As a result of an increasing commercial financing crisis, commercial borrowers are evaluating new alternatives for business finance funding. Business cash advances and credit card financing are two working capital financing options which have proven to be effective and practical sources of operating cash for small business owners.
The use of credit card financing often refers to business cash advances in which working capital is obtained by business owners based upon future credit card processing activity. Alternatively the use of personal credit cards to obtain a cash advance is also referred to as a credit card loan. With business finance funding shortages, small business owners are increasingly using both approaches to obtain operating cash for their business. The two financing approaches are not equal in terms of how they are viewed by commercial financing experts although the strategies might be called by the same name occasionally.
Business lines of credit and other variations of working capital loans have been recently cancelled or reduced by many commercial lenders. In response, many business owners have been forced to rely on cash obtained via their personal credit cards to sustain their businesses. In order to prepare for several of the most undesirable actions being taken by many credit card loan lenders, we urge all commercial borrowers to review the predatory lending discussion in The Working Capital Journal.
For business owners using or about to use personal credit cards to secure operating capital, we want to make two important comments: (1) We consider this to be a last resort method of business financing and whenever possible it should be avoided. Before assuming that this is the only source of capital available, commercial borrowers should consult with a working capital finance expert. The possibility of business cash advances and working capital loans should be thoroughly explored. (2) This questionable method of obtaining commercial finance funding will prove to be increasingly more difficult because credit card issuers are already cutting back on their unsecured lending programs.
Like reductions in their lending programs for business lines of credit, most banks are now making similar cutbacks in credit card lending. They are reducing or cancelling credit lines even when borrowers have a superb payment record. The rationale for banks reducing both credit card lines and commercial lines of credit is similar. With unsecured commercial loans or personal loans, banks fear that massive defaults are almost inevitable due to a very shaky economy and business lending climate. Unlike residential real estate financing in which real property is pledged as collateral, banks know that they have no collateral to fall back on with working capital loans and credit card loans because they are unsecured. Many small business owners use home equity lines of credit to obtain operating cash, and these funding sources are also diminishing in most areas of the United States. Although these lending programs are backed by collateral, the value of homes in many areas has decreased to the point that many outstanding loans exceed the current property value.
One of the most disturbing and frustrating occurrences in the current difficult commercial financing environment is the lack of clear information for many business owners about which funding options are realistic and possible. Thousands of borrowers might have obtained operating cash from personal credit cards when there were better options for this one factor alone (confusion and misinformation).
Due to the growing tendency of several major credit card issuers to exhibit predatory lending practices, the use of personal credit card loans should be avoided. At a minimum, each business owner should contact a business finance funding expert to determine if a business cash advance program or a working capital loan program can be used to obtain needed cash.