Collection Accounts – Have a Plan to Pay
Your first action is to obtain your credit report and have it in your own hands. To do so, visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com, where your free credit report is available through all three credit bureaus and will be provided to you once every year. By viewing your credit report, you will know exactly how much you owe each and every creditor. Their contact information will also be included. Sometimes information needs to be corrected, and it is vital that you review and dispute any such items.
After reviewing your credit report, you will have the information necessary to create a monthly budget. Your remaining income can go toward your collection accounts. By seeing exactly how and where you spend your money, you will be able to see how and where you can save your money. Your goal now is to stay on course and stick with the budget.
Talk with the creditors. The total sum of debt can be overwhelming, so focus only on one creditor at a time. See if you can get them to agree to accept a lower amount. However, be prepared because, even if they agree to settle for less, they’ll still want you to pay within a certain period of time. More often than not, they may try to push you into paying more than you can afford, which will get you no where. So don’t be bullied into paying more than you can. Committing to a payment you cannot make is fruitless.
If you would rather, you can choose to completely pay off the entire debt or possibly ask for a settlement, if your budget allows. If you can avoid a settlement, you should because it looks best when you have paid the entire amount. However it is more important that you get your balance down to nothing. So, after all the damage is done, your goal is to pay it off; no balance is best over all else.
People can and have been taken to court by collection agencies, having their wages garnished. To prevent the legal process, establish payment arrangements with the creditors. It is difficult to work out a payment schedule. Collection agencies tend to try and avoid payment arrangements, however many are willing to work with you. Keep in mind, you will likely make a mistake without strict guidelines; follow your plan!