MRS Associates

Have you spotted a strange entry on your credit report from an organization called MRS Associates?

If you have, it’s almost certainly a collection account. And, since they’re so heavily involved in collections on auto loans, there’s a good chance you have an unsettled car debt in your past.

Don’t panic, however you need to get it settled or even removed from your credit report as quickly as possible.

This will put a stop to any harassing collection calls and positively adjust your credit score.

Collection accounts, both large and small, can have a significant negative impact on your credit score.

And since they can hang around for several years, you’ll want to do what is necessary to get them removed as soon as possible.

The three major credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion collect a credit score, alerting those in the financial markets just how reliable of a borrower you are.

If you haven’t figured out how to remove MRS Associates from your credit report, we’re here to help.

What is MRS Associates?

MRS Associates is based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and has been operating since 1991.

It’s a debt collection agency, and it even has an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the highest rating they issue.

The collection company provides debt service collections across the country for many major industries.

For example, they serve as a collection agent for companies like financial services like credit cards, fintech/marketplace lending, auto loans, student loans, cable, telecommunications services, utilities, municipalities and tolling authorities, healthcare, and customer service providers.

In fact, the company claims it’s the premier automotive collection agency in the United States, servicing over $2 billion in annual loan deficiency placements and end-of-term balances.

Not all the debts handled by MRS Associates have reached the collection stage yet. If you receive a phone call or correspondence from the company, they may be involved in a pre-collection debt situation.

If that’s the case, you may be past due on a debt, but it’s not yet showing up on your credit report as a collection.

It is important to work with MRS Associates early in the process. Any effort you can make to prevent a past-due balance from becoming a collection account will be an opportunity to avoid further damage to your credit score.

How to Remove MRS Associates from a Credit Report

There’s no single way to handle collection account disputing. It’s a multi-step process, starting with information gathering.

From there, you can assess whether to pursue having the debt removed from your name and your credit report, or working out some type of settlement.

Here are the strategies we recommend to remove MRS Associates from your credit report, or at least to minimize the damage being done by the collection entry.

1. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report from All Three Credit Bureaus

If your first contact with MRS Associates is through a phone call or letter, you need to assess how far the action has gone.

That will start by getting a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Each of the bureaus reports differently, so one or two credit reports may show a negative entry, but not on all three.

That happens because not all creditors report to all three credit bureaus.

A collection account may not show up on your Experian credit report but still, appear on your reports with Equifax and TransUnion.

If you only order a report from Experian, you may wrongly assume the collection has not hit your credit report.

You can order your reports from all three bureaus — free of charge — through an online service provider known as AnnualCreditReport.com.

They’re the only source officially authorized to provide you with a copy of your credit report from all three bureaus.

Armed with your credit reports, examine them carefully to see if there is an entry from MRS Associates.

You should also look for any other creditors on your reports that may be showing a past due balance.

If the information on a balance is similar to what MRS Associates claims you owe them, the two obligations may be the same.

Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report

2. Learn Your Rights Under the FDCPA

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is the federal law that protects consumers from certain practices used by collection agencies.

Anytime you’re contacted by a collection agency, or see their entry on your credit report, you need to familiarize yourself with your rights under this law.

The law prevents debt collection companies to notify your family or co-workers about any debts you may owe as well as limit the hours in the day they can contact you.

You can learn all about the basic provisions of the law by familiarizing yourself with the Debt Collection FAQs provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

This is an important early step, and one you can’t afford to miss. Collection agencies are professional debt collection organizations, and they’re well versed in federal debt collection laws.

You need to be as well, to take this advantage away from them.

You’ll also need to know your rights so you can protect yourself if a collection agent gets overly aggressive.

Often, just citing the law to the agents will be enough to make them more agreeable.

3. Demand MRS Associates Provide Debt Validation

When dealing with MRS Associates, or any other collection agency, your initial exchanges need to be brief and to the point.

Your job in the early going will be to get as much information as possible, while providing as little as possible yourself.

Collection agencies routinely record phone conversations with debtors.

If you make any promises in a phone conversation, then fail to follow through, the agency may present it as evidence against you in court.

Don’t volunteer any information, answer any questions, or make any promises!

Your first direct contact should be a request for a debt verification letter. A creditor or collection agency must be able to verify a debt is yours.

If they can’t, they need to drop their case and remove any negative information from your credit report.

That’s the purpose of the debt verification letter. It must provide the name of the original creditor, the amount owed, relevant dates, and any other important information.

If the agency is unable to provide full or even complete information, you may be able to state the debt isn’t yours.

Once you receive the debt verification letter, you’ll have a better idea of which way to go with your response to MRS Associates.

4. What To Do If The Debt Is Not Yours

From this point forward, all communication with MRS Associates needs to be in writing.

That’s because you will now be entering the negotiation and agreement phase, and you’ll need a paper trail as evidence of any findings or agreements, making sure any agreements are made within the statute of limitations laid out in the FDCPA.

If the debt verification letter fails to prove the collection account is yours, write the company and stress the point.

You can do this even if the account is a case of mistaken identities, such as when someone with a similar name is the actual debtor.

If MRS Associates agrees that the debt isn’t yours, make sure they confirm that to you in writing, with an acknowledgment that any negative information will be removed from your credit report.

If MRS Associates doesn’t cooperate with you, and the debt verification letter makes it clear the obligation isn’t yours, you can take your case to the three credit bureaus.

You’ll do this by opening a dispute with each of the bureaus. They’re required by law to investigate your claim within 30 days.

They’ll ask for the same information from MRS Associates, and if the information is either missing or incomplete, they’ll delete the negative entries from your credit reports.

5. What To Do If The Debt Is Yours

If the debt is, in fact, yours, you’ll need to settle the account. But that doesn’t necessarily mean paying the balance in full.

If it’s a small amount, like less than $100, it may be best to simply pay the full amount and get them out of your life.

But if it’s several hundred dollars, or several thousand, you should negotiate for a reduced settlement.

Once again, this must be done in writing. If it’s done by phone, you absolutely must get written confirmation of your agreement from MRS Associates before you send them any money.

If you don’t get the terms of your reduced settlement agreed to in writing, the agency can accept your reduced payment, then continue to pursue you for the full balance.

You should start by offering considerably less than the full amount of the debt owed. If it’s $1,000, offer them $500 or less. (The older the debt, the lower the initial offer can be.)

