan, although it may resemble one to the untrained eye. It is this technicality that allows MCA funders to obtain payback amounts that equate to effective interest rates of well in excess of 100% per year. This situation is possible because an MCA is structured as a purchase of future receivables rather than a loan, and it is thus not subject to regulation. While many experts agree that it’s only a matter of time until the MCA industry is required to submit to some form of regulation, for the time being that is not the case.
Given that you will likely have little to no recourse if anything goes wrong, it is a good practice to read the fine print of any agreement you enter into with an MCA funding company – preferably with the help of an attorney. As with any financial agreement, before you sign anything you want to know exactly what you’re agreeing to and how much you’ll be paying overall.