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Negotiate Credit Card Debt With Collection Agent

I defaulted on my payment plan with a collection agent, and now they won't negotiate with me. What can I do?

I had a credit card debt that ran up to $3000, and is now $3500 after interest. My credit card company sold it to NCO financial services, and I want to clear my debt. I had initially been offered a settlement of roughly $1400 from United Recovery Systems, and I paid $200 to them but could not meet their deadline of 3 months. I tried to call NCO and got the run around, is there a way for me to pay off my debt to a similar offer I receive? I have some funds available but nowhere near enough for the full amount. Does accepting a settlement also hurt my credit rating even more? Does paying a settlement help repair my credit rating?

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Highlights

  • Communicate with the debt collector.
  • Negotiate with the collector, attempting to reach a settlement.
  • Take the proper steps to rebuild your credit score.

Thank you for your question about your credit card debt that went into collections.

Communicate With the Collector

I cannot answer your first question definitively because I cannot speak for the creditor. Continue to try to negotiate your debt! Look at your account from the collection agent's perspective: You defaulted on the credit card, which sold your collection account to the collection agent. You and the collection agent reached a settlement agreement, which you defaulted on. Bluntly put, from the collection agent's perspective you lack credibility. The owner of the account has also changed, so whatever original agreement that you had with United Recovery Systems will not be valid or binding with NCO (both are two of the largest collection agencies out there). Lastly, stating the obvious, if and when you renegotiate, be sure to get the new terms in writing before you settle your debt and then make the payments timely.

Negotiate With the Collector

Save as much as you can over the next month or two. Then approach the collection agent and offer a lump-sum settlement and not a payment plan. Start at 10 cents on the dollar and work up from there. Get all offers and agreements in writing. Keep accurate notes and records. Pay promptly with a cashier's check.

Unsure how to handle your debt? Let the Bills.com Debt Coach tool give you a customized report on your debt resolution options. It’s free!

Rebuild Your Credit Score

Regarding your second question, accepting and paying a settlement offer will not harm your credit score. One negotiating point is to ask for a pay for delete, which if accepted will help raise your score. To learn more about credit score repair, see the Bills.com article Raise Your Credit Score.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com