I’ve been paying off my university loans while living in the UK for years, but not able to cover much more than the interest and so not getting anywhere very fast. I have just under $10,000 to pay. Since I am settled in the UK, what would the consequences be for not paying this debt at all? I suppose I’d be black listed on credit reports, but since I’m living in the UK, would that matter? I would like the option of returning to live in the US, so I guess I’m wondering for how long this would effect my credit in the US?
At this time there is no cross reporting of debts from the U.S. to a UK credit report. On that front you’d be just fine.
The bigger problem is the mess that would be potentially waiting for you upon your return to the U.S. When I first moved to the UK I didn’t know when I’d return to the U.S. For me it took two years away and then spending 3 weeks driving across the U.S. to make me realize how much I missed home. The odds are pretty good that at one point you’d return.
But if you do, just keep in mind that at that point you might have to file bankruptcy to clean up the mess and huge balance that will have accrued through time and penalties. You can discharge student loans over a 7 year time limit.
The only other thing to watch for is that you are still required to file U.S. IRS tax returns. If your loans are government backed then any IRS refund you might be entitled to will be intercepted and sent to the loan servicer instead.
P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.