No one likes being in debt, but if you find yourself with debt collectors at the door or on the phone then here’s my top 11 tips for dealing with them.
- Don’t Panic. Seriously, don’t worry. There’s always ways of dealing with any problems that arise in life and nothing THAT bad is going to happen to you, I promise. Take a deep breath, relax, and read on.
- Get everything in writing. Get everything sent to you in writing. Don’t accept anything over the phone.
- Dispute the debt. If you feel that you don’t actually owe the money, then send the collection agency a letter in writing disputing the debt. If you do this within 30 days of receiving the notice of the debt, then they cannot legally contact you.
- Keeps good records. It’s crucial that you keep a record of everything. Letters, phone calls and visits. Even if you think it’s a small thing, keep a note of it. You never know how significant something may be in the future towards building your case.
- Don’t say anything. This is a big one. Do NOT give away any information to debt collectors or agencies over the phone or in person. They are trained to use fear and intimidation tactics to get you to buckle, or to give up incriminating information that can be used against you. Say nothing to them and ask them to communicate in writing so there’s a paper trail.
- Don’t be pressured: As I said above, they will try to make you buckle under pressure. Stand firm and don’t make any decisions on the phone or in person with them. Assess everything carefully when you’re feeling calm and make an informed decision after that.
- Never get emotional: They will do their best to make you emotional. Remember it’s not personal even though it feels that way. Stay strong, calm and logical.