MRS Associates probably won’t accept your initial settlement offer. More likely, they’ll counter with a higher amount, like $800. You’ll then come back with, say, $600. The final settlement then might be $700.

If that’s agreed to, have them confirm that receipt of payment for $700 will be accepted as full payment of the debt in question. Their letter should also confirm they will report the updated information to all three credit bureaus.

Only when you receive that letter from MRS Associates should you send payment.

Once payment has been sent, wait 30 days, then check your credit reports.

If the updated information doesn’t appear, contact MRS and remind them of your agreement.

If they still don’t follow through, you can contact the credit bureaus directly, furnishing them a copy of the agreement letter from MRS as evidence of the updated status of the account.

The credit bureaus will correct the information, even if they don’t hear from the agency.

Get Legal Help if MRS Associates Gets Out of Hand

If MRS Associates becomes uncooperative, or if they threaten you with legal action, you may need to hire a credit attorney.

In most cases, collection agencies won’t go the legal route for a small debt. But if you owe several thousand dollars, the likelihood is much greater.

If that happens, we recommend Lexington Law. They’re one of the best-known credit law firms in the country.

Often, just having a collection agency contracted by a credit law firm will be enough to get them to be more willing to negotiate.

Ask Lex Law for Help

Should I Pay MRS Associates?

The answer to this question is a certified maybe. You’ll need to do some investigating first, to see if you legitimately owe the debt. If you do, you’ll need to settle the account, though not necessarily for the full amount.

But if you don’t actually owe the debt — and that does happen more than occasionally — there are steps you can take to have the obligation removed from your name and from your credit report.

We’re going to go into strategies to help you in either direction. But we recommend that you do not ignore a credit report entry, phone call, or correspondence from MRS Associates.

When it comes to debt collectors, doing nothing is almost always the worst possible outcome. Consumers are often tempted to do exactly that in the hope that the collectors will just kind-of go away.

They never do.

And if it’s a large debt — especially one that’s recent — they may take legal action. That can extend to getting a court judgment against you, one you may not even be aware of. If it happens, the collection agency will be legally entitled to garnish your wages or your bank accounts.

That’s the exact situation we want to help you avoid.

MRS Associates Contact Information

Here is a little more contact information on the company:

  • Address: 1930 Olney Ave, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003-2016
  • Phone Number: (888) 834-5677
  • Website: http://www.mrsbpo.com
  • Name: MRS Associates Inc

Final Thoughts

If you’re contacted by MRS Associates, or if a collection account from them shows up on your credit report, try not to take it personally.

It could be a case of mistaken identity. But even if it isn’t, they’re just doing the job they were hired to do — to collect a past-due obligation.

Order a copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus, and familiarize yourself with your rights under federal law.

Next, make MRS Associates verify that the debt is legitimately yours. If they can’t, demand they remove it from your credit report and stop pursuing you for payment.

If it is your debt, work to settle the account for a lesser amount.

Be sure to get all agreements in writing before sending any payments, and require that the corrected information be reported to all three credit bureaus upon settlement.

And if the situation starts to get out of control, don’t hesitate to hire an attorney or credit repair company to protect your rights.

If you want to learn more strategies for dealing with collection agencies, or if you have multiple collection accounts to deal with, check out our article, How to Remove Collections From Your Credit Report, for a more comprehensive strategy for dealing with collection accounts.

As a general disclaimer, the information used in this article is not meant to substitute as legal advice. Please seek legal counsel at a law firm if your situation warrants it. 

Consumer Debt an Issue in 2012 U.S. Presidential Campaign

Consumer debt is quickly becoming one of the biggest issues in the 2012 presidential election. While standard concerns such as national defense, immigration and abortion continue to get their fair share of attention, worries over the economy and jobs situation are at the top of most issue polls this year.

Consumer debt, particularly home mortgages and student loans, have begun to get a fair share of the mainstream attention leading up to the general election.

Overall consumer indebtedness actually decreased by 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Economists and pundits have varied opinions on the meaning in the drop of overall consumer indebtedness.

Some feel that it reflects consumers making smart but difficult choices in the face of hard economic times. Others feel that it is a reflection of tightening credit restrictions by banks, and wiping foreclosures off the books. Those economists point to the fact that average American savings are decreasing as well, which could mean that more people are getting by with less, or simply living just within their means.

Politically, President Obama is casting himself as a champion for consumer protection. His flagship achievement in this area is the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to make sure that credit card companies, payday lenders and mortgage companies follow the rules.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney focuses less on the consumer aspect, and more on tackling the national debt and cutting spending. Presumably, this philosophy translates into wanting consumers to follow his public policy example by practicing sound fiscal policy in their own lives. The idea is that strengthening the financial system will strengthen the credit market and allow consumers to improve their lot in life, free of government intervention.

Student Loans and the Election

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan debt grew to a staggering $904 billion in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of $30 billion since the previous quarter. Some agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, believe total student debt is even larger, and has surpassed the $1 trillion mark.

The Obama campaign is positioning itself as a champion for student loan reform. The recession has encouraged many consumers to change their financial patterns. In fact, U.S. consumer debt fell in the first three months of 2012 in every area but student loans. With slow hiring, many young adults have decided to go back to school, or continue straight into graduate programs after completing college. The vast majority of these students are paying their way with student loans.

Many strategists conclude that the Obama campaign hopes to use student loan reform as an issue to re-energize the young adult voting bloc that was crucial to his success in the 2008 primary and general elections. By positioning himself as a champion for reform, President Obama is hoping to create a powerful contrast between himself and former financier Mitt Romney in the eyes of young voters. Student loan reform was one of the few specific ideas repeatedly mentioned by last year’s Occupy Movement, and energizing that bloc of voters could be crucial in swing states.

As the fiscal year ended in June 2012, Democrats embraced the issue of taking action to stop scheduled student loan interest rate increases. Eventually, both congressional chambers voted to keep student interest rates from rising for a year, and President Obama publicly signed the legislation into law. Both Mitt Romney and President Obama have commented on the issue numerous times, raising its profile in the media.

Mortgages and the Election

Amid record-high foreclosures, the American housing market continues its painfully slow crawl toward recovery. The general consensus is that consumer debt in the form of mortgages was responsible for this crisis. The partisan squabbling arises when trying to figure out where to place the blame — on the homeowner in over his head, on the banker who loaned money irresponsibly, or on the financiers and institutions that mishandled the mortgages once they were issued.

