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Debt CollectorAlternative titles

Kaikohi Nama

This job is sometimes referred to as:

Collections Officer

Debt collectors help businesses and individuals collect overdue payments for goods or services.

Contact us

Call us on 0800 222 733


Debt collectors earn between $38,000 and $45,000 a year, depending on their experience and what business they work for. 

MoreBusiness.com website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information

What you will do

Debt collectors may do some or all of the following:

  • discuss with client businesses what money is owed to them
  • contact people by phone or letter to inform them of unpaid accounts
  • advise people on how to pay overdue accounts
  • arrange for legal action to be taken on unpaid accounts
  • organise the repossession of goods to settle unpaid bills
  • keep records and prepare statements
  • prepare legal documents
  • train staff.

Skills and knowledge

Debt collectors need to have:

  • knowledge of the relevant sections of the Sale of Goods Act, Hire Purchase Act, Privacy Act and Possession of Chattels Act
  • knowledge of District Court rules and procedures.

Working conditions

Debt collectors:

  • usually work regular hours, however, they may do shift work that includes weekends and evenings
  • work in call centres, offices and in people's homes
  • work in stressful situations, as they often have to deal with verbally abusive debtors
  • may travel around the community to collect money or goods.

What's the job really like?

Debra Begg - Debt Collector

Debra Begg
Got into debt collection by accident

"I left college and had no idea about what I wanted to do. I had done keyboarding through school so I thought it would be a good starting point looking for a receptionist-type role.

"I took the job here by accident. Obviously I knew that they were debt collection, but I was a bit naive back then. I had never been in debt myself so didn't really know what it was.

Foot in the door lead to other opportunities

"I started with reception stuff but then my boss started involving me in more things. I took on a type of junior PA role. With her encouragement I started thinking that this might be a good career.

"After 10 years it's safe to say I'm familiar with how things work. Now it's just getting used to looking after a team of people. But it's all coming together."

There to help people

"It's funny - we have this persona of being the big bad debt collector, when really we're just there to help people. We help our clients get back money that's rightfully owed to their businesses and, if we can, we help the debtors as well by sorting out payment plans with them."


Debt collectors usually earn
per year
Debra Begg and a colleague look at an account on the computer

Debra Begg and a colleague arrange legal action for an unpaid account

Updated 8 Nov 2013