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How do I get Debt Collection Training?

Christine Hudson
Christine Hudson

In many areas of the world, debt collection is a highly competitive, multibillion dollar industry. On the job training, online courses, and college or private classes are the most common ways to get debt collection training. Getting the proper credentials to land a career, however, generally requires obtaining nationally recognized certification. The International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) was established to provide proper debt collection training and certification.

The business of collecting debt can be very lucrative to those with the right skills and education. In many countries, however, laws exist to ensure debt collection practices are fair and do not harass the debtor. Agencies and individuals generally must have debt collection training to learn and understand their legal restrictions and how to protect the privacy of debtors. Ongoing training may also be needed as the collection laws change.

Many community colleges and some collection agencies offer debt collection courses.
Many community colleges and some collection agencies offer debt collection courses.

In most regions, an individual does not need certification to get an entry level position with debt collection company. On the job training can then be given over a certain period and certification later obtained, if needed, to advance that person's career. Hands-on training may be preferred over classroom style training, because it offers real-world experience which may also be added to an agent's resume. Other options may include courses at local community colleges which offer debt collection training. Some collection agencies may also offer evening or weekend classes for a fee to anyone interested.

Learning trades online has become a very popular alternative to the traditional campus programs. Distance learning may offer several benefits to students, especially in areas where debt collection classes are not offered locally. Debt collection training classes are typically offered by several online schools and independent agencies which offer certificates of completion or even an associate's degree. Many people choose online learning to fit training around their current job or life schedule, or to continue their education as the industry changes.

Certification is offered by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators after successful completion of their training course. Having training and education prior to taking the IAPDA course may help an agent get through it and certify more quickly. The course and certification process is made to comply with the strict Uniform Debt-Management Services Act, and is required by some companies for higher collection positions. This certification is also required in some areas before a person is able to open his own business in debt collection.

Discussion Comments


@Azuza - That's good to know. I personally think all those laws about debt collectors not being able to harass debtors are pretty laughable.

Debt collectors are still legally allowed to call you on the phone a bunch of times a day and also call your family and friends. I think that should be considered harassment!


I actually know someone who used to work in debt collection and she made quite a bit of money. And here's why: debt collectors get commission off the debts they are successfully able to collect.

So keep that in mind next time you're dealing with one-they want you to pay something and they know it's probably not going to be the full amount. Since they are getting commission they will probably try and work with you about your payments.


If debt collection is so lucrative, why don't more colleges (or even universities!) offer it as an option to students? After all, it is legitimate work, right?


@jsmay - People with a strong background in customer service would have an advantage in debt recovery jobs. Of course, there's also a lot of paperwork involved. They have to track and analyze client accounts to make sure that they're being processed in a timely fashion and know how to stick to the company's procedures.


@jsmay - In terms of soft skills, they usually look for people who are patient, courteous and thick-skinned. If you think about what debt-collectors go through on a daily basis, you'll realize that they have to deal with a lot of people who get angry or abusive, people who are having a hard time paying up and so on. It's a very important not to take it personally and instead to do the job politely and professionally.


I didn't know that debt collection was such a booming industry. What types of traits do they typically look for in candidates or potential employees?

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    • Many community colleges and some collection agencies offer debt collection courses.
      By: Monkey Business
      Many community colleges and some collection agencies offer debt collection courses.