I recently took an Amazon Lending Loan because it’s the extra bump that I needed to pay off all of my Amazon FBA credit cards, have money in the bank for new inventory purchases and to go mostly cash-only starting immediately. I’ll explain my reasoning of the cash-only in another post and I’ll go over the Amazon Lending process in this post.
The Amazon Lending Invitation
Amazon’s been offering me their loans since October or November of 2015. They send an invitation with an expiration date and then typically the day after the expiration date, they send a new offer.
Here’s what the emailed invitation looks like:
Here’s what the invitation look like inside of Seller Central:
Once you receive an invitation, you can just ignore it or click the “Learn more” link to get more information about the loan.
Amazon Lending Page
The “Learn More” button takes you to the Amazon Lending page that states what you can do with your working capital loan to grow your business:
- Purchase more inventory
- Expand use of FBA
- Expand product selection
- Sell Internationally
Of course, you can do whatever you want with your money. I’m using my money to pay off a specific credit card one month early.
Know the Risks of Taking on New Credit
By writing this post, I am not recommending that any of you take out a new Amazon Lending Loan. If you’re not careful, credit can get you into trouble if you’re unable to meet your monthly payments or if you’re just making the minimum payments on high interest credit cards or loans.
I’m fully aware of the risks of taking out a loan. However, I do feel that this loan is very low-risk for me as I have the cash in my savings account to pay off the loan in full and my disbursements from each of my sales cycles are more than the monthly loan payment.
The reason why I’m not using my savings to pay off my credit card is because that money is set aside for other specific purposes. ** Please see my Profit First post for more information.
Well, back to the Amazon Lending Process.
The Loan Calculator
The Amazon Lending Page has a “Getting Started” button which leads you to a page where you choose your loan & term amount and submit your loan application to Amazon. Here’s what the loan calculator looks like:
I like the calculator because it tells you what your monthly loan payment is and how much you’ll pay in interest.
As a side note, when considering an Amazon Lending loan, take a look at the Monthly Payment. Each month, Amazon will deduct the payment amount from one of your disbursements. It’s not divided between two disbursements. Therefore, it’s important that your disbursements will be high enough to cover the monthly payment or that you have extra money in your checking account to pay the shortage.
I chose not to take the $3000 loan as I don’t need that much money. My other options were $1000 and $2000 and I chose the $2000 option:
I don’t like the $40.48 in interest charges so I will pay the loan off early.
Applying for the Loan
Underneath the loan calculator is the credit application. It’s a very short form and Amazon had most of my information already filled out. All I had to do was type in my name, answer the Credit History statement and acknowledge that I read the Terms and Conditions of the loan agreement.
Once you finish filling out the credit application, you submit it to Amazon.
Getting Approved and Receiving Your Funds
I was approved instantly and in less than an hour, Amazon notified me that my loan is on its way.
In addition to sending me the $2000 loan amount, they also sent me my normal disbursement early. My last normal disbursement was on November 9 and the next one is due on November 23. However, they sent me what I accumulated for the current cycle.
Paying the Loan Back
My first loan payment is due on December 16 and Amazon will deduct the loan payment from my Dec 21 disbursement. At this point, I’m planning on making an extra payment in December and paying off the balance in January.
All in all, the whole loan process from start to finish was quick and easy.
Should You Get an Amazon Loan?
I can’t answer that. However, I wouldn’t recommend one if you’re already over-extended in credit, you cannot meet your current monthly obligations or your regular disbursement amount is not enough to make the monthly payment.
Why I Decided to Get a Loan
For my business, I have always used credit cards to pay for the majority of my inventory, supplies and subscriptions. With that said, I have always paid off the balance every month and have never paid a penny in interest. Also, I love earning credit card points to trade-in for statement credit or rewards certificates.
In the past few weeks, I have increased my inventory spending and have rung up higher-than-normal balances on my credit cards. I don’t like the higher balances, so I will be paying off every credit card next week. The loan allows me to do that without drawing from my savings account and it allows me to continue with my Q4 spending next week.
I do know that borrowing money to pay off an existing debt doesn’t make sense if you’re just going to continue creating new debt on what you just paid off. Therefore, starting today, I will be making all new purchases with my checking account money and not with credit.
However, my primary reason for going cash-only doesn’t have to do with my credit card balances. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do as I want to try a different approach to my inventory-spending and the tracking of my business growth. I believe that I’ll have more success if I go to cash-only. I’ll explain more in a future blog post.
Please let me know if you have any questions about how the Amazon Lending Program works in the comment form below or on my Facebook page.