When your account goes past due and is now in collections, be proactive! These tips can help you cope with and resolve accounts in collections.
OWN IT/ DON’T IGNORE IT. Contact your creditor and tell them what happened. You do not need to divulge personal information; just be truthful and give the basic facts. Most accounts receivable specialists, or “collectors,” will welcome this approach, have worked with many people in similar situations, and probably have options available.
HAVE A PLAN. The collectors don’t know what your resources are, so be prepared to offer some alternatives. Can you pay interest only for a few months or make a partial payment on the past due balance? Ask your representative for advice and what they recommend during times of temporary financial distress.
FOLLOW THROUGH. Do what you have agreed. Do not hesitate to contact the company again if your plans or resources change. Stay in continuous contact until you are able to bring your account up to date.
Written by Mark Austin, Collection Manager, University Student Financial Services & Cashier Operations