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1st Merchant Funding Review: Pros, Cons, & How to Apply

Merchant cash advances are gaining popularity with small business owners because they have loose eligibility requirements and provide immediate working capital. There are many merchant cash advance providers, and 1st Merchant Funding has been at it since 2007.

However, the funder might not be the right fit for every small business owner. We can help you determine if it suits your business by covering the benefits, drawbacks, and application process.

Specifically, we’ll answer these questions and more:

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    What is 1st Merchant Funding?

    1st Merchant Funding is a leading merchant cash advance (MCA) and bank revenue provider based in Miami, FL. Established in 2007, it has funded over 10,000 small and mid-sized businesses nationwide.

    The company is a licensee of the financial technology (fintech) platform PowerForce® Small Business Platform. It uses the multi-million-dollar proprietary platform to analyze financial data when making approvals, sending funds, and processing payments.

    The platform’s risk and data modeling and cloud services delivers an ecosystem to focus on SMB lending, SMB underwriting, payment processing, and acquiring.

    How does 1st Merchant Funding work?

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    The company provides a merchant cash advance product up to $250,000. The amount you receive is based on your credit card sales history.

    An MCA is technically not a business loan. The MCA company purchases a percentage of your future sales receipts. You can use the funds to manage operations, purchase inventory, cover cash flow gaps, and more.

    Unfortunately, the company doesn’t publish its rates or terms. The website does say you will get transparency on rates after you apply.

    What are the qualifications for 1st Merchant Funding?

    There is no minimum credit score requirement to apply. Merchants must meet the following minimums:

    • Time in business: 2+ months.
    • Monthly credit card sales: $3,500.

    For 1st Merchant Funding, You Need to Know That:

    Merchant cash advances can be an expensive way to get business funding. While the company doesn’t publish interest rates, most MCAs use a factor rate ranging from 1.1 to 1.5.

    The interest with factor rate is simple but costly. Multiply the advance amount by the factor rate to determine the interest you’ll pay.

    For example, if you received a cash advance of $125,000 and have a factor rate of 1.25, the formula would be:

    $125,000 X 1.25 = $156,250. You’d pay $31,250 in interest for the advance.

    There may be some fees involved as well. You could potentially have an origination fee or maintenance fee.

    The MCA company offers several partnership opportunities with its business loan affiliate program. Independent sales organizations (ISOs) and loan brokers could partner with the company to offer its MCA product to their SMB clients. There is also a referral program for sending qualified leads to the company.

    Per the company’s Crunchbase profile:

    “1MFs network consists of over 2,900 registered Independent Sales Agents (ISOs) and brokers marketing our products and services to small businesses nationwide. It also holds strategic relationships with over 15 of the nation’s leading payment providers, including First Data.”

    How to apply for 1st Merchant Funding:

    Follow these steps to apply.

    Step 1: Create an Account

    You’ll provide basic information about yourself, your business, monthly revenue, and how much you need to borrow. When you create an account, you’ll connect your business bank account via the PowerForce® platform.

    Step 2: Submit the Funding Request

    Once you set up an account, you’ll finalize submitting your MCA request. You may have to upload a few documents like your identification, bank or credit statements, and business licenses. Most applicants get a determination within 24 hours; same-day approval is sometimes possible.

    Step 3: Get Funded

    Once approved, you could receive your cash advance within 24 hours.

    1st Merchant Funding, Post Funding:

    Most merchant cash advances carry daily payments. Payments will come from a fixed percentage of your daily credit card receipts or business bank account.

    The company does not state if there are any prepayment penalties or early payment discounts. It also doesn’t discuss renewals.

    Ensure you understand the repayment structure and cost before agreeing. You must determine if your cash flow can support repayment.

    What are the advantages of 1st Merchant Funding?

    The primary benefits of merchant cash advances are that they provide quick funding and are accessible to bad credit borrowers. 1st Merchant Funding doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement.

    It’s also a good funding option for newer businesses, as you only need two months in operation to apply. The company provides easy account registration and applications through the PowerForce platform.

    What are the disadvantages of 1st Merchant Funding?

