As the credit crunch continues, more and more business owners and entrepreneurs are turning to less traditional methods of business financing. Typically, the requirements for receiving these non-traditional business loans are not as strict as bank requirements, even during times of a booming economy. Now, as people who would normally qualify for bank loans are facing bank denials, the various non-traditional business financing sources are experiencing an influx of qualified applicants.
Wikipedia describes peer-to-peer, or P2P lending, as a lending system that "… occurs directly between individuals (" peers ") without the intermediation / participation of a traditional financial institution." According to a recent article, many peer-to-peer lending sites, say users are frequently listing "credit crunch" or "banks tightening their credit policy" as reasons for turning to social lending networks.
This type of lending often works out for the benefit of the borrower because lenders auction of loans online, competitiveness for the borrower by offering lower interest rates. Usually the lender offering the lowest interest rate wins.
An angel investor is an affluent individual who invests in start-up small businesses, providing funds for new entrepreneurs. Many angel investors participate in such investments because they feel they can get "… a higher return than they would see in traditional investments" (smallbusinessnotes.com). Some angel investors even join together forming angel groups and / or angel networks. Usually angel investors are also seasoned business owners and have already experienced the difficulties of business start-up. Therefore, they can offer advice, expertise and experience in addition to funds.
Merchant Cash Advance
A merchant cash advance is a form of credit card factoring. Borrowers sell their businesses' future credit card receivables at a discount. Meaning they pay a flat rate for upfront money. Then the amount of the merchant cash advance and the flat rate are paid via the deduction of a small percentage of the businesses' daily credit card sales. This small percentage is taken until the entire payback amount is repaid. Merchant cash advance borrowers can usually have their money in a matter of days after approval.