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What is Synchrony Bank Collections?
Synchrony Bank Collections is the in-house debt collection department of Synchrony Bank, a large financial company which is headquartered in Kettering, Ohio. 1
Synchrony is primarily a provider of retail financing for companies across a wide range of industries. They also offer products directly to consumers. 2 In particular, they’re one of the largest issuers of private-label credit cards in the United States. 2
You’ll most likely see Synchrony Bank Collections on your credit report if you failed to make payments on a credit card you hold with one of their retail affiliates.
Other names for Synchrony Bank Collections
Overdue debts with Synchrony Bank Collections might also appear on your credit report under “08 Synchrony Bank.”
If you have an active credit card or store card with Synchrony Bank (not necessarily an overdue one), or if you recently applied for one, the account will probably feature the acronym SYNCB.
Who does Synchrony Bank Collections collect for?
Synchrony Bank Collections is a first-party debt collector, which means they only collect debts from people who hold an account with them. They collect late payments and fees on their credit cards, retail installment loans, and savings accounts.
If you see Synchrony Bank Collections on your credit report, you probably have overdue payments on your account.
Is Synchrony Bank Collections a scam?
No, Synchrony Bank Collections isn’t a scam. They’re a legitimate branch of Synchrony Bank. However, even legitimate collectors can violate your rights as a consumer, and Synchrony Bank has faced legal challenges for doing so in the past.
In 2021, Synchrony Bank paid a $3.5 million settlement following a lawsuit filed by a team of California district attorneys. 3 The suit alleged that Synchrony placed excessive and harassing phone calls to consumers, including non-debtors, starting in 2014.
Fraudsters may also use Synchrony’s name to trick you out of your money. That’s why it’s vital to verify what debts you owe before making any payments. You can verify your debts to Synchrony Bank by logging in to one of their online portals or contacting them directly using the contact information below.
Understand your rights
Because Synchrony Bank Collections is a first-party debt collector (meaning they collect debts on their own behalf), they don’t have to abide by the same laws that apply to third-party debt collection agencies (which collect debts for other companies and individuals).
Specifically, Synchrony Bank Collections isn’t required to adhere to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which means that (depending on the laws in your state) there may be fewer restrictions on how and when they can contact you.
However, you still have several options for fighting Synchrony Bank Collections and getting the collection account off your credit report, which we’ll describe below.
Beware of the statute of limitations on debt
Depending on how long it’s been since you failed to repay Synchrony Bank Collections, it’s possible that your debt is old enough that it’s passed the statute of limitations. This is a legal limit on how long Synchrony Bank Collections can sue you over the debt. After this period passes, it’s known as time-barred debt.
The statute of limitations on most debts is between 3 and 6 years, but the exact amount of time depends on several factors, including the state you live in and the type of debt that it is.
To find the statute of limitations on your debt, check your state attorney general’s website and email their office if the information you’re looking for isn’t available online.
How to remove Synchrony Bank Collections from your credit report
If your credit score is suffering as a result of Synchrony Bank Collections debt, there are two ways to recover:
1. Dispute the debt
You should immediately dispute the debt if it isn’t yours or if it’s older than 7 years (measured from the date of your first missed payment)—by law, collection accounts are supposed to fall off your credit report by then.
To dispute a debt for free, send a credit dispute letter to the credit bureaus that are showing Synchrony Bank Collections on your credit report. You should also send a dispute letter to Synchrony Bank Collections.
To find out which credit bureaus you need to send the letter to, request your free credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion at AnnualCreditReport.com. If they don’t respond to your dispute within 30–45 days, then they’re legally obligated to remove the item from your credit report.
2. Negotiate with Synchrony Bank Collections
Unfortunately, if the debt is legitimate and it’s less than 7 years old, removing Synchrony Bank Collections from your credit report will be very difficult (although not impossible).
Your best move at this point is to simply pay the debt. Newer credit scoring models, such as FICO 9 and VantageScore 3.0, ignore paid-off collection accounts, which means paying off your collection will boost your credit score even if you can’t remove the item from your credit report.
However, when you pay, there are two negotiation strategies you can try as a last-ditch attempt to remove Synchrony Bank Collections from your report:
- Pay for delete: You might be able to convince Synchrony Bank Collections to remove the negative mark in exchange for paying off the debt. You can open these negotiations by sending them a pay-for-delete letter.
- Goodwill deletion: This is an alternate strategy you can try after paying your debt. Once the account is paid off, you can send Synchrony Bank Collections a goodwill letter asking them to empathize with your situation and remove the mark from your credit report as an act of kindness.
How to file a complaint against Synchrony Bank Collections
If you’re unhappy with how Synchrony Bank Collections is treating you, then you can file a complaint on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
However, bear in mind that the BBB is a private organization that has no affiliation with the US government. The BBB will forward your complaint to Synchrony Bank Collections, but there’s no guarantee that Synchrony Bank Collections will address it in a satisfactory manner.
Alternatively, if Synchrony Bank Collections has done something illegal, then you can report them to the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or your state attorney general.
Can I sue Synchrony Bank Collections for harassment?
No, you can’t sue Synchrony Bank Collections for harassment. You may have heard that you can sue debt collectors for harassing you, but this doesn’t apply to Synchrony Bank Collections since they’re a first-party debt collector and they’re not required to abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
However, you may be able to sue Synchrony Bank Collections if they violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when calling you. You may also be able to press charges if a representative threatens you.
How to stop Synchrony Bank Collections from calling you
Synchrony Bank Collections will contact you by whatever means they see fit if they believe you have an unsettled debt, and they won’t stop unless you pay the debt or reach an agreement with them.
Ordinarily, debt collection agencies have to stop calling you if you send them a debt verification letter. However, Synchrony Bank Collections isn’t obligated to do so because they’re a first-party debt collector—they collect their own debts, not debts owed to other companies. This means that many of the normal laws on debt collection, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), don’t apply to them.
Nevertheless, you can try these approaches to get them to stop calling you:
- Send them a letter: Although this isn’t guaranteed to work, you can try sending Synchrony Bank Collections a letter asking them to stop calling you and only communicate with you in writing. They may be more likely to agree to your request if you previously had a good relationship with them.
- Block their calls: You can set up a call-blocking service by contacting your phone service provider or downloading a blocking app onto your mobile phone. However, bear in mind that this comes with risks—for example, they may be more inclined to sue you over the debt.
Note that, depending on where you live, it’s possible that stricter laws actually do apply to Synchrony Bank Collections. Several states have their own laws (often modeled off of the FDCPA) that place more stringent restrictions on first-party debt collectors. Look up your local legislation and consider consulting with an attorney to learn more.