Business owners facing circumstances making them ineligible for financing from traditional lenders can apply to 6th Avenue Capital for help obtaining short-term advances to cover expenses in emergencies or during slow periods. Fast turnaround times make this lender an option when an immediate boost in cash flow is required. If credit score has been a problem with other lenders, 6th Avenue Capital may be able to offer advances to business owners whose applications were rejected elsewhere.
6th Avenue Capital was launched in 2016 with the goal of providing funding to businesses unable to meet the stringent underwriting requirements of other lenders. With a small team of around 20 employees consisting of professionals experienced in banking, accounting, law, small business operations and compliance, 6th Avenue Capital brings decades of combined experience to the alternative lending market.
According to its website and LinkedIn profile, the lender bases its operations on three “pillars:” choice, experience and results. Its single loan product, a merchant cash advance (MCA), provides a flexible option for businesses facing financial difficulties, struggling with less-than-perfect credit or in need of additional capital to expand or fund startup operations.
By providing direct access to underwriters, 6th Avenue Capital is able to connect business owners with appropriate short-term financing options and set up payment terms favorable to the unique financial circumstances of each applicant. However, the company isn’t as transparent or forthcoming as some other MCA lenders regarding qualification requirements and the application process. Businesses seeking alternative funding are encouraged by multiple calls-to-action on the lender’s homepage to contact the financial team via phone or an online contact form and speak with one of its “industry experts” regarding financing options.
Business owners with “all credit scores” can apply for funding from 6th Avenue Capital. This lenient policy makes the lender a possible alternative for businesses lacking the financial strength to qualify for loans, leases or advances from other lenders and those facing unexpected problems with cash flow.
However, credit score and financial strength do play a part in the funding decisions most underwriters make. 6th Avenue Capital may not require a minimum FICO number for qualification, but lower numbers mean higher risk, which can translate to short term lengths and high fees. Companies already struggling with finances should calculate the potential impact of large loan payments on cash flow when considering an MCA.
According to an article on deBanked, underwriters at 6th Avenue Capital evaluate each applicant’s needs and circumstances individually to find them affordable options. Rather than basing decisions on a handful of numbers or an inflexible set of requirements, the lender considers a merchant’s situation and offers reasonable terms and rates to minimize the risk of defaulting or becoming entrenched in an inescapable cycle of debt.
6th Avenue Capital provides a list of preferred industries on its website, which includes:
These are common industries for MCA lenders to work with but aren’t the only ones to which 6th Avenue Capital may be willing to extend funding. Businesses in similar categories that meet the underwriting criteria could also qualify for advances.
High-risk industries are often turned down by banks, are required to meet more stringent qualifications or must provide a significant amount of additional paperwork to qualify for approval. 6th Avenue Capital offers financing options to several of these industries:
However, there are several business types the lender will always refuse for funding, either due to the level of risk or the types of products and services offered. These include:
Businesses located in California are also not eligible to receive MCA funding from this lender, although the reason for this is not specified.
Businesses may have up to 12 months to pay back an advance from 6th Avenue Capital. Term lengths in the MCA industry are generally based on the level of risk associated with a loan, so companies with stronger financial profiles should be able to secure longer terms.
6th Avenue Capital offers three payment options:
It’s unclear whether these payments are fixed or based on a percentage of a merchant’s credit and debit card sales. Because the company describes its financial product as an ACH advance, it’s likely payments are withdrawn in fixed amounts at regular intervals over the course of the terms.
ACH withdrawals are automatic, so business owners don’t have to worry about forgetting to make payments. However, short terms can create difficult circumstances in which payments seriously affect cash flow. Merchants are advised to compare the proposed payment schedule with projected earnings to determine whether a loan from 6th Avenue Capital is sustainable and prevent a situation in which defaulting becomes unavoidable.
