Leaving the country just to escape the debt you have is not a good idea. However, if you are having financial difficulty and happen to be moving, that is a different story. You might be wondering what happens if you leave the country owing credit card debt? That is a good question. Here is some information that may help you understand what will happen.
Leaving the Country but Continuing Payments
There are two avenues you can take when you leave the country owing credit card debt. It really depends on what your intentions are. If you are leaving the country, but plan on continuing making your payments, there are some options for you. Keeping up with your payments will maintain a positive credit history and allow you to reestablish credit if you move back to the United States.
First you need to contact your credit card company and let them know that you are moving and see what payment options they can process. Depending on where you are moving, you may be able to establish a new banking account and set up an auto withdraw with the credit card company. Then your monthly payments will continue as normal.
However, if you are moving to a company that is third world or even second world, their banking system may not be set up to accept automatic withdrawals from an American bank. If this is the case, you will have to set up a system with the credit card company and you may need a friend or relative’s help.
One option is to send money via a money wire to a friend or relative each month and have them make the payment for you. Another option is to keep money in your American checking or savings account and keep the account open. You can wire money to this account as needed and keep your automatic withdrawal set up.
If you are moving because of a job, your company may have a payment option for you through your paycheck or their cooperate headquarters.
Also, with the Internet readily available in so many countries, setting up an online option may work just as well. Most credit card companies have a system already in place for foreign payments.
Leaving the Country but Discontinuing Payments
Leaving the country and deciding not to pay your credit card debt should only be done if you have no other options. You don’t want your credit to be ruined should you move back to the United States. When you stop paying your credit card, the company will call you for a few months. After this, they will sell your account to a collections agency who will try to find you. After this, they will possibly file legal action against you.
The main ways that they can find you are by following your information trail electronically. So if you are leaving the country with debt you plan to stop repaying, you will need to close all your bank accounts, and liquidate your assets. Any transfers will be able to be followed by the credit card companies.
Also, you should wait about 12 months before opening new accounts and have an unlisted number and address. Be aware though that if your debt is significant enough, the credit card company may file legal action in the country you moved to. Most countries will not allow them to extradite you solely for debt, but it will hinder your future travel to the United States.
It is a good idea to call the credit card company, let them know you are moving out of the country. Let them know that you are having trouble repaying your debt and they may have a payment plan or settlement option for you. Simply leaving without any contact will severely hinder your credit score.
A low credit score will reduce the possibilities for you, should you return to the United States. There are also several countries that work together when reporting credit issues.
You may be hindered from getting a home or even a job in the country you are moving to if you leave a trail of bad credit behind you.
Credit Card Companies That Work for You
There are several credit card companies that have well established relationships with other countries. This means that you can use the credit card in foreign countries, and payment options are easier to find. These specialized credit cards may make it easier for you when moving. You could transfer your balance to one of these cards before moving.
You can use the free credit card “Chaser”, the comparison tool on our site to find a credit card that is unique to your situation. Finding the right credit card for a foreign move, or balance transfer may be able to ease some of the consequences you will experience by leaving the country with credit card debt. Get started finding the best credit card offers now!
- What are the largest credit card companies?
- JCB International Credit Card
- I’m not a U.S. Resident. Can I get a credit card?
- House Votes to Move CARD Regulation Start Date up to Dec 1st
- Credit Card Travel Tips You Need to Know
- Should I consolidate my credit card debt?
- If I don’t pay off my balance in full, how much will it cost me in interest?