If GC Services contacts you, it’s probably pursuing you for an old debt. It may even threaten to garnish your wages or tax returns. Dealing with a debt collector is stressful, but the harassing phone calls are only the tip of the iceberg.
Before pursuing you for payment, a debt collector will open a collections account on your credit report. This black mark can negatively affect your credit score for up to seven years. If you’re trying to repair your credit score, a collection account can set you back significantly, so the best way to get your credit back on track is to remove the entry from your report ASAP.
What is GC Services?
GC Services has its headquarters in Houston, and it’s one of the largest debt collection agencies in the U.S. In business for more than six decades, it currently has over 7,500 employees and over 30 call centers. GC Services Limited Partnership collects a variety of debts, including:
- student loans
- health care
Its website states that it’s one of the nation's largest business process outsourcing providers, offering customer care solutions and accounts receivable management services, including executive escalation and back-office processing.
Collection calls are annoying and can also raise concerning questions for you, such as "Can GC Services seek wage garnishment or sue me?" The answer is yes, but don't stress. There are strategies to prevent this from happening.
Is GC Services legitimate?
If a business starts calling you out of the blue demanding money, it’s natural to wonder if it’s a legitimate business or a scam. GC Services is a legitimate debt collector, but unfortunately, it’s not pleasant to work with.
Steps to remove GC Services from your credit report
Dealing with GC Services isn’t easy, but there are effective ways to manage the situation. The following steps can help you get its collection account off your credit report:
- Understand your rights
- Ask for a goodwill deletion
- Request debt validation
- Negotiate a settlement
Understand your rights
Debt collectors make money by coercing payment arrangements out of you and often use questionable tactics to do so. Agencies such as GC Services don’t want you to know that federal legislation protects consumers from such harassing and abusive behavior. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that governs debt collection practices. It prohibits debt collectors from actions such as:
- Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Using abusive or profane language
- Misrepresenting themselves or information about your debt
- Calling you at work or at another time you’ve told them is inconvenient
- Calling your friends, family or coworkers regarding your debt
It's important to familiarize yourself with your rights under the FDCPA, and letting GC Services know that you’re aware of these will allow you to take control of the situation. You can prevent it from harassing or misleading you by flagging any improper behavior.
Ask for a goodwill deletion
If you pay your debt to GC Services, you can ask it to delete its collection entry out of benevolence. This is a goodwill deletion and can work if you’re currently in good standing with the agency.
To request this, you need to send GC Services a goodwill deletion letter explaining the reason for your late payment and why you want the agency to remove its collections account. If your payments are usually on time and you ask nicely, there’s a chance that GC Services will grant your request.
Request debt validation
When dealing with a debt collector, it’s extremely important to confirm that it has the correct details regarding the debt. With cases of identity theft on the rise, you may find yourself the victim of a data breach, in which someone steals your driver's license, Social Security number or credit card number and uses it to open fraudulent accounts in your name. In a situation like this, debt validation will allow you to clear identity theft accounts from a collection agency’s records.
Many consumers remove debts from their reports after requesting debt validation and finding that the debt collector has incorrect information regarding the debt. You can send GC Services a debt validation letter formally requesting it to verify information relating to a debt, such as the name of the creditor and the amount.
This is a time-sensitive step, so it’s important that you do it ASAP. You must send the letter within 30 days of GC Services first contacting you. After it receives your letter, GC Services should send documentation proving that the debt belongs to you.
Make sure you read each document carefully and make a note of any details that seem incorrect. If you find any conflicting information, you can file a dispute with the three major credit bureaus. If they agree that the information GC Services has is inaccurate, they’ll remove the account from your credit report.
Negotiate a settlement
If you can’t remove the entry on a technicality, you can try to negotiate a settlement. With a pay-for-delete settlement, you’ll agree to pay GC Services for the debt in exchange for the deletion of its collections account.
Sometimes, you can get away with paying less than the full amount. This is because debt collection agencies, such as GC Services, often purchase debts for pennies on the dollar, and you may only need to pay a portion for it to make its money back. Start by offering to pay half of the debt and negotiate from there. Once you reach an agreement, ask the agency to send you a written contract that clearly states the terms, and don’t make a payment until you receive this document and approve it.
Make your payment and check your credit report after 30 days. The GC Services entry shouldn’t appear. If it does, contact the agency and remind it of the agreement. Let it know that you won’t make another payment until it removes the entry from your credit report.
GC Services contact information
You can find the contact details and information regarding GC Services below:
GC Services LP
Gulfton St., Houston, TX 77081
Phone number: 713-776-6623; Toll free: 877-374-0943
Rating: A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Complaints: GC Services has about 300 complaints on file with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 16 with the BBB in the last three years. Many of these complaints relate to the violation of consumer protection laws, such as the FDCPA and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There are also reports of district court cases involving GC Services and cases of it paying penalties under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission for unlawful collection practices.
Dealing with GC Services
Despite your best efforts, you may find that you’re not making any progress in your negotiations with the debt collection agency. If GC Services won’t cooperate, you may benefit from the services of a credit repair company. A credit repair company specializes in removing dings from reports and improving credit scores. It’ll handle the communications and negotiations with a debt collector so that you don’t have to.
It's important to work with a reputable credit repair company because there are many out there that aren’t as effective as they claim.
Credit Saint has a history of successfully dealing with GC Services and can help you get your credit score back on track.
Improving your credit score is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes good habits and patience to achieve your ideal credit score. There are many articles available if you want more tips and guides on how to boost your score and achieve your financial goals.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the current number of BBB and CFPB complaints against GC Services. Corporate information has been updated and unverifiable information has been removed.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on August 31, 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/