Fixed Rate vs Adjustable Rate Accounts Receivable Factoring

fixed rate vs adjustable rate accounts receivable factoringThere are two different types of rates that most factoring companies quote potential clients these days, fixed rate and adjustable rate. These terms should sound familiar to anyone with a mortgage, and surprisingly they aren’t all that different in the world of factoring. In the world of mortgages, a fixed rate remains the same for the entire 30 year life of the mortgage, while with adjustable rate mortgages you get a teaser rate for the first 3, 5, or 7 years and then the rate goes up on you. In the factoring world, a fixed rate means that the rate you are quoted is the rate you pay for the life of the invoice, you don’t pay any interest, even if your customers pay their invoices late. With adjustable rate factoring, you are offered a low teaser rate, but you wind up paying interest for as long as it takes your customers to pay back your factoring company. Just like with mortgages, getting a fixed rate costs more than an adjustable rate, but in the long run it will save you money. At DSA Factors we have had a number of companies ask us about adjustable rate factoring over the last few years, but upon doing the math, all of them have chosen to go with fixed rate factoring, which we have been offering to our clients for over 30 years.

How does adjustable rate factoring work?

Adjustable rate factoring offers you a very low base fee for factoring invoices, often times it can be less than even 1%, but like most things in life, if it’s too good to be true it probably is. Once your factoring company funds you for the invoice the clock starts ticking and you start getting charged interest from that time until payment is received for the invoice by your factoring company. They will also add another 5-10 days worth of interest as they wait for the check to clear the bank.

What are the advantages to adjustable rate factoring?

Adjustable rate factoring can be beneficial if your customers pay like clock work and pay early. It also can be beneficial if you don’t need immediate cash flow. If you can hold onto your invoices for a few weeks before submitting them to your factoring company to get paid, you can potentially save quite a bit of money as your factoring company won’t have the invoices for very long before they get paid. Of course in both these situations you are missing out on one of the primary benefits of factoring, improved cash flow.

What are the disadvantages to adjustable rate factoring?

Besides the fact that you can face some pretty steep interest charges on your slow paying customers. Your factoring company has little motivation to collect payments for invoices in a timely fashion. If a good customer misses an invoice, which we all know happens from time to time, your factoring company may not bother to notify them until the invoice becomes 30 or even 60 days past due since they can charge you more interest during this time.

How does fixed rate factoring work?

Fixed rate factoring is very simple, you are given a rate based on the payment terms of the invoice, and that is the fee you pay regardless of how long it takes your customers to pay for your invoice. While it is true that it will cost more to factor a net 60 day invoice than a net 30 day invoice, you will not be charged any additional fees if it takes a customer 60 days to pay a net 30 day invoice. At DSA Factors we have always offered fixed rate factoring, and while it may be harder to sell the higher rate to prospective clients, we find that it is a much more honest and cheaper option. As a result we have clients who have been factoring with us for over 20 years.

What are the advantages to fixed rate factoring?

Besides the fact that you aren’t being charged interest for slow paying customers, with fixed rate factoring it makes your accounting much simpler as you always know what factoring will cost you and you can easily build the cost into your prices. Plus, since your factoring company does not benefit from late payments, they have more reason to collect in a timely fashion. As a result, they are less likely to turn down reorders due to an account being past due.

What are the disadvantages to fixed rate factoring?

If your customers pay early you still pay the same factoring fee. However, if you have customers who consistently pay early, DSA Factors would be willing to work with you to put together an early pay discount program for these customers.

How do I choose which factoring rate is right for me?

A good way of thinking about adjustable rate factoring is that it is a lot like taking a cab, you have a small flag fall but the meter keeps running until your factoring company gets paid. With fixed rate factoring, it is a lot like taking a limo, you know the price going in, and the service is usually better as well. But don’t worry, whichever route you choose, you don’t need to give your factoring company a tip!

At DSA Factors we have run reports for our clients showing them what their fee would be with adjustable rate factoring, and while it typically is very similar, flat rate factoring has always proven to be the cheaper option. If you would like to learn more about adjustable vs flat rate factoring please give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000 and we would be happy to talk to you about it. We would even be happy to run an analysis on your payment data to see which option would work best for you.