The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, signed by President Obama in 2010, is a lightning rod of contention in many political circles. Conservatives fault the legislation for being overly broad and putting too many regulations on private enterprise, while liberals fault it for failing to hold executives accountable for what many of them feel is criminal behavior. Almost everyone agrees that it has done little to change the consumer debt situation.

From Credit Cards to Payday Loans

One of the bright spots for consumers in recent years has been the decrease in credit card debt, which had been a sign of bad consumer fiscal behavior for years. However, in its place has come the rise of payday loans and title-based loans where consumers pay big fees or give up titles to property (usually a car) in exchange for small amounts of money meant to get them through a rough spot. In the case of title loans, failure to repay the small amount could lead in forfeiture of the entire collateral property. This largely unregulated industry has captured the attention of state legislatures across the country and could potentially spill into the presidential election this fall.

It is undisputed that we are in the midst of the largest financial crisis in recent times. This has affected everything from foreign policy to consumer behavior. Voters’ unease has made them aware of fiscal policy at a level that hasn’t recently been seen. Both candidates are aware of this, and consumer fiscal issues will likely get a good amount of attention between now and November.

Credit Collection Services (CCS)

Have you been contacted by a company called Credit Collection Services, or CCS? You may be tempted to ignore them if you have, but don’t.

They’re a debt collection service, and whether they contacted you by a series of harassing phone calls or by collection letters, they will not simply go away just because you don’t respond.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way debt collection agencies work.

If they are contacting you, it’s because a previous financial service creditor or vendor has engaged their services to collect a past-due debt.

The debt may be legitimately yours, or it may be a case of mistaken identity. Either way, the outcome will be the same.

Credit Collection Services will continue to contact you until you respond and the debt is paid or officially removed from your name.

This can oftentimes lead to wage garnishment until repayment or other legal actions like judgments.

That cannot happen if you try to ignore them. Whether you think the debt is legitimate or not, you’re going to need to respond and take one of several steps to resolve the issue, hopefully rescuing your credit score from significant damage.

What is Credit Collection Services?

Based in Norwood, Massachusetts, Credit Collection Services has a deep history. The company was founded in 1969 and currently has more than 750 employees within the United States.

They collect debts for government agencies like the IRS, utilities, cable and telecommunications service providers, healthcare providers, student loan companies, retail company credit cards, and banking and insurance companies.

The company claims to receive annual placements in excess of $5 billion, making CCS Collection one of the largest debt collection services in the country.

A common practice of the company is to handle a large volume of past-due debt owed to a single client company. That may include hundreds or thousands of individual debts.

Because of the company’s size and long history, they operate nationwide. It’s possible you’ll hear from Credit Collection Services no matter where you live in the US, or even if you move from one state to another.

Depending on the client company they’re working with, Credit Collection Services may operate as the first line of collections for a company’s accounts receivable department.

If they work in this capacity, they may not contact you about a past-due debt, but a current obligation.

However, like all collection agencies, one of their primary businesses is the collection of bad debt.

Your obligation has reached bad-debt status anytime it’s been past due for well beyond what would normally be considered a reasonable timeframe.

And this is usually when debt collection services become most aggressive.

Is Credit Collection Services Legit?

When contacted by a collection agency, a common response is a disbelief, especially if you have no recollection of the debt.

But the next question — and one that’s totally natural — is to question the legitimacy of the collection agency.

As it turns out, Credit Collection Services is a real business that works with some of the best-known companies in America.

The company has been rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB.org), giving them an “A+”, which is the highest rating they issue on a scale of A+ to F.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with the BBB, report over 270 and 400 customer complaints respectively, most stating CCS violated consumer rights as laid out in the FDCPA.

Credit Collection Services is a legitimate credit collection agency. You’ll only hurt your case if you don’t respond to their communications and do what’s necessary to remove them from your credit report.

How to Remove Credit Collection Services from a Credit Report

The strategies for dealing with a demand for payment from Credit Collection Services are similar to those you would use in dealing with any collection agency.

We’re going to present specific strategies — and strongly recommend that you first assess your situation (whether or not you owe the debt) — then select the strategy you’ll use to deal with it.

This is a high-altitude summary of some of the many strategies available to have a collection removed from your credit report as reported by the three major credit reporting agencies–Experian, Equifax, Transunion.

For a more comprehensive look at the options that are available, check out our article, How to Remove Collections From Your Credit Report.

You especially need to be aware of all your strategy options if you’re dealing with multiple collection accounts from several different collection agencies.

Now, let’s zero in on the strategies you can use to remove Credit Collection Services from a credit report.

1. Learn Your Rights Under Federal Law

If you’re going to take on Credit Collection Services, you need to become familiar with federal law and how it relates to debt collection practices.

Rest assured that the collection agency is aware of those laws. You need to be as well, to level the playing field.

You can learn your rights by reviewing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

More specifically, study the more user-friendly Debt Collection FAQs provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

You may be surprised to learn what collection agencies can and cannot do to collect a debt, including following the statute of limitations and hours in which they can contact you.

Sometimes just letting a collection agent know you’re aware of your rights under federal law can go a long way toward keeping your communications more civilized.

2. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report

This is a completely necessary step, because reporting a collection account to the credit bureaus is a common strategy employed by collection agencies.

They’re well aware that consumers often ignore attempts to collect on an account until the entry on a credit report makes it difficult or impossible for a person to get a new loan.

Your credit report will also give you a better handle on exactly what you’re dealing with. Collection agencies are not service providers or lenders.

Whenever they get involved in a collection situation, they still represent a company or lender that is the source of the original obligation.

Getting a copy of your credit report will help you to match a collection claim with an original obligation.

For example, if Credit Collection Services contacts you about a specific collection balance, you can match it up against a previous account you may have had problems with.

If you can match it, you’ll know it’s a legitimate debt. But if you can’t, that will help you to know that you may be able to dispute the legitimacy of the obligation.

To get the most accurate information, you’ll need to get a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Fortunately, that’s not a complicated process at all.

You can get copies of your official credit reports from all three bureaus by ordering them through AnnualCreditReport.com.

They’re the only source officially authorized to provide you with a copy of your credit report from all three bureaus.

What’s more, the reports are free of charge under federal law. The entire ordering process takes place online.

Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report

3. Request a Debt Verification Letter from Credit Collection Services

You’re within your legal rights to request a debt verification letter from Credit Collection Services.

The debt verification letter is provided by the collection agency and must provide all necessary information relevant to the debt.

