If you do not know the original creditor’s account number and it is not listed on your collection letter, that is okay – for now, you can skip this step. But – it is very important to find this account number and to come back and enter it in later. If you don’t have a collection agency letter that shows the Original Creditor’s Account number, you can take one of the following actions:
- Watch Your Mail: It is likely that the Collection Agency will continue to send you letters. It is also likely that one of these letters will have your Original Creditor’s Account Number. Once you have this info, come back and enter it into UGotiate.
- Research your records: Do you have statements from your original creditors filed away? If so, grab your statements - compare them to the collection letters - and try to identify which original creditor is tied to which collection agency. From there, you may be able to match up the accounts and identify the account number for the Original Creditor. Some collection agencies will list the original creditor account number on their letters – or at least the last 4 digits – you may be able to match it up that way.
- Request a copy of your credit report: You may be able to match your original creditor accounts to your collection account by looking at your credit report. You can request a free copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. Credit Reports typically do not list out the full account numbers, but you should be able to get a partial account number. Enter that number into UGotiate.
- Call the collection agency: This is the least recommended option – but it is a possibility should you choose to use it. If you do choose to call a collection agency, it is suggested to keep it short and simple. Let the collector know right away that before you discuss any aspect about this account, you need to know the original creditor name and account number. Request that they verbally provide you the info now and also mail you a letter with the info for your records. It is very likely that the collector will try to engage in you in conversations about paying this debt, to set up payments – they will likely try to get whatever information they can out of you. Again – keep it short and sweet – let the collector know that you are willing to resolve this debt, eventually – but you need to have some information first. For more details on handling creditor phone calls, take some time to read through the Phone Call Scripts.