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Has your credit score recently taken a dive because of a collection entry from Penn Credit? If you forgot to pay a bill or you’re behind on credit card payments to a lender or service provider, it can have a nasty effect on your credit score for up to seven years. Avoiding the problem won’t make it go away and paying your debt won’t necessarily solve the problem either.

Instead, consider trying one of the approaches below to get Penn Credit off your credit report, stop them annoying you and boost your credit score in the process. This article will walk you through everything you need to know about Penn Credit Corporation and debt collectors in general so you can get them off your report in no time.

What is Penn Credit Corporation?

Penn Credit Corporation is a legitimate debt collector that also provides commercial accounts receivable services. It has headquarters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and it has collected consumer debts within the U.S. since 1987. However, there are 172 complaints on file in the last three years with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and 210 complaints in 2021 with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) citing consumer rights violations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Penn Credit might appear on your credit report under the names CBE Collections, Penn credit PCC trust, Penn collection agency, Penn credit corporation or Penn credit corp.

Steps to remove Penn Credit from your credit report

Thankfully, you can get a collection off your report quite easily. One of the approaches below might get you collection-free in just a few weeks.

  • Get your debt validated
  • Negotiate a payment
  • Hire a credit repair professional

Get your debt validated

The FDCPA protects consumers in many ways. For example, it requires collections agencies to present proof of a debt before they demand that you make payment. If you write to Penn Credit requesting validation of your debt within a month of them reaching out to you, they must provide you with this documentation.

You can use an online debt validation letter template, fill in your details and send it in the mail. Reporting errors are common, and there’s a chance you can end up on Penn Credit’s radar by mistake. If that’s the case, debt validation should clear things up quickly.

It’s good to know that this approach can work even if the debt is legitimate. Because Penn Credit is a third-party debt collector, it may not have the information on file that it needs to validate your debt. If that happens, it will update the credit bureaus, resulting in the deletion of the collection entry from your report. Just remember that timing is key to this strategy, and you must act quickly to file a dispute.

Negotiate a payment

Sometimes debt collectors have what they need to validate your debt. If this happens or if it’s too late for debt validation, this strategy is for you. If you can’t get Penn Credit off your report for free, you can try to get a discount. Debt collectors often negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement, where you agree to pay a portion of your debt in exchange for the deletion of the collection entry from your credit report.

Third-party debt collectors purchase debts for pennies on the dollar, so they’re likely to consider a partial payment a win. Start negotiating at around 50% of the total balance. You might walk away collection-free and only have to pay half of what you owe.

Once Penn Credit receives your payment, it will report the payment to the credit bureaus who will delete the collection entry from your report. If your report doesn’t reflect your payment after 30 days, contact the collection agency again to ensure that they follow through on the agreement. This is where written correspondence comes in handy, as you can show Penn Credit the terms of the agreement and hold them accountable.

Hire a credit repair professional

You can handle a debt collector on your own using the tips above, but there’s another option. If you don’t have time to deal with Penn Credit or you’re looking for more comprehensive credit repair, you may want professional help. Credit repair companies provide specialized services at reasonable prices and can help you with every step of the credit repair process. They can talk to debt collectors, dispute debts and help you repair your credit history after the removal of negative entries, such as:

  • Charge-offs
  • Bankruptcies
  • Repossessions
  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Identity theft incidents

There are plenty of options, but these are some reputable credit repair companies to consider. Dealing with debt collectors doesn’t have to be stressful. By using the strategies above or engaging the help of a credit repair company, you can get collection entries off your report.

How does Penn Credit work?

Penn Credit is a third-party debt collector that profits by collecting payments from consumers on their outstanding debts. Agencies such as Penn Credit either purchase debts from lenders and service providers at a low rate, or a creditor employs them, and they receive a percentage of payments that they collect.

When your debt reaches the collection stage, your credit report will include a negative entry, and Penn Credit can call you, leave messages and send you letters. While the damage a collection entry does to your credit score may decrease over time, it stays on your report for seven years regardless of whether you make a payment.

Who does Penn Credit collect for?

Penn Credit collects for a range of providers and creditors in multiple industries and sectors nationwide, including:

  • Health care
  • Education
  • Government
  • Utilities
  • Telecommunications

Penn Credit Corporation contact information

  • Mailing address: 2800 Commerce Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110
  • Phone number: 800-900-1380
  • Website: penncredit.com

Dealing with Penn Credit

If Penn Credit is contacting you, you need to understand your basic rights under the FDCPA, which prohibits debt collectors from harassing you, among other things. Many of the consumer complaints on file with the BBB and the CFPB relate to Penn Credit failing to validate debts, harassing consumers and reporting incorrect information.

The FDCPA protects consumers against these types of practices. It limits the hours during which Penn can contact you, requires it to authenticate its claims and prevents it from threatening you or those close to you. The FDCPA also allows you to stop Penn Credit calling you by requesting all correspondence in writing. This is very important, as it puts a stop to frustrating calls and gives you the documentation you might need to ensure the removal of a collection agency’s entry from your report.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect the current number of BBB and CFPB complaints against Penn Credit. Unverifiable information has been removed.

Disclaimer: This story was originally published on October 5, 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/