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Become A Collections Representative

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Working As A Collections Representative

  • 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

  • $48,765

    Average Salary

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  • Track down consumers who have an out-of-date address by using the Internet, post office, credit bureaus, or neighbors—a process called “skip tracing”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

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 Representative Videos

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Collections Representative Jobs

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Collections Representative Career Paths

Collections Representative
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Accounts Payable Clerk Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Account Executive Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Personal Banker Banking Center Manager Client Manager
Client Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Loss Mitigation Specialist Mortgage Loan Processor Senior Loan Processor
Client Relations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Service Representative Client Services Manager
Client Relationship Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit And Collections Analyst Collections Specialist
Collection Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Representative Collector
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Sales Specialist Territory Sales Manager
Commercial Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Collection Supervisor Collections Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Accounts Payable Clerk Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Loan Officer Inside Sales Representative Director, Inside Sales
Lead Generator
5 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
7 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Account Manager Property Manager
Portfolio Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Loss Mitigation Specialist Loan Processor Senior Loan Processor
Processing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Specialist Account Manager
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Phlebotomist Collections Specialist
Senior Collection Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Operations Manager Branch Manager
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Customs Collector 2.7 years
Collector 2.1 years
Debt Collector 1.9 years
Collection Agent 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Collections Representative
Cashier 10.9%
Teller 6.0%
Collector 3.8%
Manager 2.8%
Supervisor 1.9%
Server 1.6%
Top Careers After Collections Representative
Cashier 5.6%
Teller 4.8%
Collector 4.4%
Manager 2.5%

Do you work as a Collections Representative?

Collections Representative Demographics

Gender

Female

69.3%

Male

28.5%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

62.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.9%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

79.4%

French

5.6%

German

2.5%

Portuguese

1.8%

Hmong

1.3%

Italian

1.3%

Mandarin

1.0%

Dakota

1.0%

Arabic

1.0%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Korean

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Chinese

0.5%

Japanese

0.5%

Polish

0.5%

Romanian

0.3%

Hindi

0.3%

Russian

0.3%

Filipino

0.3%

Braille

0.3%
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Collections Representative Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

26.9%

Ashford University

7.4%

Strayer University

6.8%

Kaplan University

6.0%

Liberty University

4.4%

Columbus State Community College

4.3%

Erie Community College

4.0%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.7%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

3.3%

East Tennessee State University

3.2%

Grand Canyon University

3.1%

American InterContinental University

3.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.0%

Troy University

2.9%

Central Piedmont Community College

2.9%

Bryant and Stratton College

2.9%

Salt Lake Community College

2.8%

Trident Technical College

2.7%

Johnson County Community College

2.7%
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Majors

Business

33.3%

Health Care Administration

7.5%

Criminal Justice

7.1%

Accounting

6.8%

Medical Assisting Services

5.2%

Psychology

4.6%

General Studies

4.2%

Nursing

4.0%

Communication

3.3%

Management

3.2%

Finance

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Computer Science

2.3%

Marketing

2.2%

Legal Support Services

2.0%

Education

2.0%

Cosmetology

1.9%

Human Resources Management

1.9%

Computer Information Systems

1.7%

Human Services

1.4%
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Degrees

Other

39.0%

Bachelors

26.9%

Associate

18.3%

Certificate

6.4%

Masters

5.6%

Diploma

2.7%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Collections Representative Videos

A Day in the Life: Call Center Agent

A day in the life of An Avon Lady

Call Center Training -- Collections Agency

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Top Skills for A Collections Representative

  1. Payment Arrangements
  2. Debt
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Negotiated suitable payment arrangements and settlements with Bank of America customers pursuant to client guidelines.
  • Determined payment options after obtaining patient's income to debt ratio Submitted claims to ensure quick payment to my client.
  • Helped delinquent customers set up payment plans for loans Assisted Canadian Collection Center customers Received incoming customer service calls Made outgoing calls
  • Contacted customers to resolve delinquent accounts and makes payment arrangements.
  • Managed and organized over 300 Lease, New Retail, and Used Retail delinquent finance accounts over 30 days past due.

How Would You Rate Working As a Collections Representative?

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Top Collections Representative Employers

Jobs From Top Collections Representative Employers

Collections Representative Videos

A Day in the Life: Call Center Agent

A day in the life of An Avon Lady

Call Center Training -- Collections Agency

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