Getting a call from a debt collector can be a frustrating ordeal. Many debt collectors certainly don’t call with the intentions of generously asking for money, so having to deal with their strict and sometimes uncompromising methods doesn’t make it easy on you. Luckily, the more you know with debt collectors, the better off you’ll be with fighting your debts. Here are seven ways to outsmart debt collectors that you should keep in mind whenever you get a phone call.
Be Sure To Get Proof
The first thing that you’ll want to do when getting a call from a debt collector is ask for details and proof regarding their claims. In some cases, the collector may be contacting the wrong person and the debt isn’t even yours. In order to get more specifics, ask for the name on the debt, where it came from, when it was filed and how much is owed. If you don’t agree with any of their responses, then you can argue that they have the wrong person.
Avoid Letting Them Scare You
Debt collectors are trained to make you feel uncomfortable when on the phone. Therefore, it’s important that you don’t let them scare you into thinking something that isn’t true. They may claim that they can take your personal property or take some other type of major action, but understand that this isn’t the case if you make an effort to pay off the debt. Therefore, don’t let them scare you into doing anything you aren’t comfortable with.
Don’t Agree To Added Fees
If you find out that you actually do owe a debt, then make sure that you don’t agree to any added fees on top of the total cost. Debt collectors will be happy enough to get your money, and added costs are just their way of milking you for even more.
Negotiate Total Costs
Once you do come up with a final cost, see how far down you can go to make this debt even lower. There have been plenty of stories of people paying half, or even less, than the original debt that is owed. Tell your debt collector that all you can afford is a certain amount that is reasonable, and you may be surprised with just how low they’ll go.
Know Your Rights
If you get a phone call from a debt collector and you truly have no idea what to say, then tell them it’s a bad time and they need to call back. During this time, do some research into your rights with paying back a debt. For example, knowing the time limits and the required payments will ensure that the collector doesn’t take advantage of you.
Going against a debt collection agency on your own is scary. Therefore, you can rely on debt counseling to help you determine what the best ways are to avoid paying fees and fines. Debt counseling may be a fee, but they’ll likely be able to help you save a lot of money and be worth the investment.
Don’t Get Emotionally Involved
Above all else, don’t get emotionally involved with dealing with debt collectors. The moment that you start to break down, they’ll keep pushing for more and more. It’s important that you stay level-headed and cool under pressure, which will help you avoid further damage financially.
Owing a debt isn’t easy, but it’s certainly not something that is unfixable. Instead, keep these seven tips in mind for outsmarting debt collectors.
Information provided by Faber Inc, an Edmonton credit counseling company.