Factoring vs Fintech: Finance in the High Tech World

Finance in the High Tech WorldFor most small business owners, obtaining a line of credit from a bank has never been easy. In recent years a number of technology companies have discovered this problem and it has led to the emergence of fintech, a form of online lending. However, what many small business owners don’t realize is that there is another alternative to the banks, which is factoring. Factoring companies however offer a whole lot more than the fintech companies, but also have much more experience and knowledge, better customer service, and typically cost less.

Industry Knowledge

Fintech companies provide their customers, who don’t qualify for a small business loan from a bank, with short-term, high-interest loans using their receivables as collateral. Because they are using receivables as collateral, companies such as BlueVine claim that they provide accounts receivable factoring, but really they are just providing their customers with a loan. Other companies like Fundbox claim they provide invoice financing, which they differentiate from factoring. While it is true that they do not provide factoring, what they don’t realize is that invoice financing and accounts receivable financing mean the same as factoring. This demonstrates a very big difference between fintech and factoring. These fintech companies are really young IT start-ups with little or no experience in the industries that they serve; in fact, they may not even know basic industry terms. Factoring on the other hand has been around for hundreds of years, even Christopher Columbus used factoring. While most factoring companies haven’t been around quite that long, they all have quite a bit of experience and a background in the industries that they serve. For example, DSA Factors started off as the consumer finance arm of a retail furniture store under the same ownership. Eventually they decided to start offering factoring services to furniture and bedding wholesalers who they bought from. As the factoring business grew they started expanding out to other industries such as giftware, housewares, apparel, and trucking. Now, having factored for over 30 years, they are still helping small and medium sized businesses grow.

Improved Cash Flow – Debt vs No Debt

While the goal of both fintech and factoring is to help you improve your cash flow, perhaps the biggest difference between fintech and factoring is how they accomplish this. A fintech company provides you with a loan, meaning you are taking on debt. Furthermore, the loan has a very short term and if you offer extended terms, such as net 90 days, to your customers, it is quite possible that the loan will become due before you receive payment on the invoice that was used as collateral. With factoring, the factoring company is purchasing your accounts receivable, or invoices. The funds you receive from a factoring company are yours to keep and spend however you like. Even if one of your customers pays late, you don’t need to worry about paying back the funds you received.

Accounts Receivable Outsourcing

Of course services provided are another really big difference between fintech and factoring. Fintech companies seem to pride themselves on how they will never contact your customers; they seem to think that you will appreciate this. However, all that this means is that if your customers don’t pay them, they will come after you.  With fintech you still need to stay on top of your accounts receivable and send out statements and make collection calls. For a small business this means that the owner typically needs to spend a lot of time just trying to get paid by their customers. For medium sized businesses you will probably need to hire another employee just to manage your accounts receivable, meaning additional payroll. With factoring you are outsourcing your accounts receivable. Factoring companies have already invested heavily in the software necessary to manage A/R, and are able to do so because they manage A/R for many clients. They have professional and courteous collectors who are able to make the phone calls for you. Plus, because your customers may purchase from several other vendors who factor their receivables, a factoring company has a lot more leverage in collecting from a customer who may not be willing to pay. The fintech companies try to scare you by saying that factoring companies can ruin your relationship with your customers, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Factoring companies are not collection agencies, they understand the importance of the relationship you have with your customers, after all, they have a similar relationship with you. As a result, your factoring company provides your customers with gentle reminders that payment is due, and always treats your customers with the respect they deserve.

Credit Insurance

Another big difference between fintech and factoring is the insurance they provide. With Fintech you receive no insurance on the invoices you put up as collateral, if the invoices don’t get paid, you still have to pay back the fintech company. However, many factoring companies, such as DSA Factors, provide non-recourse factoring, meaning that you are insured in the situation where one of your customers is unable to pay due to financial problems. Furthermore, since your factoring company is insuring your receivables, they also handle all of your credit checking for you, meaning that you don’t need to subscribe to expensive services such as Dun & Bradstreet. While it is possible to purchase credit insurance separately, it of course comes with additional fees, and typically only covers large orders for very creditworthy companies such as Amazon or Walmart. If your customers are mom and pop stores, or your invoices are smaller than five or six figures, credit insurance is not something that is readily available to you.