Merchants curious about the qualification requirements for an advance from 6th Avenue Capital have to navigate several pages into the website to find answers. The sole source of details is a PDF document linked on the lender’s “Partner” page, and even this lacks key points. However, it does provide enough information to help business owners decide if 6th Avenue Capital is the right fit for funding.
The lender requires applicants to:
Merchants meeting these standards must provide 6th Avenue Capital with:
No online application or prequalification form is provided, so business owners are left with contacting the lender as the only option to get more details. If 6th Avenue Capital’s application process is similar to other MCA providers, merchants are likely to have to share information such as:
No collateral is required for advances from this lender. However, some providers of alternative funding ask to see merchants’ revenue projections to determine the amount for which they qualify.
Once application and financial information has been received, the underwriters at 6th Avenue Capital assess the merchant’s circumstances to provide a suitable combination of rates and terms. If an offer is accepted, the advance is delivered within 24 to 48 hours. Depending on the needs and financial strength of the applicant, the lender may extend anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000 in funding.
No rates are listed for 6th Avenue Capital’s advances. According to FitSmallBusiness, the average range for the MCA industry is 1.1 to 1.4, but some lenders charge more. Rates are typically based on the financial profile of a business and other factors, such as industry, affecting the level of risk to the lender. Lower risk is often rewarded with more favorable rates.
Buy rates have a significant impact on the cost of advances. A business qualifying for $100,000 at a rate of 1.3 would owe $130,000 over the course of the terms. At a term length of 12 months, the approximate weekly payment for such a loan would be $2,708. Businesses already struggling with finances must carefully consider the impact of such a sizable daily or weekly payment obligation before applying for an advance.
6th Avenue Capital requests information regarding applicants’ existing advances and places limitations on tax liens, likely due to the increased risk associated with stacking. No indication is given that existing obligations will automatically disqualify a merchant from receiving funding, but the practice of stacking is considered inadvisable. Each loan or advance puts additional strain on a merchant’s finances, and it can get to a point where cash flow is insufficient to cover both loan payments and operating expenses.
Merchants practicing stacking can find themselves stuck in an endless cycle of debt as loan obligations become overwhelming and more financing is needed just to keep up with payments. Thus, many lenders hesitate to allow stacking unless a company’s bank statements and cash flow records indicate defaulting is unlikely.
6th Avenue Capital doesn’t specify whether documentation fees are part of loan costs.
No origination fees are listed.
Merchants can apply for additional funding from 6th Avenue Capital once 50 percent of the initial advance is paid off, but they’re required to net 50 percent of the new advance to qualify. Business owners should use caution when considering a request for another advance to avoid the potential cash flow problems associated with stacking.
Although this lender doesn’t state its policies, some short-term cash advance companies will re-evaluate applicants’ financial circumstances at the time of renewal to determine if more favorable terms or rates can be extended for a new cycle of funding.
Buy rates used in MCA loans don’t accrue the way APR interest does; instead, the fee for the loan is included in the total cost quoted to a merchant at the time of approval. Therefore, merchants are required to pay the full amount before the end of the terms.
6th Avenue Capital doesn’t specify whether it allows for early payment without penalties or if payment schedules can be adjusted to accommodate to sales volumes.
MCA financing can only be applied to business expenses and is most appropriate for use in emergencies or when unexpected opportunities arise and require an investment of capital beyond what a merchant has available. Other common uses for MCAs include:
Small business owners may choose merchant cash advances because no collateral is required and the funding structure provides flexibility to meet diverse needs across industries. For those facing financial difficulties, an MCA could be one of the few options available to prevent the business from facing bankruptcy.
Few reviews are available from current or former 6th Avenue Capital customers, perhaps because this lender has only been in business since 2016.
At this time, 6th Avenue Capital isn’t accredited by the BBB.
The lender is a member of the Innovative Lending Platform Association (ILPA) and the Small Business Finance Association (SBFA), both of which are committed to transparent, fair and responsible lending practices. The SBFA in particular stresses the importance of providing loan products that don’t put a strain on a merchant’s finances or promote cyclical debt.