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Become A Collection Agent

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Working As A Collection Agent

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $36,092

    Average Salary

What Does A Collection Agent Do

Bill and account collectors try to recover payment on overdue bills. They negotiate repayment plans with debtors and help them find solutions to make paying their overdue bills easier.

Duties

Bill and account collectors typically do the following:

  • Find consumers and businesses who have overdue bills
  • Track down consumers who have an out-of-date address by using the Internet, post office, credit bureaus, or neighbors—a process called “skip tracing”
  • Inform debtors that they have an overdue bill and try to negotiate a payment
  • Explain the terms of sale or contract with the debtor, when necessary
  • Learn the reasons for the overdue bills, which can help with the negotiations
  • Offer credit advice or refer a consumer to a debt counselor, when appropriate

Bill and account collectors generally contact debtors by phone, although sometimes they do so by mail. They use computer systems to update contact information and record past collection attempts with a particular debtor. Keeping these records can help collectors with future negotiations.

The main job of bill and account collectors is finding a solution that is acceptable to the debtor and maximizes payment to the creditor. Listening to the debtor and paying attention to his or her concerns can help the collector negotiate a solution.

After the collector and debtor agree on a repayment plan, the collector continually checks to ensure that the debtor pays on time. If the debtor does not pay, the collector submits a statement to the creditor, who can take legal action. In extreme cases, this legal action may include taking back goods or disconnecting service.

Collectors must follow federal and state laws that govern debt collection. These laws require that collectors make sure they are talking with the debtor before announcing that the purpose of the call is to collect a debt. A collector also must give a statement, called “mini-Miranda,” which informs the account holder that they are speaking with a bill or debt collector.

Although many collectors work for third-party collection agencies, some work in-house for the original creditor, such as a credit-card company or a health care provider. The day-to-day activities of in-house collectors are generally the same as those of other collectors.

Collectors usually have goals they are expected to meet. Typically, these include calls per hour and success rates.

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How To Become A Collection Agent

Collectors usually must have a high school diploma. A few months of on-the-job training is common.

Education

Most bill and account collectors are required to have a high school diploma, although some employers prefer applicants who have taken some college courses. Communication, accounting, and basic computer courses are examples of classes that are helpful for entering this occupation.

Training

Collectors usually get 1 to 3 months of on-the-job training after being hired. Training includes learning the company’s policies and computer software and learning the laws for debt collection in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as well as their state’s debt-collection regulations. Collectors also may be trained in negotiation techniques.

Important Qualities

Listening skills. Collectors must pay attention to what debtors say when trying to negotiate a repayment plan. Learning the particular situation of the debtors and how they fell into debt can help collectors suggest solutions.

Negotiating skills. The main aspects of a collector’s job are reconciling the differences between two parties (the debtor and the creditor) and offering a solution that is acceptable to both parties.

Speaking skills. Collectors must be able to speak to debtors to explain their choices and ensure that they fully understand what is being said.

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Do you work as a Collection Agent?

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Collection Agent Videos

A Day in the Life: Call Center Agent

How to Settle Unpaid Bills with Debt Collectors and Collection Agencies

The Profile of a Good Debt Collection Agent

Collection Agent Jobs

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Collection Agent Career Paths

Collection Agent
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist Accountant
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Collections Representative Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Bookkeeper Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Operator Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Personal Banker Banking Center Manager Client Manager
Client Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Person Loan Officer Senior Loan Processor
Client Relations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Agent Service Representative Collections Specialist
Collection Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Billing Specialist Collections Specialist
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Specialist Credit Analyst
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Service Specialist Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Specialist Service Specialist
Customer Relationship Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Outside Sales Representative Director, Inside Sales
Lead Generator
5 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Specialist Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Engineer Process Engineer
Processing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Human Resources Coordinator Recruiter
Recruitment Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Account Manager Account Executive
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Representative Account Representative Account Executive
Sales/Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Sales Agent Account Representative Collections Specialist
Senior Collection Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Branch Manager Manager, Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Collection Agent?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Collection Analyst 2.7 years
Recovery Agent 2.6 years
Collector 2.1 years
Agent 2.1 years
Collection Agent 2.0 years
Debt Collector 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Collection Agent
Cashier 12.2%
Teller 6.8%
Manager 2.8%
Server 2.4%
Agent 2.3%
Supervisor 2.0%
Internship 1.8%
Top Careers After Collection Agent
Cashier 7.1%
Teller 5.1%
Agent 3.5%
Manager 3.1%
Server 2.5%

Do you work as a Collection Agent?

Collection Agent Demographics

Gender

Female

63.4%

Male

34.6%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Hispanic or Latino

18.3%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

75.9%

French

5.5%

Arabic

2.8%

Russian

2.4%

German

2.4%

Portuguese

1.6%

Italian

1.2%

Japanese

1.2%

Swedish

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Bosnian

0.8%

Bengali

0.8%

Carrier

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Swahili

0.4%

Romanian

0.4%

Dutch

0.4%

Somali

0.4%

Hmong

0.4%

Zulu

0.4%
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Collection Agent Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.8%

Trident Technical College

7.3%

South Texas College

6.0%

Kaplan University

5.6%

Strayer University

4.7%

Ashford University

4.5%

Liberty University

4.3%

Houston Community College

3.9%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.9%

Johnson County Community College

3.6%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

3.4%

University of North Texas

3.4%

East Tennessee State University

3.4%

American InterContinental University

3.4%

Lamar University

3.2%

Columbus State Community College

3.2%

Erie Community College

3.2%

Central Texas College

3.2%

Texas Southern University

3.0%

Arizona State University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

29.0%

Criminal Justice

8.9%

Accounting

7.1%

Health Care Administration

6.2%

Psychology

5.5%

General Studies

5.1%

Communication

4.8%

Medical Assisting Services

4.3%

Nursing

3.9%

Computer Science

3.4%

Management

3.3%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Education

2.5%

Finance

2.5%

Marketing

2.2%

English

1.9%

Human Services

1.9%

Cosmetology

1.7%

Legal Support Services

1.6%

Information Technology

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

39.9%

Bachelors

28.1%

Associate

17.6%

Certificate

6.2%

Masters

4.5%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Collection Agent Videos

A Day in the Life: Call Center Agent

How to Settle Unpaid Bills with Debt Collectors and Collection Agencies

The Profile of a Good Debt Collection Agent

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Top Skills for A Collection Agent

  1. Payment Arrangements
  2. Debt
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Called Customer regarding past due account *Researched customer using skip trace and internet *Set-up forth coming payment arrangements and collection payment
  • General mastering the collection system to appropriately and effectively work the debts assigned.
  • Contacted Customers to settle accounts *Maintained professional appearance in difficult customer situations *Provided excellent customer service *Assisted co-workers with heavy workloads
  • Navigate a computerized data entry system or other relevant applications to analyze delinquent accounts.
  • Performed recovery and collection efforts to minimize losses on sub-prime auto loan accounts that were (24-120) days past due.

How Would You Rate Working As a Collection Agent?

Are you working as a Collection Agent? Help us rate Collection Agent as a Career.

Top Collection Agent Employers

Jobs From Top Collection Agent Employers

Collection Agent Videos

A Day in the Life: Call Center Agent

How to Settle Unpaid Bills with Debt Collectors and Collection Agencies

The Profile of a Good Debt Collection Agent

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