Purchase Order Financing

Of course, for many small companies simply getting funded for your invoices isn’t enough. For a company that has just received their first six figure purchase order, it may be very difficult to put that order together. To make matters worse, if you are unable to accept such a large order, it is unlikely that the company placing the order will come back to you in the future. If you manufacture in China you typically need to put 30% down to start production and then a month later when production is complete, pay the remaining 70% to get the merchandise put onto the boat. It will be another month before the container arrives in the US and you are able to ship and invoice your customers, and a fintech company will not provide you with a loan until you do so. For service companies you may need to hire additional labor and will need to meet payroll long before you complete the job and invoice your customer. If use fintech for your financing they won’t lend you the capital in advance, and you won’t be allowed to take out a loan with a bank. However, many factoring companies, such as DSA Factors, will provide their clients with purchase order financing, which is a short term loan based on the PO so that you can fulfill a large order.

Customer Service

Finally there is one more major difference between fintech and factoring companies, and that is customer service. Fintech companies are all about technology; they integrate with business software such as QuickBooks, and believe that customer service is about giving their customers fancy online tools. Of course this means that you too need to use QuickBooks or whatever other software they may integrate with. Factoring companies on the other hand realize that a big part of doing business is developing a relationship with the people they work with. Perhaps factoring companies don’t offer all the fancy technology and software integrations as the fintech companies do, but they aren’t dinosaurs. Nearly every factoring company has an online portal where their clients can login, request approvals, and view a variety of reports. While there are some large bank-owned factoring companies, there are also plenty of family-owned factoring companies such as DSA Factors. At DSA Factors you can always call and speak with a principal, no need to deal with account managers or low-level employees who can only answer simple questions. As a result, factoring companies are able to work with you creatively and aren’t restricted to just the 1’s and 0’s of the digital fintech world.

Choose Your Financing Carefully

When it comes to financing your small business it is important that you look at the big picture. While fintech may be new and exciting, you get a whole lot more with factoring. Plus, with factoring you most likely will save money as well!

If you would like to give factoring a chance, call DSA Factors at 773-248-9000 and either Ben, Max, or Howard will be available and able to help you. There is no obligation or long-term commitment, and you can start receiving funds in as little as 24 hours.  Start growing your business today with a time-tested and proven method that works, accounts receivable factoring.

Traditional Factoring vs Fintech

Accounts Receivable Factoring vs FintechThere has been a lot of talk in the news about fintech (financial technology) lately.  Certainly there is a lot to be said about alternative approaches to financing over more traditional methods offered by the banks. However, accounts receivable factoring has always been an alternative financing method over what the banks offer, and has a long track record of success. In fact, many of the fintech companies even offer factoring programs, but they tend to be bare bones versions of factoring that only offer some of the benefits gained by factoring, and oftentimes even charge higher rates than traditional factoring companies.

The factoring industry has been around for a long time. It was well established in Europe when the original colonists brought it over to America. In fact, the king and queen of Spain offered a form of factoring to Christopher Columbus when he wanted to set sail for the “New World”. While this may seem antiquated in our modern technology driven world, the fact is that most factoring companies do take advantage of modern technologies, offering most of the benefits of fintech, but with much more experience, a proven track record of helping to grow small to medium sized businesses, and much lower rates.

To see the difference, the chart below compares traditional factoring with DSA Factors to similar programs with PayPal Working Capital, Bluevine, and Fundbox, three of the more popular fintech companies offering similar programs to invoice factoring.

