Should We Bother to Repay Sallie Mae if We Are Moving to the UK?


Dear Steve,

My son has dual US/UK citizenship. He has been offered an entry level, low paying, position in the UK. My husband co-signed for him, but we will also be moving to the EU within two years.

How should my son handle repayment of his Sallie Mae student loans if he is moving abroad?



Dear Marsha,

My concern over your son’s status is he may not qualify for a permanent leave to remain visa in the UK and will have to return after a period of time. If you are planning to move and live in the UK you should consult with an immigration attorney and clearly understand what level visa he is entering the UK on.

At the very least your son should have a job with a company who holds a sponsorship license to allow him to work there.

Regarding the debt, It really doesn’t matter if your son moves as long as your husband is in the U.S. These sound like private loans and as the co-signer, your husband is 100% responsible for the full balance of the debt.

Don’t be surprised to be the focus of collection efforts and activity when your son can’t be found overseas.

There is little in the way of international collections so I would not expect your son to be chased for payment if he does not inform the lender where he went.

However, both your husband and son should expect the defaulted loans to be reported as a bad debt on their U.S. credit reports and potentially one or both may be the subject of U.S. based legal action.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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