Recourse vs Non-Recourse Factoring

Recourse vs Non-recourse factoring involves credit decision-making.


Understanding Recourse vs Non-Recourse Factoring

In the world of factoring finance, there are two main types of factoring: recourse and non-recourse factoring. Determining which type of factoring is right for your business depends on several factors, such as risk tolerance, customer credit risk, and cash flow flexibility.

What is Recourse Factoring

Recourse factoring is the more common and traditional type of invoice factoring. In this arrangement, the business selling its invoices to the factor retains the ultimate responsibility for collecting payment from the customers. If the customer fails to pay the factor, the business is obligated to pay back the factoring company.

Advantages of Recourse Factoring

Recourse factoring offers several advantages, including:

  1. Lower fees
  2. More flexibility in selecting which invoices to factor
  3. Less stringent credit limits on customers

Recourse factoring is an option that provides businesses with a broad range of benefits. One of those benefits is lower fees compared to non-recourse factoring. This cost-saving aspect can be appealing to businesses looking to optimize their cash flow while keeping expenses in check.

Also, with recourse factoring, factoring companies generally have less strict credit limits on a business’ customers. This provides businesses with the flexibility to fund more invoices and generate the cash needed to operate without limiting their funding.

There is an available option if a business needs credit protection in a recourse factoring agreement. Your factoring company can provide trade credit insurance; thus creating a non-recourse situation for customers that need it. Credit insurance typically adds about one percentage point to the factoring costs for that particular customer.

Disadvantages of Recourse Factoring

Recourse factoring relieves the factoring company of liability for customer credit issues, making the business responsible for those bad debts. However, this shouldn’t be a problem if the factoring company is properly monitoring customer credit risk. If a customer poses credit risk, then the factoring company will attempt to acquire trade credit insurance to protect against any loss. If the customer credit profile is too risky, then the factoring company will simply prevent the factoring of that customer. The last thing any factoring company wants to happen is a customer failure to pay. Even though the factoring company has recourse, bad debt loss is avoided at all cost.

What is Non-Recourse Factoring

Non-recourse factoring is a type of factoring where the factoring company assumes the credit risk of the invoices. In this arrangement, if a customer fails to pay an invoice, the factoring company absorbs the loss, and the business is not required to repay the factor.

Most non-recourse factoring arrangements only cover non-payments due to customer credit issues. In other words, non-recourse agreements behave as a credit guarantee that protect a business if your customer can’t pay for credit reasons such as insolvency or bankruptcy. Non-recourse does not cover fraud, negligence, or disputable issues.

For example, if a business sends their concrete customer 20 tons of bad concrete, then the factoring company isn’t liable for the quality issues. If a business performs electrical work for a high-rise and the wires don’t pass code, then the business is liable, not the factoring company.

This is true most of the time – recourse or non-recourse. So, make sure you fully understand the recourse or non-recourse clause in the factoring agreement. Seek legal advice if you have any concerns or questions.

Advantages of Non-Recourse Factoring

  1. Blanket protection on customer credit issues

Disadvantages of Non-Recourse Factoring

  1. Higher fees
  2. Tighter credit restrictions
  3. Only cover non-payments due to customer credit issues

While non-recourse factoring may seem like the obvious choice for businesses looking to minimize risk, there are some significant drawbacks to consider. Factoring companies that offer non-recourse factoring typically charge higher fees compared to those offering recourse factoring.

Also, the factoring company typically enforces stricter credit limits in a non-recourse agreement. Businesses must be willing to accept lower credit limits on their customers, which means they may not be able to factor the entire amount of their invoices. Many times, a business will find too late that they aren’t able to get their invoices funded and thus don’t get the cash needed to operate effectively. This can cause severe problems if not planned or expected.

How to Choose the Best Factoring Option for Your Business

When deciding between recourse and non-recourse factoring, businesses should consider their specific needs. It’s essential to evaluate the creditworthiness of your customer base, the level of control you need over factoring your invoices, and the impact that strict credit limits impose on your cash flow.

If your business has a strong customer base and low credit risk, recourse factoring can be a cost-effective option, providing access to quick cash and favorable terms. On the other hand, non-recourse factoring may be worth the additional costs for the added credit protection or credit restrictions.


FactoringClub helps businesses like yours find the right factoring company. We know the factoring finance business like nobody else. Our services are no-cost to you. We get paid a referral fee from our factoring company partners.

FactoringClub works with a multitude of factoring companies, so we can find the very best factoring company for your business. With over 100 factoring company partners, FactoringClub has the largest network of factoring companies available in the United States and Canada.

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