 DSA FactorsPayPal Working CapitalBlueVineFundbox
DSA FactorsPayPal Working CapitalBlueVineFundbox
Take on New DebtNo, the funds DSA provides you with are yours to keep.Yes, PayPal is offering you a loan, so you are taking on new debt.Maybe, if your customers don't pay BlueVine, they will require you to pay them back after 90 days.Yes, Fundbox is offering you a loan, so you are taking on new debt.
Credit LimitNo, with DSA Factors we will fund you for all of your receivables.Yes, the lesser of 18% of your annual sales on PayPal or $97,000.Yes, $20,000 to $500,000 based on your company's credit.Yes, $25,000.
Based on Your CreditNo, since DSA is giving your customers a line of credit, credit decisions are made based on your customer's good credit.No, the loan amount is based on your annual sales volume with PayPal.Yes, BlueVine will assign you a credit limit based on your credit worthiness.Yes, Fundbox determines your credit limit based on your credit worthiness.
Charges You InterestNo, DSA offers a flat rate factoring fee.Yes, the interest is charged to you up front when you get a loan, regardless of how long it takes to pay the loan off.No, BlueVine also offers a flat rate program, but at 10-15% their rates are at least triple or quadruple the rate that DSA offers.Yes, based on the size of the loan, Fundbox may charge you anywhere from 5-12% over the course of a 84 day loan.
Term LimitNo, DSA Factors has no problem working with extended terms.Yes, PayPal requires you to pay back 10% of the loan every 90 days, with the full amount due in 540 days.Yes, if payment has not been received after 90 days, you are required to pay back BlueVine.Yes, you must pay off the loan in 12 weekly installments.
Collections OutsourcingYes, DSA Factors handles all of your collection work.No, your customers must make payments through PayPal, but PayPal does not help with collections.No, your customers are required to make payments to a BlueVine drop box or bank account, however BlueVine does not help you collect.No, Fundbox does not handle collections for you, it is strictly a loan that you need to pay back.
Insure Your ReceivablesYes, with DSA's non-recourse factoring your invoices are insured against non-payment.No, PayPal only does payment processing for you.No, if an invoice has not been paid after 90 days of being funded for it, you are required to pay back BlueVine.No, Fundbox is strictly a loan that must be paid back in 12 weekly installments.
Choose Which Invoices You FactorYes, DSA Factors does not require you to factor all of your receivables.No, a percentage of all payments made through PayPal will be applied towards your loan.Yes, you can choose which invoices you want to get funded on.Yes, however there is a $100 minimum in order to get funded for an invoice.
Minimum Volume RequirementNo, at DSA Factors you are not required to factor a certain amount, and there are no annual fees.Yes, PayPal requires you to pay back 10% of the loan every 90 days if you aren't doing enough volume.No, BlueVine does not require you to fund a minimum amount each year.No, Fundbox does not require you to draw a minimum amount each year, however, they will not fund you if an invoice is worth less than $100.
Long Term CommitmentNo, with DSA Factors you can stop factoring at any time, but since many of our clients have been with us for over 20 years, we don't think that you will want to stop.No, once your loan with PayPal is paid off you can start looking for alternative sources of financing.No, BlueVine allows you to stop drawing on your line of credit at any time, but you will need to pay them back for any invoices that they have not received payment on.No, once you have paid off your loan with Fundbox, you are free to pursue other financing options.
Charge Payment Processing FeesNo, DSA will never charge you for processing a payment.Yes, you are required to accept payments through PayPal and pay their payment processing fees.No, although BlueVine will funnel all payments into their account without your customers knowing that BlueVine is receiving the payment.N/A, Fundbox does not process payments.
Available TechnologyDSA offers its clients an online portal where they can get automatic approvals, view agers, remittance reports, and other reports in real time. Your customers may also go online to make payments.With PayPal you get a loan online and customers make payments online.BlueVine requires the use of Quickbooks or similar software to get funded.Fundbox requires the use of Quickbooks or similar software to get funded.
Good Old Fashioned ServiceAs a family owned and operated business, you can call DSA at any time and speak with a principal who can come up with creative solutions to help grow your business.PayPal doesn't even list a phone number on their web site.BlueVine may have a phone number, but it is doubtful that you will be able to speak to anyone who can actually help you.Fundbox may have a phone number, but it is doubtful that you will be able to speak to anyone who can actually help you.

