You should review your free credit report on an annual basis. Along with confirming all of your financial information, this also gives you a chance to look for any unexpected or fraudulent items.
During your review, you may have seen the item “Capital One Collections Agency” or something similar. This is most likely the entity Capital One Financial Corporation’s collection department.
If you owe money far past the time that it’s due, it can eventually be handed off to a collection agency of this nature. Sometimes this is an in-house agency for a larger company. At other times it’s a third-party entity that accumulates overdue debt and attempts to claim the money themselves.
Regardless of the specific kind, if you have a collection agency on your credit report, it’s important that you do something about it. While you should take action promptly, resist the urge to panic.
Instead, read through this primer and then take action wherever it is appropriate. If you can do this calmly and thoughtfully, you stand the best chance of salvaging your credit in the long term.
Table of Contents
Is Capital One Collection Agency a Real Company?
The first thing you want to do when you see a collection agency pop up on your credit report is research that it is, in fact, an existing company. In this case, Capital One Collection Agency is real.
While there are a few iterations of collection companies with the word “capital” included in the title, Capital One Collection Agency most likely refers to Capital One’s collection department.
BBB Complaints About Capital One Collection
The collection arm of Capital One does not have its own Better Business Bureau page. However, the parent company does.
Capital One Financial Corporation is BBB accredited and has been in business for 26 years. It has over 7,500 complaints in the past three years, 3,196 of which were settled in the last 12 months. In addition, nearly 3,600 of those complaints were related to billing and collections.
What to Do if You See Capital One Collection on Your Credit Reports
It’s never fun to have a collections agency pop up on your report. However, as already mentioned, it’s important to have a measured response if you want to make the best of the situation.
Once you’ve researched the credentials of the collection agency, it’s time to address the debt itself. Here are three tips to help you do so.
Verify That It’s Legitimate
Start by verifying that the debt is both real and accurate. This is important. Just because the company really exists doesn’t mean the claim they’ve submitted for your report is correct. It could be a fraudulent debt or could even have inaccurate information.
Send a debt validation letter to start the verification process. Any real collection agency should be willing to work with you via snail mail, as it’s the industry-official form of communication.
If you find that the agency is belligerent, threatening, or unwilling to provide further information, that is always a sign of suspicious activity. Contrary to popular belief, a good collection agency should actually be interested in making contact with you, providing further information to validate a debt, and working with you to pay down your overdue bills.
Pay Off Your Debt
If the debt is real, it must be paid off. You can’t begin the process of fixing your credit report until you’ve cleared the air by paying the owed money.
Try to pay the original lender if you can. Often that opens up the possibility for coming to some kind of discounted or lower-interest arrangement. In the case of larger entities like Capital One, there’s a good chance that they’ll be open to a settlement that reduces the overall bill.
Consult With a Credit Counselor
If you find that the process of verifying and paying your debt is too much to handle, you may want to consider hiring a professional to help you.
There are many credit counselors and credit repair companies that can help you create an action plan. Often they can reduce the amount owed, help remove the mark on your report, and work with you to establish a long-term financial plan, as well.
How to Remove Capital One Collection From Your Credit Reports
Once you’ve dealt with the verification process, it’s time to work on fixing up your credit report. This is essential, as a mark from a collection agency — even if you then pay the debt — will linger on your report for up to seven years, alerting potential lenders to the fact that you missed a payment.
If the claim was incorrect or fraudulent, the process of fixing the report is simple. All you have to do is fill out a dispute letter that challenges the incorrect information. Send that to the three credit bureaus and wait for them to update the information.
If the debt was real, things may be a bit more difficult. Once you’ve paid off the debt, try sending a good-faith letter to the original lender. Explain why you didn’t initially pay the debt and ask them if they would be willing to withdraw the collection mark from your account now that it’s been paid.
Will You Be Sued by Capital One Collection?
It’s always possible that you could be sued by a collection agency — especially if you actually owe money on a neglected bill or account. Even if this is the case, though, it’s highly unlikely that an agency will actually go through the trouble of suing you unless you owe a lot of money.
Instead, focus on the matter of verifying and paying the debt and then cleaning up your credit report. That will do the most good for your financial status over the long term.
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