Top 15 Debt Collector Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

Debt Collector Skills
You can improve your effectiveness on the job as a debt collector by developing certain skills and qualities.

Top 15 Debt Collector Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

This post provides complete information on the major skills and qualities you need to have to be effective in your job as a debt collector and to succeed in your career.

Please, read on:

There are many nightmares that face businesses, companies, and organizations.

These include adverse government policies and lack of experts. But one of the most pressing of them all is the existence of debtors.

There are agencies that specialize in debt collection; they have skilled workers whose job is to collect debt for a particular organization.

Debt collectors can also be found in a company as members of the company’s staff.

Who is a Debt Collector?

A debt collector is an internal or external employee whose job is to collect debts from the debtors of a company or organization.

A debt collector serves as a representative of an organization to collect debts from the debtors of an organization.

Top 15 Debt Collector Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

Here are important skills and qualities to have to be an effective debt collector and succeed in your career:

  1. Listening skills
  2. Sensitivity/emotional intelligence
  3. Calmness
  4. Clarity and concision
  5. Understand your job
  6. Patience
  7. Teamwork
  8. Total compliance to terms and conditions
  9. Time management
  10. Friendliness
  11. Communication skills
  12. Negotiation skills
  13. Good writing skills
  14. Persuasion
  15. Problem solving skills.
  1. Listening skills

As a debt collector, you will always need to find yourself listening to the debtors on why they have not paid up their debts.

You should anticipate stories or reasons why the debts have not been paid.

This is just part of what you experience in debt collection.

So, this means that you have to be patient in the area of listening to what the debtor has to say.

It may not make sense to you but don’t give the debtor the impression that what he/she is saying does not make sense to you.

Stories are part of the game in debt collection.

Listen patiently and don’t be tempted to do all the talking on the phone.

You have to be a good listener and not embarrass the debtor over the phone due to your inability to allow them explain or express their issues to you.

  1. Sensitivity/emotional intelligence

The truth is that no one is proud to be known as a debtor, even though some people can be subtle when it comes to paying debts which they owe.

You should be able to apply the principle of emotional intelligence while going about how to collect the debt owed by a debtor.

The starting point of this is to allow the debtor explain themselves rather than shutting them up or not giving them the opportunity to talk over the phone.

Apply empathy, especially when you can relate with the reasons the debtor presents to you.

Avoid the use of inflammatory, defaming, or offensive words in the course of communicating with a debtor.

Though they have defaulted in not paying up on time or something of that nature, avoid sounding offensive and rude to the debtor.

  1. Calmness

Diplomacy has always been the best form of resolving conflicts. It is the best way of getting around problems including debt collection.

Calmness is one aspect of diplomacy you will need to imbibe in yourself if you really desire to be an excellent debt collector.

Also, understand that the opposite of calmness is harshness which is displayed in careless talks and the use of defaming and offensive words.

This can portray or put you in a bad light in the future.

You should learn to keep your calm when approaching debtors and find a diplomatic way to handle the situation.

There is the temptation of trying to sound serious in your phone conversation with the debtor but try not to cross your line in the form of harshness or use of inflammatory words.

It has the ability to make your job harder than you would want.

  1. Clarity and concision

In your communication with a debtor, work on the clarity of your message.

In other words, as few as your words might be, let the message you want to pass across be simple, concise and clear.

Avoid ambiguity in any form. It is not a good form of communication.

The clarity of your message is not dependent on the volume of what you say.

In fact, the more you talk on the phone the more time you waste trying to recover quite a little amount of money.

Let your words be few but meaningful.

If you fail to be concise and clear in your message, you leave the debtor in a state of assuming what you mean, which may not be your original intention.

Note this and avoid being a person of many words but little or no clarity in the information you pass across.

  1. Understand your job

Your job has limits and responsibilities attached to it. It is what you were hired to do.

Anything beyond your job description is not acceptable in any way.

So you have to take note of this and work within the confines of your job.

As a debt collector, your job is to ensure that you recover debts from debtors of your organization using every diplomatic means available to you by the organization.

That is your job and you should invest your strength working within this limit.

Avoid the temptation of going beyond your job description.

It is not acceptable and will not fetch you any good recognition.

You are paid to do your job not the job of someone else or acting beyond your job description or definition.

  1. Patience

This is one of the most important skills or virtues you will need to be an excellent debt collector.

You have to apply patience at all times and exhaust all possible diplomatic actions before you can embark on any unconventional move.

When listening to debtors over the phone, sometimes some of the things you might hear might be annoying but apply caution, calmness, and patience.

Remember that those debtors might still be needed by your organization some other time.

Patience is key to excel as a debt collector; impatience can only make your job more difficult.

  1. Teamwork

As long as you work for an organization, you are definitely part of their team.

If your team is concerned with debt collection, then you have to contribute to its success in whatever way you can.

If you have people that are new entrants in your team, you have to coach them on what they should know, especially when dealing with debtors.

In other words, you should be a role model or a coach to them. This is one way you can contribute to the success of your team.

Also, remember to not present yourself as the most knowledge member of the team who does not require help from other people.

If you do that, you will find yourself struggling to make ends meet in your job.

This is not what you want; therefore beware of displaying excessive ego in your team.

  1. Total compliance to terms and conditions

Before you embark on any form of debt collection, be sure that you understand the terms and conditions attached to the transaction that led to that debt.