This includes the amount of the debt, the original creditor, significant dates for the obligation, and any other important information.

Under federal law, if the credit collector is unable to furnish full or even complete information, the obligation must be canceled and removed from your credit report.

This is especially important while we are the current COVID pandemic and identity theft is significantly increasing.

Two Primary Reasons Why You Need To Obtain This Letter:

  1. To confirm the legitimacy of the debt, and
  2. To make sure you’re seeing the same information the collection agency is.

The debt verification letter request should represent the entirety of your first conversation with Credit Collection Services.

There’s no point arguing payment, details, or obligation legitimacy until you have something in writing from the collection agency.

But from that point forward, all communication with Credit Collection Services needs to be in writing.

When dealing with collection agencies, it’s mission-critical to have a paper trail at all times.

That paper trail will ensure that whatever terms you agree to will be enforceable in court, if necessary.

It will also prevent you from committing yourself to any procedures you may not be able to follow up on, which is always possible in a live conversation.

If you do get involved in a phone conversation with an agent from Credit Collection Services, use it purely as a fact-finding mission.

In other words, it should serve for you to obtain information from the agency, and not to provide information to them.

4. Your Strategy if the Debt Isn’t Yours

If the debt verification letter fails to prove the collection account is legitimately yours, and you can’t match it to any information on your credit report, insist that Credit Collection Services remove the negative information from your credit report and immediately cease contacting you about it.

Companies like Credit Collection Services that work with past-due accounts in bulk often have erroneous information.

For example, it may be a case of mistaken identity, such as when someone with a similar name owes the actual obligation.

Or, it may be that your name has been associated with a debt you’re not legally required to pay.

Still another possibility is that it’s a debt you have already paid, but the original creditor did not properly record the payment.

In any case, an incomplete debt verification letter — or one with no information at all — will give you the basis to demand removal.

And so will any evidence you come up with that can prove the original obligation was paid, like a canceled check or a copy of a bank statement.

If that turns out to be the case, insist that Credit Collection Services provide you with a letter confirming that it isn’t yours and that the entry will be removed from all three credit bureaus.

Even if Credit Collection Services fails to remove the information from your credit reports, you can use the letter as evidence when you contact the credit bureaus yourself and dispute the obligation.

When you open a dispute with them, the credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate.

If they’re unable to confirm the full details of the debt with Credit Collection Services, they are required by law to delete the debt from your credit report.

5. Your Strategy if the Debt is Yours

If Credit Collection Services can prove that the collection account is really yours, you’ll need to settle the debt.

That’s important because the collection agency always has the option to convert the account to a judgment.

If that happens, the debt will become a legal obligation — one you will need to pay in full.

There’ll be no opportunity to negotiate a lower payment amount, and Credit Collection Services will be legally able to garnish your wages or your bank account.

But if the debt is yours, you should try to settle the debt for less than the full amount or agree on a payment plan.

That may be more doable than you ever imagined. Collection accounts are often years old, and have already been given up by the original creditor.

The collection agency is trying to recover at least some of the amount owed, and may be perfectly willing to settle.

Take advantage of that situation by offering to pay no more than 50% of the debt.

But you must insist that the payment be accepted as full satisfaction of the obligation.

And if they do, you must get the agreement in writing from Credit Collection Services before sending any money.I

If you don’t, they may accept your partial payment, then continue to pursue you for the balance.

If they don’t accept your initial offer, ask them to counter.

That will set off a negotiation process likely to result in you paying more than your original offer but still less than the full amount of the debt.

“Pay-for-Delete”

This is a strategy often recommended when dealing with a collection agency.

The purpose is not only to settle the obligation but also to have it completely removed from your credit report.

You offer the collection agency payment on the debt in exchange for them removing it from your credit report.

If they agree, they’ll get their money, and you’ll get a clean bill of health on your credit report.

But there’s one glitch: a creditor is not legally required to remove an entry from your credit report, even if they’ve agreed to do so in writing.

In the credit reporting universe, paying off a collection account does remove the obligation.

The account will show as “paid” on your credit report. But the negative information remains on your credit report.

And in the way that credit reporting works, it will remain on your credit report for seven years from the time the account first became delinquent.

You can request a pay-for-delete arrangement — and we recommend that you do — but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen.

Either way, a paid collection is always better on a credit report than an unpaid one.

The passage of time will ultimately remove the negative information from your credit report.

If Credit Collection Services Plays Hardball, Get a Credit Attorney

You should exhaust all options in dealing with Credit Collection Services yourself first.

But if you can’t make any progress, or they threaten to pursue a judgment, you’ll have no choice but to get legal representation.

That will require a law firm or credit repair company that specializes in consumer credit.

An excellent example is Lexington Law. They’re one of the biggest names in credit law to help you with your credit repair journey, and just having them on your side can persuade a collection agency to settle things more peacefully.

Ask Lex Law for Help

CCS Contact Information

Here is some contact information about the debt collector:

  • Address: 725 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062-2679
  • Phone Number: (617) 965-2000
  • Website: https://www.ccsusa.com/

Final Thoughts

If you’re contacted by Credit Collection Services, we strongly recommend you move quickly to deal with them.

You know the obligation is yours or it’s not. If it’s not, force them to delete it from your credit report.

But if it is, work to settle the debt for less. And if things get complicated, seriously consider bringing in a credit attorney.

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7 scary financial facts and stats

This spooky season there may be more to be scared of than the typical goblins, ghosts and ghouls. This year, it could be your finances that haunt you in a very real way.

Financial stress is all around us. Whether it hits you when you’re online paying bills, in line to buy groceries, filling out your tax forms or waiting for the next stimulus check. The pandemic hasn’t helped much in that stress, with many people having their pockets hit due to losing their job, losing their business or medical bills mounting.

We have curated a list of some of the scariest financial facts to be aware of when figuring out your next money moves.

Statistic 1: 47% of American adults have some sort of debt stress

That’s right, nearly half of Americans stress over a debt, according to a survey conducted back in July 2020. The number one form of debt stress seems to come from that shiny card we all carry in our wallets — our credit card.

Some 32% of Americans with debt say their credit card debt stresses them out the most. Although the average household carries around $52,000 in debt, there are hacks and tips out there to lower that credit card debt.

Student loans are another large stress factor, with 21% of Americans claiming this may be the debt that keeps them up at night. Roughly 42% of Americans between the ages of 18 to 24 worry about the debt they took on for education, as well as 25% of those aged 25 to 34.

