Loans are tricky. From home loans, to car loans, and even small business loans, there are many catches to obtaining one. Small business loans may be the worst when it comes to a denial rating – which may end up being a good thing for your business. The “cons” often outweigh the “pros” when it comes to a small business loan, so being turned down is not necessarily bad. However, it can be bad when you do not know about any other funding options available.

So, what do you do? It is not like you can petition the bank to go over your information one more time. Do you go to another bank? Perhaps, but there is risk there, as well. Bank loans are strict with their collateral, rising interest rates, lump-sum monthly payments, and low acceptance fees. However, they are the number-one stop for small business owners looking for a loan. This is the worst thing that you can do – especially if your business is struggling.

Instead, look at your other options. Many tout crowdfunding as the new, hip way to gain a cash advance for your company, but the funds are not guaranteed. That is your first problem. Your second is that the companies hosting the online fundraiser take a portion of money collected. This means that if you raise $1,000, you could end up giving the company anywhere from $100 to $300 in hosting fees. The third issue is that some sites require you to give something to those who donate a certain amount. For instance, if someone donates $25 to your soap shop, you may end up having to send him or her a bar of soap. This can add up if you get enough donations – hurting your already struggling business.

The best solution is a cash advance program from a merchant account provider. If you do not currently have a merchant account, it may not be necessary, as some offer a cash advance program that works through your business checking account. They way this works is that you are given the amount into your business checking account or merchant account. Repayments are made every time you make a credit card sale, so you are not being squeezed for monthly payments, like with a bank loan. When you make sales, you are making repayments, and when you are not selling, you are not repaying. It’s the fairest option out there, and it works for businesses both mainstream and high risk.

Bank loans are not an option viable for most merchants. Instead, consider the most reliable alternative: A merchant cash advance.

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