Credit Card Debt – You can run but you can’t hide.
Sometimes, people acquire credit card debt because of poor decisions. Other times, it is a result of factors beyond their control. Regardless, unmanageable credit card debt is detrimental to financial health and needs to be dealt with.
So, what if you’ve amassed so much debt that it’s too overwhelming to pay off? Perhaps you just need a vacation from it all…for good. Has the idea of moving to a different country ever crossed your mind? You could just start fresh and leave all of your debt behind…right?
Not quite. You may be able to escape from debt for a little while, but doing so could really come back to haunt you. Although foreign lenders may not request a copy of your U.S. credit report, it’s still possible. And yes, even if you have a significant amount of debt, creditors may not pursue you overseas…but that’s still possible too! And we haven’t even taken the legal issues into account!
Creditors may not always be able to force you to pay your debt, but it also depends on your specific situation. Let’s say you move to another country but work for a U.S. based company (and it operates under U.S. law), your creditors may still be able to get you to pay them back. Of course, with all such legal things, you should always consult with a qualified attorney in your jurisdiction.
But after reading this, you’re probably thinking to yourself – nah, the creditors won’t come after me. It’s too much work for them. They won’t bother. Why should I pay back my debt? This is the perfect getaway!
Well, for one, paying back your debt is the right thing to do! Also, if you move overseas, you’ll probably need some form of money to pay for things. Unless you have a stash of cash somewhere or a really generous friend you could mooch off of, you’d probably need to use your U.S. credit cards until you got a new local card.
Finally, what if it doesn’t work out in the new country and you want to (or have to) move back to the States? If you don’t manage your debts while living abroad, it may go into collections or eventually charged off. However, your credit score will likely plummet, and when you move back, you’ll be in far worse condition than you were before you left. There are plenty of legal implications too – but we won’t go into that in this post.
Just remember, leaving the country won’t solve your problems. However, if you plan to move overseas, try to pay off as many bills as you can before you go, and keep current on all of your accounts. You don’t want to lose your assets or find yourself in more financial trouble, especially if you choose to move back to the States someday.