How Did a Collection Get on Your Credit Report?
Written by: Kristy Welsh
Last Updated: March 17, 2017
If you are like thousands of other consumers, you might have recently reviewed your credit report because you wanted to see why your credit score was so low. That was when you noticed there are collections noted. Turns out you missed a few payments because you lost your job and you were tight on money. But how did these accounts turn up now belonging to a collection agency and how can you get them off of your credit report?
What is a Collection?
A collection account is the term used to describe a person's loan or debt which has been submitted to a collection agency through a creditor. The collection account normally appears on the credit report of that person and will be on that report for seven years. The collection contains information about both the original creditor and the collection agency.
When Does a Debt Go to a Collection Agency?
Typically, credit card debts may be turned over to a collection agency 180 days after the debt is owed. In the case of medical collections, some hospitals turn medical bills over for collections immediately. Collection agencies begin collection efforts right after the account has been written off by the creditor. This debt is not only reported as a collection but it is also being reported by the original creditor as a charge-off. The collection agency reports a new account under their name as a 3rd party collection account.
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Can You Remove a Collection From Your Credit Report?
After this delinquent account went to a collection agency, you probably started getting bombarded with phone calls at all hours of the day. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, collection agencies are bound by certain rules and regulations on how they can go about collecting on this debt. Read our article on Collection Agency Harassment - What Are Your Rights to see if you have grounds to file a complaint.
But, let's say you have talked to the collection agency and they are willing to work with you on paying off this collection account. When it is paid in full, the new status on your credit report will be "Paid Collection." This collection will remain on your credit report for seven years which does not help your credit score. The impact on your score does lessen as time passes but it will be seven years until it comes off your report.
Helpful Tips Regarding Collections
Throughout this website, there are numerous articles regarding collections and collection agencies. Our best advice is to pay your bills on time and avoid an account from going into collections. But we know there are circumstances beyond your control and sometimes you have no choice but to let an account become seriously delinquent. If this happens to you, fear not, we have a lot of great articles to help you get through this difficult time. Such as:
- Dealing with Collection Agencies — Using debt validation as a way to remove a collection.
- Five Methods of Dealing With Collections — We have five methods for you to use when dealing with collection agencies.
- Pay for a Delete — Removing a collection from your report by paying it off.
- What Are My Rights Regarding Collection Agencies? — Learn what collection agencies can and can not do when trying to collect on a debt.