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Getting out of Debt

4 Ways to Keep Collectors From Spoiling Christmas

3 Minute Read

What’s Christmas without Scrooge?

If you’re behind on your bills, you most likely have plenty of Scrooges calling your house to badger you. They are known as collectors.

But the holiday season should be happy! It should be spent with loved ones, not getting harassed by strangers on the phone. So here are our four tips for putting jerky collectors back in their place—and having a little fun doing it.

1. When the abuse starts, the call ends

Bullies harass people they perceive to be weaker. They think you’ll just sit there and take the yelling. But there is no law that says you have to take the venom a collector throws at you through the phone. If they start yelling or cussing, hang up. Maybe even tell them they’ve made the “naughty” list before you do so.

2. Play Christmas carols

This may be an unusual approach—but ’tis the season, right? Keep a boom box near the phone with a CD of Christmas carols in it. If a collector calls and gripes, tell them you have to put them on hold, then place the phone near the speaker and hit play. Go about your business and check back with them in three minutes. If they get back to being rude, tell them you have another call coming in, and repeat the process. At best you’ll calm them down. At worst you’ll tick them off—and we don’t see you crying because of that.

More than 5 million have beaten debt this way. You can too!

3. Read your favorite Christmas story

It could be Dickens’ A Christmas Carol or something from Charlie Brown. If a collector starts being bossy, pick up a book and tell him you're going to read them a story because they need the Christmas spirit. Then start reading while ignoring to whatever threats they make. It will either make them Super Scrooge or Bob Cratchett.

4. Ask if you can pay them in baked cookies or mistletoe

Ignore the collector’s empty promises to ruin you. Talk about how tasty your family Christmas cookie recipe is. Would they accept this delicious pastry in lieu of money? Tell them that a kiss from someone under the mistletoe would perk them right up. How can anyone be in a bad mood after that?

Hopefully, these merry methods of defusing will calm the collector down. When they are calm, you can talk and work out a repayment plan. Remember, we’re not giving you this advice as an excuse not to pay bills. If you owe, you must pay. But do it with a plan and a budget, not because you are scared by some idiot in a cubicle.

If you are being harassed by a collector, there’s good news: You can fight back. For more information, go to Collection Bully!

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