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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

  • $34,440

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  • Track down consumers who have an out-of-date address by using the Internet, post office, credit bureaus, or neighbors—a process called “skip tracing”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

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Collections Associate Career Paths

Collections Associate
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist Accountant
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Accounting Clerk Accounts Payable Clerk
Account Payables Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Accounts Payable Clerk
Accounts Payable Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Manager Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Manager Branch Manager Office Administrator
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Billing Specialist
Billing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Collections Representative Collections Specialist Billing Specialist
Billing Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Human Resources Coordinator Business Office Manager
Business Office Director
8 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Account Manager Billing Specialist
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Phlebotomist Collections Specialist
Collection Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Collections Representative Billing Specialist Collector
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Underwriter Senior Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Credit And Collections Analyst Account Manager Regional Accounts Manager
Customer Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Accounts Receivable Manager
Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Credit Analyst Office Manager Billing Manager
Patient Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Accounts Payable Clerk Accounts Receivable Specialist
Senior Accounts Receivable Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
Credit Analyst Sales Consultant Senior Sales Representative
Senior Representative
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Service Technician Technical Support Specialist
Support Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Senior Collector 3.7 years
Recovery Agent 2.6 years
Bill Collector 2.6 years
Collector 2.1 years
Debt Collector 1.9 years
Collection Agent 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 8.1%
Collector 3.7%
Internship 3.5%
Associate 3.5%
Teller 3.3%
Manager 2.6%
Top Employers After
Specialist 4.3%
Collector 4.0%
Cashier 4.0%
Associate 3.8%
Manager 3.3%

Collections Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

67.3%

Male

30.6%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

81.0%

Hispanic or Latino

11.0%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.6%

Filipino

5.4%

Russian

2.7%

Portuguese

2.7%

French

2.7%

Dakota

2.7%

Persian

2.7%

Hebrew

2.7%

Mandarin

2.7%

Navajo

2.7%

Carrier

2.7%

Italian

2.7%
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Collections Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.7%

Strayer University

8.2%

University of Alabama

6.6%

Troy University

5.7%

Delaware Technical and Community College

4.9%

Saint Louis Community College

4.1%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.1%

Pennsylvania State University

4.1%

Owensboro Community and Technical College

4.1%

Erie Community College

4.1%

American InterContinental University

4.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.1%

Hinds Community College

3.3%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.3%

University of Maryland - University College

3.3%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.3%

Point Park University

3.3%

Kaplan University

3.3%

Grand Canyon University

3.3%

Shelton State Community College

3.3%
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Majors

Business

35.4%

Accounting

10.9%

Health Care Administration

5.6%

Management

5.0%

Criminal Justice

4.5%

Finance

4.1%

General Studies

4.0%

Psychology

3.3%

Computer Science

2.8%

Education

2.8%

Nursing

2.6%

Communication

2.6%

Computer Information Systems

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

English

2.1%

Legal Support Services

2.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.0%

Marketing

2.0%

Political Science

1.7%

Medical Assisting Services

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.7%

Other

29.6%

Associate

17.7%

Masters

9.5%

Certificate

6.0%

Diploma

2.3%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Collections Associate

CustomerServiceDebtRepaymentDelinquentAccountsCreditCardPaymentsPaymentArrangementsPastDueAccountsPaymentPlansComplianceFdcpaDataEntryInboundCallsOutboundCollectionCallsCustomerAccountsRetailStoresCollectionEffortsAccountResearchPhoneCallsContactsFinancialSituationsDaysPast

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Top Collections Associate Skills

  1. Customer Service
  2. Debt Repayment
  3. Delinquent Accounts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implemented & maintained company policies & procedures related to credit, collections, and customer service.
  • Answered customer's questions regarding problems with their accounts, and advised customers of necessary actions and strategies for debt repayment.
  • Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visits to solicit payment.
  • Process credit card payments and check by phone payments for all assigned accounts.
  • Resolved routine billing inquiries and negotiated payment arrangements to cure delinquent accounts.

Top Collections Associate Employers

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