Are you concerned about an entry from First Federal Credit Control (FFCC)? If the name is on your credit report, you’ve probably received phone calls and letters from the agency as well.
FFCC is most likely on your report as a collections entry because of an unpaid bill. Since collections accounts can lower your credit score, it’s important to act quickly to get them off your report. Read on to learn how to put an end to FFCC’s calls and stop the company from doing further damage to your credit.
If you’ve never dealt with FFCC, you may be a little skeptical. Fortunately, this company is a legitimate third-party debt collection agency. Headquartered in Beachwood, Ohio, the agency has been operating since 1970. Over the past 50 years, FFCC has collected debts in the following industries:
- Business to business
- Health care
- Financial institution
If you carry debt in any of those sectors, the entry featured on your report could be legitimate. When you fail to keep up with payments you owe to a service provider or lender, they often hand off your debts to collections agencies. These agencies might buy your debts for pennies on the dollar, or the original provider pays the debt agency to help its representatives collect the debt.
Either way, once a debt hits the collections stage, the company adds an entry to your report, which stays on your account for seven years. Depending on the lateness and balance on the account, it could significantly impact your score. A debt collector may also contact you frequently until you make a satisfactory payment.
How to deal with FFCC
Like most collections agencies, FFCC is no stranger to consumer complaints. Some of these complaints address the agency’s failure to validate debts and reporting errors. You can review complaints filed against debt collectors through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Better Business Bureau.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) holds collections agencies to a set of standards. The FDCPA dictates how and when a collections agency can contact you. It also requires companies to report information accurately and allows you to choose how you wish to communicate with debt collectors, meaning you can stop their incessant phone calls.
We recommend you communicate in writing and send letters using certified mail to provide you with clear documentation of your interactions with the agency. It’s the best way to ensure the company deletes the collections entry from your report. You can send the agency a letter explaining that you know your rights under the FDCPA and want to communicate in writing.
You can find FFCC’s address below:
24700 Chagrin Blvd
Beachwood, OH 44122-5662
3 ways to get FFCC off your credit report
Now that you have a better idea of how collections work, here are three ways you can get a collections account off of your credit report.
1. Request debt validation
The FDCPA gives consumers a 30-day window to ask for debt validation. If you send FFCC a debt validation letter within that time frame, the agency will have to provide evidence linking the debt to you.
Any time you’re concerned that a collections entry is inaccurate, you should dispute it. The validation request could unveil a reporting error or identity theft, both of which would get the entry deleted from your report. You should also try debt validation even if you do owe FFCC money. Collections agencies don’t always have the proof they need to respond to a debt validation request.
While this strategy may not work to remove legitimate debts, it’s worth a shot. You could get the entry off your report without making a payment.
2. Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
Debt validation doesn’t always work, and the agency isn’t obligated to validate debts if you inquire after 30 days. Your next best bet is to ask for a pay-for-delete agreement. If you log onto FFCC’s website or answer the next call and pay off your account balance, it will stop the company’s calls and letters. Unfortunately, you’ll still see the collections entry, and its impact on your score, on your credit report for seven years.
In order to have an entry deleted from your report, you have to get FFCC to agree to remove it. The best way to do this is by offering to pay some of the amount you owe the agency. You may be able to negotiate your payment down to a small percentage of what you owe.
Once you and the agency agree on the terms of your arrangement, you should submit a payment and check your credit score to ensure the company removes the entry. Don’t forget to arrange this payment by mail since you won’t have documentation if you make this agreement over the phone.
If your report still features the collections account 30 days after submitting your payment, follow up to make sure the agency reports your payment to the credit bureaus.
3. Employ a credit repair company
If you want to leave disputing inaccurate entries and negotiating with collectors to the experts, you should work with a credit repair company. These companies evaluate your credit report and create a specialized plan for boosting your score. Whatever is bringing down your score, credit repair companies can get to the bottom of it quickly.
A credit repair company can also assist you with credit problems, such as:
- Inaccurate hard inquiries
- Identity fraud
Whether you’re dreading contacting a collections agency or feel like you’re in over your head with more challenging credit issues, a credit repair company could be worth the cost.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on February 25, 2021, 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/