If you’ve recently been having problems with getting your finances under control, you might find yourself in a situation where you have bills that have now been given to collections. When you have bills that go to collection, you’ll likely be receiving phone calls from the collection agency, get mail regarding the debt you have to pay and get threats regarding your credit score taking a hit. And although these things can be stressful, it’s important that you know the proper steps to take once your accounts have gone to collections in order for you to best protect yourself and your money. So to help you with this, here are three things you should do when a bill goes to collections.
Get All The Information You Can
One of the most important things for you to do once you’ve been informed that you have a bill that’s been given to a collection agency is to get as much information about your account from that collection agency. According to Sean Pyles, a contributor to NerdWallet.com, you have a right to receive validation and verification letters regarding your debt. These will inform you about all the details of your debt, including what exactly you pay, any fees that may have been applied, and the organization that’s trying to collect the money from you. With this information, you’ll be able to ensure that the details of this debt are correct and that nothing nefarious has taken place regarding this debt.
Talk About Possible Negotiations
Oftentimes, when your bills are given to collections, the organization that’s looking to collect on this debt is desperate to get their money back. Because of this, you might have a good chance of negotiating down your debt. Especially if you truly don’t have the money to pay for the entire bill, negotiating is likely your best option. According to Josh Smith, a contributor to Credit.com, even if you’re not able to negotiate the actual amount of debt that you have or that you owe, you might at least be able to extend the terms of the payment so that you have more time to pay, meaning you’ll likely have to pay less each month than was originally planned.
Make A Plan You Know You Can Afford
One of the worst things you can do when speaking with a debt collector is to agree to something that you know you won’t actually be able to fulfill. Because of this, Miriam Caldwell, a contributor to The Balance, shares that if it doesn’t sound like you’re going to be able to come up with a plan that you can reasonably afford with the person you’re speaking to, ask to speak to their supervisor. If you can pay any larger amount in a lump sum, try to do that. But if you can’t, set up a payment plan so that you can get this debt taken care of and off your plate.
If you have a bill that’s been taken to collections, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you deal with this situation.
I set this blog up a couple of years ago now as a way to share my experience that I’ve gained through my school education and my real life education. It sounds geeky, but the economy is something that I’m really passionate about and it’s something that I am actually pretty talented in, so it’s great for me to share these experiences with those that may be struggling a little bit with finance and figuring out how to navigate the economy.