If you’ve conducted your annual review of your credit report recently, you may have discovered the entity “credit coll” or possibly something like “CREDIT COLL/USA” or even the acronym “CCUSA.” These terms generally refer to the same company: Credit Collections U.S.A., L.L.C. (CCUSA for short).
If you’re wondering why this item has shown up on your credit report, it’s because a collection agency is trying to get you to pay an overdue debt. This tends to happen when the original lender decides they can’t collect the money you borrowed. They pass it to a third-party collection agency who then continues trying to recover the debt.
It can be worrisome seeing a collection agency on your credit report — and it’s definitely something you want to take care of. Rather than panicking, though, follow the primer below to understand your situation, gauge your options, and give yourself the best possible chance of a happy outcome.
Table of Contents
Is Credit Collections U.S.A. a Real Company?
The first question with any debt collection scenario is whether the collector is real. In this case, Credit Collections U.S.A. is, indeed, a real company. It is headquartered out of Morgantown, West Virginia where it has operated for the better part of 40 years.
CCUSA has a particular focus on helping companies collect medically related debts. However, it also has experience collecting a variety of other forms of arrears, including payments for internet service providers, utilities, retailers, and even florists and veterinarians.
BBB Complaints About Credit Collections U.S.A.
Credit Collections U.S.A. has a presence on the Better Business Bureau website. However, it has been fairly quiet over the years.
As with many credit collection agencies, the company’s rating is just one of five stars. It only has 12 customer complaints in the last three years with seven complaints in the last 12 months. All of these have been closed.
What to Do if You See Credit Collections USA on Your Credit Reports
If you find that Credit Collections U.S.A. is actively pursuing you for reimbursement of a past debt, it’s important that you take action as soon as possible.
Even if the debt is incorrect, if the mark is left on your report it will continue to negatively influence your credit score and overall credit health for the next seven years. In addition, if you owe a significant amount of money, they may even make an attempt to repossess any assets — such as a car or a house — that were purchased with the funds.
Again, this is no time to panic. Instead, approach the situation with a level head by considering the following three actions.
Verify That It’s Legitimate
The first step is to confirm the debt you allegedly owe is real.
At this point, you’ve already cleared the first hurdle in this process, as you’ve confirmed that Credit Collections U.S.A. is, indeed, a real company. This is important, as fraud is common in this arena of finance.
The next step is to send a debt validation letter to demand that the agency prove the claim is legitimate. If the debt is real, you should have no problem with this verification process. Unlike fictional or fraudulent debt collectors, real-life agencies actually want to connect with you and find a solution to the situation.
Just make sure you primarily communicate via snail mail by sending a physical validation letter, as this is the official mode of communication all agencies use. If they try to exclusively use the phone or email or even use threatening language or withhold information, that’s always a sign the debt is not real.
Pay Off Your Debt
If CCUSA is able to prove you owe the debt, your next task is to pay it. If you can work with the original lender still, try to do so. This is often preferable, as the original company you borrowed money from may be able to work with you regarding how much of the debt you have to repay.
For instance, if you were charged for surgery in a hospital, the organization may have a self-pay discount you can take advantage of rather than paying full price to the collection agency.
Consult With a Credit Counselor
If you find that proving and paying the debt is simply too difficult to do on your own, you may want to consult with a good credit counselor or a reputable credit repair company.
These organizations are specifically set up to bring a level of professional expertise to your situation. They can help you negotiate with lenders, create a debt management plan, and remove existing collection claims on your credit report.
How to Remove Credit Collections U.S.A. From Your Credit Reports
Finally, once you’ve legitimized and paid the debt, you should try to remove the mark that is left on your credit report.
If you were able to prove the debt wasn’t legitimate — even if it was a real debt but some of the information was inaccurate — you can file a dispute with each of the three credit bureaus. A dispute letter challenges the accuracy of the report and requests that the incorrect claim is removed.
If you actually owed the debt, you can still send a good-faith letter asking the creditor to remove the claim on your report once it’s been repaid. This leaves things in the creditor’s hands, but if you explain yourself well you have a good chance of success.
Will You Be Sued by Credit Collections U.S.A.?
As a final note, it is possible to be sued by a collection agency. However, this rarely takes place. The effort to bring an individual to court over small amounts of money usually isn’t worth the time and resources required.
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