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Merchant Cash Advances Terminology: Origination Fee

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In the dynamic world of business financing, merchant cash advances (MCAs) have emerged as a popular alternative for small business owners seeking quick access to capital. As with any financial product, it’s crucial to comprehend the associated terminology to make informed decisions. One such term that frequently arises in the realm of MCAs is the “origination fee.” Let’s delve into this term and gain a comprehensive understanding of it. 

Merchant Cash Advance Overview

Before we dive into origination fees, let’s briefly outline what a merchant cash advance entails. An MCA is a form of business financing where a company receives a lump sum upfront in exchange for a percentage of its daily credit card sales, plus a fee. This method provides businesses with swift access to funds, especially those facing cash flow challenges or seeking immediate capital for growth opportunities.

Origination Fee Defined

The origination fee is a one-time charge that lenders impose to cover the costs of processing and underwriting the merchant cash advance. Essentially, it’s the fee for initiating the loan and is typically expressed as a percentage of the total advance amount. The purpose of the origination fee is to compensate the lender for the time and resources invested in assessing the borrower’s eligibility and managing the administrative aspects of the MCA.

Calculating Origination Fees

Origination fees can vary among MCA providers, and they are calculated differently depending on the terms of the agreement. In most cases, the fee is a percentage of the total advance amount. For instance, if a business secures a $50,000 MCA with a 3% origination fee, the upfront cost would be $1,500. It’s essential for businesses to factor in this fee when assessing the overall cost of the merchant cash advance.

Transparency and Disclosures

When considering a merchant cash advance, transparency is key. Reputable MCA providers clearly outline the origination fee and other associated costs in their agreements. Before committing to an MCA, businesses should carefully review the terms and conditions, seeking clarification on any fees or charges that may impact the overall repayment. 

Impact on Cost of Capital

The origination fee directly influences the cost of capital for businesses seeking an MCA. While the fee is a one-time charge, it can significantly affect the total amount repaid over the course of the advance. Small business owners should weigh the benefits of quick access to capital against the upfront costs, ensuring that the overall terms align with their financial goals.

Considerations for Small Business Owners

When evaluating MCAs with origination fees, businesses should consider their specific financial circumstances and objectives. While the origination fee contributes to the overall expense, it may be a worthwhile investment for those in need of rapid funding without the constraints of traditional loan approval processes.

Apply for Quick Cash with Cactus Cash Funding

If you are currently considering an MCA, Cactus Cash has provided online funding since 2014 to small business owners in several industries; from auto repair shops to restaurants; and from home health care to beauty shops and everything in between. Our revenue-based online funding offers competitive rates, simple terms, and if approved, access to quick cash. In addition, Cactus Cash requires a personal credit score as low as 550 and will only do a soft pull which will not affect your credit score. Apply at 


Understanding terms like origination fees is paramount for small businesses navigating the merchant cash advance landscape. By being informed about the costs associated with MCAs, entrepreneurs can make well-informed decisions that align with their financial strategies and contribute to the sustainable growth of their ventures. As the financial landscape continues to evolve, staying educated on key terms ensures that businesses can leverage financing options effectively and navigate the path to success.