    The main drawback is the cost. While the company doesn’t publish factor rate ranges, MCAs are one of the most expensive business funding options. That’s the tradeoff for the fast-funding time and accessibility for low credit scores.

    Another drawback is the lack of information on the website. There is no way to determine or estimate your costs without applying. The company lacks transparency and only provides some basic information.

    Pros & Cons


    • Quick and easy application process with a fast turnaround on approval.
    • Fast funding time – possible within 24 hours of approval.
    • No minimum credit score requirement.
    • Only requires two months in business.


    • Potentially high costs for merchant cash advances.
    • Lack of transparency on factor rates and terms.
    • No transparency on fees.
    • The website lacks information.

    Apply for business funding through United Capital Source today.

    1st Merchant Funding Frequently Asked Questions

    Is 1st Merchant Funding legit?

    Yes, 1st Merchant Funding is a legitimate cash advance provider. While the company is not Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited, it does have an A+ rating on the watchdog site.

    What do 1st Merchant Funding reviews typically focus on?

    Despite being in business for over 15 years, the company has very few online reviews that we could locate. There are zero BBB or Google reviews, and the company doesn’t have a Trustpilot page.

    The few reviews we could find were mixed, with some praising the company and others hating it. The positive reviews mention excellent customer service. One customer said working with the company was easy and received a decent rate. It does seem to provide customer satisfaction.

    The company’s negative reviews mention poor communication and a lack of professionalism. One review was from a broker who mentioned difficulty getting a payoff letter for their merchant client. Another said they were hit with surprise fees.

    What if 1st Merchant Funding declines my business loan request?

    The MCA company doesn’t have a minimum credit score, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get approved even if you do meet the time in business and credit card sales requirements. You may also be approved but don’t like the rates or terms and decide not to proceed.

    If you were rejected, the denial letter should explain why. If not, contact the company for more information.

    Fortunately, there are many lenders, MCA providers, and marketplaces to consider if this company doesn’t work out for you. You shouldn’t have any issue finding another merchant cash advance provider. This form of business funding is prevalent because of the low eligibility threshold.

    You might also want to consider other bad credit business loan options. Fair to decent credit borrowers can access a broader range of working capital loans and funding options.

    Other small business loan options to consider include the following:

    Making Your Decision

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    1st Merchant Funding is best suited for merchants who can’t qualify for small business loans at traditional financial institutions. It only offers one funding option, but there are no minimum credit scores, you only need two months in business, and the monthly credit card sales threshold is low.

    You could get same-day approval and next-day funding. However, you can expect to pay high rates for the speed, convenience, and accessibility of the service.

    More established businesses or those with a high credit score can likely qualify for more advantageous funding options at other lending platforms. If you pursue an MCA, one approach is to use it as a form of bridge financing until you build your business credit and history enough to qualify for lower-cost business loans.

    Based on the available information, limited user reviews, and website functionality, we rate 1st Merchant Funding as 3 out of 5. The MCA company has been around for a long time, so it’s a reasonable choice. But having only one funding product, the limited advance amounts, and the lack of information on the website indicate that you could potentially find more beneficial funders.

    Apply for business funding through United Capital Source today.

    Why Choose United Capital Source?

    Why businesses choose UCS:

    Quick funding options that won’t affect credit
    Access to 75+ lenders with multiple products to choose from
    Financing up to $5 million in as few as 3 days
    1500+ 5 star reviews from happy clients!

    Ready to grow your business? See how much you qualify for:

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        At UCS, we understand the value of your time and want to ensure that your application has a great chance of approval. Please take note of the following details before applying:
        • To be eligible, it’s necessary to have a business bank account with a well-established U.S. bank such as Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, or other major banks. Unfortunately, online-based bank accounts like PayPal, Chime, CashApp, etc., are not permitted.
        • When describing your current average monthly sales deposits to your business bank account, please provide accurate information. Our approval process is based on your current business performance, and it’s essential to provide accurate details about your current sales in the first question on the application form. We cannot approve applications based on projected revenues after receiving funding.
        We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in ensuring a smooth and successful application process.
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