Cresthill caters to small businesses in need of additional funding on top of current loans. Companies in nearly any industry should be able to obtain funding from this lender in amounts based on recent trends in cash flow regardless of credit score.
Advertising fast turnaround times and few limitations, Cresthill Capital specializes in short-term merchant cash advance (MCA) funding. This company was founded in 2015 and currently has its main offices in New York City, where it employs a small number of people to review applications and find funding solutions for businesses facing difficult financial circumstances.
Promising “flexible, competitive and dependable financing options”, Cresthill extends funding to industries most other loan providers are wary of lending to or outright refuse. Along with its lack of concern for credit history, this makes Cresthill different even among other lenders offering MCAs with fast turnaround times.
Instead of looking at FICO scores to determine applicants’ eligibility, Cresthill examines cash flow records and the current needs of each business. As a lender “at the center of the non-bank business financing industry”, the company provides funding in amounts ranging from “micro-files” of $2,000 to large loans of $250,000 or more. It prides itself on fast application reviews and quick delivery of funds and has loaned over $200 million to small businesses across a broad range of industries.
However, Cresthill’s website offers very little information about the company, its policies or its lending process. The marketing language is fairly standard for a lender in this industry, but the company fails to balance marketing with straightforward answers to some of the most important questions applicants are likely to ask, including rates and term lengths. The company even fails to provide an email address where inquiries can be directed.
Calling Cresthill for additional information brings potential applicants to a voicemail system with no automated menu options or directions on how to get in touch with an account manager. This leaves only the company’s online contact form as a way to communicate, suggesting it may be difficult to keep in touch with the lender even after obtaining a loan.
Cresthill claims that “no funding request is too big” to fulfill. Its MCA loans are unsecured, meaning businesses aren’t required to put up any kind of collateral when applying. FICO scores aren’t used as a determinant of eligibility; instead, this lender considers cash flow when evaluating applicants. This puts Cresthill in a unique category among short-term lenders and positions the company as a potential alternative for businesses that have failed to obtain funding elsewhere due to poor credit.
Like most MCA lenders, Cresthill is fairly flexible regarding the businesses to which it lends. Their account managers look at factors beyond credit scores when calculating appropriate funding amounts, and the company claims it will fund “every qualified application.” According to its website, startups are the only businesses to which Cresthill won’t lend.
As a D-tier lender, Cresthill serves businesses across industries, including new companies. The list of industries on its pre-approval application encompasses a wide scope of trades:
Applicants may also choose “other,” suggesting almost no industry is exempt from receiving a loan from Cresthill. The lender’s Finance page includes night clubs and liquor stores as possible applicants, adding to the list of acceptable industries from which most other lenders shy away.
Most companies offering financial products, even in the “fast cash” category, limit the high-risk industries they’ll consider for approval. Cresthill sets itself apart by declaring “high risk welcome” on its application page and including businesses in categories like construction, law, trucking and MLM in its default list. Such openness indicates those applying for Cresthill funding are approved with few, if any, exceptions.
Aside from promising flexibility, Cresthill’s website offers no information about term lengths. Further investigation reveals very short terms of three to four months, meaning businesses obtaining funding must be sure cash flow will improve enough to pay approved loans off in full during this time.
Cresthill offers a fixed-daily ACH program. The lender draws a percentage of each day’s credit card sales from a merchant’s bank account via an ACH. Even with four-month terms, this can result in hefty daily payments. However, the language Cresthill uses in its marketing suggests the lender may be open to negotiating term lengths based on applicants’ needs and current cash flow situations.
Applicants wishing to obtain funding from Cresthill are subject to very few guidelines or restrictions. The lender promises to fund all applications meeting their minimal requirements, which include being a U.S. citizen of at least 18 years of age and having enough business cash flow to support repayment of requested loan amounts.
According to the Cresthill website, “a major part of approving funds is based on recent proof of business revenue.” This allows the company to extend loans to merchants with bad or even poor credit as long as sales are strong enough. In light of its generous stacking policy, Cresthill will also consider lending to companies already carrying multiple loans from other lenders.
