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ARLINGTON, Va. – Credit unions which offer their members credit counseling may not be aware of how much their service can be worth in today’s market, particularly if they help their members set up a debt repayment plan. According to Cardweb.com, a site on the World Wide Web which tracks credit card news, a new research report authored by Washington D.C. based Economists Incorporated indicated that the fees consumer credit counseling services can earn for their work helping clients escape debt and getting their creditors repaid can range from $1,500 to over $3,000 on a debt portfolio of $16,500. According to the study, a $16,500 portfolio of debt which is repaid over five years makes the credit counseling firms affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling $1,500; the firm associated with the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies $1,867; and unaffiliated agencies $3,225. The first two, like most credit unions, offer their services free or for a very modest fee. The fees generated come from the creditors. Unaffiliated agencies act as they see fit and often collect fees from the consumer and the creditor, according to the NFCC. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling disputes the study’s findings as inaccurate.

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