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Become A Collections Associate

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Working As A Collections Associate

  • 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

  • $65,236

    Average Salary

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  • Track down consumers who have an out-of-date address by using the Internet, post office, credit bureaus, or neighbors—a process called “skip tracing”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

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 Collections Associate?

Collections Associate Jobs

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Collections Associate Career Paths

Collections Associate
Collections Specialist Specialist Account Manager
Account Director
9 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Account Manager Billing Specialist
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Reimbursement Specialist Client Manager
Client Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Credit Analyst Mortgage Loan Processor Senior Loan Processor
Client Relations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Client Services Manager
Client Relationship Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Customer Care Representative Collections Representative
Collection Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Collector Collection Supervisor
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager Territory Sales Manager
Commercial Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Collections Manager Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Collector Collections Specialist Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Outside Sales Representative Director, Inside Sales
Lead Generator
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Accountant Account Manager
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Representative Office Manager Billing Manager
Revenue Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Collections Manager Operations Manager Assistant Vice President
Risk Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist
Senior Accounts Receivable Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
Collections Representative Collections Specialist
Senior Collection Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Branch Manager Manager, Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Collections Associate?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Collector 2.1 years
Debt Collector 1.9 years
Collection Agent 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 8.6%
Teller 6.2%
Associate 3.9%
Collector 3.9%
Internship 3.9%
Manager 2.8%
Specialist 2.2%
Top Employers After
Teller 4.8%
Collector 4.6%
Cashier 4.3%
Specialist 4.1%
Associate 4.1%
Manager 3.5%

Do you work as a Collections Associate?

Collections Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

67.1%

Male

30.6%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

63.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.1%

Filipino

5.1%

Mandarin

5.1%

Portuguese

2.6%

Vietnamese

2.6%

Hebrew

2.6%

French

2.6%

Dakota

2.6%

Persian

2.6%

Cantonese

2.6%

Navajo

2.6%

Carrier

2.6%

Italian

2.6%
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Collections Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.5%

Strayer University

8.4%

University of Alabama

6.7%

Troy University

5.9%

Delaware Technical and Community College

5.0%

Saint Louis Community College

4.2%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.2%

Pennsylvania State University

4.2%

Owensboro Community and Technical College

4.2%

Erie Community College

4.2%

American InterContinental University

4.2%

Hinds Community College

3.4%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.4%

University of Maryland - University College

3.4%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.4%

Point Park University

3.4%

Georgia Southern University

3.4%

Kaplan University

3.4%

Grand Canyon University

3.4%

Shelton State Community College

3.4%
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Majors

Business

34.8%

Accounting

11.0%

Health Care Administration

5.9%

Management

5.1%

Criminal Justice

4.4%

Finance

4.3%

General Studies

4.1%

Psychology

3.3%

Education

3.0%

Computer Science

2.6%

Nursing

2.6%

Communication

2.6%

Computer Information Systems

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

English

2.1%

Legal Support Services

2.1%

Marketing

2.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.8%

Political Science

1.6%

Medical Assisting Services

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

32.9%

Other

29.9%

Associate

17.8%

Masters

9.7%

Certificate

6.2%

Diploma

2.3%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Collections Associate

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  1. Customer Service
  2. Phone Calls
  3. Debt
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Promoted to Collections & Customer Service Delivery and Performance Support Specialist
  • Placed phone calls at various calling times, performed skip tracing, arranging for callbacks.
  • Managed relationships; effectively communicated and negotiated with debtors to expedite the recovery process.
  • Provided high-quality customer service to responsible parties; resolved delinquent accounts; and explained billing statements.
  • Exceeded productivity measures and call quality standards to ensure business success while helping customers resolve delinquency by negotiating payment arrangements.

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Top 10 Best States for Collections Associates

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Massachusetts
  3. North Dakota
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Vermont
  6. Connecticut
  7. Minnesota
  8. Alaska
  9. New Jersey
  10. Michigan
  • (30 jobs)
  • (181 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)

Top Collections Associate Employers

Jobs From Top Collections Associate Employers

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