Note: AFS Acceptance LLC is now Credito Real USA Finance.
If you see AFS Acceptance on your credit report, you are likely being pursued about an old, unresolved car loan.
AFS Acceptance — now known as Credito Real — can be annoying to deal with, but the incessant phone calls are the least of your worries.
Having a collection account on your credit report can impact your credit score for up to seven years, even after you have paid off the debt.
It is not enough to pay the outstanding balance; you must negotiate with AFS Acceptance / Credito Real to remove the collection entry from your report entirely.
To learn more about how to remove AFS Acceptance from your credit report, read our full how-to guide below.
What is AFS Acceptance / Credito Real?
AFS Acceptance was a small debt collection agency headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company is now known as Credito Real USA Finance.
Founded in 1996, AFS Acceptance / Credito Real is an auto lender that also helps collect debts on behalf of other auto lenders and dealerships.
Or, as this full-service auto finance company states on its website, Credito Real specializes in “the subprime financing needs of franchise and independent car dealers.”
What does this mean? Smaller car dealerships that need help financing cars for their customers can hire Credito Real to fund car loans.
The customer would send car loan payments to Credito Real.
Car Loans and Collection Accounts
If a customer gets way behind on a car loan, the lender could repossess the car.
Often, with subprime car lending, the repossessed car won’t provide enough money to pay off the car loan.
So the customer is stuck with a past-due balance along with having lost the car.
To collect on the past-due balance, a typical financial institution would hire a debt collection agency to help.
But rather than hiring other debt collection agencies, AFS Acceptance / Credito Real handles its own collection accounts.
And, it collects on behalf of other lenders. So you may have gotten a subprime auto loan elsewhere and still be hearing from this company.
Complaints About AFS Acceptance / Credito Real
AFS Acceptance / Credito Real is a legitimate business but like many other debt collection agencies, the company receives lots of complaints.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has fielded more than 30 AFS Acceptance complaints; the Better Business Bureau (BBB) shows 33 customer complaints under the name Credito Real.
The majority of complaints cite inaccurate reporting and failure to validate debt information.
Steps to Remove AFS Acceptance / Credito Real from Your Credit Report
Whether your negative credit information is listed as AFS Acceptance or Credito Real, here are the steps you’ll need to remove the derogatory note from your credit report for good.
Ask for a Goodwill Deletion
If you have already paid off the balance of the debt, don’t worry. You can still get the collection removed from your credit report.
AFS Acceptance / Credito Real may be willing to stop reporting the debt if you ask for a goodwill deletion.
A goodwill deletion is when a debt collector or financial services company agrees to stop reporting a paid debt to the major credit bureaus out of kindness.
Credito Real may grant you a goodwill deletion if you write a letter explaining the reason for your late payments and why you would like the entry removed.
When writing your goodwill deletion letter, be sure to be polite. Don’t demand a deletion. Simply explain your situation. Describe how the collection account is affecting your financial goals.
If you are trying to qualify for a mortgage, this is a good thing to mention as a reason for requesting a goodwill deletion. If you make your case, AFS Acceptance / Credito Real may see your side and grant you the deletion.
Here’s the mailing address:
475 W. Cypress Creek Road, Suite #300
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309
Request Debt Validation
If your goodwill letter doesn’t resolve your problem, you have other options. You could try to get the negative item deleted because it’s not entirely accurate.
You can start looking for inaccurate information through a debt validation request.
Debt collectors get it wrong sometimes. It’s not uncommon for information to get lost or mixed up when it moves from an original creditor to a debt collection agency.
This is why you should verify the debt is yours right away before you start looking into payment options.
Begin by writing a debt validation letter within 30 days of the first contact from AFS Acceptance / Credito Real.
Ask that the agency verify the name, dates of account activity, total debt, and any other information associated with the debt.
The date of the debt is especially important because of the statute of limitations regarding debt repayment.
When you write your debt validation letter, make sure to request a return receipt that shows that they have received the letter.
This will give you physical evidence that they have received your letter. If they ignore your request for validation, you can prove that they have received it.
AFS Acceptance / Credito Real should return with documents proving the debt belongs to you. Go through these documents carefully and note anything that seems off.
If you find any information that directly contradicts what you have regarding your debt, you can file a dispute with the three major credit bureaus.
They will review and delete the entry themselves if they agree that AFS Acceptance has falsely reported your debt.
Make a Pay-For-Delete Agreement
If the debt is yours and it’s reported accurately, I suggest making a pay-for-delete agreement with AFS Acceptance / Credito Real.
Debt collectors would never tell you this, but they are sometimes willing to settle the account for less than the full amount of a debt.
Contact AFS Acceptance / Credito Real and work out a deal. You may need to speak to several people before finding someone authorized to make a deal.
Try to find a dedicated account manager so you’ll know who to contact if you call back.
Offer to pay half of the debt in exchange for deletion on your credit report. If they agree to this, get the deal in writing before making your payment.
Once you get this agreement in writing, make your payment and check your credit report in 30 days.
The entry should be deleted from your report per your agreement. If it isn’t, contact AFS Acceptance / Credito Real and remind them of your agreement.
Work with a Professional
If you’d rather not deal with AFS Acceptance / Credito Real directly, you could always hire a credit repair company to do this legwork for you.
A credit repair company’s team of professionals does more than providing responsive guidance. It works on your behalf to remove inaccurate or incomplete entries on your credit report.
This can help you rebuild a solid foundation so you can start improving your credit score.
With many years of experience, they have helped thousands of customers remove negative collection accounts and boost their credit score.
Dealing with AFS Acceptance / Credito Real
Dealing with debt collectors is never convenient and often unpleasant.
However, there are ways to deal with them for good and remove the accounts from your credit report.
By following the four simple steps above, you can get AFS Acceptance / Credito Real off your back and clean up your credit report.
Before contacting any debt collection agency, read about the Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act — both of which protect United States citizens from unfair collection practices.
These laws give you rights such as stating when a debt collector can contact you. You can also limit which contact information a debt collector uses.
For example, you can keep companies from calling your cell phone number or your work phone number.
Be Careful Not to Reset Your Statute of Limitations
You really could make things worse by dealing with a debt collector. You could re-set the statute of limitations on your debt.
Each state sets a time window, known as a statute of limitations, during which you could be sued by the lender or debt collector.
In some states, the statute is as short as three years; in most states, the statute is several years longer. When your debt’s statute expires, you can’t be held legally responsible for the debt.
An expired statute won’t cancel the debt or remove it from your credit history; it just means you can’t lose a lawsuit and have to sell the property to settle the case.
Simply discussing your debt could re-set your debt’s statute of limitations. So if you’re going to discuss your debt on the phone, be sure you’re settling the debt completely.
Even answering yes-no questions could restart your statute.
AFS Acceptance vs. Credito Real
Your credit report may still show data from AFS Acceptance but this company now does business as Credito Real.
Last time I checked, the old website, http://www.afsacceptance.com, didn’t even redirect to Credito Real’s site.
I’ve kept both names in this post since credit bureaus don’t always show updated names of creditors.
But you’ll need to contact Credito Real — www.crealusa.com — instead of AFS Acceptance, LLC.