Now that the United States is battling COVID, many Americans are having to decide between paying their student loan bill or phone bill and putting food on the table.
With most companies making accommodations right now to help borrowers, there may be more leeway than before, however, still failing to pay a debt may culminate into being pursued by a debt collector.
National Credit Services is one such debt collector that may contact you if you fail to make payments on an overdue bill.
If National Credit Services contacts you, it means that they have either been hired by your original creditor or have acquired the debt from your original creditor.
Either way, they will open a collections account on your credit report in order to legally pursue payment.
Having a collection account on your credit report is extremely damaging to your credit score.
A collection account can stay on your credit report for up to seven years and can continue to impact your score even if you pay it off.
The best way to avoid this is to have National Credit Services remove the entry before it’s too late.
Check out our in-depth guide to learn how to deal with National Credit Services and remove them from your credit report.
What is National Credit Services (NCS)?
National Credit Services, Inc. is a medium-sized debt collection agency that is headquartered in Bothell, WA, and Woodinville, WA.
Founded in 2000, they perform collection services for both government entities and other financial services on a variety of debt types:
- The Department of Education Federal Student Loans(higher education)
- Financial Institutions like credit cards
- Commercial debt
You may be wondering if National Credit Services is a legitimate debt collector. After all, you are bound to question someone that calls you out of the blue demanding money.
National Credit Services is indeed legitimate, but they are not thought fondly of by their customers, despite advertising they perform recovery solutions in a timely manner with the idea of “maintaining retention of your customers.”
They have 83 complaints filed against them with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and about 33 with the Better Business Bureau (BBB.)
These complaints are in regard to harassment, inaccurate reporting, and failure to validate debt information, all in violation of borrower protection laws.
Steps to Remove National Credit Services from Your Credit Report
If you have National Credit Services on your credit report, it is important that you remove the collection entry as soon as possible.
These are the fundamental steps to take to remove National Credit Services from your credit report and get your credit score back on track.
Understand Your Rights
National Credit Services makes their money by coercing lump sum or monthly payments out of you in any way that they can.
This often means through constant phone calls, profane language, threats of lawsuits or wage garnishment, and other forms of agitation.
Most people that are contacted by a debt collector don’t realize that federal law protects them from abuse and harassment.
This legislation is called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a piece of federal legislation that prohibits various tactics used by debt collectors in order to intimidate or harass customers into making payments.
Among other things, the law protects you against specific forms of abuse such as:
- Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Using profane or abusive language
- Misrepresenting themselves or information about the debt
- Reporting false information about the debt
- Contacting you at work or at a time you have told them is inconvenient
- Contacting friends, family, or coworkers regarding your debt
- Calling after you have requested contact through U.S. Mail
You can prevent National Credit Services from walking all over you by familiarizing yourself with your rights under the FDCPA.
Understanding what is and isn’t allowed under federal law can help you enter talks with them with confidence.
Ask for a Goodwill Deletion
If you have already paid the debt in question, you should try asking National Credit Services if they will grant you a goodwill deletion.
A goodwill deletion is exactly what it sounds like; a debt collector will stop reporting the collection account to credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies out of goodwill.
This typically works when you have paid the debt entirely and are up to date on any current payments.
To request a goodwill deletion, you will need to write a letter to National Credit Services explaining to them why you were late on your payments such as job loss due to the coronavirus and why you would like the entry removed.
If you are trying to qualify for a mortgage or other loan, this is typically seen as a good reason for deletion. You should also mention any underlying circumstances that caused you to be late on payments in the first place.
When writing your letter, be sure to include the account number so that they know which debt you are referring to.
Also, be polite in your letter so that National Credit Services is more willing to grant you the deletion.
Validate the Debt
If you haven’t paid the debt or believe the debt doesn’t belong to you, your next step is to request that National Credit Services validate the debt.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you have a right to ask them to do this.
Requesting debt validation places the burden of proof on National Credit Services. It requests that they provide tangible proof that the debt belongs to you and that they are the ones authorized to collect it.
This process must be completed within 30 days of National Credit Services’ first contact with you. Otherwise, they may ignore your request entirely.
To ask for debt validation, you must send National Credit Services a debt validation letter.
This is a letter that asks them to provide certain pieces of information about the debt, such as the name, total amount, and date of debt acquisition.
After you send your debt validation letter, National Credit Services should return with information that supposedly validates your debt. Look over this information and note anything that seems incorrect.
Because National Credit Services is not the original creditor, they may not have this information, to begin with.
It is also possible that the information that they do have is inaccurate or fraudulent.
If any of the information they provide is incorrect, you can file a dispute with credit bureaus.
National Credit Services is then required to delete the entry from your report and stop the collection process.
Negotiate a Settlement
Sometimes debt collectors are able to validate your debt. If this is the case or you are unable to validate because of the 30-day window, you still have options to get National Credit Services off your credit report.
You can try to make a pay-for-delete agreement with National Credit Services.
As its name suggests, a pay-for-delete agreement involves paying the collection company for the debt to have their collections entry deleted from your report.
It is not enough to simply pay them for the debt because this will not remove the account from your credit report.
Instead, you need to get them to agree in writing to report your payment to the credit bureaus and have the entry deleted completely.
Start by offering to pay half of what you owe National Credit Services. You will likely receive pushback from them, so you will need to negotiate until both sides reach a compromise.
Once an agreement has been reached, ask that National Credit Services send you the full agreement in writing. Do not make your first payment to them until you receive this.
After you make your first payment, wait 30 days, and check your credit report for National Credit Services’ entry.
You should notice that it has been removed from your report. If it’s still there, contact National Credit Services and remind them to uphold their end of the bargain.
Dealing with National Credit Services
Debt collectors are notoriously difficult to deal with, and you may find that you aren’t getting anywhere in negotiations with National Credit Services.
This is when you may consider hiring a credit repair company.
A credit repair company deals directly with National Credit Services to remove negative entries so that you don’t have to.
They can clean up your credit report and set you up for success down the road.
I recommend working with Credit Saint if you choose to hire a credit repair company.
They have many years of experience and are consistently successful when dealing with collectors such as National Credit Services.
Repairing your credit score isn’t easy, but you can make it happen by practicing good habits and removing dings from your credit report.
If you are interested in more ways to improve your credit score, be sure to check out some of my popular articles for helpful tips and guides.
National Credit Services Contact Information
Here’s a little contact information on this United States debt collector:
- Mailing Address: 2525 220th St SE, Suite 200 Bothell, WA 98021
- Phone Number: (800) 324-7564, fax (425) 398-6675
- Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm PST
- Website: ncscollect.com