Debt is a fact of life but being hounded by debt collectors can be a truly stressful and frustrating experience. It’s important to know your rights and how to handle these situations so you can get back to financial freedom!
Don’t Ignore Them
Putting debt collectors on the back burner and pretending they don’t exist will only serve to hurt your credit score further and won’t do anything to get them off your back.
Find out who your original creditor is, how much you previously owed, and how old the debt is. It may be past the statute of limitations in your state which means the debt collector cannot sue you to cover the cost of the debt.
Know Your Rights
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) exists to protect consumers from abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices and lays out what debt collectors can and cannot do.
Get It In Writing
If a debt collector contacts you they’re required to provide information on that debt, such as the name of the creditor and what is owed. They should also provide information about how to dispute the debt in writing, in case the debt isn’t actually yours or has been misrepresented.
Be Wary Of Scams
Not only do you need to get all the information in writing, but you should do a bit of research on the company that is contacting you. Do they have a verifiable presence online? Are they following the legal requirements for collecting debt?
Negotiate The Debt
You may be able to settle by offering to pay a portion of the debt upfront to the collection agency. If they don’t negotiate with you after a few tries, you may need to set up a payment plan with them.
At United Financial we care about your financial health. That’s why we have partnered with GreenPath Financial Wellness and offer our members assistance with:
- Financial Counseling– You have access to free, one-on-one financial counseling, and debt counseling delivered by caring, certified experts. They’ll help you to understand your situation, learn about options, and make a plan to meet your goals.
- Debt Management Services – If you have high-interest credit card debt, a GreenPath debt management plan may be able to help lower your interest rates so you can pay off debt faster.
- Housing Services– Take advantage of foreclosure prevention services, home buyer preparation assistance, and reverse mortgage counseling.
- Credit Report Review – Understand your personal credit report and how to improve your score.
- Student Loan Counseling – Understand repayment options that can postpone or lower your payments. Learn the pros and cons of each strategy so you can make an informed decision on which is best for you.