How to become a debt collector

Written by lee mellott
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When consumers fail to pay for goods and services and their balance becomes outstanding, companies will often use a debt collector to collect the monies owed. Debt collectors may work as an employee of the company for a salaried wage, or they may work independently and be paid a portion of the funds that are recouped. With the poor economy, many people are having difficulty paying bills and positions as debt collectors are on the upswing.

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Things you need

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Knowledge of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

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  1. 1

    Decide if you have the right personality to become a debt collector. You may have to call people who have lost their jobs and are unable to pay their bills. You may have to call people who are elderly and unable to keep up with their payments. You may have to call people who are ill and cannot pay their bills because they are unable to work. Each person will have their own special set of circumstances that may be very unfortunate, but you will still have to try and collect money from them.

  2. 2

    Make sure you have a high school diploma or GED. You do not have to have a college degree or technical training to be a debt collector; however, some states do require a license. These licensing requirements vary from state to state. To find your specific state requirements, visit and click on your specific state (see Resources).

  3. 3

    Consider getting specialised training. Although no training is required to be a debt collector, many companies look more favourably on applicants who have completed a certification in debt collection. One method is to become a member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IADPA) and to become certified. This is a 1 to 2 week training program and can be completed online (see Resources).

  4. 4

    Study and learn government rules and regulations that apply to debt collection. These rules explain what is defined as harassment and false representation and explain times when a debt collector is allowed to call and more. These rules are defined in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (see Resources).

  5. 5

    Find positions as a debt collector at,, in the help wanted section of your local newspaper and with (see Resources).

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