Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

2.2. How to Be a Debt Collector.

ryanrori January 20, 2021

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Becoming a debt collector requires getting licensed properly and attending training. Here is how to get started.

Decide that this is the career you want to be in. You will be dealing with people who are often in a very bad situation and may also be ready to take out their anger on you, verbally and physically. You will need to be patient, assertive, strong, and not easily dissuaded from your mission.

  • Be ethical.
  • Have excellent fortitude and stamina.
  • Be persistent.
  • Have a good eye for investigating and analysis.
  • Ability to read people well. You’ll be confronted by a lot of lies and excuses; you need to be able to see past these in order to get to the bottom of things and collect the debts.

Decide whether you want to run your own debt collection agency or whether you want to work for someone else. If you start your own business, you’ll have the usual start-up costs involved as well as the training costs.

Get training. Contact the International Association of Debt Arbitrators for details on training required. Their website has a lot of relevant information to help you, and you can undertake online courses with them.

  • There are also national or local organizations with training, memberships, and ethics codes, etc., that you should follow up too.

Get licensed. You’ll need to check out the licensing requirements in your own state, province, or country. If there aren’t any, it’s still a good idea to belong to a recognized association so that you can point to the codes of conduct etc., when questioned by clients and those you’re collecting debts from.

Learn everything you can about the debt collection process. This includes reading all the legislation that is relevant to debt collection in your jurisdiction and learning precedents so that you are aware of what is and is not appropriate when collecting debts.

  • Seek work experience opportunities with existing debt collectors so that you can learn on-the-job and benefit from their experience.


  • Beware of anti-collections.

Unfair or improper business practices

This section identifies matters that are considered to be unfair or improper business practices for the purposes of section 25(2A)(e) of the Act. These are set out under the following sub-headings:

  • Communication: businesses should communicate in a clear, accurate and transparent manner
  • False representation of authority and/or legal position: businesses should accurately and truthfully represent their authority/status and the correct legal position with regard to debts and the debt recovery process
  • Physical/psychological harassment: businesses should not engage in physical or psychological harassment of debtors or relevant third parties
  • Deceptive and/or unfair methods: businesses should be truthful and fair in their dealings with debtors and others
  • Charging for debt recovery: charges should not be levied inappropriately or unfairly
  • Debt collection visits: those visiting debtors must not act in a threatening or unclear manner
  • Statute barred debt: businesses should not use unfair methods (including misrepresenting the legal position) if seeking to recover statute barred debt
  • Data accuracy: businesses should have appropriate processes in place with a view to ensuring that customer data is accurate and take reasonable steps to ensure that it is adequate, with a view to only the actual debtor and valid debts being pursued for repayment.