Statistic 2: 114.4 million Americans said they took out a personal loan in the past year

The number one reason for borrowing was to alleviate some debt stress. Some 31.78% of people surveyed who reported ever taking out a personal loan said they used the funds for debt consolidation.

The average personal loan amount borrowed in 2020 as of February was $11,657.49. The largest loans were those taken out to start a business, at an average of $15,820.34 per loan. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, 90% of businesses have lost revenue, forcing many small business owners to turn to the SBA for funding to help keep their business afloat.

Statistic 3: Some 56% of American adults are struggling to buy groceries due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has not only changed the way we live, but the way we shop as well. It was nearly impossible to get into some supermarkets when shelter-in-place orders started — and even if you did, the chances of them having what you needed was very low.

Hand sanitizer and soap were two items that many American adults had trouble getting a hold of — some 32.48% of respondents reporting they were unable to easily find either. Toilet paper was another necessity that was very tricky to find, with 32.17% of Americans unable to get their hands on a roll.

Statistic 4: Americans become a victim of identity theft everyday

Federal stimulus payments were shown to be easy targets for scammers. The basic information required by IRS guidelines made it simple for scammers to claim checks. And in the first quarter of 2020 fraud and identity theft were up by 20.1%.

There are red flags that may pop up if you are at risk of having your identity stolen. For instance, you may not recognize some charges on your credit card statement, or you notice unauthorized withdrawals from your bank account.

If you do get your identity stolen you should contact the authorities right away. You should also immediately let your bank know so it can stop all future transactions until the situation is resolved.

Statistic 5: Delays in major financial decisions

DollarSprout conducted a survey in early September which revealed that 56% of Americans have delayed major financial decisions because of the coronavirus. These major financial decisions included buying a car, a home, having a child and the like.

Statistic 6: Dollars for doomsday

Surveying 2,002 Americans in January 2020, Finder found that within the last 12 months almost 13% of Americans have put, on average, almost $2,000 into saving in case of the end times. With the pandemic coming soon after, that number is likely to have jumped significantly.

Statistic 7: 8.8 million Americans admit to cheating on their taxes

Some 3.44% of Americans admit to cheating on their taxes when W-2 season rolls around. When looking at this by gender we found that more men are dishonest than women, with men being 60% more likely to lie on their taxes than women are.

Taxes don’t seem to be the only thing that Americans cheat on. Our survey also found that 13.38% of Americans admit to cheating on their significant other. Americans are four times more likely to cheat on their significant other than the IRS. Knowing that, it may be time to break out the strongest love potion you own!

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Anna Serio
Certified Commercial Loan Officer, Finder.com

– What we make of it all –

One of the big takeaways of this year is that savings are essential. If you haven’t already, open a high-interest savings account to start an emergency fund as soon as possible. You should have at least three months of expenses saved away — though the more the better.

The pandemic has also changed the way we spend, so it’s worth reexamining your budget to see where you can save. I did this for myself and found that I wasn’t getting much out of my current travel rewards card. I just wasn’t dining out and traveling the way I used to. So I got a new credit card with cashback rewards for groceries, which is where most of my money goes these days.

Budgeting and saving won’t prevent a financial catastrophe. But they can put you in a more favorable position when things get scary.

For media inquiries:

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Allan Givens
Public Relations Manager
203-818-2928
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Amazon Synchrony: Why This Credit Card Is Worth It

During quarter three of 2019, Amazon’s earnings declined by over 25% in comparison to the same period in 2018. For the first time in over three years, the tech giant’s profits witnessed a drop. Most of this is because the company heavily invested in its new free one-day shipping services for Prime members. However, as we head into the holiday period, this might be the perfect time to signup for the Amazon synchrony credit card.

The online retailer spent almost $800 billion between July and September of this year. Amazon had to relocate warehouses in order to effectively implement their one-day shipping services. In addition, the company plans to double their expenditures during the last three months of the year. While management didn’t mention anything about increasing costs, it is reasonable to expect that Amazon will possibly raise their prices in order to cover these expenses.

Regular shoppers, however, shouldn’t worry, especially with Amazon synchrony. The credit card’s offers and bonuses are likely to offset any price increases (if they happen). Just as importantly, the program, in itself, is much more competitive and rewarding when compared to other lines of credit.

Holiday Shopping Is Knocking on the Door

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Last year, Amazon achieved record sales numbers during the holiday period. However, during this quarter, the company warned that their income is going to be lower than it was during the last three months of 2018. This is driven by extensive warehouse investments and hiring costs. In light of this, it makes sense to at least keep an eye out for potential price hikes.

The Amazon synchrony program, meanwhile, helps shoppers in many ways. For a start, you get a ten dollar bonus after signing up. Additionally, credit card users earn 5% in cash-back offerings. If they are Prime subscribers, shoppers will also enjoy Amazon’s one-day free shipping services.

Equally as noteworthy, the tech giant has an incredibly competitive credit card when we compare it to what’s available on the market. Amazon synchrony users incur no interest charges if they spend a certain amount during a given period, starting with $150 or more in the first six months.

Once you make consistent and on-time payments, Amazon synchrony will refund all your interest fees at the end of the period. Moreover, credit card holders do not have to pay any annual fees.

Above all else, consumers can build their credit by shopping on Amazon. This, combined with cash-back offers, bonuses, and nonexistent fees, makes Amazon synchrony even more desirable.

The Long Term

Many experts and analysts say that the company’s expenditures will largely benefit their long-term growth. This is undoubtedly true, regardless of whether Amazon raise their prices or not. One-day free shipping services are revolutionary and likely to change the retail industry, as a whole.

However, as buyers are getting ready for their holiday shopping (some already started), we must look at their immediate needs. The benefits of having an Amazon synchrony card are greatly useful, even if product prices stay the same.

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Some might say that there are plenty of downsides to it. After all, if you miss a payment or submit it late, you will no longer be eligible for the interest rate refund. While this is true, late or missed payments on any line of credit will likely harm the consumer. Meanwhile, not many lenders provide the same benefits to buyers who make their payments on time. In most cases, they still have to pay interest.

Amazon Synchrony: A Good Idea

To many people, nothing is more ideal than being rewarded for shopping on Amazon. Through utilizing the retailer’s credit card services, consumers can access great deals, pay no interest expenses, and build their credit. Amazon synchrony is even more competitive than what most banks and companies offer.

