Many people struggle with collections on their credit reports and the challenge in fixing, removing and rebuilding their credit seems impossible. Until you fix your credit, you may have a hard time getting loans, or getting low interest rates on loans. There are several tested procedures used by credit repair specialists that you can use to fix collections on your credit.
Prepare for Negotiations
Request a current credit report for the year to review collection account details including debt owed, date reported, contact information and repayment options.
Contact the original creditor's recovery department. Discuss repayment options available with the company then establish a repayment agreement. Use a voice recorder to record the phone call for proof of contact.
Request a notarized letter with the company's account manager, financial director or recovery manager's information on it, stating the terms of the agreement. The letter is proof of your agreement for future negotiations and in case the company does not follow through.
Send the first payment scheduled through the agreement, after receiving the notarized letter. Send the check using a service with delivery confirmation. Photocopy the letter, check or money order, tracking number and delivery confirmation for your records.
Complete the payment agreement in its entirety; and contact the original creditor to remove the collections account with the debt recovery firm.
Contact the Creditor's Collection Agency
Provide the account number issued on the company's correspondence; inform the collections agency of the completed payment with the original creditor.
Request that the collections agency remove the former account from your credit report by informing the credit bureaus. Also, contact the creditor to follow up on this step.
Allow two to five weeks for all actions to be taken care of by all parties—original creditor, collections agency and credit bureaus.
Request a confirmation letter regarding the reconciliation of the account for your records.
Review Accounts on a New Credit Report
If there are blemishes from the paid account, contact the credit bureau to appeal the credit reporting of the collections agency.
Dispute the information and wait for the results in 30 days. By this time, the credit bureau will investigate the contents of the account and ask the collections agency for verification that the account is valid.
Prepare an appeal letter with photocopies of the payment agreement with the original creditor, letter of notification to the collections agency and the confirmations of each delivery to both parties. The credit bureau will investigate the situation then proceed to remove the collections account from your credit report.
Original creditors are open to periodic payments towards an outstanding account. Focus on removing one collections account at a time.
There are risks in contacting collections agencies first; many will try to take your money without following through with their end of the bargain. You should contact the original creditor to resolve all collection accounts in a stable, manageable manner.