Debt collectors may have a worse reputation in the eyes of the public than members of Congress, ambulance-chasing lawyers and even sleazy tabloid journalists. And some recent headlines won’t improve their standing anytime soon, the Huffington Post reports. The earnings of some student-loan debt collectors raised eyebrows when it was revealed this week that some of them make over $450,000, more than twice the pay of the U.S. Secretary of Education. Seven employees at Educational Credit Management, a Minnesota nonprofit group that works with the government to collect on loans in default, earned more than $400,000 through commissions up to 31 percent, reports Bloomberg News. ECM, whose CEO Richard Boyle earned $1.1 million in 2010, is one of 32 groups that oversee student loans for the government. One of the debtors contacted by ECM is Susan Raposa, a special-education teacher in Massachusetts, who is struggling to pay off her $47,000 student loan balance. “I absolutely want to pay my fair share,” Raposa tells Bloomberg News. “But I’m going to live poorer than people on welfare.”

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