With exposure to a variety of people, responsibilities, and experiences in a professional work environment, Collections Representatives are a crucial part of their organizations, and essential in ensuring the company’s bottom line.
Working with customers is at the heart of the Collections Representative role. Whether it is to arrange for debt repayment, advise customers, or answer their questions, Collections Representatives should have the drive and ability to communicate well and work through obstacles to get results.
Besides having excellent interpersonal skills and strong negotiation abilities, Collections Representatives should know how to manage many important tasks in an often-busy work environment, as well as communicate with others both within and outside of their organization.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Record information about the financial status of customers and the status of collection efforts
- Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visits to solicit payment
- Arrange for debt repayment or establish repayment schedules, based on customers’ financial situations
- Advise customers of necessary actions and strategies for debt repayment
- Answer customer questions regarding problems with their accounts
- Notify credit departments, order merchandise repossession or service disconnection, and turn over account records to attorneys when customers fail to respond to collection attempts
- Sort and file correspondence and perform miscellaneous clerical duties, such as answering correspondence and writing reports
- Contact insurance companies to check on the status of claims payments and write appeal letters for denial of claims
Education and Background
This position requires a high school diploma or GED (an associate degree is preferred).
Skills and Competencies
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Strong negotiation abilities
- Proficiency with database software and Microsoft Office Suite
- Proven ability to overcome obstacles and get results
- Ability to manage time with little supervision
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Collections Representative with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $33,000
- Tampa, Florida: $34,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $33,000
- Miami, Florida: $35,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $34,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $34,000
- Houston, Texas: $35,000
- Los Angeles, California: $38,000
- New York City, New York: $40,000
- Seattle, Washington: $31,000
- Overall: $34,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $37,000
- Tampa, Florida: $35,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $35,000
- Miami, Florida: $36,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $35,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $38,000
- Houston, Texas: $37,000
- Los Angeles, California: $40,000
- New York City, New York: $42,000
- Seattle, Washington: $33,000
- Overall: $36,000
Similar Job Titles
- Call Center Agent
- Data Entry Specialist
- Help Desk Specialist
- Inbound CSR
- Call Center Trainer/Coach
- Call Center Manager
The career path for a Collections Representative entails first earning a high school diploma or GED. This path often starts as an entry-level position, but can have opportunities for advancement, based on experience and performance. Opportunities for advancement can also be sought through earning professional certifications.
There is currently an ongoing need for collections departments, including talented and motivated Collections Representatives and other associated support staff.
With steady growth projected in the collections industry, it holds opportunities for growth and advancement for the right candidates. These potential Collections Representatives should be able to balance personal interaction with customers and understanding each customer’s situation with working through obstacles to arrange for debt repayment, thus achieving the company’s financial goals.
Sales and related roles, such as positions in collections, are anticipated to remain steady for the near term. The collections industry is what’s known as a responsive industry, meaning it reacts to changes in credit, debt, and the credit cycle, and is usually one of the last to feel the impact of any negative trends in the economy. That said, taking short-term ups and downs into account, the market forecast for the next five years is one of overall growth.
The work hours for a Collections Representative are typically from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, longer or different hours can be necessary, depending on the needs and hours of an individual company.
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