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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

  • $28,080

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  • Track down consumers who have an out-of-date address by using the Internet, post office, credit bureaus, or neighbors—a process called “skip tracing”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

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Collections Representative Career Paths

Collections Representative
Billing Specialist Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Accounts Payable Clerk
Account Payables Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Office Administrator Accounts Payable Clerk
Accounts Payable Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Loss Mitigation Specialist Loan Processor Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Billing Specialist
Billing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit And Collections Analyst Collections Specialist
Collection Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Billing Specialist Collector
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Credit Analyst Senior Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Customer Care Representative Customer Account Representative
Customer Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Customer Care Representative
Customer Care Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Dispatcher Service Advisor Assistant Service Manager
Customer Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Sales Consultant
Internet Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Sales Manager
Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Accounts Receivable Specialist
Senior Accounts Receivable Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Sales Specialist Senior Sales Representative
Senior Representative
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Account Manager Technical Support Specialist
Support Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Customs Collector 2.6 years
Bill Collector 2.6 years
Recovery Agent 2.6 years
Representative 2.1 years
Collector 2.1 years
Debt Collector 1.9 years
Mortgage Collector 1.9 years
Collection Agent 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 10.2%
Collector 3.8%
Manager 2.7%
Supervisor 1.9%
Teller 1.7%
Top Employers After
Cashier 4.9%
Collector 4.2%
Manager 2.5%

Collections Representative Demographics

Gender

Female

69.2%

Male

28.6%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

79.7%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

79.8%

French

6.0%

German

2.4%

Portuguese

1.7%

Hmong

1.2%

Italian

1.2%

Mandarin

1.0%

Dakota

1.0%

Arabic

1.0%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Tagalog

0.7%

Chinese

0.5%

Japanese

0.5%

Polish

0.5%

Romanian

0.2%

Samoan

0.2%

Hindi

0.2%

Russian

0.2%

Filipino

0.2%
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Collections Representative Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

26.7%

Ashford University

7.4%

Strayer University

6.7%

Kaplan University

5.6%

Columbus State Community College

4.8%

Liberty University

4.6%

Erie Community College

4.0%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.5%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

3.3%

American InterContinental University

3.3%

Grand Canyon University

3.2%

East Tennessee State University

3.2%

Salt Lake Community College

3.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

2.9%

Bryant and Stratton College

2.9%

Trident Technical College

2.8%

Central Piedmont Community College

2.8%

Troy University

2.7%

Capella University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

33.1%

Criminal Justice

7.2%

Health Care Administration

7.2%

Accounting

7.0%

Medical Assisting Services

5.1%

Psychology

4.6%

General Studies

4.2%

Nursing

4.1%

Management

3.2%

Communication

3.2%

Finance

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.6%

Marketing

2.3%

Computer Science

2.2%

Legal Support Services

2.1%

Human Resources Management

2.0%

Education

1.9%

Cosmetology

1.9%

Computer Information Systems

1.7%

Human Services

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

38.9%

Bachelors

27.1%

Associate

18.2%

Certificate

6.3%

Masters

5.7%

Diploma

2.8%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Collections Representative

CustomerServiceSkillsPaymentArrangementsDebtRepaymentDelinquentAccountsFinancialSituationsPaymentPlansPastDueAccountsCustomerAccountsOutboundCollectionCallsFdcpaOverdueAccountsPhoneCallsDataEntryDaysPastCollectionEffortsInbound/OutboundCallsProcessPaymentsAccountInformationHighVolumeInsuranceCompanies

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Top Collections Representative Skills

  1. Customer Service Skills
  2. Payment Arrangements
  3. Debt Repayment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Practiced good customer service skills and followed proper collection regulations and company guidelines.
  • Negotiate payment arrangements with clients to cure delinquency, evaluating ability and willingness to pay.
  • Addressed customer questions about problems with their account, 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.
  • Reviewed and analyzed financial situations assessing the correct payment arrangement plan or assistance program.

Top Collections Representative Employers

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