Debt Collector on Student Loans Made $454K in a Year With more people defaulting, business is brisk By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted May 15, 2012 5:57 PM CDT 22 comments Comments Overdue student loans are awful for former students, but lucrative for debt collectors. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The growing number of ex-students overwhelmed with student-loan debt might want to consider an apropos career switch—to become a collector of overdue student loans. Sadly, it's no joke. As Bloomberg explains, one such collector made $454,000 in a single year, most of it in bonuses for getting people to pay up. His boss, the CEO of Educational Credit Management Corp., makes than more than $1 million in salary, along with some sweet commuting perks. ECMC is one of about 30 such "guaranty agencies" that help the government run its student-loan program. When the agencies collect money from defaulted borrowers, they keep their own cut, and with so many students graduating with massive debt loads these days, business is booming. Things got so out of hand that ECMC last year cut back its bonus program to make it harder for collectors to make more than $150,000. That was before the $454,000 year for Joshua Mandelman, who, Bloomberg points out, made more than twice as much as the secretary of education. Read the full piece here.