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Become A Collections Assistant

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Working As A Collections Assistant

  • 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

  • $40,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Collections Assistant 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  • Track down consumers who have an out-of-date address by using the Internet, post office, credit bureaus, or neighbors—a process called “skip tracing”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 Collections Assistant

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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Collections Assistant Career Paths

Collections Assistant
Legal Assistant Legal Secretary Office Manager
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Executive Assistant Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Executive Assistant Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Specialist Account Executive
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Manager Branch Manager
Manager, Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Accountant Accounts Payable Supervisor
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Team Leader Customer Service Manager
Call Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Instructor Administrator Business Office Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Instructor Account Executive Customer Service Manager
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Administrator Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Human Resources Coordinator Customer Service Supervisor
Collection Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Research Analyst Credit Analyst
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Administrator Business Office Manager
Revenue Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Accountant Accounts Receivable Manager
Patient Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Credit Analyst Senior Collector
Senior Collection Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Collector Lead 3.3 years
Collection Analyst 2.9 years
Credit Adjuster 2.9 years
Debt Collector 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Collections Assistant
Internship 15.1%
Cashier 8.0%
Assistant 5.2%
Volunteer 5.1%
Collector 2.9%
Teller 2.8%
Supervisor 2.1%
Manager 2.1%
Secretary 1.9%
Top Careers After Collections Assistant
Internship 10.7%
Cashier 6.8%
Volunteer 5.6%
Assistant 4.7%
Collector 3.3%
Manager 3.2%
Supervisor 2.5%
Server 2.4%

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Top Skills for A Collections Assistant

  1. Data Collection
  2. Customer Service
  3. Financial Statements
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Gathered relevant data from business directories and social networking sites to support a large data collection initiative.
  • Provided excellent customer service and suggested ancillary products or services as justified.
  • Compile and review financial statements, tax returns, bank statements, real estate contracts, HUD-1 Ordering title and appraisal.
  • Inventory and data entry of a variety of artifacts from anthropology and geology collection.
  • Notified customers of delinquent accounts, negotiated payment arrangements, and documented account activities.

Collections Assistant Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,353 Collections Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Collections Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Collections Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

64.8%

Male

24.5%

Unknown

10.7%
Ethnicity

White

60.6%

Hispanic or Latino

17.9%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.4%

French

15.9%

German

6.4%

Italian

5.9%

Mandarin

4.5%

Russian

4.1%

Japanese

3.2%

Chinese

2.3%

Hebrew

1.8%

Portuguese

1.8%

Greek

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Cantonese

0.9%

Tagalog

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Swedish

0.5%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Hindi

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Turkish

0.5%
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Collections Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.3%

University of Florida

6.5%

University of Colorado at Boulder

5.4%

Johns Hopkins University

5.4%

University of Washington

4.6%

George Washington University

4.2%

Rhode Island School of Design

4.2%

University of Oregon

4.2%

California State University - Fullerton

3.8%

Texas Tech University

3.8%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

3.8%

Harvard University

3.8%

Kaplan University

3.8%

New York University

3.5%

Eastern Illinois University

3.5%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.5%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.5%

Florida State University

3.5%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.5%

Community College of Philadelphia

3.1%
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Majors

Business

22.9%

Accounting

7.6%

Fine Arts

7.0%

History

6.5%

Psychology

6.0%

Museum Studies

5.6%

Health Care Administration

5.4%

Medical Assisting Services

5.0%

Criminal Justice

4.1%

Anthropology

3.7%

Nursing

3.5%

Finance

3.2%

Management

2.7%

Biology

2.7%

English

2.7%

Education

2.6%

General Studies

2.3%

Communication

2.3%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

Legal Support Services

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.2%

Other

23.0%

Masters

18.5%

Associate

10.7%

Certificate

5.1%

Diploma

2.4%

Doctorate

1.6%

License

0.4%
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