What is Afni Collections, and why is it on my credit report?

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In a Nutshell

If you see Afni Collections and suspect a scam, you may want to take a closer look at your credit history. Afni helps some large companies recoup outstanding debt. So before you dismiss it as a scam on your credit report, you might want to verify that you don’t have any accounts in collections.
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Afni Collections is a collections agency that works to help companies recoup old debt.

Big companies hire Afni Collections to help track down outstanding debt on their behalf. Afni’s clients tend to include large businesses such as telecommunications companies, satellite/cable companies, healthcare providers and insurance companies.

Why is Afni Collections on my credit report?

If you’ve noticed Afni Collections on your credit report or if the company has started contacting you, it’s likely trying to recover debt on behalf of one of its clients.

Debt collection agencies like Afni can end up on your credit reports when your original creditor has sold your unpaid debt to them or when they’re collecting on behalf of their clients. If you’re looking for this on your credit reports, you’ll most likely see it listed as an account in collections.

You should always independently verify your debt when a debt collection agency contacts you. Get information about the debt in writing from the debt collector and make sure you know your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Is Afni Collections a scam?

Afni Collections is a legitimate, long-standing company that helps large clients collect outstanding debt. If you think that the collection inquiry on your account is a mistake, you can contact Afni directly to file your complaints.

Fast Fact

What are debt buyers?

Debt buyers purchase consumer debts for pennies on the dollar and then try to collect on them. Be sure to know your rights when dealing with debt buyers.

How to remove Afni Collections from your credit reports

If the debt Afni contacts you about is valid, Afni will notify the credit bureaus as you make payments. Once the account is paid off and closed, Afni will request that the credit agencies remove the account from your report altogether. But it’s worth noting that even if you pay off the debt, it may still appear on your credit report for up to seven years —under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, accounts in collection may remain on your credit report for up to seven years.

But if the debt isn’t legitimate, make sure to act quickly and reach out to the credit bureaus to dispute the debt.

The credit bureaus are required to investigate disputes and forward information about errors to the debt collector, which will have to notify all three of the major consumer credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) about any information it determines is inaccurate.

What to do if there’s an account you don’t recognize on your credit reports

Having an account show up in collections on your credit reports can be alarming. It can take time for your credit to recover, but there are steps you can take to work on rebuilding your credit.

But if the account in collections is not valid, start with disputing the inaccuracy and then monitor your credit reports for any other inaccuracies — it’s possible that you’re facing a case of identity theft. You can access your credit reports from all three major consumer credit bureaus for free at annualcreditreport.com once a year, and possibly more under certain circumstances (such as if you believe you’ve been a victim of fraud).  

About the author: Sean McQuay is a long-time personal finance nerd. He’s passionate about budgets, credit cards, and earning useful rewards with minimal effort. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a father to three rambunctious kids. Read more.