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I Don’t Want to Lose My U.S. Citizenship Over My Debt. – Adam

“Dear Steve,

I have about $55,000 in college debt (all consolidated with the government at 3% – contingency arrangement). Am in good standing forbearance. I also have about $20,000 in old credit card and vehicle debts, but much of that is nearing 7-years and I really don’t get many notices on it anymore. Looked into a bankruptcy, but was told by the attorney that I was uncollectable at this point and that it would not probably be a big deal unless I find a good paying job.

My field is graphics and computers and work has been painfully slow, and I even did a stint in mining (minored in geology), but was laid-off at the end of ’08. Have not been able to find a solid job.

I have a potential possibility to get good solid employment in South America, with people that really want my skills, but am uncertain about the implications regarding my debt. If I could string together 3 good years, I could largely get out from under all of it, but don’t want to loose my US citizenship because of leaving the country.

What would you recommend?


Dear Adam,

If you do leave the U.S. and plan to return, just make sure you continue to make your student loan payments. If you don’t, when you return there will be a big mess to deal with and the balance will have significantly grown.

On the other debts, even though they may be too old to sue you over, if that’s what the attorney was alluding to, they may still attempt to collect on them from time to time.

Those old debt, besides the student loan, will not impact your citizenship and you won’t have any problems with entering or leaving the country.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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About the author

Steve Rhode

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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