Have you found an entry from Bridgeport Financial on your credit report?
If so, you probably noticed a drop in your credit score. Also frustrating, the collections agency has likely been sending letters and calling you regularly.
Collections accounts appear on your credit report when you fall behind on payments to a lender or a service provider.
When this happens, it is important to respond quickly to stop the entry from doing extensive damage to your credit.
In the guide below, we’ll give you a few pointers for getting Bridgeport Financial removed from your credit report promptly.
In addition, we’ll explain your rights under the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act.
How Does Bridgeport Financial Work?
While you may not have heard the name before finding it on your credit report, Bridgeport Financial, Inc. is completely legitimate.
Bridgeport Financial is a full-service debt collection agency that was founded in 1994.
Bridgeport doesn’t specifically disclose which businesses or industries it collects for, but the agency does share the list of services it provides, including:
- Credit reporting
- In-house legal department
- Client updates
- Collections training and management consulting
When you miss a payment on one of your accounts, your service provider will likely make a few attempts to collect. If they are unable to get a payment from you, your debt will eventually go into collections.
At that stage, a collections entry will be placed on your credit report, staying there for 7 years. Depending on various credit factors, it could have a significant impact on your score.
The longer you go without settling your account, the more damage it can do.
Oftentimes, debt in collections is handled by third-party agencies like Bridgeport Financial.
These agencies either work on behalf of your original lender or service provider. Specifically, they will collect a fee or they will buy your debts outright at a deeply discounted rate.
In either scenario, they may legally call, leave messages, and write letters until you make a payment.
However, there are some guidelines they must adhere to, which we’ll walk through in the next section.
If you are overwhelmed by dealing with negative entries on your credit report,
we suggest you ask a professional credit repair company for help.
How to Contact Bridgeport Financial
Collections agencies like Bridgeport Financial are usually the subject of consumer complaints.
These are filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Better Business Bureau.
Some of the most common complaints waged against collections agencies have to do with their aggressive collection strategies.
Additionally, there are complaints of reporting issues and inadequate responses to debt validation requests.
Fortunately, you are protected against issues like the one cited above by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The FDCPA protects you from abusive collection practices and faulty reporting.
One of the biggest benefits of the act is that it allows you to stop collections agencies from calling you.
You should always contact agencies like Bridgeport by certified mail instead of over the phone.
That way, all of your conversations and any arrangements you make regarding payments are well documented.
You can reach them at the address below:
1510 Park Ave
San Jose, CA 95126
3 Ways to Remove Bridgeport Financial from Your Credit Report
Until you take one of the steps below, Bridgeport Financial’s collections entry will continue to bring your score down.
Here’s how you can get the collection entry deleted from your credit report.
1. Mail a Debt Validation Letter
Reporting errors happen, as do cases of identity fraud.
If you aren’t sure why Bridgeport Financial is on your credit report, you could be the victim of an identity thief or faulty reporting.
Fortunately, the FDCPA gives you 30 days to dispute questionable collections accounts on your report.
You just need to mail in a debt validation letter using a free template.
However, you must mail in a debt validation letter within the appropriate time frame.
As a result, the collections agency is legally obligated to provide you with evidence that the debt they are attempting to collect is valid.
If they are unable to produce details regarding your account, they will have to report to the credit bureaus and have it removed.
You should certainly seek debt validation if you don’t think the collections entry on your report is legit. But you should also give this strategy a go if you do have debt in collections.
Why? Because third-party agencies like Bridgeport Financial don’t always obtain the records they need to validate debts when they purchase them from lenders and providers.
It’s worth a shot.
2. Propose a Pay-for-delete Agreement
If your attempt at debt validation fails, or you missed the 30-day deadline for dispute, it may be time to make a payment.
Many consumers are misled, believing that paying their debts will result in the collection entry’s removal from their credit report.
But while settling your account may stop the collection calls, it will do nothing for your credit. Instead, you must get the agency to agree to have the entry deleted if you make a payment.
This is called a pay-for-delete agreement. More good news?
There’s a chance you can get the agency to agree to accept a reduced amount of your balance to close out your account.
So try negotiating to pay around half of what you owe, working from there.
Once again, your method of communication is key. And you should only negotiate a payment in writing, providing you with documentation of your agreement.
Moreover, once you submit a payment, check your credit to see if the entry has been deleted. It should be within a month.
3. Use a Credit Repair Company
However, maybe you don’t have the time or energy for debt validation letters and negotiations. In that case, you might want to hire a credit repair company to help out.
They’re well-versed in the ins and outs of the FDCPA. In addition, they will work on your behalf to ensure that you are being treated ethically and the entries on your report are accurate.
In addition to assisting you with collections, they can also be a great asset if you’re facing any of the following:
- Hard inquiries
- Identity fraud
We’ve done our homework so you don’t have to, compiling a list of the very best credit repair companies.
If you need help taking on Bridgeport, don’t hesitate to contact one of the companies on the list for assistance.