When it comes to debt, most of us want out. Sometimes it can be hard to handle, and we fall behind. When we fall behind on our debts, they can fall into collections. Collections come with numerous phone calls from collection agencies asking us for money we may not have. Aside from being annoying, it can become overwhelming. When it comes to debt, you can overcome the stress and aggravation by learning how to negotiate with debt collectors.
In my experience, when a bill goes to a collections agency they normally reach out to you. In this case, answer the phone. You can ask them for proof that you owe the debt. If they can not come up with the necessary paperwork that verifies it belongs to you, you don’t have to pay. Further attempts to collect without verification could land the creditors in court for harassment.
On the other hand, if you owe the debt, you can stop it from going on your credit report. You can do this by one, affirming that it is yours. Next, you are going to haggle a price and payment plan that suits your needs. Ask them what repayment plan can they offer you. If you do not like their proposal, rebut with a counter offer. Ask them for extended repayment terms or if you can pay in a lump sum for a reduction in the cost.
With the debt reporting to the credit bureaus, your credit score will likely suffer. In this case, you will want to negotiate. To better position yourself in the process, you need to know your rights as a consumer. You also need to have all your paperwork together and ensure the creditor does as well. Speak to the agent calmly and try to be as respectful as possible. If you can not offer a lump sum payment or are experiencing a hardship, let them know. They may have hardship programs that will work better for your needs. If you need to garner extra sympathy, don’t hesitate to cry. After you have worked out a plan, be sure to get it in writing. If it has already impacted your credit, do not forget to ask them to remove negative remarks.
Learning how to negotiate with debt collectors does not have to be hard. You just have to know your rights, stand your ground, compromise, use a little sympathy, and get everything in writing.
Shatel Huntley has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University. In her spare time, she works with special needs adults and travels the world. Her interests include traveling to off the beaten path destinations, shopping, couponing, and saving.