Elevation Capital Small Business Loans: 2022 Review

Small business owners who need financing but don’t want a traditional business loan might be a good fit for Elevation Capital. The online lender offers asset-based financing using your invoices, purchase orders or future sales. The advantages are low credit requirements and potentially fast funding, but this type of financing can be expensive. We’ll help you decide in this Elevation Capital review whether it’s worth applying.

Pros Cons
  • Early payoff incentive for the merchant cash advance
  • Origination fees for some types of financing
  • Credit scores as low as 500 accepted
  • No loan or line of credit options
  • Funding in as little as 24 hours for the merchant cash advance
  • Slower time to funding for other products, 10 days to three weeks

Elevation Capital overview: Amounts, rates and fees

Elevation Capital offers three forms of asset-based business lending: merchant cash advances (MCAs), invoice factoring and inventory/purchase order financing.

Elevation Capital financing: At a glance
Amount Terms Factor rate* Fees Min. credit score
Merchant cash advances $10,000–$3,000,000 12-month avg. repayment 1.12–1.24 0.00%–1.00% origination fee 500
Invoice factoring $5,000– $10,000,000 120-day avg. repayment 1.12–1.24 None 550
Inventory and purchase order financing $100,000–$10,000,000 6-month avg. repayment 1.12–1.36 2.00% origination fee 600

*Based on a 12-month repayment schedule

Merchant cash advances

A merchant cash advance is a lump sum that you typically repay from your company’s credit card or debit card sales. Merchant cash advances or MCAs may work well for retail businesses or seasonal businesses where making long-term loan payments might be difficult in the off-season. Repayment for an MCA is based on your sales — the greater your sales, the more you’ll repay and vice versa with Elevation Capital withholding a set percentage. You may be able to choose that percentage and the frequency of your payments, daily or weekly.

You can expect funding quickly with Elevation Capital if you’re approved; within 24 hours for an MCA. The other lending products from Elevation Capital aren’t quite so quick to fund.

Interest rate vs. factor rate

Elevation Capital charges a factor rate, not a traditional annual percentage rate (APR), for its MCA and other products. To calculate how much you would pay for financing, multiply your advance amount by the factor rate. If you accept an MCA of $500,000 at the maximum factor rate of 1.24, you would pay back $620,000 over 12 months, not including a possible origination fee. Elevation Capital offers incentives for early payoff, which could mean agreeing to a higher withholding percentage. This may save you money on interest fees but harm your company’s cash flow, especially if sales slow down.

Invoice factoring

As a business owner, you might have a ton of invoices that need to be paid, but your clients are dragging their feet. Invoice factoring can solve that problem when you agree to sell those invoices to Elevation Capital. You must sell at least $5,000 worth of invoices monthly after which you’ll submit an invoice and receive payment within 10 days.  Like the MCA, Elevation Capital charges a factor rate for this service but doesn’t impose any additional fees.

Inventory and purchase order financing

Purchase order financing allows you to pay your supplier to manufacture and deliver ordered goods to your customers when you might not otherwise have the cash on hand to complete the order. Inventory financing is similar but typically is used to buy products that will not be sold immediately.

In either scenario, Elevation Capital lends between $100,000 and $10,000,000 to purchase what you need for your business. Be aware that it comes with a 2.00% origination fee and the potentially highest factor rate of any of Elevation Capital’s products.

If approved, you’ll receive the money within two to three weeks, and you’ll make monthly payments after that.

Elevation Capital requirements: Are you eligible?

  • Minimum credit score: 500-600
    • MCA: 500
    • Invoice factoring: 550
    • Inventory and purchase order financing: 600
  • Minimum time in business: Six months
  • Minimum required annual revenue: $150,000

Elevation Capital has lenient credit and time-in-business requirements but it may not be suitable for startup businesses. Seasonal companies that need money for a one-time use and can repay it quickly might be a best fit.

How to apply

Elevation Capital is similar to other online lenders in that the application process is simpler than applying for a traditional business loan. You can get started online with only two items:

  • An application
  • Three months of business bank statements

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Elevation Capital review: Should you apply?

Simple applications and flexible requirements set alternative small business lenders like Elevation Capital apart from banks or credit unions. There’s a certain amount of convenience, too, when payments come straight out of credit or debit card sales or when Elevation collects on your invoices.

Convenience might come at a cost in the form of higher rates and fees. If your credit score is just above the cutoffs for approval, it may be safe to assume it’ll be even more expensive for you. Other lenders might also offer faster turnaround times on their invoice factoring or inventory and purchase order financing.

It’s important to shop around for your best offers before you agree to Elevation Capital financing. If you’re looking for a business loan or line of credit, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Alternatives to Elevation Capital business financing

Elevation Capital isn’t the only lender that offers MCAs or accounts receivable financing. Here are a few others that may offer better solutions, depending on your situation:

Elevation Capital vs. CAN Capital

CAN Capital has similar qualification requirements as Elevation Capital. But if you’re looking for a traditional small business loan as opposed to the asset-based lending that Elevation Capital offers, CAN Capital might be a better choice. CAN Capital also offers merchant cash advances with a lower starting amount of $2,500 but no matter the size of the advance, you’ll pay a $595 administrative fee.

Elevation Capital vs. Paragon Financial Group

Paragon Financial Group may be better than Elevation Capital for startups — Paragon has no time-in-business requirement. Paragon offers invoice factoring in as quickly as 24 hours.

Elevation Capital vs. BlueVine

BlueVine finances businesses as young as three months generating at least $10,000 per month with invoice factoring rates starting at 0.25% per week, but Elevation Capital offers larger amounts. If you’re looking for a line of credit, BlueVine offers credit lines for those with at least six months in business and a 600 FICO Score.