Collingswood, NJ: Fed Cetera has announced it is seeking minority-owned, small business collection agencies to respond to a Request for Information (RFI) to compete for new business collecting Federal student loans in 2015 and beyond. Such firms may be selected to work as Federal subcontractors on United States Department of Education (ED) Private Collection Agency (PCA) contracts, which paid PCAs more than $1 billion in collection fees during Federal fiscal year 2014 and has incentives for prime PCAs to subcontract to small, minority-owned firms, among other types.

Click here to request a copy of the RFI.

In Federal contracting, the term recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for what is typically referred to as a “minority owed” business in other government contract circles is known as a “small disadvantaged” business (SDB) at the Federal level.

“We are pleased to invite minority-owned firms to contact us for help determining if they meet all SDB requirements,” said Nick Bernardo of Fed Cetera, continuing, “Race alone does not meet the requirements. The minority owner or owners must be able to unilaterally make all long-term decisions for the business and run the business on a daily basis, which implies the person must be on site at the business every day.  If your goal is to actually comply with all Federal regulations, rather than simply appearing to comply, it’s complicated.”

In order to claim your business as an SDB for Federal contracting and subcontracting opportunities, your firm must first be a small business, generating under $15 million in average billings for the last three completed fiscal years, among other characteristics.  If your business is a small business, it may then qualify as an SDB if the owner(s) with a controlling interest in the business are:

  • Black Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Asian Pacific Americans
  • Subcontinent Asian American

The owners must also meet SBA’s economic disadvantage, ownership, control and management, and character requirements.

Subcontractors working on the PCA contract as a result of their relationship with Fed Cetera have historically earned $100,000 to $750,000 per month per subcontract in fees and just under $50 million to date for their efforts on this long-term initiative.

As reported on ED procurement documents posted on, the procurement for PCAs that began in 2013 places greater emphasis than ever before on the need for PCAs to subcontract accounts to small businesses.  A set aside contract awarded to eleven small businesses in late September of last year requires, for the first time, even those small businesses to farm out some of the work to other small businesses.

About Fed Cetera
Fed Cetera helps companies in the collection industry pursue opportunities with the Federal government.  Federal PCAs have strong incentives to give a portion of their work to qualified small businesses.  Companies working with Fed Cetera to pursue subcontracting opportunities in 2015 will surpass $50,000,000 in total billings for their work provided as subcontractors to ED PCAs. Click here to learn more.

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