Owning different credit lines can be a real challenge, especially once we get behind on credit card payments.
While we know that unpaid credit accounts eventually go to a collection agency, there are bogus agencies that might try to scam you.
At the same time, however, late payments will stay on your credit report for a long time. The sooner you can deal with it, the better it is for your credit score.
You wouldn't want to ignore the collection agencies, including Penn Credit Corporation. But is it legit?
We hear you. Dealing with a collection agency can be stressful. To ease your mind and help you, we looked into Penn Credit Corporation and gathered the best tips on how to deal with Penn Credit entries on your credit report.
Read on to know the most critical reminder people often forget when their accounts go to collection. Don’t miss out!
What is Penn Credit Corporation?
Founded in 1987 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Penn Credit Corporation continues to operate today as a national debt collection company. It provides third-party collection services for numerous businesses, government agencies, and organizations in the US.
The business primarily collects the following:
- Toll fees
- Medical debt
- Government loans
- Student loans
- Utility bills
- Telecommunication charges
Penn Credit Corporation company has extended its operations into first-party services under the name Penn Billing, which offers the following services:
- Resolution of credit balances
- Monitoring of payment plans
- Services for revenue cycle consulting
- Follow-up on insurance
- Accounts receivable administration
- Management of early-out/self-pay receivables
Is Penn Credit a scam?
No, it’s not a scam. Penn Credit Corporation is a legit third-party collection company. It’s also a member of the ACA International.
However, even if Penn Credit Corporation is a legitimate business, its representatives may not always act justly or ethically. We've found stories of debtors suing the company for numerous rights violations.
One victim, for example, expressed fear and resentment towards the company because of non-stop harassment through phone, email, and even mail, forcing her to pay for the bill or “get arrested.”
It's also worth mentioning that Penn Credit's former owner was guilty of “providing monetary benefits to public officials in exchange for favorable treatment.” In other words, the said owner engaged in bribery.
You may also be subjected to an unjust collections account, which can appear on your credit report. This lowers your credit score and thus affects your chances of being approved for a loan or other credit lines.
But that’s not the worst part. Scammers may try to collect money from you by impersonating Penn Credit Corporation representatives. It’s important to remain cautious—always confirm your debt’s legitimacy before agreeing to any payment schemes.
How can you best deal with Penn Credit Corporation?
Penn Credit Corporation may attempt to contact you via mail or phone, and it may ask you about a debt you owe.
The worst thing you can do when dealing with debt collectors such as Penn Credit is ignore them. For the most part, you can end up with diminished income, largely due to the interest you need to pay.
However, some consumers claim that Penn Credit Corporation can sue. In most instances, this leaves lasting negative impacts on your credit scores. Because of this, you’ll have to deal with it strategically instead of ignoring it.
The question now stands—should you pay Penn Credit? Yes, but you should only pay a collection agency if you're confident that the debt is yours and that you truly owe it.
If you’re dealing with financial difficulties and can’t pay the debt collector, consider seeking a credit counselor. Aside from that, here’s what else you can do when you receive a letter or call from Penn Credit Corporation:
Provide a debt verification letter
Important reminder: One of the most critical things to do when your account goes to collections is to send a debt verification letter.
Debt verification letters are official requests that force a debt collector to give additional proof of debts. It's essential to send these letters within 30 days of Penn Credit's initial contact.
Keep in mind that it’s mandatory for Penn Credit Corporation to provide you with a debt validation letter as evidence that you really owe the debt.
To fully grasp the importance of a debt verification letter, consider the following benefits:
- Penn Credit will be forced to stop contacting you: Sending a debt verification letter means that collection agencies must stop contacting you until they can provide evidence that you truly owe the debt they're attempting to collect.
- You'll learn more regarding the debt: We highly recommend that you don’t pay a debt you don't recognize! You'll know more about the debt’s details by requesting Penn Credit to give necessary documentation through the debt validation letter.
- You’ll have the chance to be free of the debt: Penn Credit must delete the debt from your credit records if it can't provide additional details about it. Thankfully, this is usually the case, so it’s best to send a debt verification letter.
File a complaint against Penn Credit
You can report Penn Credit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, especially if you feel like it has violated your rights, such as in harassment cases.
Remember that you have the right to sue Penn Credit for harassment. You can recover $1,000 in statutory damages for each violation if you can prove that it has violated your rights. Penn Credit will also be responsible for your legal fees and court costs.
If it engages in other illegal practices, you may report directly to the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or your state attorney general.
Should you pay Penn Credit to ensure credit record deletion?
Agreeing to pay off your debt just to tick it off your credit report may seem like the perfect solution. However, it sounds too good to be true, and you're not wrong.
When you pay off a debt tagged under collections, the credit record will change from “unpaid” to “paid,” which will reflect on your entire credit report for the next seven years.
In other words, financial institutions conducting hard inquiries will know that you've been under a debt collection agency—and that's never a good sign.
Consumer complaints about Penn Credit Corporation
Many users online (such as on independent forums and review sites) complain about Penn Credit Corporation’s services, stating that some representatives are rude or unprofessional. Some even pressure them into paying their debts.
Some users report that Penn Credit put unverified or inaccurate information on their credit reports and had to file official complaints.
Penn Credit Corporation contact information
If you must contact Penn Credit, here’s the company’s contact information:
General mailing and phone:
📍 2800 Commerce Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110
📞 (800) 800-3328
📮 PO Box 69703, Harrisburg, PA 17106
📞 (800) 900-1380
Can you remove Penn Credit from your credit report?
Yes, you can remove Penn Credit from your credit report. Here’s what you can do:
1. Dispute the debt
If you suspect the debt under Penn Credit on your credit report isn't yours or inaccurate, you may dispute them with the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can send credit dispute letters for free.
Many collection details will remain on your credit report for seven years after you miss a payment. So, your Penn Credit accounts will stay on your credit report even after you’ve paid the debt.
You can also wait for Penn Credit to expire from your credit report, but this one’s a test of patience.
Remember that you can dispute debts that are more than seven years old. Under the law, creditors should remove any credit at the seven-year mark from your credit report.
2. Negotiate with Penn Credit
Removing Penn Credit from your credit report will be extremely difficult if your debt is legitimate and under seven years old. Your best option is to pay the debt, preventing your credit score from plummeting.
Paying off your debt can boost your credit score and hopefully be enough for future lending institutions. You just need to negotiate a fair settlement with Penn Credit Corporation to ensure the terms are achievable.
We’re all trying to pay debts—it’s never something to be ashamed of. Given how difficult it can be, it’s no surprise that many of us deal with debt collection agencies like Penn Credit Corporation.
While a legitimate company, users across the country complain about harassment, threats, and other terrifying instances. On top of that, they had to deal with a low credit score.
Thankfully, this shouldn’t have to be the case for you. Remember this guide, and more importantly, know that you have rights when dealing with institutions like Penn Credit.