AT&T Collections is one of the biggest telecom providers in the country, with phone, data, and TV packages.
If you missed a phone bill or canceled your AT&T account and forgot to pay the final balance, you could be contacted by their collections department.
When AT&T Collections contacts you, it can damage your credit score for years and result in a string of unwanted phone calls and letters.
While your first instinct might be to pick up the phone and make a payment, hold that thought.
Because simply paying your debt won’t do your credit any good.
Instead, take a look at our guide to dealing with AT&T Collections to ensure the company’s collections entry gets removed from your credit report.
You may save money on repayment along the way.
How Does AT&T Collections Agency Work?
AT&T is a completely legitimate business, and so is its collections department.
In other words, if the name “AT&T Collections” appears on your credit report, you can trust that it is the real collections arm of AT&T.
When your AT&T bill goes unpaid for a length of time, it can transition into collections stage debt, which means that a collections entry will be added to your credit report.
This type of entry is damaging to your payment history and can result in a lower score, especially if you have more than one on your credit report.
Collections entries linger longer than many other types of debt, staying on your report for 7 years, whether you make a satisfactory payment or not.
That’s why it’s important to get AT&T to agree to remove the entry, which we’ll get into later.
Along with affecting your credit, AT&T can call you and send notices in the mail in its collection attempts.
3 Ways to Remove AT&T Collections from Your Credit Report
Until you make a move, AT&T Collections will continue to lower your credit score and hang over your head.
You can take action today to get the collection entry removed from your credit report.
It’s easier than you might think.
Mail AT&T Collections a Debt Validation Letter
Mistakes happen. AT&T could be contacting you in error regarding a bill that’s already been paid. Alternatively, you could be the victim of fraud or mistaken identity theft.
Either way, you should contact AT&T Collections to remedy the situation. You can do this by submitting a debt validation letter, which you can craft with our free template.
But what if you do owe AT&T? This strategy is worth trying regardless of whether the debt belongs to you or not.
Sometimes, companies don’t have the documentation they need to see their collections attempts through.
Fortunately, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires companies to show you proof of the debts they’re trying to collect if you seek validation early on.
You’ve got 30 days from AT&T Collections’ first call or letter to submit a debt validation letter.
If AT&T can’t back up their request, their entry should be deleted from your credit report, and their communications with you will end promptly.
Arrange a Pay-for-delete Agreement
Debt validation doesn’t always work. While it’s often effective with third-party debt collectors, there’s a good chance AT&T will have the records needed to validate your debt.
If that’s the case or you’ve missed out on the four-week window, you should try to get AT&T to consent to a pay-for-delete agreement.
The only way to guarantee that your payment will result in deletion from your credit report is to get AT&T to agree to it in writing.
The best part of a pay-for-delete is that you might be able to get AT&T to accept a lower payment amount than what you owe them.
For instance, if you owe $100 on an old phone/data plan, you could negotiate to only pay $50 to get the collections entry off your report.
Remember that just paying your balance without an agreement will not help your credit score. Be sure to negotiate with AT&T in writing to get the best results.
Once your payment is in, your credit report should be updated quickly.
If you’re 30 days in and there’s still no change, you should write to AT&T again and remind them of their agreement to update the credit bureaus.
Get Help from a Credit Repair Company
Can you dispute debts and negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement on your own? Absolutely.
But that doesn’t mean you have to. Confronting a company about debts you owe them can be stressful and potentially time-consuming.
If you’d rather skip the hassle and don’t mind paying for assistance, a credit repair company is well worth the money.
This is especially true if your credit issues are complex.
Whether your identity has been stolen, you’re rebuilding after bankruptcy, or you’re simply looking for an extra boost to your credit score, a credit repair company might be just the service you need.
There are loads of credit repair services out there. We recommend you get started with one of the top ten companies here for quick quality service.
Whichever approach you choose, remember to:
- Know your rights under the FDCPA
- Communicate in writing
- Act quickly
Dealing with AT&T Collections
Debt collectors tend to be on the receiving end of several complaints from consumers.
The Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can give you an idea of other consumers’ experiences with debt collectors like AT&T.
Most complaints have to do with debt collectors’ communication tactics, their lack of response to requests for debt validation, and their credit reporting.
Before you contact AT&T Collections, you should take a few moments to brush up on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
This law gives you some basic protections, restricting debt collectors from threatening, harassing, or otherwise unlawfully attempting to collect debts from you.
When you talk to debt collectors, you should notify them that you’re aware of your rights under the FDCPA, one of which is the right to only communicate with them in writing.
Mail correspondence is much more reliable than talking on the phone, holding you and AT&T to any agreements that are reached regarding your debt.