If you forget to pay a bill, the original creditor may move the debt to collections.
This means that you may start to get phone calls from a debt collector like AAA Collections, harassing you to repay the debt.
If you start getting calls from AAA Collections, it means that they have opened a collections account on your credit report.
This entry will notify the credit reporting agencies of your delinquency and tell future lenders and creditors that you have a history of nonpayment.
Collections accounts like these on your credit report are damaging to your credit score and can prevent you from being approved for loans and credit cards down the line.
That is why it’s important to have the entry removed from your report before it can cause serious damage to your score.
If you are interested in learning how to remove a AAA Collections collection entry from your credit report, check out our full how-to guide below.
What is AAA Collections?
Founded in 1986, AAA Collections is a small collection agency based in Sioux Falls, SD. They specialize in collecting on behalf of companies in the healthcare industry.
You may be curious if AAA Collections is a legitimate collection company. They are an authentic business, but this does not mean that customers enjoy working with them.
AAA Collections currently has 33 complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and 13 with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Many complaints are in regard to inaccurate reporting or lack of response to debt verification requests.
If you find that AAA Collections is harassing you, filing incorrect information regarding your debt, or committing any FDCPA infractions against you, you may consider filing a complaint as well.
Steps to Remove AAA Collections from Your Credit Report
Even if you pay the debt, a collections account can remain on your credit report as paid but negatively impact your score for up to seven years.
The best way to deal with a collection report is to have it removed by the debt collector.
Here are the fundamental steps to take to remove a AAA Collections entry from your credit report.
Know Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The first thing to do when you’re dealing with a debt collector is to familiarize yourself with your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Debt collectors think that they can take advantage of customers under the assumption that they are not aware of their rights under the FDCPA.
Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case.
The FDCPA is federal legislation that prevents harassment, abuse, and deception from debt collectors.
Under this act, debt collectors are prohibited from specific abusive practices, such as verbal abuse, calling your family or friends, lying about their identity, or misrepresenting information about your debt.
By understanding what your rights are under this act, you are arming yourself with powerful information that can help you in your fight to remove collection accounts from your credit report.
Write a Debt Validation Letter
The most crucial step in the process is to send a debt validation letter to AAA Collections.
This is because you may be able to remove the debt because of false reporting and get rid of it altogether.
Debt collectors don’t always get complete or correct information about the debt. This is because they are more concerned with coercing you to pay the debt than they are about having complete information.
Luckily, the FDCPA gives you the right to verify that the debt actually belongs to you before you make payments on it.
If the debt isn’t yours, it is dismissed without you having to pay a dime. Plus, AAA Collections must remove negative credit items within 30 days.
The catch is that you must request debt validation within 30 days of the first contact. If you don’t, AAA Collections may ignore your request altogether.
To request debt validation, you must send AAA Collections a debt validation letter.
This is a letter that asks them to confirm certain details about your debt. You are basically placing the burden of proof on them to prove that the debt belongs to you.
When you send your debt validation letter, be sure to request a return receipt. This is how you can verify the agency has received your letter.
You should hear back in about 30 days with documents and proof the debt is yours.
If AAA Collections can’t validate your debt, they are required to contact all three major credit bureaus and remove the debt. This means you won’t have to pay the debt at all.
Make a Pay-For-Delete Settlement
If AAA Collections is able to confirm that the debt belongs to you, your next step will be to negotiate a settlement with the agency.
The most common negotiation people make with a debt collector is a pay-for-delete settlement.
A pay-for-delete settlement is exactly what it sounds like; you agree to make payments on the debt in exchange for the collection to stop reporting your debt to the three major credit bureaus.
AAA Collections will not tell you this, but they will almost always accept less than the full amount.
This is because they likely paid a low price to acquire the debt in the first place. To make a profit, they only need to collect more than they paid for the debt.
We recommend offering to pay half the debt in exchange for deletion. Work from there to come up with an arrangement both parties will accept.
Once the details are settled, request that AAA Collections provide the official agreement in writing. Do not make a payment until you receive this agreement in the mail.
Once the contract arrives, make your first payment to AAA Collections.
After 30 days, check your credit report with all three major credit bureaus. You should notice that the entry is removed from your report.
If it is still there, reach out to AAA Collections and remind them of your agreement.
Work with a Professional
If all else fails, you can always hire a credit repair company to remove AAA Collections’ entry for you.
A credit repair company specializes in identifying and removing any damaging entries from your credit report.
They can also review your overall financial habits and help you improve your scores through better money management skills.
While credit repair companies are an excellent resource for those dealing with debt collectors, some are simply not worth your hard-earned cash.
That is why it is important to work with a reputable company.
I recommend Credit Saint to those looking for a trustworthy credit repair company.
They have helped their customers clean up and boost their credit score along the way.
They understand the industry inside and out and will use their knowledge to help you get your credit score back on track.
Dealing with AAA Collections
Rebuilding your credit score isn’t easy, but it is certainly worth it.
One of the most important steps to take when embarking on a credit rebuilding journey is to clean up your credit report.
There may be entries on your credit report that are dragging down your whole score. Getting rid of them can help you regain your credibility in the eyes of lenders.
By following the steps above, you can remove these collections accounts and get your credit score back on track.
If you are looking for more information on how to boost your credit score, be sure to check out some of our popular articles.