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What Is a Collections Specialist and How to Become One

Collections Specialist

What Is a Collections Specialist?

Collections specialists work in a company’s accounting and billing departments to collect overdue bills from a client or customer. When bills fall into delinquency, a collections specialist reviews the accounts and contacts the clients or vendors to work out a payment plan with accounts receivable. The debt that is owed to the company may be passed on to a bank, a debt counselor, or an external third-party collector. In some cases, a collections specialist will work with credit or a bank loan to ensure payment is made.

How to Become a Collections Specialist

An aspiring Collections Specialist should have some background in finance, though a formal degree beyond a high school diploma is not necessary. Two to three years of previous experience with a collections agency or similar work is preferred. Basic computer proficiency is a must, especially with Microsoft Office tools. Collections Specialists are detail-oriented and responsible with money. They are also strong communicators, especially when navigating financial concerns with customers—a topic that demands some strong customer service. In most cases, you’ll be contacting several customers each day via phone and email, so a Collections Specialist should excel at communication across either platform. You will likely be working on a team, so a cooperative attitude is necessary.

How to Be a Good Collections Specialist

A career as a collections specialist comes with many responsibilities. You will be in charge of several accounts that will need to be reviewed and connected to for payments. To be a good collections specialist, you will need to be tenacious, organized, and have an eye for detail. Having a background in financing or accounting will help in finding solutions or payment options. Communication skills are key, as the collections specialist will speak with many people every day, and need to keep a professional demeanor when arranging payments.

Collections Specialist Job Description Sample

With this Collections Specialist job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Collections Specialist role.

Job Summary

We are seeking a Collections Specialist to help us collect outstanding debts. In this role, you will monitor our accounts and contact clients who are delinquent to help them set up a payment plan. If they do not pay within the time limit, you will then turn the debt over to a collections agency. While you do not need any specific collections experience, you should have a background in customer service. Conflict resolution skills are crucial in this position.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Monitor our accounts
  • Contact delinquent accounts
  • Help delinquent clients set up a payment plan
  • Turn long overdue accounts over to a collections agency
  • Log all contacts and resolutions

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • Customer service experience
  • Strong conflict resolution abilities
  • Excellent communication and phone skills
  • Computer proficiency