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National Economic Impact Study of the Debt Resolution Industry

To see the debt resolution industry’s local economic impact scroll over each state using the interactive map.

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The American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), the predecessor to the American Association for Debt Resolution (AADR), commissioned a first-of-its-kind research study to assess the national economic impact of debt resolution activity. In 2020, the AFCC released the second edition of the Economic Impact Report. To read the full 2020 report, click the Download Report button.

*Estimated total economic impact if debt resolution is widely available in these states

About the 2020 Economic Impact Report

After releasing an extensive study of the debt resolution industry and its vast contributions to the economies of dozens of states and the United States at large, the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) in 2020 commissioned another independent research study to again assess the national economic impact of debt resolution activity. Using the same research firm, John Dunham & Associates (JDA), data was collected from across the United States to illustrate the debt resolution industry’s substantial positive impact on the U.S. economy and the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have taken advantage of debt resolution.1

The industry contributes to the American economy in a variety of ways, three of which are particularly profound. First, the debt resolution industry employs thousands upon thousands of Americans across the country. Second, creditors participating in the debt resolution process receive funds from debtors faster than they would otherwise. Finally, and most importantly, consumers with crippling unsecured debt enrolled in debt resolution programs are able to get back on their feet rapidly and once again contribute positively to their local economies.2

  • $6.8 Billion in total economic impact.3
  • Consumers saved $1.65 Billion.4
  • Potential $758 Million of additional Economic Impact.7
  • Creditors recovered over $658 Million.5
  • The debt resolution industry contributed nearly 34,000 jobs and $821 million in federal states and local taxes were paid by the industry.6

The Current Economic Impact Delivered by the Debt Resolution Industry

The debt resolution industry contributes to the U.S. economy in a variety of ways each year, accounting for a total economic impact of $6.8 billion in 2019.3 This impact is realized across business and personal interests extensively:

  • Indebted Americans saved $1.65 billion in 20194 as a result of debt resolution programs.
  • Creditors participating in debt resolution programs in 2019 received more than $650 million5 in revenue that might otherwise have been delayed or not received at all.
  • In 2019, the industry was cumulatively responsible for nearly 34,000 jobs across the U.S., and more than $821 million6 generated in federal, state and local taxes.
  • To see the debt resolution industry’s local economic impact scroll over each state using the interactive map above.

The Potential Economic Impact Delivered by Debt Resolution in 18 Additional States

The study also examined the potential economic impact of the industry if consumers in the 18 states where the product is currently not widely available were given the opportunity to take advantage of debt resolution services. That resulting economic impact in the U.S. annually would total an additional estimated $758 million larger, with about 4,120 additional jobs7, including:

  • $387 million more in savings for consumers.8
  • $59 million in taxes to the federal government.9
  • $32 million in supplementary state and local tax revenues.10

$758 Million

Additional Economic Impact


New Jobs Created

The resulting study report and data confirms debt resolution companies provide a vital service, giving Americans in desperate financial situations a path back to financial wellness. The debt resolution industry serves as an advocate for consumers and it delivers billions in economic benefits, supports thousands of U.S. jobs and enables creditors to receive payments on outstanding debt, in situations where they would not have benefitted otherwise.

To view the full report, click here.


  1. Dunham. (2020). 2020 Economic Impact of the Debt Settlement Industry (2020). Page 5.
  2. Dunham. (2020). 2020 Economic Impact. Page 2.
  3. Dunham. (2020). 2020 Economic Impact. Page 2.
  4. Dunham. (2020). 2020 Economic Impact. Page 12.
  5. Dunham. (2020). 2020 Economic Impact. Page 8.
  6. Dunham. (2020). 2020 Economic Impact. Page 3.
  7. Dunham. (2020). 2020 Economic Impact. Page 9.
  8. Dunham. (2020). 2020 Economic Impact. Page 9.
  9. Dunham. (2020). 2020 Economic Impact. Page 9.
  10. Dunham. (2020). 2020 Economic Impact. Page 9.