As a Portfolio Quality Analyst at Access Plus Capital, Kattia Gomez has seen a lot of different types of businesses come through our doors. But one type of business that she sees all too often is small businesses that have gotten caught up in predatory merchant advance loans.


These loans are often marketed to small businesses as a quick and easy way to get the cash they need. However, the terms of these loans are often predatory, with high interest rates and fees that can quickly trap businesses in a cycle of debt.


Between 2010 and 2014, Founder of A-Tech Auto Repair, Mr. Celedon, took out merchant advance loans to keep his business afloat. However, the loans quickly spiraled out of control, and he ended up with three loans from three different entities.


The loans had predatory interest rates, ranging from 9% to 15%. This meant that Mr. Celedon was paying around $42,000 per year in interest, which drastically reduced his business’s net profit to just 4%. Mr. Celedon was struggling to make the monthly payments on the loans, and he feared that he would lose his business. 


In 2015, Mr. Celedon was referred to Access Plus Capital. Mr. Baldev Birk, our VP of Finance, worked with him to refinance his merchant loans. This allowed Mr. Celedon to expand his business by leasing additional space and hiring more staff. He is now on track to increase his business’s net profit to 16% by the end of 2023.


Kattia Gomez shares “I am proud to say that Mr. Celedon has been a pleasure to work with and has a successful business that is growing financially every year.” As a Portfolio Quality Analyst, Kattia is responsible for monitoring the performance of loans in Access Plus Capital’s portfolio. 


“I identify potential problems early on and take steps to mitigate risk. This can help to protect the lender and ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to grow and succeed. This is where Access Plus Capital comes in”.


Access Plus Capital is a community development financial institution (CDFI) that is committed to eliminating economic barriers to financial success for Central Californian entrepreneurs of color, women, rural communities, veterans, and other underinvested communities. 


Since 2008, we have deployed over $50 million in capital to 900+ small businesses from Bakersfield to Stockton who could not qualify for a traditional bank loan. Despite not qualifying for a traditional bank loan, 97% of our clients pay us back. 


Mr. Celedon is now on track to pay off the loans and save his business. He is grateful for the help he received, and he is warning other small business owners about the dangers of merchant advance loans.




Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and they need access to capital in order to grow and succeed. If you’re a small business owner who is looking to refinance a loan with Access Plus Capital, visit www.accesspluscapital.com to protect your business and ensure its success.


We provide start-up, working capital, equipment, and real estate loans for many industries like restaurants & food trucks, retail, professional services, and small manufacturers. Contact us at www.accesspluscapital.com/contact

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