As you can see, traditional accounts receivable factoring with DSA Factors offers all of the benefits that the fintech companies offer, along with many more.  You still get an online portal where you can efficiently do business and your customers can make online payments, but you also can pick up a phone and speak with one of our principals at any time.  As a result, we can come up with creative solutions for your business that might not fit into a fintech company’s software, such as purchase order financing.  So if you are looking for ways to finance your business, go with a time-tested method that works, accounts receivable factoring.  Give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and we can be funding you in as little as 24 hours.

How to Find the Lowest Rate for Accounts Receivable Factoring

Finding the Lowest Factoring Rate
If one number is all that mattered, then every business would work with the same factoring company that gives the lowest rate. However, a lot goes into a factoring rate and it’s important that you understand exactly what that rate means.

There are a lot of different accounts receivable factoring companies out there, and for most businesses looking to factor, the biggest concern is how much factoring will cost them. While a low factoring rate is very important, it is also important to make sure that when you get two different rates that you are comparing apples to apples. It isn’t only looking at services such as advance rates, approval rates, or recourse vs non-recourse, but also looking at fees and interest charges. So while you could call five, ten, fifteen, or even twenty factoring companies to find out their rates, it might not be so clear-cut as to which company is the cheapest and provides the best service. This article will show you how to find the best factoring company for your business.

Adjustable Rate Factoring vs Flat Rate Factoring

Adjustable Rate Factoring

There are two different types of rates that a factoring company may charge you. The most popular type of factoring these days is adjustable rate factoring. With adjustable rate factoring the factoring company will offer what seems like an impossibly low rate, they may advertise anything from .5% to 1% as a base rate for factoring your invoices. However, they will then charge you interest from the day they advance you the money until payment is received and then they will add an additional 10 days for payment to clear the bank.  The way that this interest is computed can vary, but it is most common for factoring companies to use blocks.  A block may be a period of 10, 15, or 30 days.  For each block that passes, the factoring company will charge you an additional fee.  For example, if a factoring company offers a .5% base rate and uses 15 day blocks and charges 1% for each block, this how you would be charged for factoring an invoice.  Lets say the invoice is purchased on July 1st, then you will be charged the base rate of .5% for factoring on that day, in addition you will also be charged 1% for the first 15 day block.  On July 15th if payment has not been received yet and cleared the bank, then another 1% will be charged for the 2nd 15 day block. Lets say payment is received August 10th, you will be charged another 1% on July 30th, and on August 14th, since the factoring company is still waiting for the funds to clear the bank, you will be charged a final 1%.  As a result, your overall costs for factoring the invoice will be 4.5%.

Flat Rate Factoring

With a flat rate factoring program your factoring fee is much easier to compute. If you are offered a rate of 4% then that is exactly how much money you will pay for factoring the invoice, regardless of how long it takes your customer to pay your factoring company. While the base rate may appear much higher with flat rate factoring, the actual rate you pay to factor an invoice is typically lower, especially if your customers don’t pay their invoices early.

Service Differences

While the overall rate may be the main reason why you choose to go with an adjustable rate or flat rate for your accounts receivable factoring, it is also important to consider the service that goes along with these two different rate structures. With an adjustable rate, the longer it takes your factoring company to get paid, the more money they make. As a result, an adjustable rate factoring company has little motivation to collect from your accounts until they start to become seriously past due. With a flat rate factoring program, your factoring company is very motivated to collect from your accounts when the invoices become due. This motivation to collect doesn’t just affect how much you pay for factoring, but can also affect if future orders from your customers get approved. If a customer is past due on your invoices, then they won’t get approved until they catch up. As a result a factoring company with an adjustable rate may not be able to get you approvals in a timely fashion causing your customers to become upset.

The Advance – Improved Cash Flow

Perhaps the most important reason why companies want to factor their invoices is because of the advance that provides them with the improved cash flow they need. When choosing a factoring company, the most important question should be if they provide an advance and how long it takes. Most factoring companies should be able to provide you with an advance on your receivables within 24 hours, or even the same day. A factoring company who is offering you rates to good to be true may not be providing you with an advance. After that you need to look at the rate of advance. All factoring companies hold back money in reserve, but some companies hold back more than others. However, rather than advertise how much they hold back, factoring companies prefer to advertise how much they advance. So if a factoring company holds back 10%, then they have an advance rate of 90%. Advance rates can vary anywhere from 75%-90%, so it is important to make sure that you are getting a high advance rate.