As the holiday season is upon us, it is certainly worthwhile to consider this credit card.

Disclosures:
Haitham AlMhana is an associated member of T3 Trading Group, LLC (“T3TG”), a SEC registered Broker-Dealer & Member of FINRA SIPC. All trades made by Haitham are placed through T3TG.
POSITION DISCLOSURE: Haitham AlMhana does not hold any long or short AMZN positions as of the time of the publication of this article.
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Home Loans For Nurses In Texas

Buying a home is a stressful period in anyone’s life. At the top of list of things to do, is securing a mortgage. This can be especially difficult for those who work stressful or difficult professions like nurses. With the long hours and hard work, finding time to secure a mortgage is an even more difficult problem. Luckily, for those moving to the state of Texas there are several options that can help make the process easier and quicker. Let’s look at some of the options for getting home loans for nurses in Texas.

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Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC)

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The first organization to keep in mind is the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation, or the TSAHC. This is a non-profit that was set up to provide help in securing housing for low to moderate income families. In addition to that, they also provide some additional help for people in certain professions such as nursing.

For more information, check out their website. They have a lot of details on all the different programs they offer, as well as details on eligibility and requirements. They are an invaluable resource, and will likely be a key contact during the entire process.

Homes For Texas Heroes

homes for texas heroes

The major program of interest for home loans for nurses in Texas is their Homes For Texas Heroes. This program provides down payment assistance and low interest loan options for Texas Heroes, which of course includes nurses.

To begin with, they offer down payment grants of 3-5% for those that qualify. It’s important to understand that this assistance is a grant, meaning it doesn’t have to be repaid. This is an extremely attractive benefit that all who qualify should definitely take advantage of.

After that, the loans secured through this program also typically have a lower interest rate than other options. Even a small change in interest can save a borrower thousands over the lifetime of the loan. These two benefits can really add up, and create an excellent opportunity to secure a affordable home loan.

Who Qualifies For Assistance?

For nursing, included is Allied Health faculty as well as other nursing staff such as school nurses. Also, emergency service personnel are also eligible. For more on eligibility by profession, check out the TSAHC website.

home loans for nurses in texas qualification

In addition to the program requirements, the individual lenders that provide the loans may also have their own requirements. This could include certain income or credit score requirements. Be sure to ask a potential lender about their eligibility requirements.

Read our First Time Home Buying Guide: Dealing with Low Credit Scores article here.

How Do You Get a Loan?

All loans are provided by approved 3rd party lenders. Being offered by a 3rd party, each loan may have its own terms and conditions that vary by lender. This can mean a difference in interest rate for example, so make sure to shop around to get the best deal.

The best first step is to get in touch with the TSAHC. They not only have a list of approved lenders, but will also assist potential borrowers through the entire loan process. They should be the first contact point for any potential borrowers!

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

mortgage credit certificate

Another great benefit first time home buyers in Texas can get is the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC). This is a tax credit based on interest paid on a mortgage that can return up to $2,000 per year to the homeowner.

Even better, it can be used with the other benefits mentioned; the down payment assistance and low interest loan.

Keep in mind though, this is only open to first time home owners. The TSAHC defines this as someone who as not owned a home in the past three years. While a bit limited, it’s an extremely attractive incentive to those that qualify, and makes the first time home buying process much cheaper.

Other Mortgage Options

For those that don’t qualify for the Home For Texas Heroes program there are other options. The other main program offered by the TSAHC is the Home Sweet Texas Home Loan.

This loan was created to help low to moderate income families and individuals acquire a mortgage. This option is open to nurses, but is also available to any other professions that meet certain income requirements. For those that don’t qualify for the Heroes program, this is a great second option.

Are you a veteran? Take a look at our VA Loan in Texas article here to see how VA loans could help!

Home Loans For Nurses In Texas

As a nurse living or moving to Texas there are multiple great options to help on the path to home ownership. The TSAHC provides multiple great programs to help out those in the nursing profession, and using them can help make the whole process easier. Understanding these available opportunities is essential to getting the best home loan!

FAQ

What Assistance is Available for Nurses?

The two main programs are the Texas Heroes and MCC tax credit. The Texas Heroes programs provides grants for nurses buying homes and loan interest loans. The MCC tax credit helps offset interest paid on a mortgage, but is available to first time home buyers only.

Do I Have To Be a First Time Home Buyer To Qualify?

For the Texas Heroes grant no, but for the MCC tax credit yes. The MCC tax credit is a great first time home buyer program for nurses.

Is There Any Down Payment Assistance for Nurses?

Yes, the Texas Heroes program offers down payment assistance in the form of grants of up to 3-5%. This assistance is a grant and does not need to be repaid!

Get Pre Qualified For a Texas Nurses Home Loan Today – Click Here.

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Kabbage now offers 3- to 45-day business loans

Businesswoman Holding Credit Card And Bill While Working At Desk

Custom loans can be an inexpensive cashflow solution for customers who rely on invoices.

Online lender Kabbage announced Wednesday it has launched a new short-term business loan to cover cashflow gaps for customers who use its payments system. With Kabbage’s custom loans, business owners have the option to pay off the loan in full at the end of a loan term of 3 to 45 days. Or borrowers can pay it off with a percentage of the sales they make through Kabbage Payment.

Instead of interest, Kabbage charges a flat fee starting at 0.1% of the loan amount. This translates into APRs from 12.6% on a three-day term to 0.81% on a 45-day term for an advance of $10,000.

The fee can vary depending on the length of the term and how you make repayments.

An inexpensive, flexible alternative to merchant cash advances

The custom loan is not Kabbage’s first lending product — it also offers lines of credit up to $250,000. Kabbage decided to launch a short-term loan after finding that business owners were repaying their lines of credit well before the term was up, Co-Founder and President Kathryn Petralia told American Banker.

With APRs potentially starting below 1%, it offers a more affordable solution than other similar products like merchant cash advances, which can come with fees equivalent to triple-digit rates.

Merchant cash advances offer an advance on customer sales, usually for a fixed fee between 1.1 and 1.3 times the loan amount, which borrowers repay with a percentage of daily credit card sales.

Merchant cash advance customers often complain of a drop in daily revenue, thanks to the frequent repayments. Kabbage’s custom loan avoids this by giving business owners the option to repay the loan in full when it’s due.

A safety net for invoices

Terms this short aren’t for everyone. Kabbage’s custom loan acts as a quick safety net for businesses that rely on invoices for revenue. It can help a business avoid falling behind on bills and payroll if they’re waiting for clients to fill invoices.

