5 Tips For Dealing With Debt Collectors

Topics: Reading time: 4 minutes

Getting behind on paying off your bills and loans can become quite stressful and embarrassing for many. The longer your bills go unpaid, the more interest it collects and the higher chance that debt collectors will call you, hassling you every day to pay back what you owe.

Of course the worst thing you can do is ignore debt collectors and ignore paying off your debt! The longer you ignore those debt collectors, the worse your situation will become in the long run. Being in debt and dealing with debt collectors is only temporary, so the sooner you face the situation, the sooner those pesky debt collection calls will go away.

If you’re in need of some assistance in dealing with with debt collectors, here are five tips to help you deal with them and how to get yourself out of debt in the process:

1. Know your rights with debt collectors

Don’t be intimidated when debt collectors call you. Under the Australian Consumer Law, you have specific rights when dealing with debt collection agencies and in turn, they have specific protocols to follow every time they contact you by phone.

For example, collection agencies are advised to only call between the hours of 7.30 am to 9 pm Monday to Friday, and 9 am to 9 pm on weekends. Furthermore, they are recommended to only contact you up to 3 times per week, and 10 times per month at most. They must identify themselves and they cannot make any threats or use abusive or offensive language at you over the phone.

It is important to understand these limitations because if debt collectors cross them, you have a right to take legal action against them.

2. Dispute what you don’t own

Always make sure you request proof of your debt in writing from the collection agency. That way you can make sure that they are chasing you for debt that you actually own. If you don’t own the debt they are chasing you for then you can dispute it in writing. Or if you have already paid off the debt, then you can send them copies of proof of payment. Just make sure to keep copies of every correspondence you have with the debt collectors so you have a trail of evidence to reference if you need it in the future. Many people get contacted by debt collectors over debt they have already paid off or doesn’t belong to them.

3. Record all correspondence

Debt collectors will most likely call you every day – sometimes several times a day – as well as send you letters in the mail. Keep a record of every phone call you have with the debt collector by writing down the date, time of day they call you, their name and the name of the collection agency they are calling from.

Keep a file of all letters you receive in the mail as this will not only help you stay on top of your debt resolution and track your progress, but it will also become essential evidence for you if the debt collector breaks the law or questions your debt history.

Also, request any agreements made over the phone with debt collectors in writing so that you have proof and can refer to it later if needed and make sure not to speak with the collection agency again until you have received those letters in writing.

4. Negotiate what you can afford

The problem with credit cards and loans nowadays is that many Australians spend way more than they can afford which results in insurmountable debt and debt collection agencies harassing you to pay back what you owe.

If you are unable to pay back your debt in one lump sum, then consider re-assessing your finances (where can you cut back your expenses or luxuries?) and negotiate an affordable payment plan with the debt collection agency. Be open and responsive when negotiating with the collection agency but also understand that by negotiating an affordable payment plan, it shouldn’t impact your ability to pay your mortgage or rent or monthly expenses. Paying back your debt in smaller, more consistent increments (especially to put the collection agency at ease for a while) is much better than ignoring your debt all together just because you can’t afford to pay it all back at once.

Also, make every effort to stick to your new payment plan and if you find yourself struggling to make those payments, be sure to contact the collection agency as soon as possible to work out an alternate solution to pay off your outstanding debt. The more open you are with the collection agency, the easier the process will be to pay back your debt.

5. Seek professional help

If you owe a significant amount of debt and are unable to negotiate a payment plan with the collection agency, then another option could be to seek assistance from a professional debt relief organisation, like us. We can provide you with the knowledge and expertise needed to start working towards a debt free life again. We will also liaise with the debt collection agencies directly on your behalf which can take a huge weight off of your shoulders.

Paying back insurmountable debt can be very daunting (especially if you don’t know where to start) but if you work with a debt relief company, they can offer you the guidance you need to start chipping away at your debt. The sooner you start paying back what you owe, the sooner the debt collection agencies stop contacting you and the quicker you become debt-free. It’s a winning solution for all those involved!


Being in debt and dealing with debt collectors can become quite frustrating and overwhelming, but there are steps you can take to make the process a bit less stressful and easier for you. Getting yourself out of debt is never a quick process so make sure you are patient every time you liaise with those debt collectors, don’t be afraid to negotiate or ask for assistance when you need it, and just know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

We understand what you’re going through and we’re here to help. We’ll deal with creditors so can move on with your life, knowing that your finances are under control. Contact us today on 1300 368 322 for an obligation free consultation.

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Debt Busters is an Australian owned business which was founded in 2005 - since then we have been able to help thousands regain financial control.

Debt Busters prides itself on providing a dedicated Client Service Manager to work closer with you and provide a higher level of customised service about your situation.