In the last 18 months life for those who have been used to playing a clever balancing act of using one credit account to pay off another, has got a lot tougher with the result that now the level of defaults being experienced right across the consumer lending industry is reaching new heights. All experienced credit managers and debt collectors know there are can't pays and won't pays. To tackle this challenge, the quality of the information used must be a collection team's number one priority. Possessing good quality initial data will help identify the people that can pay up front. But probably the most important aspect of a good collections strategy is to learn from it to shape future credit risk management strategies.