I left the UK in 2001 with approximately 20,000 of combined debt. 6,000 of this was a student loan, plus a bank loan and overdraft.
I have been in Portugal ever since, living, working and behaving far more responsibly but ironically have a partner who has now been offered a brilliant job in the UK. I am interested to what the situation will be for me if I return this year. I have heard that after 10 years the debts will be statute barred, but that I may be hassled by the companies owed money.
Would I be starting from zero after such a long time away or is this asking for too much? Could I be forced to repay any of this money? Are student loans different in any way as they were the last organisation to ‘give up’..if indeed they have.
Debts in the UK can be statute barred if a creditor makes no contact with you for a period of six (6) years. The grey area is if a creditor attempts contact; this means they may be trying to contact you via post or however, but they do not have your current details.
Chances are now after 11 years, the debts have been written off by the banks or lenders, but that still doesn’t mean if those banks can contact you again they may not try to collect the debt. You would need to try and prove they had no contact with you or attempted contact.
Student loans are treated differently. Most cannot be statute barred, so without the full details of the student loan(s), I cannot say, but would venture you will still owe these.
Just owing the debts will not impact you returning to the UK, however if they still show up somewhere, they can be an issue in letting a place to live or opening a bank account. Accounts are to drop off your credit history after six (6) years, but they don’t always do this and there can be the issue of huge gaps of no credit.
You may wish to review your credit file prior to avoid any unknown problems.
I hope this helps.
Jon Emge is an experienced UK debt advisor who has helped thousands and thousands of people in the UK to deal with problem debt. Jon specialises in finding good solutions for problem debt using a variety of UK specific techniques.
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