Is Ad Astra Recovery Services (AARS) stressing you out with calls about outstanding debts?
Receiving calls from a collections agency may be frustrating, but the damage to your credit score can be far more distressing than their persistent phone calls and letters. Did you know that a collection account entry can impact your credit for seven years if you don’t get it deleted from your report?
The three major credit reporting bureaus — Experian, Transunion and Equifax — create your FICO credit score, the main source most loan providers will use to assess your liability.
When AARS appears on your credit report, there are a few things you should (and shouldn’t) do to get it removed. In this guide, we’ll explain who AARS is, how it works and how you can get it taken off your credit report.
What is Ad Astra Recovery Services?
Is the name Ad Astra Recovery Services new to you? Combine the agency’s unfamiliarity with its repetitive phone calls from unknown numbers, and you may be questioning its legitimacy.
However, Ad Astra Recovery Services, Inc. is legit and not a scam. This certified debt collection agency has been operating since 2007, with its headquarters in Wichita, Kansas.
The agency could appear on your credit report under a few different names, including Ad astra inc, Ad astra collections, Ad astra recovery, Ad astra company or Ad astra recovery serv.
According to its website, it offers easy outsourcing with superior service and has quality employees. It also offers third-party and in-house debt collections through Speedy Cash, as well as check recovery services. As well as collecting for other industries, AARS also collects on payday loans and cash advance debts.
3 ways to remove Ad Astra Recovery Services from your credit report
Even if you’ve fallen behind on payments and really do owe AARS, you shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences for seven years.
Here are three ways to get a collections entry deleted from your credit report quickly.
1. Send a debt validation letter
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives you 30 days to get your debt validated. The law states that debt collectors cannot seek repayment for a debt without providing evidence if it’s requested. If you would like more information on all consumer laws, you can find them on the Federal Trade Commission’s website.
To dispute your debt with AARS, you need to send in a debt validation letter to the company mailing address within a month of first hearing from the agency.
If AARS doesn’t have documentation linking the debt to you, it will have to drop your debt and stop contacting you.
Whether the collections entry relates to identity theft, a reporting error or a genuine debt, it’s always worthwhile to dispute the debt first. This is because when collections agencies buy debts from providers and lenders, they don’t always have the paperwork they need to see their collection attempts through.
2. Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
You may not be able to get a collections entry off your report for free, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay it off completely.
Whether you were too late in sending the debt validation letter or AARS was able to verify your debt, your next best option is to negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement. For this, you’ll need to get AARS to agree to have the entry deleted in exchange for a payment.
Third-party debt collectors buy your debts for pennies on the dollar, so there’s a chance you’ll be able to get AARS to accept a fraction of the amount you owe to close your account. If the agency does agree to delete, make sure to get this in writing to guarantee that it follows through. Once you submit your payment, you should see the entry disappear from your credit report within a month’s time.
If the entry remains, report the agency to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and notify the three credit bureaus. However, it’s important to note that the three major credit bureaus frown on pay-to-delete agreements.
3. Work with a credit repair company
Sometimes, improving your credit requires more than a debt validation letter or pay-for-delete agreement.
If your credit problems are more complicated, you should consider hiring a credit repair company, especially if you're worried about questions like, “Can Ad Astra sue me or garnish my wages?”
A credit repair company can help you recover from a range of credit-related issues, such as:
- Identity fraud
The company can also help to ensure that debt collectors stay within the bounds of the FDCPA. With a credit repair company on your side, you won’t have to worry about writing to debt collectors and negotiating payments.
If you think your situation calls for professional help, take a look at one of our top credit repair companies.
How does Ad Astra Recovery Services work?
When you fail to pay back your debts, lenders sometimes turn your debt over to a collections agency such as AARS. Sometimes, a company might hire the agency to help collect and process your payments. In other cases, companies sell your debts to the agencies at greatly discounted prices.
Once a collections agency has your information, it can call, leave messages and mail you notices regarding your debt until you reach an agreement. When your debt goes into collections, it results in the addition of a negative entry to your credit report.
Regardless of whether you make a payment or not, a collections entry will stay on your report for seven years (unless you follow the advice in this guide to get it deleted). How much it affects your credit score over that time depends on a few other factors in your credit history.
For instance, a small debt in collections might only lower your credit score by a few points, whereas substantial debt and overall poor payment history can lead to a more significant drop.
Dealing with Ad Astra Recovery Services
Before you answer one of Ad Astra’s phone calls, take a few moments to read up on the FDCPA. This is an important law that limits the reach of debt collectors, protecting you from abuse.
Among other rights, it states that:
- Collectors may only call between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. and cannot contact you at work if you ask them not to.
- Collectors cannot contact other individuals about your debts.
- Collectors cannot collect on a debt without first validating it.
If you think that AARS has acted in a way that violates the FDCPA, you can take legal action against it. You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Better Business Bureau (BBB.)
A lot of complaints against the agency relate to the issues listed above. To avoid these problems, you should only communicate with AARS in writing. The FDCPA permits you to request communication by mail only, which will also give you the documentation you need to get AARS off your report.
Ad Astra Recovery Services contact information
Here's the contact information for Ad Astra:
7330 W 33rd St N, Suite 118,
Wichita, KS 67205
Phone number: 866-398-2089
Update: This article has been updated to give current contact information to Ad Astra Recovery Services.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on October 30, 2020, on BetterCreditBlog.org. To find the most relevant information concerning collections or credit card inquiries, please visit: https://money.com/how-to-remove-collections-from-credit-report/ or https://money.com/get-items-removed-from-credit-report/