Does my debt go away if I move abroad? 

You may have heard of a friend that claimed they were able to solve their debt worries by fleeing the country.

There are all sorts of rumors that go around on the Internet that people "will leave the country for five years, and when they come back their debts will be clean." Unfortunately, despite this widely held misconception, the truth is that if you leave the country, your debt problems stay with you.


Three Credit Bureaus
In almost every country in the world, your debt is kept track of by 3 major credit bureaus. These bureaus don't care where you are currently living - you have a specific name and number, and these companies keep track of exactly what your debt is at any given moment. They are accessible by any bank in almost any country as well as any credit card company in almost the entire world.

So while you may be able to leave the country to avoid getting the mail and avoid lawsuits about your debt, when it comes to getting good credit again and attempting to get new loans or new credit, you are still not going to be able to. In addition, if you owned anything in the areas you left, that stuff can be liquidated without you there to complain because the courts will have a good case against you for requiring you to pay back your loans, and you skipping out on the country is not going to be much help.

What Can You Get Away With
The only benefit you have if you leave the country is that it is harder for debt collectors to find you. Beyond that, there are no benefits, and if you ever step foot in the country again, your debts will still be there waiting for you. Since debt collection is not a legal problem, you cannot be extradited by whatever country you decide to flee to, but you still will not be able to get credit or loans if you need them.

Overall, while it may be tempting to think that you can simply run away from your debt without having to suffer any consequences, the only consequence you avoid has to deal with debt collectors. Everything else you are still liable for, and if you have any family members you are leaving behind, there is a small chance that they may be approached in your place, causing unneeded hardship to them simply because you were unwilling to pay back your debts.


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