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Credit controller Debt collection agent

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Credit controllers help firms get the money they're owed from businesses and individuals.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You may find it useful to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including maths.

Previous office work will be an advantage, especially in customer service or accounts. A qualification in bookkeeping or accounts may be useful.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to work to strict deadlines
  • negotiation skills
  • the ability to explain financial matters clearly
  • administrative and computer skills

3. What you'll do

You'll work in:

  • a 'third party' collection agency, paid to collect debts from businesses or individuals, or
  • a company's finance or credit department, chasing late payments from suppliers and customers

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • contacting individuals or business customers when payment is overdue
  • checking credit records and tracing missing debtors
  • setting up repayment plans and working with debt counsellors
  • setting up and maintaining customer files
  • processing payments
  • starting legal proceedings if debts are not paid within an agreed time
  • liaising with solicitors and bailiffs

You may work at a debt collection agency as a 'field collector', travelling to debtors to collect payments in person.

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000 to £22,000

Experienced: £22,000 to £27,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000 or more

You may get bonuses and commission. Some employers may offer a car and fuel allowance, especially if you're working as a field collector.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work standard office hours or do shifts, including evenings and weekends.

You'll be based in an office or a call centre. If you're working as a field collector you will usually work from home and travel to visit clients at their home or business.

6. Career path and progression

With experience and professional qualifications, you could be promoted to credit manager.


You could also start your own collection agency or set up as a freelance field collection agent.


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Last updated: 13 September 2018