Fact Checked

What is a Bill Collector?

Nat Robinson
Nat Robinson

A bill collector is a person who collects payments for a bill. Collectors contact people to inform them of a debt. After presenting the necessary information, the collector will attempt to obtain the payment which is due. While any person attempting to acquire monies for a debt may be considered a collector, most bill collectors work on the behalf of a collection agency. A collection agency is a business whose primary purpose is to collect on overdue bills.

To become a bill collector, a person will need to obtain a high school diploma. He or she may also be required to have some customer service experience. Most bill collectors will receive training on the job. Generally, bill or debt collectors must follow certain laws and rules to legally collect on a debt. Such guidelines will usually be addressed while training for the job.

Bill collectors seek payment on past due accounts.
Bill collectors seek payment on past due accounts.

In most cases, bill collecting involves a lot of telephone work. For this reason, the person wishing to become a bill collector should have good phone etiquette. Some people become angry when contacted by bill collectors, but it will be important to remain professional at all times. Most collectors will begin a phone conversation by establishing the company he or she is representing, the type of bill which is due and the amount due. The collector should also be prepared to answer a great deal of questions from the debtor in regards to the validity of the alleged debt.

At a minimum, bill collectors should have of a high school diploma.
At a minimum, bill collectors should have of a high school diploma.

The duties of a bill collector can be vast. After notifying the person of a debt, the collector will try to collect on the bill. If the person is unable to pay the amount requested, the collector may work out a payment arrangement. He or she may then be responsible for negotiating the fine details of the arrangement and ensure that both the debtor and the original creditor are in agreement on it. After this is done, the collector may need to compile and distribute copies of the agreement and post any payments from the debtor to his or her account.

Debt collectors are usually a last resort.
Debt collectors are usually a last resort.

Being a bill collector may not be the easiest of jobs. Most people do not look at being contacted by collectors favorably. For this reason, bill collectors may deal with more unpleasant personalities than pleasant ones. A person wishing to obtain a position such as this may need to have a thick skin and not take things personally. Although, some history in customer service may be preferred, a person may obtain an entry-level position without a great deal of experience due to the extensive on-the-job training typically provided.

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Discussion Comments


I'm dealing with these morons Now. I don't have the money. And they aren't gonna get it. Its like squeezing blood out of a turnip. So no matter how many letters or calls they make, it isn't going to make it better. I've already contacted the FTC. I was told they have to stop contacting you by law if you send a cease and desist letter. That is my next step of action.


I worked as a bill collector for a year or so when I graduated from college, and it was the hardest thing I ever did for a living. My trainer told me I needed to "marry" the client first. I needed to sound extremely empathetic and listen to all of their tales of woe without judgment. Once they told me their sad stories about why they couldn't pay the bill, I was told to get a little more aggressive and encourage them to come up with a payment plan they could afford, even if it was only ten or twenty dollars a month.

We had strict rules about bill collector calls. We couldn't call before or after certain hours of the day, for example. We could imply that aggressive legal action might be taken, but we couldn't use profanity or threaten physical violence, along the lines of "I know where you live and I'll send some people to convince you to pay up". The best bill collection tactic was to use a person's own sense of obligation or guilt to get them to agree to a repayment plan.


I don't think I could ever become a professional bill collector. I understand he or she is only doing their job when they call me, but that still doesn't make me feel better. I've had a few harassing bill collectors who threatened to do a lot of things if I didn't agree to send them a large check soon. I don't think I could do that to other people for a living.

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    • Bill collectors seek payment on past due accounts.
      By: Stephen VanHorn
      Bill collectors seek payment on past due accounts.
    • At a minimum, bill collectors should have of a high school diploma.
      By: zimmytws
      At a minimum, bill collectors should have of a high school diploma.
    • Debt collectors are usually a last resort.
      By: Monkey Business
      Debt collectors are usually a last resort.