Nothing is quite as nerve-wracking as receiving a call from a debt collector.
They are notoriously rude, and their presence on your credit report can have a significant impact on your credit health.
If you have heard from a debt collector called Southwest Credit Systems recently, you may already be aware of their entry on your credit report.
Having a collections account on your credit report can cause your score to drop for up to seven years – even if you pay the balance of the debt.
The best way to get rid of them and prevent significant damage to your credit score is to remove their entry from your credit report entirely.
To learn more about how to remove Southwest Credit Systems from your credit report, check out our how-to guide below.
What is Southwest Credit Systems?
Southwest Credit Systems is a small collection agency that is headquartered in Carrollton, TX.
They are known to collect for cable companies, government agencies, property management companies, utility providers, and telecommunication companies.
They may appear on your credit report under a variety of names such as:
- SW Credit Systems
- SWC Group LP
- Southwest Credit
While Southwest Credit Systems is a legitimate operation, they are not popular among their customers.
They have had several complaints lodged against them with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for things such as harassment, inaccurate reporting, and failure to validate a debt.
If you experience any of these things, you may also consider filing a complaint against them.
Steps to Remove Southwest Credit Systems from Your Credit Report
Removing a collection entry from your credit report is simple but not easy.
Through the steps outline below, you can clean up your credit report and remove Southwest Credit Systems from your life once and for all.
Understand Your Rights
Most people that deal with Southwest Credit Systems don’t realize that they have certain rights under the law that debt collectors may violate.
Understanding your rights ahead of time can help you protect yourself from manipulation and provocation.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is federal legislation that prevents debt collectors from harassing or abusing their customers.
It also allows customers to view the information in their credit report and dispute any information that is inaccurate.
Some of the actions that are forbidden under the FDCPA are:
- Contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Contact you at work or at a time that you have said is inconvenient
- Contact your family, friends, or employer regarding your debt
- Use harassing or abusive language
- Threaten legal action that they can’t or won’t take
- Misrepresent themselves when contacting you
- Misrepresent information regarding your debt
If Southwest Credit Systems commits any of these infractions when contacting you, tell them that they are in violation of the FDCPA and hang up.
It is essential that you understand your rights under the FDCPA when you begin dealing with Southwest Credit Systems.
Arming yourself with this knowledge can help you as you begin negotiating details of your debt and credit entry.
Request Debt Validation
The next and most time-sensitive step when dealing with a debt collector is to request debt validation.
You have a right to request this under the FDCPA, and Southwest Credit Systems must comply as long as you reach out to them within 30 days of first contact.
The debt collection process is not perfect. A lot of information can get lost in the transition from the original credit to the debt collector.
To confirm that Southwest Credit Systems has all of the correct information about your debt, you will need to write a debt validation letter and send it to them.
This is a letter that asks them to prove that they have the correct information about your debt and are qualified to collect it.
You can also dispute the collection with the credit agency with the advanced dispute method.
For this to work, you will need to review a current copy of your credit report. Look closely at the Southwest Credit Systems entry and note any errors about your debt.
This can include the balance, account number, date opened or closed, account or payment status, or any other information that appears inaccurate.
If you find any information that is inaccurate, you can write an advanced credit dispute letter to demand that the collection be removed.
This makes it more difficult for the credit agency to verify the collection, and this may cause them to remove the collection entirely.
Negotiate a Settlement
If you fail to get the entry removed on a technicality, you may be able to make a pay-for-delete agreement with Southwest Credit Systems.
A pay-for-delete agreement is exactly what it sounds like. You agree to pay Southwest Credit Systems for a fraction of your debt in exchange for them to stop reporting the debt to major credit bureaus. This can be a long shot, but it is an option that is worth pursuing.
First, you will need to negotiate with Southwest Credit Systems. Tell them that you will pay half of the debt in exchange for an entry deletion.
You will need to go back and forth with them until you reach a settlement.
Once you work out a deal, get the agreement in writing from Southwest Credit Systems. This is important in terms of holding them accountable.
If they agree to the deal over the phone but refuse to confirm it in writing, they are almost certainly not going to comply with the arrangement.
After you receive the agreement in writing, make your first payment, and check your credit report after 30 days.
You should notice that Southwest Credit Systems has deleted the entry from your credit report. If not, reach out to them and remind them of your arrangement.
Work with a Professional
If you would rather not deal with Southwest Credit Systems directly, you can always hire a credit repair company to remove the entry for you.
Credit repair companies help people remove inaccurate, incomplete, or fraudulent entries from their credit reports.
This can help you improve your credit score and get your financial goals back on track.
It is important to work with a reputable company to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth.
Dealing with Southwest Credit Systems
Dealing with debt collectors is no one’s idea of an ideal pastime, but it is best to deal with them early on than suffer the damage to your credit score.
By following the steps above, you can minimize Southwest Credit Systems’ impact on your credit score and blood pressure.
Improving your credit score involves good habits and patience. If you are interested in rebuilding your credit, I have several articles that outline ways that you can boost your score and achieve your financial goals.
Make this the year that you regain financial freedom.