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  • Debt Dodgers

    Debt Dodgers: Leaving Home to Avoid Student Loans

    Debt Dodgers

    Student debt is a massive burden that is burying a large portion of young people. Student loan debt is one of the few types of debt that can’t be canceled by declaring bankruptcy. It sticks with you until you find a way to pay it off, which some people never do.

    But some Americans have found a way to avoid paying their student loans – by going overseas.

    Now, this is not a good plan, and we are in no way endorsing this strategy.

    Debt dodgers, like the draft dodgers of generations past, choose to leave the United States permanently to get away from their debt. Once you’re out of the country, the US government doesn’t have an effective way to come after you and make you pay your debts. So you could, theoretically, walk out on your debts free and clear.

    But there are a few big catches. If you ever come back to the United States, you’ll be on the hook for all of your debt plus interest, and you might be looking at prison time. So if you want to dodge your debt, you’d better be prepared to move somewhere else permanently.

    If you ever take a job with a US company operating overseas, that will make you discoverable by the government. The same goes for collecting any sort of government benefits, like social security payments.

    There may turn out to be other long term repercussions, too, that just haven’t been enacted yet. Though the US government isn’t seeking out debt dodgers at the moment, there’s no reason why they couldn’t start doing so in the future. You’ll also likely have a hard time becoming a citizen or getting a passport in a foreign country with your debt record. That means you could be left country-less.

    Perhaps the worst consequence is that anyone who co-signed for your student loans back in the United States would still be responsible for your loans.

    And then there’s the fear. Take a look at some of these personal accounts of debt dodgers on Vice. Every one of them says that they are scared of the potential consequences of their decision.

    The morale of the story is: don’t walk out on your debts. And apply for lots of scholarships. Lots and lots.

    And if you do take a trip overseas, turn to us for expedited visas and passports. (That’s not really related to our advice about debt dodging, but it’s good advice all the same.)

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