FAQs

When it comes to securing business finance, it’s vital to make an informed decision. We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions to help you in that task.

How do I qualify?

Provided you have been registered with Companies House as a trading Ltd company for at least 24 months, you are eligible to apply.

How do I borrow from Merchant Money?
  • We lend from £1,000 to £500,000.
  • You simply answer a few short questions after clicking the 'Apply Now' button.
  • Within 20 minutes a member of our team will call to discuss your business and how we can best help you.
  • Once we have verified our underwriting requirements, your loan will be approved quickly.
  • Once we have electronically completed all your signed paperwork, the money will be in your account within two hours.
What do you look for when you talk to potential customers?
  • We look at whether potential customers have a track record of running a business, and whether there are any past credit bumps.
  • We want to get to know the applicant: to what extent do they understand their market and their business; how engaged, enthusiastic, and passionate are they; how will the loan support their growth plans.
  • We believe there are available data that traditional lenders are ignoring. We operate in a digital market, and many clients have far better profiles than their profiles at credit reference agencies would suggest.
  • Traditional banks aren't able to pay attention to this detail and as a result small businesses are the losers.
  • Our advantage in meeting customer needs comes through understanding the “hidden” details of their business.
What interest do you charge?
  • We assess each applicant individually based on their risk profile.
  • Rates typically vary between 2% and 5%, based on loan term and amount borrowed, as well as the profile of the business seeking the loan.
  • We will carefully assess your business’s needs, credit profile and ability to repay the loan comfortably before agreeing terms with you.
  • In some cases, we offer value-adding extras, including an “interest only” introductory period – particularly useful if you have short-term cash flow concerns.
  • Returning customers will often benefit from improved terms as they establish a rating with Merchant Money.
How does your “Low Start” loan work?
  • If you take this option you pay only interest in the first three to six months of your loan.
  • For the remainder of your loan you will pay both interest and principal to settle the balance.
Do you check my credit record?
  • Yes, we use our technology to search a vast amount of data before we approve your loan.
  • With your permission we use leading Credit Reference Agencies to check your business and personal credit reports.
Can I settle my loan early?
  • Yes. We only charge interest up until the day you settle.
  • We have no hidden fees or charges.
Why do I need a personal guarantee from two directors?
  • Our loans are provided quickly, and are not secured by any collateral.
  • Customers appreciate the speed and flexibility this offers.
  • We deal with small businesses in which owners have a personal stake and believe in their future success, so directors should not have any problem with personal guarantees.
Are you more or less thorough than banks in your vetting process?
  • We believe that a combination of high-tech and high-touch allows us to make more informed decisions.
  • Though we do not have a banking relationship, we do review the customer’s bank statements, as cash flow and financial management are also important risk factors.
  • Our ability to provide the loan is reinforced by the backing we receive from major private equity investors.
Will returning customers get a lower rate?

Naturally, returning customers who were good payers will be eligible for a lower rate on a new loan.

What am I tying myself to when I apply?

There are absolutely no obligations, and no application fee. Once you have received approval, you can decide whether or not to proceed.

How do I repay?
  • For the PAYT product: We will agree upfront a daily percentage of your Visa and MasterCard sales transactions – and this will be automatically deducted by the processor. So the payment will fluctuate directly in proportion with your daily card sales.
  • For the term loan product: We collect payments via a monthly direct debit. We also accept bank transfer, debit card and PayPal if you wish to make additional payments at any time.
What happens if I fall behind on repayments?
  • We practice ethical and responsible lending at all times, and provide loans only to those businesses deemed able to repay.
  • However, we are aware that not every eventuality can be foreseen. If you find you are struggling to repay on time, speak to your account manager (0800 8488480), who will help you find a way forward.
What if my application is unsuccessful?

Don’t despair. If your business circumstances change even slightly after a few months, give us a call and we will re-evaluate.  

Can I top up my loan?

Yes, providing you have met your payments on time and your business continues to perform.  

Can I take a new loan once my first loan has finished?
  • Yes. We will renew your loan as soon as you like, providing your business continues to perform.
  • If your business outlook has improved, we can even increase your loan and/or reduce interest payments.
Do you partner with brokers and other introducers?
  • Most certainly. We like to help their clients secure business capital. It’s a win-win for all parties.
  • We offer highly competitive commission fees, and always settle early.
  • Brokers find it easy to work with Merchant Money. We offer training to help introducers understand our products, and provide a user-friendly dedicated broker portal on our website.
  • As Patrons of the NACFB, we are committed to growing our network of brokers, and we always welcome new business introducers.
  • Please contact us on broker@merchantmoney.co.uk or 0800 8488480 to find out more about MM’s broker referral scheme
What are your accreditations?

Merchant Money is a member of the Federation of Small Business (FSB) and a patron of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB).

How can I contact you?

Apply online now. Or email to info@merchantmoney.co.uk 

You may also call on 0800 848 8480.

