Verizon Collections can show up on your credit report if the telecommunications company claims you owe them for unpaid bills.
If you’re dealing with Verizon Collections, it’s possible you haven’t made payment for a wireless, internet, phone or TV subscription.
When you don’t pay a utility bill, the company can send it to collections, damaging your credit. Verizon says if you’re not going to be able to pay a bill, you should contact them as soon as possible to figure out a payment arrangement and avoid collections activity.
Requesting your credit report will help you figure out if you have an overdue Verizon bill that has already gone to collections.
If Verizon Collections isn’t listed in your credit file, you can keep the debt out of your credit history by paying the bill. There may still be time to make a payment online or via the My Verizon or My Fios app to bring your account up to date.
Once Verizon reports the debt to the credit bureaus, it's difficult to remove the negative mark, but not impossible. If your credit report shows a Verizon Collections item, read on to learn how to stop it from hurting your credit score.
Table of Contents
- What is Verizon Collections?
- Steps to remove Verizon Collections from your credit report
- What if a Verizon Collections report is a mistake?
- Knowing your rights when dealing with debt collectors
- FAQs on removing Verizon Collections from your credit report
What is Verizon Collections?
Verizon Collections is a debt collection service related to the wireless and internet company Verizon. Given that Verizon is one of the largest wireless providers in the U.S., Verizon accounts generate a lot of collections activity.
Verizon Collections can report your debt to the three major credit agencies if earlier payment requests by the telecommunications giant were unsuccessful.
If you see Verizon Collections on your credit report, you’ll need to take the matter seriously and take steps to try to get the collection removed.
A collections account will hurt your credit score. And even if you had excellent credit before this, your score will decrease by several points. Removing the collection from your credit history is the best way to restore your score.
Steps to remove Verizon Collections from your credit report
These steps will help you stop debt collection calls:
- Verify Verizon is handling the collection
- Request a goodwill adjustment
- Offer a pay-for-delete agreement
- Get professional help
Verify Verizon is handling the collection
Just because your account went into collections doesn't mean Verizon is handling it. It has an internal collections department to manage overdue accounts. But eventually, Verizon sells outstanding debt to third-party collection companies.
This distinction is important because it'll help you determine the best way to remove the account from your credit history. Learn who's handling your debt by reviewing your credit report. Verizon will show as the creditor if it hasn't sold your debt. A collection agency will appear as the creditor if Verizon did sell the debt.
Removing a collection from your credit file depends, in part, on the owner of the debt. Keep this in mind as you consider the next steps.
Request a goodwill adjustment
If Verizon is managing your account and you'd like it to remove the negative item from your account, contact Verizon’s collections department to request a goodwill adjustment. To do this, write a goodwill letter explaining why you couldn't pay your bill on time. If you experienced financial hardship due to job loss or illness, for instance, let Verizon know.
In your request for Verizon Collections to remove the collection account from your credit report, you can indicate your commitment to avoid falling behind on your payments moving forward.
This strategy may seem like a long shot, but it often works if you make a payment in full.
To request a goodwill adjustment, write to Verizon at the following address:
One Verizon Way
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Offer a pay-for-delete agreement
This approach works best when the debt gets sold to a third-party collection agency, but you can also try it if you’re negotiating with Verizon’s collections department.
With this strategy, offer to pay the overdue balance if Verizon or the collection agency agrees to remove the negative mark from your credit report. This technique allows you to leverage the best card in your hand — payment to the creditor.
It’s best to put your communication in writing so you have records.
There’s a decent chance this method will work in your favor, especially since a third-party collection agency’s primary source of income is through payments from account holders.
Verizon, on the other hand, may not react positively to negotiation tactics. A spokesperson for Verizon told Money that Verizon will only remove a collection mark from your credit report if the company made an error reporting the debt or in the case of identity fraud.
“Verizon does not negotiate for the removal of a tradeline,” spokesperson Eric Wilkens said in an email. “Verizon will negotiate a settlement agreement, often for less than the total balance, but if executed, it will just update the tradeline to a Settled in Full status.”
Get professional help
If your goodwill letter and offer to pay the debt in exchange for deletion of the negative information from your credit report fails, consider seeking out a reputable credit repair company.
What if a Verizon Collections report is a mistake?
If you receive phone calls or letters from Verizon and don’t have an existing account, you can get the company to remove inaccurate information from your credit file. This happens more often than you might think. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives you the right to dispute inaccurate credit reporting.
To get started, send a debt validation letter to request Verizon to prove you owe the debt. If the company can't verify this, it must remove the negative data. If they respond and claim you owe the debt, make note of any and all inaccuracies in a dispute letter.
You can get free weekly credit reports at that website until at least the end of 2023. If necessary, you can also dispute inaccuracies with the credit bureaus — it’s your right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Knowing your rights when dealing with debt collectors
If a collection shows up on your credit report, it’s important you're familiar with your consumer rights.
For example, Verizon can’t:
- Call a restricted phone number
- Call if you requested contact in writing only
- Call at unusual hours or to your place of employment
- Call friends or family about your debt
- Threaten you with criminal action
- Report debt unrelated to your Verizon account
If a debt collector violates your rights, inform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Is Verizon Collections a reputable debt collection agency?
Verizon Collections is a real debt collection service. Anytime a collection appears on your credit report, it’s a serious issue and you should take steps to try to remove the negative mark. Debt collection agencies are known to use aggressive tactics, but don’t mistake Verizon Collections for a scam — you can’t ignore it.
About 200 complaints against Verizon to the Better Business Bureau mention billing or collection issues. Some of those complaints (which were reported in the past three years) allege that Verizon wrongly reported debt to collections, either through another debt collection company or Verizon’s in-house collection department. The BBB profile is for Verizon's headquarters, but customers may still file a complaint with the BBB for a franchise location.
FAQs on removing Verizon Collections from your credit report
How long does it take for Verizon Collections to be removed from my credit report?
How can I avoid having Verizon Collections appear on my credit report?
How can I monitor my credit report to track the progress of a Verizon Collections removal?
If you're considering using a credit monitoring service, make sure to do your research. In general, you can access the information you need to combat debt collectors without signing up for a paid service.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on June 13, 2017, on BetterCreditBlog.org. It has been updated with more recent information about Verizon Collections. To find the most relevant information concerning collections or credit inquiries, read: How to Remove Collections from Your Credit Report and How to Remove Negative Items from Your Credit Report.