Difference Between Recourse and Non-Recourse Factoring

Recourse vs Non Recourse FactoringRecourse factoring and non-recourse factoring are two distinct methods of financing receivables, each with its own set of advantages and risks.

Recourse factoring is a type of arrangement where the factor assumes the responsibility of collecting payments from the customers, but in the event of non-payment, the factor can “recourse” or seek reimbursement from the business that sold the receivables.

In this case, the business retains the risk of any bad debts or customer defaults. On the other hand, non-recourse factoring is a more secure option for the business as the factor assumes the credit risk. If a customer fails to pay, the factor absorbs the loss and the business is not required to repay.

Non-recourse factoring generally comes with higher fees and more stringent credit evaluation processes since the factor assumes a greater level of risk.

Ultimately, the choice between recourse and non-recourse factoring depends on a business’s risk appetite and financial stability

Two Types of Factoring

There are two primary types of factoring available: recourse and non-recourse. Recourse factoring is the more commonly used option, requiring your company to repurchase any invoices that the factoring company is unable to collect payment on. As the seller, you bear the ultimate responsibility for non-payment.

Factoring with recourse

Factoring with recourse is a common form of financing receivables where the business retains the responsibility and risk for any unpaid invoices. In this arrangement, the factoring company advances funds to the business based on the value of its outstanding invoices.

However, if the customers fail to pay, the business is obligated to repurchase those invoices from the factoring company. This means that the business assumes the credit risk associated with non-payment by its customers.

Factoring with recourse provides the business with immediate cash flow but also requires careful monitoring of customer payments and potential credit risks. It is a more cost-effective option compared to non-recourse factoring since the business retains a higher level of responsibility.

Ultimately, factoring with recourse can be beneficial for businesses with strong customer relationships and effective credit management systems.

Non recourse factoring

Non-recourse factoring is a form of receivables financing where the factoring company assumes the credit risk associated with non-payment by the business’s customers. In this arrangement, the factoring company purchases the outstanding invoices from the business and provides an upfront payment, typically a percentage of the invoice value.

Unlike recourse factoring, if a customer fails to pay, the factoring company absorbs the loss and the business is not required to repurchase the invoices or reimburse the factoring company. Non-recourse factoring offers businesses a higher level of protection against bad debts and provides more financial stability.

However, it often comes with stricter credit evaluation processes and higher fees compared to recourse factoring. It is important for businesses to carefully evaluate the creditworthiness of their customers before opting for non-recourse factoring to ensure eligibility and mitigate potential risks.

What is the Risk for Non-Recourse Factors?

Non-recourse factors assume a certain level of risk in their operations. Since they bear the responsibility for collecting payments from the business’s customers, their primary risk lies in the potential non-payment or default by those customers. If a customer fails to pay, the non-recourse factor absorbs the loss and cannot seek reimbursement from the business.

This risk makes non-recourse factors highly selective when it comes to approving clients for their services. They conduct thorough credit evaluations and often limit non-recourse agreements to customers with good credit ratings. Additionally, factors may set specific conditions for non-recourse coverage, such as only applying in cases of debtor insolvency.

The risk for non-recourse factors can be mitigated through careful customer selection, credit monitoring, and robust risk management practices. However, it remains an inherent aspect of their business model due to the unpredictable nature of customer payment behaviour.

Frequently asked question

What is the basic difference between recourse and non-recourse factoring?

The basic difference between recourse and non-recourse factoring is with recourse factoring, you're responsible for the debt if your customers don't pay. With non-recourse factoring, the factoring company accepts the loss for nonpayment.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between recourse and non-recourse factoring is crucial for invoice finance users. Recourse factoring places the responsibility for non-payment on the business, requiring them to repurchase any unpaid invoices. It offers immediate cash flow but carries the risk of bad debts.

On the other hand, non-recourse factoring transfers the credit risk to the factoring company, providing businesses with greater protection against customer defaults. However, non-recourse factoring often comes with stricter eligibility criteria, higher fees, and limited coverage conditions.

Ultimately, the choice between recourse and non-recourse factoring depends on the risk appetite, financial stability, and creditworthiness of the business. Proper evaluation of these factors is essential for invoice factoring users to make informed decisions that align with their specific needs and circumstances.

Business Finance Expert at Business Insolvency Helpline | + posts

Lee Jones is a seasoned expert in the field of business finance with over two decades of experience. With a keen understanding of financial markets and a passion for helping businesses thrive, Lee has become a trusted advisor to countless companies across the United Kingdom.