There’s nobody more persistent than a debt collector. If you let them, they will call your phone over and over again and badger you into making payments.
They may browbeat you with morality, imply dire consequences, or simply assume that you’re ready to pay them. If you tell them you don’t have any money, they’ll start throwing out all sorts of terrible ideas on how you can get the job done.
Take the money out of retirement. Get a HELOC.
But is it even a good idea to pay them in the first place?
It almost never is.
#1: Paying them won’t help your credit score.
It’s a little like pleading guilty to the debt, affirming you not only owe it, but left it to sit for a long time.
Sometimes it will even make your credit score worse. If the collection item is older paying for it can be, essentially, like ripping a bandaid off a wound that’s healing.
#2) You may not even have to pay the debt.
“Zombie” debt collectors are notorious for pursuing debts that are past the statute of limitation. They’re also notorious for going after the wrong people. Or debts that are already paid.
And even if you pay, you might get another call from another zombie debt collector about the same debt. They sell huge spreadsheets of debt and phone numbers, and sometimes they duplicate information.
#3) There are smarter ways to avoid a lawsuit.
You might be considering the debt payment because the collection agency has indicated you’ll be sued if you don’t. (Of course, if they threaten something they’re not prepared to do they’re in violation of the FDCPA, but that’s a whole other story).
Being sued is serious. You could see your wages garnished, your tax returns seized, or your bank account attached. But paying the debt collector isn’t your only option.
You could declare bankruptcy instead. Stopping all collection activity in its tracks. Gaining the protection of the automatic stay. And then obliterating the debt when the whole process is good.
#4: Paying collectors is throwing good money after bad.
You could use that money to pay for basic necessities, or to help you pay for your bankruptcy. If you’re already dealing with collection calls there’s a good chance you need to consider bankruptcy anyway.
Why delay? Why continue to deal with harassment? Why empty your wallet?
Call for a free consultation instead.