“As a former small business owner, I know managing cash flow is a major headache,” said Kabbage CEO Rob Frohwein in a statement. “We designed our custom loan product to recognize these inherent challenges and provide our customers with even more flexible funding to better manage their businesses.”

But terms this short don’t offer a lot of flexibility if a client is late. And it’s not ideal for funding ongoing projects or a large expense if you’re not expecting to be paid before the term is up.

Speeding up the process

Kabbage is a data and technology company based in Atlanta that specializes in cashflow solutions for small businesses. To qualify for the custom loan, business owners must already be signed up for its Kabbage Payments.

Kabbage Payments is a new product that allows business owners to streamline the invoicing process by accepting payments online in less than 24 hours. Currently, it’s offering a promotional 2.25% per credit card transaction for business owners who sign up until 2020.

“A lot of payments services are built for bookkeepers, not for business leaders,” said Thom Pirone, a Tampa-based Kabbage Payments customer, in a statement. “My payment provider kept offering me training to use the platform, but I was too busy. I needed something I could sit down and use instantly and intuitively. Kabbage Payments is perfect for a small business owner who wants to start generating invoices and getting paid today.”

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Should You Open Another Retirement Account?

While you are saving in a company sponsored 401(k) or a personal individual retirement account(IRA), you might be wondering if it is enough. The question looms of whether it make sense to open an additional retirement account or simply continue contributing to the one you already have. This question has a few caveats to it that are worth understanding before making a decision.

401(k) versus IRA

If you are already working for a company that provides you with a 401(k) and matches part of your contribution, you might think it is overkill to add an additional IRA to your portfolio. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong since the maximum annual contribution to a 401(k) plan is $19,000 while the largest annual contribution you can make to an IRA is only $6,000($25,000 and $7,000 if you are 50 years or older). Saving more would be nice, but wouldn’t it make more sense to contribute the maximum amount first?

Maximizing your contributions makes a lot of sense especially if you are not already contributing enough to maximize your company’s match. Your first priority should be to take advantage of every dollar of free money you can get from the company by increasing your contribution. If you are already getting everything you can from the match, opening an additional IRA is worth considering.

With a 401(k) held within a company, your investment options are limited to what is offered in the company plan. By opening an IRA, your options are only limited by what you are willing and able to contribute at the time of the investment. You can also implement greater diversity in the way you are investing. Perhaps you are already taking an aggressive position with the money in your 401(k). If you would like to add a more conservative growth approach to your portfolio or diversify with more international stocks, it would at least be worth your time to explore options available outside of your company plan.

Image by Aymane Jdidi from Pixabay

Roth IRA

You might also consider opening a Roth IRA to diversify your
tax burden. This investment vehicle would give you the same options as a
traditional IRA but you would be taxed before making the contributions instead
of upon withdrawal. This can be advantageous to the person that believes they
will have a larger tax burden when they are taking money out of the accounts in
the future.

The Plan for You

A one-size-fits-all answer is going to be wrong for a lot of
people when you are discussing financial planning. Your particular needs and
circumstances need to be taken into account and that means the optimal choices
for you are going to be dramatically different from the person down the street.

It is best to consult a trusted advisor in this case. The
one thing that we can say with certainty is that if you are not contributing to
your 401(k) enough to maximize your company’s match, you are missing out on a
lot of money. If an advisor does not tell you the same, you should talk to
another advisor. Maximizing the match should be your first priority. Once that
is done, you can consider best possible options concerning additional contributions
to any retirement planning.

USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

The 4 best USAA credit cards of 2021

These offers are no longer available on our site: USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card, USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card, USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card, USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

USAA advertises seven different credit cards offered to members, each with its own unique perks and benefits.

To help you pick the best one for your situation, we’ve reviewed all the current USAA offerings and selected the top cards for specific groups of customers.

Just keep in mind, USAA membership is limited to U.S. military members, their families, and cadets and midshipmen from service academies.


  • Best for earning points in bonus categories: USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card
  • Best for earning cash back on base: USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
  • Best for simple cash back: USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
  • Best for saving on interest: USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

Best for earning points in bonus categories: USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

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USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

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Here’s why: The USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card offers up three points for every $1 spent on dining out and two points per $1 on groceries. The USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card offers up one point per $1 on all other purchases.

Cardholders don’t have to worry about rotating points categories and face no limits or caps on the rewards they can earn. Plus, points can be redeemed for gift cards, cash or travel. You can even use your points to make donations to participating charities.

Check out our editorial review of the USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card for more information.

Best for earning cash back on base: USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

From our partner

USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

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Here’s why: If you or your spouse is active duty, there’s a good chance you do much of your shopping on base. That means you may miss out on cash back bonuses offered by other card issuers that reward shopping at civilian stores.

Thankfully, the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card can provide you with cash back for your on-base purchases.

This card offers 5% cash back on gas purchases and on purchases made on military bases (on your first $3,000 in combined spending in those categories per year). You’ll also get 2% cash back on supermarket purchases (on your first $3,000 of spending in the category each year). After you hit those spending limits, you’ll earn 1% on those (and all other) purchases.

And this card’s foreign transaction fees? None. This could come in handy if you have to make purchases off base in another country.

Learn more from cardholder reviews of the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card.

Best for simple cash back: USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

From our partner

USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

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Here’s why: If you’re looking for flat-rate cash back that won’t require you to track your spending in various categories, the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card may be the best choice for you.

This card provides 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no rewards caps or limits, so you don’t need to worry about earning fewer points once you hit a purchase cap. Plus, your cash back rewards can be redeemed any time.

Read more in our editorial review of the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card.

Best for saving on interest: USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

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USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

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Here’s why: This card gives you a variable APR range of 6.9% – 23.9% (based on your credit profile and other factors) on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. No other USAA card offers a lower potential rate.

Also, like other cards on this list, it charges a $0 annual fee — and its penalty APR? None.

Check out our review of the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card for more details.


How we picked these cards

USAA doesn’t offer as many credit card options as some other issuers, but it does have cards that cater to various types of consumers.

We considered how your spending might vary at different points in your life, from when you’re living on base to when your career has advanced and you may be spending bigger or traveling more.

Next, we compared the features of each USAA card to determine what might be best for different kinds of spending. We looked carefully at potential rewards-earning rates and APRs and fees, balancing the various positives and negatives against one another to end up with our picks.