Keep dates with you and ensure you take note of all these before embarking on the debt drive.

Failing to understand the terms and conditions of the deal or transaction that led to the events of debt could bring about law suits and this is not something you will like to drive your organization into.

So, take your time and study the terms and conditions attached to all transactions.

If in case of ignorance of the terms and conditions and you are reminded by the debtor, try to verify the validity of such claims before going further in the matter.

This will be an intelligent move by you to ensure that nothing goes wrong from your angle.

  1. Time management

Debtors can be frustrating and funny sometimes. You just need to watch out for their delay tactics.

This is important so that you don’t waste your precious time on the phone as well as your money trying to convince the debtor to pay.

Know that the longer you stay on the line trying to establish a common ground with the debtor, the more you are using up precious credit which you can still use to contact other debtors.

This is a common delay tactic from most debtors.

So you have to apply wisdom and know when the debtor is applying delay tactic and try not to fall victim to wasting the resources at your disposal particularly trying to convince the debtor to pay up.

Use the next available option to achieve your goal.

  1. Friendliness

This is important for you to know. Though they are debtors, you should still understand that they are some of the stakeholders that your organization has.

That is why you should be skilled in your communication to make sure that your approach does not negatively affect the patronage your organization or company gets after debt collection.

In your conversation with the debtor, try as much as you can to sound friendly.

This is important for future patronage by same person.

You don’t talk in an infuriating manner to the debtor of your organization.

When the debtor gets angry, that may spell the end of the patronage your organization derives from that person.

So, learn the customer friendly languages.

Learn to sound good and encourage them, especially when they tell stories.

They may have a change of mind and decide to pay up earlier than you anticipate.

Remember that they are still the stakeholders of the organization you are representing.

  1. Communication skills

Everything that has been discussed so far has revolved round the need to be effective in communication.

This is important because it is through communication that you are able to interact with the debtors, reminding them to pay up what they owe your organization.

There is no need to dance around this because up to this point we have seen that communication is a major tool any one that desires to be an excellent debt collector needs to have.

Your ability to be a good debt collector will depend on how good you are in communication.

It is not possible to be a bad communicator and still be effective in this job.

This is why most organizations see this quality as being very important to have.

  1. Negotiation skills

Apart from communication, the next important quality to have is negotiation skills.

You should know that some debts may not be paid instantly or completely at once.

So, you have to develop negotiation skills for you to be able to make debtors find it easy to pay up.

In negotiation, you reason with the debtor on how best to pay, up be it in installments or any other method which is legal and feasible.

You should be able to present all practicable and quick means to pay up.

If you can do this, then you will be a good debt collector.

Sometimes, the debtor may prefer to pay in installments. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as it is approved by your organization after due consideration.

So, table many options before the debtor and allow them choose the one that is best for them.

  1. Good writing skills

This is for the sake of documentation. This is important, especially when you strike a deal with the debtor on the method of payment.

It is good that you note down the terms and conditions of the payment and ensure that you and the debtor are in agreement with it.

This means that you have to be creative in your writing to make it readable to whomever that may be involved, maybe in the future.

You have to make sure that what you have noted down is exactly what transpired between you and the debtor.

Failure to note down the terms and conditions of the debt collection could lead to costly assumptions and this could be detrimental to your personality as a person.

It is said that the shortest pencil is far better than the sharpest memory and that applies to this point.

  1. Persuasion

Are you advised to beg the debtor to pay up? No. Persuasion is not literal begging; it is for you to be creative in your approach to make the debtor see reasons to pay up and still maintain a healthy relationship with the organization afterwards.

This is where this skill does wonders.

The concern of your organization is not only to recover their money, it is also to retain the patronage of the debtor in the future.

This will depend on how creative and skillful you are in your job. Any mistake can be counterproductive.

So, you have to find a way to make the debtor pay in good terms so that the patronage your organization or company enjoys from the debtor continues in the future.

You have to just find a way.

You can ask people in your industry what tactics have been successful with them so that you can apply them too.

However, you need to give careful consideration on how feasible the suggestions are to your particular situation.

  1. Problem solving skills

The job of a debt collector has never been an easy one. This is basically because you are always walking on a tiny rope.

Tiny rope in the sense that you are always careful and conscious of every move you make and every single word you utter in the process of debt collection.

Though it is difficult, yet it is not impossible for you to excel in this job.

You just need to keep learning and harness good work ethics.

You just have to take all the points discussed above serious and be mentally alert always.

Also, if you want to be good at problem solving, you must be an active learner who is ever willing to understand how human behavior works.

The truth is that different people behave differently and you don’t need to use one approach for everyone.

This is one way you can improve on this front.

Debt Collector Skills for Resume

If you are writing a resume or CV for the debt collector position, you can apply the skills and qualities discussed above in writing a powerful Skills section for it.

This can boost your resume/CV for the recruiter/employer to grant you an interview because you have shown that you have the needed skills and qualities to succeed as a debt collector.


Businesses and companies are always faced with the issue of debts. It is a pressing issue as well as a sensitive one.

So, it means that anyone who works in this role must extremely be skilled in it.

It is not a job that everyone can do with desirable results.

However, if you find yourself in this role, congratulation, but beyond the congratulation are the skills you need to work with in order to be effective in your job.