How To Handle A Call From A Debt Collector

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If you don’t keep to your debt obligations, your credit provider will reach out to their collections department, or partner, and request that a debt collector call you.

We briefly look at how debt collectors work, and how you should handle any calls from them.  

How do debt collectors work?

Imagine you take out a personal loan of R10,000 from the bank, and you sign an agreement stating that you will pay R500 every month until it’s paid off. But soon after this, you go through a difficult financial period, and you fail to make your payments for two months.

The bank will be concerned that you will default completely, and they will send a debt collector to try to settle the matter. Your assigned collector will call you to let you know that you will be penalised for the late payments and to remind you that you still need to settle your account.  

What should you do if a debt collector calls?

It’s difficult to receive a call from a debt collector – especially if you’re struggling financially, and you’re uncertain as to whether you’re going to be able to pay them at all. However, it’s important that you handle this call with care since it’s also an opportunity to resolve the matter.

According to Ayanda Ndimande, business development manager of retail credit at Sanlam, you should not ignore collectors’ calls, or be rude.

“Always stay calm, find out how much you owe, whether you can negotiate your outstanding debt payments, and how much time you have to meet these obligations,” says Ndimande.

“If you are under debt counselling, you should raise this with the debt collector and put them in touch with the counsellor who’s managing your debt repayments,” she advises.

Ndimande says you should always inform your credit providers about your current financial situation, and whether you are under debt counselling. If you are, they can no longer contact you directly, and they can only speak with your debt counsellor.  

“Remember, it’s not the end of the world. With the right financial coaching you can get out of debt and back on your feet,” says Ndimande.

Don’t let your debt get out of control. Consolidate your debt and pay less each month – click here.