Still have questions?
Speak to one of our online consultants
or call us on 0800 848 8480

Do I qualify for a Small Business Loan?
  • We welcome applications from UK Registered Companies with a minimum of one year's audited trading accounts. Directors must be over 18 years of age.
  • We also welcome applications from partnerships and sole traders, for loans between £25,000 and £50,000.
How does a small business loan work?
  • Loans are available with repayment schedules of between 1 and 24 months.
  • Once approved, funds can be issued in as little as two hours direct into your business’s bank account.
  • Unlike many other lenders, with Merchant Money no early repayment penalties or administrative fees are charged, and you only pay interest on the daily balance outstanding throughout the loan’s term.
How should I determine the size of my loan?
  • Merchant Money offers loans between £1,000 and £100,000.
  • As with any other type of credit, it’s important to only borrow what your business needs and what it can afford to repay.
  • A business owner should work out exactly how much he or she needs to fund expansion or bridge cash-flow issues by producing an up-to-date business plan and forecast for at least 12 months ahead.
  • When you know how much you need to borrow, we will assist you with an interest rate and repayment schedule to suit your circumstances.
What are the rates I can expect to pay as a small business owner?
  • Rates typically vary between 2% and 5%, based on the profile of the business seeking the loan.
  • We will carefully assess your business’ needs, credit profile and ability to repay the loan comfortably before agreeing terms with you.
  • In some cases, we offer value-adding extras, including an “interest only” introductory period – particularly useful if you have short-term cash flow concerns.
Can I settle my funding account early?
  • Yes. Although these are not strictly short-term loans (we usually contract between 12 and 24 months), we allow you to settle early or pay additional amounts into your account at any time.
  • There are no early repayment penalties or administrative fees.
  • You pay interest only on the outstanding daily balance for the duration of your loan.
  • Please note that a minimum 30 days interest fee is charged.
Are there any arrangement fees or charges?

No

How long does the entire process take?
  • We aim to process all applications within one business day.
  • Once you have completed the short online application form we will call you to discuss your application in more detail.
  • Once your loan has been approved, and after we have received all of the completed documentation (including an e-signed loan agreement), we will release the funds.
  • It normally takes under two hours for the funds to appear in your bank account.
Do you take security?

We do not typically take security, but ask that the principal directors each sign a personal guarantee.

How do I pay you?
  • Pay using your business debit card, by direct debit, or standing order.
  • You can also use PayPal or pay us online through your business Internet Banking facility.
Why not a bank?
  • The number of loans offered by the major banks to small businesses contracted sharply during and after the financial crisis of 2009.
  • Banks have now imposed exceedingly strict criteria on all forms of lending, including loans to small businesses.
  • Those controls still exist. During 2014, 52% of SMEs told researchers that they were struggling to secure loans through their banks and that the rates being charged were unaffordable.
  • Alternative lenders such as Merchant Money have filled the gap, offering financial help to small businesses squeezed out by banks and other establishment lending institutions.
  • In our case, loans come without the stringent conditions applied by banks and other lenders, including security, ongoing oversight by bank-appointed advisors and high interest rates.
What are the advantages of small business loans over grants?
  • Grants may seem like the most attractive option if you are looking to start or expand a business but access to them can be difficult.
  • Most government-funded grants (from the UK government, the EU or NGOs like the Prince’s Trust) are only available to people starting up for the first time – not established businesses.
  • With a small business loan, you choose the amount you need, work out the most advantageous repayment schedule and are able to plan ahead knowing how much interest you will pay.
  • Grants usually come with strings attached, including having a special advisor appointed to oversee the allocation of money. With a Merchant Money loan, the business owner remains in control.
What can a small business loan be used for?
  • While the recession and credit crunch of 2009 may now be a memory and the economy has made up the ground it lost, many small businesses still need access to finance.
  • This may be because they need to boost funds while growing, or because they are experiencing short-term cash-flow difficulties which require outside help.
  • Startups often need an injection of money to get going, particularly when the owners do not have sufficient funds to lease premises, purchase equipment or hire staff.
What types of businesses are small business loans best suited for?
  • Small business loans are tailored to enterprises needing money in the short term to fund expansion plans or one-off business expenses.
  • They are particularly useful when a business is trying to manage the competing demands of expansion, business payroll, and clients who may be late settling invoices.
Still have questions?
Speak to one of our online consultants
or call us on 0800 848 8480

How do I qualify for a Pay As You Trade (PAYT)?
  • We welcome your application if you accept cards and can prove a minimum of £3,000 in card transactions per month.
  • Ideally, you will have been in business for more than 6 months.  We don’t cover start-ups.
  • Our aim is to fund small businesses, so we like to be as flexible as we can in approving applications.
What interest and other costs do I pay on the advance?
  • No interest.
  • One straightforward cost is agreed upfront.
  • No application fees, admin charges or hidden extras.
What are the advantages of an PAYT over a regular bank loan?
  • No fixed repayments and no late fees.
  • You pay only when you sell.
  • When monthly sales are down, the repayment falls in tandem.
  • Single, transparent, pre-agreed cost – no interest or complicated repayment calculations.
  • Simple application process.
  • 90% approval rate.
  • 24 hours approval. Funds in your account within days.
How much can apply for?

Apply instantly for advances between £1,000 and £500,000.

Do I have to provide security for the advance?

No.

How much will it cost?

Simple pre-agreed cost will be based on your business profile and ability to repay.

Can I repay early?
  • Yes. With an PAYT, one straightforward cost is agreed upfront.
  • Though repayments are tied to earnings to make things as easy and convenient as possible for you, you may settle whenever you wish.
  • No additional fee will be charged for early repayment.
Do you control how I spend the money?
  • No. Use it however you wish.
  • It could be that you need fast funds for procuring stock at a discount, expanding production, or hiring new talent. You know best, so we don’t judge.
Why do I need a card terminal?
  • The Pay As You Trade is based on your future credit and debit card sales.  
  • The advance is repaid via a small pre-agreed percentage of your monthly card sales, debitted through your card terminal.
  • Repayments only take effect through card sales, so you keep 100% of your cash sales.
Which card terminal providers do you work with?

We have relationships with all major merchants, and work with all terminal providers.

Can I get ongoing finance for my business?
  • Most certainly.
  • Merchant Money processes are flexible, making it easy for you to apply for additional funding.
Still have questions?
Speak to one of our online consultants
or call us on 0800 848 8480