If debt collectors are pursuing you for payment, you know how frustrating the situation can be. Dealing with debt and debt collectors can be difficult. But knowledge is always power.
The more you know, the better off you'll be. With knowledge and tact, you can diplomatically navigate rough waters. Here's how you can deal with debt and debt collectors.
1Take Responsibility On Your Debts
Be enlightened about your debts. Rather than ignoring the statements and phone calls, take action to determine how much you owe and to whom. Call the original companies to ask for the balance due.
Then, be sure to write down the figures. Inquire whether the debt has been turned over to a collections agency. If it has done so, record the name of the collections agency.
2Get Yourself Organized
Pay special attention to the mail you received regarding your debts. Save them in a file. Clip together those that you believe pertain to a single debt.
3Dispute Any Bill You Think You Don't Owe
If you receive phone calls or letters about an unfamiliar debt, send a letter to the collections agency to let them know. If you don't owe that money, you can get that cleared up. Send a copy of your "proof" to the collections agency and the company that thinks you owe them.
For example, you bought a new washer at the local discount store. But when you got home, the washer wouldn't fit in the space that you planned. You returned it and received a store credit slip. Include a copy of this credit slip in your communications.
4Be Polite Or Diplomatic
Even when a caller is rude or aggressive, confidently choose to hold your tongue and temper. Let go of the negativity. It will strengthen your resolve and give you more clarity in determining your best course of action.
5Make Decisions Right Away
Decide right away about which bills you'll begin paying. Let the company you owe know that you plan to begin paying. Set a target when you're going to pay.
6Be Cautious On Large Payments
Be cautious about agreeing to make payments on a large debt. In some cases, you may be better off consulting with an attorney rather than paying minimal amounts. Interest and other charges may begin accumulating again as soon as you send your first payment and cost you more money.
7Get A Second Job And Bargain
Use this to earn enough to pay off a debt. Before you send the money, call the creditor and make an effort to bargain with them to get the original debt down to an amount you can pay. Having the money in hand will give you some bargaining power.
For example, you owe $982 to Company A. You decide to take a second job for six weeks to pay off that debt. At the end of six weeks, you have $700. Call Company A and tell them that you'd like to discuss a settlement of $625 for the entire debt.
8Use Bank Checks
Pay off bills to collections agencies with a certified bank check. Companies can turn in one debt to more than one collections agency, so you'll want to have proof of your payment(s). Also, collections agencies could make an error by misapplying your dollars and then tell the creditor that you didn't pay.
Apply these suggestions and work toward paying off your debts one by one. Make a dispute in writing for any claim from companies whom you believe that you don't owe. Seek legal advice if you need extra support before beginning this process.
Yes, you can handle your debts successfully and get back on a positive financial track! Just take action now. Soon, you can look toward your financial future with optimism.
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."