October 26th, 2013

Infographic: Who Has the Most Open Collections Accounts?

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This week’s infographic takes a look at how many Credit Karma members have collection accounts. The numbers are pretty staggering—some members have over five accounts in collections. Scroll down to see the results.

Who Has the Most Open Collections Accounts?

If you happen to fall in one of the groups above and have at least one account in collections, chances are you’ve been notified by a collections agency. All the letters and calls can be overwhelming; here are some tips on how to handle debt collectors.

Getting Started

Once you receive a letter or call from a collections agency, look into where the debt came from and how it might be impacting your credit score. Check out your credit score and credit report card for free with Credit Karma.

Don’t Ignore Communications

Consumers, once contacted by a debt collector, only have 30 days to request written verification of that debt. Creditors, according to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), must prove they are legally allowed to collect the debt. Once you request this verification, all communication with you must cease until you receive a reasonable response.

Know Your Rights

Debt collectors can contact you, but they can’t harass you. Again, the FDCPA explains in detail how collection agencies can and can’t treat people. If you encounter threatening or abusive language, contact the Federal Trade Commission or your state attorney office– this behavior is illegal.

Ask for an Update to Your Credit Report

If you are able to pay down the debt, check and see if you can get the derogatory mark removed from your credit report. You can write a “pay for delete” letter that asks the debt collector whether paying in full or an agreed upon amount will remove the accounts from your report. If you are unsuccessful, ask if they will at least update the debt to say “Paid in full” once you’ve paid off the debt.

Keep Copies of All Communications

Keep track of all the dates and times you received a call from a debt collector, including voicemails. Take notes during the phone calls and save all written communications with the collection agency. Having a paper trail is important if you need to take legal action against the debt collector.

Bottom Line: Of course, the best thing is to avoid having to deal with debt collectors in the first place. If you are getting behind on a bill, reach out directly to the original creditor. There is a chance you might be able to negotiate a repayment plan before your debt is sold off.

Do you have any experience with debt collectors? Share your story below.


Amy Leone is the Public Relations Coordinator at Credit Karma. Before joining the team in June 2012 she spent most of her career as a TV news producer. When she’s not helping promote Credit Karma on a variety of media outlets, she’s probably out running or exploring her new state of California.

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Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.



    ROSEANNE CARAVETTA at 11:34 am on November 12, 2013
  2. Jenna

    Roseanne, please email support@creditkarma.com and we’d be happy to help you get back into your account.

    Jenna at 12:02 pm on November 12, 2013
  3. I have a student loan part is in collection and the other is being paid. I do not know why the balance keeps going up . I asked for my balance and was never sent the information. Please help… Both are being paid!

    Maria Aubrey at 12:25 pm on November 19, 2013
  4. Jenna

    Hi Maria,

    We pull all of the information you see directly from TransUnion, but we’d be happy to look into your account further if you email support@creditkarma.com. Thanks!

    Jenna at 12:29 pm on November 19, 2013
  5. I don’t know what the collection for $15.00 or who it is or how to pay it. Can you give me this information so I can pay it or do I pay you?

    Beth Wilkinson at 9:00 pm on January 20, 2014
  6. Mike

    Hi Beth – At Credit Karma, we focus on providing credit scores and financial resources. We’re not a credit bureau, so we don’t have extensive insight into your credit report. I’d recommend visiting http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com to access your free, government-mandated credit report so that you can look into this further.

    Mike at 3:34 pm on January 21, 2014
  7. I have 3 things on collection and I have no idea why, what’s collection number so I can talk to someone????

    Nicole at 4:42 pm on March 4, 2014
  8. Mike

    Hi Nicole – I’d suggest you look into this further by accessing your full, free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. Good luck!

    Mike at 2:12 pm on March 5, 2014
  9. I Did Have 9 Derogatory marks, but am currently dow to 7. It says I have the highest derogatory marks found among all members, these where mainly medical but also a few mstakes made young. am now 29 and finaly starting to get my crap together. Have a secured cap one with 451 limit, unsecured cap one platinum with a 500 limit, and an open personal finance loan of 1500. Since I started rebuilding I now have 100 on time payments, and am just bidding my time so that one day I will be able to buy my own home. My wife and co-workers thought that was kind of crazy that I have the most derogatory marks though. So whoever reads this, your better of than me, so dont give up, I am up now and still slowly climbing!

    Tyler at 12:56 am on April 21, 2014
  10. Hi, I am trying to connect my Academy Bank account to this account, but the connection fails. I was successful in connecting my Community America account. I am also able to log into Academy Bank outside this website. Am I doing something wrong?

    Bobbie Peele at 3:01 pm on April 21, 2014
  11. Mike

    Thanks for the question Bobbie. We’d be happy to have a look at your problem if you could email us over at support@creditkarma.com. Thanks!

    Mike at 2:06 pm on April 24, 2014

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