Debt Collector

Debt collectors often work for third-party collection agencies, which could be a credit card, mortgage company, health care office or utility company. Although they work for different companies, the job description is essentially the same, with the only change being the amount of authority the debt collector has to negotiate with the consumer.

Debt Collector Degrees

While it’s possible to work as a debt collector without a college degree, employers generally prefer to hire candidates with a college degree. The following path of study could lead to a successful job as a debt collector after high school graduation:

  • Associate degree in communication, customer service, finance or computer applications
  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, customer service or finance

Debt Collector Job Description

Although debt collectors work for a variety of different types of companies, the procedure that they follow is generally the same. Initially, collectors utilize computer systems, telephone companies, the post office, credit bureaus and even neighbors to locate debtors in a process known as “skip tracing.”

Once they reach the debtor, the debt collector communicates all necessary details, discusses the delinquent issues with the debtor and attempts to collect the outstanding debt. The debt collector may offer payment plans, reduced payment options, basic financial advice or a reference to a debt counselor. If a payment agreement is reached, the debt collector follows up to ensure payments are made.

Debt collectors also carry out administrative duties such as changing addresses, updating payment plans and eliminating records of deceased debtors.

The debt collector performs the following tasks on a regular basis:

  • Updating records of debtors
  • Tracking down debtors
  • Contacting debtors via telephone or letter
  • Listening carefully to the situations and issues related to debtors
  • Negotiating payment plans
  • Performing administrative duties
  • Preparing debtor statements

Debt Collector Salary

As noted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most debt collectors work on commission averaging almost $15 per hour. That makes the mean annual wage around $32,000, but the highest 10% of debt collectors get around $46,000 a year.

This profession uniquely improves in stability when the economy worsens and consumers struggle financially.



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