How to make the most of these USAA credit cards

If you’re going to use a USAA credit card, you should try to avoid carrying a balance whenever possible. While the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card can offer a lower regular APR than other USAA cards, if you end up in the higher end of its APR range it could still end up proving quite expensive.

You should try to avoid using a USAA credit card to transfer a balance, too. That’s because there’s no low promotional APR for balance transfers to help you avoid accumulating interest right after your transfer.

That said, USAA members have plenty of other ways to save money with these credit cards. For instance, each of our picks includes both no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Those features could be especially beneficial for military members and families that don’t know exactly how much spending they’ll do in the United States or abroad while on active duty.


About the author: Christy Rakoczy Bieber is a full-time personal finance and legal writer. She is a graduate of UCLA School of Law and the University of Rochester. Christy was previously a college teacher… Read more.

Capital One Collections

It’s an age-old tale. You open up a credit card, get a little too eager to use it, and then find yourself unable to make payments on it.

Now, with the United States plunged headfirst into an economic crisis due to COVID, more and more Americans are turning towards credit cards to help pay their bills, greatly increasing their overall credit card debt.

If you put off making credit card payments long enough, your credit card company will either sell the debt or enlist the assistance of a collection agency to get you to make payments.

This can lead to a new collections account appearing on your credit report, as reported by the three major credit reporting bureaus–Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.

If you have had Capital One send a bill to collections, you may be eager to remove the entry from your credit report, seriously impacting it.

Having a collections entry can affect your ability to borrow money in the future or secure lower interest rates even after you pay it off.

Luckily, it doesn’t take rocket science to get a collections account removed. It just takes a series of steps to get your credit report back on track.

What Happens if Capital One Sends a Bill to Collections?

Different card issuers have different policies when it comes to how long a customer needs to settle a debt before it goes to collections.

Some lenders will give you 6 months to settle your bill before they involve a debt collector.

Capital One is not specific about when your bill will be sent to collections, but your state of residence may have a hand in determining the timeline.

In other words, New York may have a different timeline than say, Montana.

When you’re late on a bill, Capital One can take a couple of different routes in the debt settlement process.

Capital One Charge Off

One of the worst possible things to have on your credit report is a charge off, which means that Capital One has sold your credit card balance to a collection agency.

It basically signifies that the company took a loss on the debt just to get rid of it.

Dealing with a charge off is slightly different than dealing with collections and requires a particular process.

Capital One Collections

Capital One will almost always send the bill to collections, which means that Capital One still technically owns the consumer debt.

You will likely need to deal with them directly in order to remove the entry from your credit report.

To find out if Capital One has charged off your debt or sent it to collections, you will need to acquire a copy of your credit report.

You will see either “Charge off” or “Collections” listed next to your Capital One entry. This will let you know which process you need to follow.

Collection accounts can remain on your credit report for up to 7 years, even after paying them off, so it’s imperative that you deal with them as soon as possible.

Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report

How to Remove Capital One Collections from Your Credit Report

Removing a collection account from your credit report can prevent headaches when it comes time to make large financial decisions.

Follow these steps to remove the collection account from your credit report.

Request Goodwill Deletion from Capital One

If you would like for Capital One to remove the collection entry from your credit report, try asking nicely.

The direct phone number for Capital One is 1-800-955-7070.

If you have already paid off the debt and would like for the entry to be removed, asking Capital One directly can sometimes yield results without the frustrating back and forth.

Explain the reason for your tardiness on your bill. If you had an extenuating circumstance, such as job loss or injury, they might remove the entry out of benevolence, even wave the late fees.

When asking for a goodwill deletion, be sure to be kind and truthful.

While a collection agency is more likely to delete a collection report if you missed your bill for a special circumstance, lying to them will not make your life any easier. If fact, it may work against you.

Again, this will typically only work if you have already paid off your debt. If you haven’t made any payments, your request will likely be ignored.

Make a Pay-For-Delete Agreement

If you are unable to make a goodwill agreement with Capital One, you will need to work out a pay-for-delete agreement with them.

This method will also work if Capital One has handed off the debt to a collection agency.

A pay-for-delete agreement offers payment on your debt in exchange for the collections account to be removed from your credit report.

This is typically how most people have collection accounts removed from their credit reports because it requires payment upfront.

Work with Capital One to come up with a payment plan and pay-to-delete agreement in writing, to hopefully prevent any judgments or bank account seizures.

Make an initial payment and check your credit report in 30 days. If the entry has not been deleted, remind Capital One of the agreements.

Continue to check your credit report until you no longer see the collection account listed.

Verify Information to Dispute

If you are concerned about the validity of the collection account or are otherwise unsuccessful, you may consider disputing the collection account.

You have the right to ask a collection agency to validate the debt under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA.)

Be sure to send a letter asking them to validate the information within 30 days of your first contact with collections.

They will then be required to respond to you within 30 days. If they do not, you can file a complaint against them with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or the Better Business Bureau (BBB.org).

If there is incorrect information on the collection account, you could have the debt dismissed.

Look at the entry and keep your eye out for any information that doesn’t look right.

If you see any inaccuracies, you will need to file a dispute with the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

They will investigate and remove the entry if they can’t confirm the correct information.

You will need to provide proof, so hang onto any documents that list inaccuracies and note them as you see them.

Again, honesty is the best policy here, so don’t lie about any inaccuracies.

Work with a Professional

If you are too busy to handle the back and forth of dealing with a collection account, you can always hire someone to deal with it for you.

Credit repair companies like Lexington Law specialize in getting rid of collection accounts on your credit report and getting your credit history back on track.

They can also help you improve other areas of your finances that are hurting your credit score.

Before you hire someone, make sure you verify that the credit repair company is legitimate.

Some companies claim to help consumers but, in reality, are a total scam. Do your research and hire someone who is legitimate and impactful.

Ask Lex Law for Help

Final Thoughts

Credit history is important. Payment history accounts for as much as 35% of your overall credit score, and having a bill sent to a collection can derail your financial goals for the future, such as buying a car or a house.

It is important to deal with collection accounts swiftly. Through these guidelines, you can remove collection accounts from your credit report and get your financial wellness back on track.

You can prevent future collection accounts by developing good financial habits.

Use your credit card wisely by keeping track of purchases, paying your bills on time and in full, and not spending money you don’t have.

For more tips on how to improve your finances, check out some of our most popular articles for tips and guides.