iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Jeanne Kelly

GET UPDATES FROM Jeanne Kelly
 

How to Hit a Home Run on Your Collections Debt

Posted: 04/14/2012 1:46 pm

I love baseball and I'm excited the Yankees' season has begun! I've got baseball on the brain and that inspired me to write this blog.

If you have credit problems and you're facing those annoying calls by collections agents, here's how you can hit a home run to clear those accounts off of your credit report and improve your credit score.

First base: Request copies of your credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union.

Second base: Check your credit report for any accounts sent to collections and review them carefully. Make sure they are fully accurate. Dispute any that are not correct. For example, get in touch with the credit bureaus and let them know your dispute. You can also call the collections company to dispute any collections amounts that do not belong to you or are for an amount that is different than what you owe.

Third base: If you owe funds and they are accurate, you can explain what happened and if you pay the account in full and your story has reason for a deletion, then with payment request a deletion letter. With any accounts you cannot pay in full, get a plan together. Even though it won't help improve your score, it will help to ensure that you focus on what is next for payment. You may want to call the collection firm to at least get more details on the account and possibly work out a payment plan so the account stays with them and does not go into a judgement/public record.

(Here's a tip to avoid the short stop: Be polite and positive. Even though talking about your debt can feel frustrating and even a little embarrassing, it won't help to get upset with the collections agent. If you find yourself getting upset, call back later after you've calmed down).

Home base: Follow up with each collections company to request the deletion letter. Once you have it send it to the credit reporting agencies and follow-up to make sure that the accounts are deleted.

Taking care of your collections debt is like playing baseball. Whenever you go up to bat, you're probably going to hit a homerun. Do your best to do so! Even if you don't hit a home run, getting a base hit will still help. Don't give up! Please email me any credit questions Jeanne.Kelly@TheCreditOwl.com

 
 
 

Follow Jeanne Kelly on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Creditscoop