How To Compare Factoring Company Rates

Most people use a simple approach when comparing proposals from competing factoring companies: they make the decision based on who offers the lowest rate and the lowest application fee. Unfortunately, this approach usually leads to making a wrong choice. For starters, you should look for the proposal that offers the lowest total cost per dollar – not just the lowest rate. “Lowest rate” does not always equal “lowest cost.” But the bigger problem is that factoring companies structure their proposals differently – making it very difficult to do an “apples-to-apples” comparison.

Let’s first look at the common parts of a factoring proposal.

  • The advance: the initial amount that the factor will give you for your invoice
  • The discount: the fee – or rate – that the factor charges you
  • Ancillary costs: additional expenses that the factor may charge
  • Application and due diligence
Now, what you should be looking for is the proposal that offer factoring for the lowest total cost per dollar. Although getting an all-inclusive total cost figure is challenging, you can get a very good idea by just looking at the advance factoring rate. Let’s start with a simple example and build up to something more complex. Of these two offers, which one is a better deal?
  1. A 70% advance at a cost of 3% per 30 days
  2. An 80% advance at a cost of 3% per 30 days
Obviously the second option, the 80% advance, is the better deal. You get a higher advance for the same cost.
Now, let me give you two new alternatives. Which one is the better deal?
  1. An 80% advance at a cost of 1.15% per 15 days
  2. An 80% advance at a cost of 3% per 30 days
This is a little tougher to evaluate. Some people will say that they are the same, since they both cost 3% for 30 days. Others will say option 1 is better because it breaks the charges down into smaller increments. It’s harder to say which is better.
Let me give you one last example, which deal is better?
  1. A 70% advance at 3.00% per 30 days
  2. An 80% advance at 3.43% per 30 days
This one is tricky, isn’t it? You might be inclined to think that option 2 is more expensive, but you would be wrong! They both have the exact same total cost of funds; therefore, they cost the same. In this case, the better deal is determined by your needs. If you need the higher advance, take option 2. If you can live with a lower advance, take option 1. We know both options are the same because we compared the total cost per dollar, rather than just comparing rates. The easiest way to calculate the total cost per dollar is to divide the rate by the advance. But this only works if the rate is for the same period of time. Here is how it’s done:


  Advance Rate Factoring Rate Cost per Dollar
Option 1 70% 3.00% $0.0429
Option 2 80% 3.43% $0.0429


Here’s a quick math lesson: remember that 80% is entered as 0.8 in your calculator and 3.43% is entered as 0.0343. Divide 0.0343 by 0.8 and you get the cost (in cents) per dollar. This takes us to our first step in evaluating a factoring proposal.

Step 1: Ask the factoring companies to submit their rates using the same format

You will have to ask the factors to submit their rates and advances using the same format so that you can make a meaningful comparison. For example, if you want your pricing on 30-day increments (as in 3% per 30 days), then you should ask each factor to submit the pricing using 30-day increments.

Step 2: Create a table and compare costs per dollar

The next step is to create a table, ideally a spreadsheet, that compares the cost per dollar of each proposal. The following table is an example of a spreadsheet that evaluates multiple proposals, all of which charge a 30-day rate.

table comparing many factoring proposalsLet’s look at the table. Which one offers the best deal? It depends, if you can live with a 75% advance, company B offers the cheapest money. If not, then company D may be a great deal because it offers a higher advance than the others but is cheaper than companies A and C. Using this table, you can make an educated and intelligent decision regarding who offers the lowest total cost per dollar.

Step 3: Compare all the extra costs

You can use a process similar to the one used in step 2 and list all the extra costs that each company charges. Add that to the information you already have in order to decide which factoring company offers the best deal.

Step 4: Cost is not everything

Selecting a provider based on cost alone can lead you to a wrong choice. There are other variables, outside of the proposal, that you should consider. Here is some information on selecting the best factoring company.

Get a factoring quote

We can provide factoring lines with high advances at low rates. For more information, get an online factoring quote or call (877) 300 3258.

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or financial advice. Numbers and calculations are not guaranteed to be accurate or representative.