Recourse vs Non-Recourse Factoring

Another benefit of factoring is the insurance that it provides on your receivables. A company that offers non-recourse factoring will insure your receivables against non-payment for financial reasons, meaning for example, that you will not be on the hook if a customer of yours goes bankrupt. However, if your factoring company only offers recourse factoring then they are not providing you with any insurance, and you will be have to pay them back if one of your customers files for bankruptcy.

Approval Rate and Credit Limits

Because a factoring company may be insuring your receivables, they are also assuming some risk. How much risk they are willing to take can vary. As a result it is important that you choose a factoring company with a high approval rate. It is also important to learn about how your factoring company assigns credit limits. It is important that your factoring company assigns your customers a credit limit based strictly on your business with them. Some factoring companies assign a single credit limit to a business that applies across all of their clients, as a result, if another client has orders that reach that credit limit, your orders will get turned down until that other client’s invoices are paid off.

Hidden Fees and Commitments

Of course the last thing you want is to get a bill from your factoring company asking you to pay a bunch of hidden fees. Many factoring companies may charge you fees for day-to-day operations such as running a credit report. Other companies may charge you annual fees or fees for not meeting minimum volume requirements. While some companies may lock you into a long-term contract and will charge you fees if you choose to stop factoring or want to change factoring companies. Another thing to consider is whether you are required to factor all of your accounts. Some factoring companies will require you to factor all of your accounts, including ones that pay on credit card, meaning that you will be forced to pay factoring fees even on accounts that you don’t factor. It is important that you look at these fees as they of course affect the overall rate that you are paying to factor your receivables.

Service and Benefits

Finally, the last thing you need to look at it is the service and benefits that your factoring company can provide you with. When it comes to service, many larger factoring companies will treat you simply as a number and assign you to an account manager who may not be able to make difficult decisions. Often times these larger factoring companies are owned by banks or are headquartered overseas, meaning that it may take them a long time to make simple credit decisions. With smaller factoring companies, and especially family owned companies, you will always be able to speak with one the companies principals, and quick turn-around times on credit decisions or anything else are another advantage that they offer. Of course, sometimes you need a little bit more than just factoring, so it is important to look at some of the other benefits factoring companies may offer.

Purchase Order Financing

Sometimes when you get a large order from a major retailer you may need a little extra help fulfilling the order. As an importer you may need to pay the overseas factory to start production, and certainly they will want payment in full before a container is released. As a manufacturer you may need funds to purchase additional materials so that you can start production. Whatever the case may be, some factoring companies offer purchase order financing, which is basically a short term loan based on the purchase order so that you have no problem getting the order fulfilled. Even if you don’t need purchase order financing right now, it is important to choose a factoring company that offers it to their clients as you never know if you one day may need it.

Small Business Loans

Some factoring companies may even offer their clients small business loans in addition to factoring services. If you might need a loan from time to time, whether you need to pay to attend a trade show, or you are developing a new product line, it is nice to know that your factoring company may be able to help you out. Since you will have established a working relationship with your factoring company, they will be much more likely to offer you a loan than a bank, and will also make a decision much quicker.

Choosing the Right Factoring Company

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into choosing the right factoring company for your business. At DSA Factors we offer low, competitive, flat rate factoring fees with the personalized service that you would come to expect from any family owned and operated business. Our clients receive non-recourse factoring with a 90% advance rate. Furthermore, we have an approval rate of over 95% and most companies get approved instantly when submitted on our web page. We have no hidden fees, no minimum volume requirements, and no long term commitments. We also offer purchase order financing to our clients and have offered small business loans to clients who we have developed a working relationship with. DSA Factors is well known throughout the factoring industry as one of the best companies to work with, earlier this year we were named by Factoring Club as the Best Micro Factoring Company for 2016. If you are looking for a factoring company to help grow your business, give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000, and find out just how easy factoring can be.