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Can I Move to Australia and Get Married if I Have a Delinquent Private Student Loan? – Mike

“Dear Steve,

private student loan debit took out – and never went to school for 2 reasons. One had major issues with the school it’s self. I got a private student loan (thanks to Grandpa co-sign) which was to cover school, room/board, and all other related cost. Bags packed ready to go on the road trip with the parents. Check in hand ready to embark on a new life. Get to the school and they would not accept my check. Saying the check must be payable to the school- they would debit their fees- then set up a payment plan- that would pay me a modest monthly fee (up to a limit per year) basically holding my money and telling what I can/cant do with it.

Long story short- had to get lawyers involved and then I was told by one dep head that I would be forever blacklisted at the school- then showed me and my parents my school file -with the “blacklisted” remarks. As I’m Native American and was told that we really don’t care to have you attend. While we were going to go after the school for race description reasons- by dad became very ill with cancer.

His heath rapidly went down and was unable to function day to day life. He was the main income for my parents and could no longer work. causing them to fill chapter 7 losing everything and were homeless for a short period of time. Dad was denied his VA benefits on many attempts. Mom had to go out and pick up better work- just to pay the bills and the crazy medical costs of my dad. So I was not able to attend school and moved him to be the primary caregiver for my dad. As he needed someone there with him at all times. Since mom worked all day and many hours into the night.

Dad recently passed away a coupe years ago.

my school money went to his ever growing medical bills. I have been paying the loan back for many years now (8 years or so)

I got $30k and I currently owe over $36k on them. And struggle to pay this every month. Loan is served by American Education Services (its changed hands many times)

I make under 26k a year and my rent is paid by my employer. I do have other debit from credit cards and medical bills.

My employer has just told me that they will be forced to close their doors end of year.

Even if I was to find another job pay is pretty much the same for my line of work. And what I do is rare and not many places I can go to exist.

I would have to pay for my housing (like normal people do) and I would not be able to make my loan payments.

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I am not eligible for deferment or forbearance on my loan- as my co-singer (grandfather) passed away many years ago.

Im recently engaged to a wonderful Australian woman…and with the recent news that I will be out of a job by end of the year. I can’t think of a better time to make the move to Australia- where my fiance is currently living. It really seams like the light at the end of the tunnel. A new life and new place for new opportunities.

I do have a visa that allows me to enter and stay in Australia.

HOWEVER it does NOT allow me to work. Once I move I must live there for 2 years- at which time I can apply for Permeant Residency. There is no guarantee that I will be allowed to stay. But there is a chance they will allow me to work- but I have to file another form and wait for approval. Which can take years it self.

I have no assets in the USA. Own my car- which will be sold for moving money. Have no money in the bank.
do have a biz that makes no income what so ever. But has assets- that will move to australia. its an LLC which should protect anyone from going after my biz for personal debit (or so I think)

I really stressed at what to do. To the point of just getting out of hospital for stress related illness.

I know there is no way I will be able to pay- as I wont be able to work- have no savings to even attempt to use to pay (been putting it all into paying down the loan faster)
As noted I have done my best for the past 8 years to pay- and have done so.

I have heard many stories of people moving overseas to not deal with their student loan debit. But don’t know the legal side of this.

and bankruptcy is next to impossible with student loans. Though I do think un do hardship might apply to my case- but told that it’s very rare any case wins.

having no assets, nor planning on buying or living in the USA for the near future…I’m not really bothered by credit score or bankruptcy.

please I’m begging you for any advice, help, or tips as I’m at the end of my rope here. And don’t have a clue what to do.

how do I protect myself moving overseas from USA student load debit?

Can I prove hardship and get rid of the student loan thru bankruptcy?
who do I talk to about this?

Any lawyer?

do they need to be in my state of where I live?

can I do the process from overseas?

what are my options?


Dear Mike,

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I’m so sorry to hear about all the loss, strife and stress you have suffered.

Your situation typifies a common underlying issue faced by many.

On one hand we have the debt and the best way to deal with that.

On the other hand we have your life and what is best for you moving forward.

On the debt front the best thing to do is repay the debt in accordance with the terms and conditions of the loan. Failing to do that will result in penalty fees, and charges being added to the loan as the balance grows and grows. It is what it is.

It is unlikely this loan will be placed for international collections and even if you are contacted, without income you can’t make any payments or really any promises to pay. Don’t let that scare you.

While student loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, private student loans do have one Achilles heel, the statute of limitations. At a point in the future, depending on what state you live in, the creditor will no longer be able to sue you to collect the debt. However, if you move back to the U.S. and get work again they may be able to garnish your wages.

But all of that stuff is technical issues. Let’s focus on your life for a moment.

It seems reasonable to move to Australia based on your relationship and pending marriage. I understand the work permit issue and have friends in the UK facing the same issues.

My advice would be to first not run from your debt in considering a move to Australia. Make sure you are making the move based on your love and the likelihood you are embarking on a journey to be closer to your life partner.

If you do decide to move, just know the student loan will be a mess and if you move back to the U.S. it will be an issue that will have to be faced at that time. But also be assured that the loan issue will not prevent you from entering and leaving the U.S. Don’t be afraid to come back to visit.

From what you’ve shared, it seems like the future has been planned and you will be leaving for Australia. I wish you all the best and hope that you can quiet that stress inside of you and embark on a new journey with less stress.

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


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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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