Will I Be Stopped at the U.S. Border if I Leave Australia With Debt I Can’t Pay?

“Dear Steve,

In 2011 I went to the United States I am a US citizen when I returned to Australia I thought I would still have my job but that didn’t happen and have been unable to get a job I have not contacted the bank in 2 years out of fear.

I’m on centerlink benefits because I had to flee my home from domestic violence.

I want to know if I am able to go back home or will they have me flagged at the airport not to fly due to my debt can you please tell me can I be stopped from leaving when the time comes.


Dear Dorothy,

It’s not exactly clear to me which country the bank is in, the United States or Australia. Either way the answer is the same.

Border security in both countries is trying to spot the person with exploding underwear and “who is the terrorist.”

They neither have the time, resources, or even the jurisdiction to filter people out over bad debt. It’s simply not part of the entry or departure process in either country.

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The number of countries that will stop people over debt is limited to mainly the United Arab Emirates and surrounding countries.

Please come home. Your country misses you.

There is no reason to be afraid of any travel restriction.

Passport with US visa and "admitted" stampsIf you get back to the U.S. and get situated then we might want to consider options, like a chapter 7 bankruptcy, to discharge the old debt and give you a great chance at a fresh start and future success.

Just think about it like this, the debt issue is a civil matter, not criminal. And if the border security stopped people from coming into America then about half of the people would still be queued up waiting to be cleared.

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

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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