The application process is standard for the MCA industry and begins with a pre-approval form accessed by clicking the “Apply Now” link at the top of any website page or accessing “apply online for financing” in the Business Owners box on the homepage. Applicants must provide:
Upon submission, a “thank you” page appears with instructions to wait for an account manager to get in touch. Cresthill uses the information provided to calculate a funding offer and is willing to be flexible in order to close a deal. The company claims the process “takes only hours,” and funds are delivered to the applicant’s business bank account upon acceptance of the offer.
At 1.4 to 1.49, Cresthill’s rates are fairly high for the MCA industry and offer little in terms of flexibility. Factor rates can’t easily be translated into equivalent APRs, but doing the math shows how expensive a loan can be when rates are high and terms are short.
A business approved for a $100,000 loan will be required to pay between $40,000 and $49,000 in fees. If the loan has a four-month term length, this translates to $2,500 to just under $3,063 just in fees every week, or $8,750 to almost $9,313 with the full funding amount included. Since Cresthill also charges a rather hefty origination fee, a merchant asking for $100,000 could wind up paying as much as $9,625 per week over the course of four months.
Cresthill approaches stacking differently than most lenders, including others providing MCAs. Instead of shunning the practice or offering to arrange the payment of existing loans so that it can remain a first-position lender, the company specializes in stacked loans up to the sixth position. This allows businesses with up to five other active loans to apply for more funding from Cresthill.
Such a liberal policy has pros and cons for businesses facing financial hardships. Although it means a merchant already carrying significant debt has a chance to obtain funding from Cresthill that might not be available anywhere else, it can also create a situation in which loan payments and fees become so burdensome that regular cash flow is no longer adequate to cover them. This leads business owners to seek out even more funding with the inevitable result of either defaulting on payments or filing for bankruptcy.
It’s also important to note that many other lenders will either refuse initial applications or reject renewal requests from merchants attempting to stack loans. Businesses hoping to spread loan obligations across companies may wind up losing the financial support on which they were hoping to rely.
Cresthill charges no fees to process pre-approval or loan applications.
Origination fees for Cresthill loans begin at 5 percent, making them one of the most expensive lenders in the MCA industry. On a $100,000 loan, this amounts to an additional $5,000 in fees, resulting in a total loan cost of $154,000 at the highest factor rate.
Companies that borrow from Cresthill are typically allowed to put in for a renewal halfway through loan terms. Because terms are so short, companies should be careful about renewing before taking a close look at current finances. This lender’s generous stacking policy makes it possible for borrowers to get locked in a cycle of mounting debt, further complicating an already tenuous financial situation for those with poor credit.
Merchant cash advance loans are based on factor rates instead of an APR, and Cresthill expects all fees to be paid in full regardless of whether the loan is paid on time or early. This means businesses taking out additional loans or renewing before the terms of a current loan are up run the risk of being overwhelmed financially by another set of fees.
The only restriction Cresthill places on the use of approved loans is the money must be used for business purposes. MCAs aren’t personal loans, so business owners can’t approach a fast cash lender in the hopes of obtaining funding for private projects. However, Cresthill doesn’t ask for details regarding why applicants are requesting financing, so the funds may be used for anything pertaining to business, including:
These are typical uses for MCA loans, although the short terms and high rates imposed by Cresthill suggest its financing should be reserved for emergencies or pursued by companies that have exhausted other funding options.
The lack of information on the Cresthill website extends to other online channels, as well. Unlike many MCA lenders, Cresthill hasn’t been reviewed by Merchant Maverick and has no listing on TrustPilot or Yelp.
Four out of the six reviews available for this lender on Google are negative, resulting in a 2.3-star rating. Customer complaints include:
Positive reviews praise Cresthill for being an “awesome” company and providing fast funding. No details are available for the single closed BBB complaint on file, but the company holds a C rating even without any customer reviews.
It’s important to always take a company’s reputation into consideration before choosing to apply for a loan. Since so few details are available about Cresthill at this time, businesses must exercise discernment when comparing the company with other lenders.
This lender has no publicly available information regarding licenses, awards or recognition and is not accredited by the BBB.