Financial Advice

My Daughter Lives in the UK Now and Can’t Afford Her U.S. Private Student Loans

Question:

Dear Steve,

My daughter has about $100k in private student debt (and another $100k in federal). She did her undergrad in CA and her grad in NY. Federal debt is manageable because they adjust for her income.

She can no longer afford to pay her private loans and they are unwilling to work with her and she has no more deferments.

She has been living in London for the past year and has no plans to return to the US. Wells Fargo has found her place of work in the UK. The only asset she has is her bank account. Of course we’ve been told she cannot be helped in Ch 7.

I just read one of your articles. Did I understand correctly that if/when she returns to the US after the SOL, she can release her loans in bankruptcy?

Can (or do you think they will) her private lenders sue her in the UK or garnish her wages from her UK employer?

Denise

Answer:

Dear Denise,

Dealing with student loan debt is full of a terrible amount of misinformation. It’s still an evolving topic and most everyone gets it wrong. From student loan servicers to bankruptcy attorneys, the right information is not getting out.

I have not heard of an international suit being filed in the UK over U.S. based student loan debt. It is unlikely that would happen anytime soon since it would require a number of legal efforts. It’s just not that common, yet.

Relying on the statute of limitations is problematic and would require a legal opinion from a U.S. based attorney. The problem is the statute of limitations can be put on hold while she is out of the country.

The big advantage is a private student loan outside the statute of limitations would no longer be eligible for collection through any lawsuit.

But I think you’ve laid out the real situation, her private student loans are just not affordable. It doesn’t matter what all the legal maneuvering in the world can do if she simply does not have the income to make any agreeable payment.

However, it seems that more and more private student loans are being settled through either lump-sum payments or payment programs before or after being sued by the lender.

I think you should read Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Paying Your Unaffordable Private Student Loan to understand why defaulting on the unmanageable debt isn’t the end of the world and can lead to an eventual solution.

And before you ask, she will have no problems returning home for a visit. Defaulting on her debt will not stop her at the border.

By the way, it sounds like your daughter may be on some sort of income based program for her federal student loan debt. Just keep in mind, those programs can be a terrible trap. You should click here to learn why.

“Steve

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This article by Steve Rhode first appeared on Get Out of Debt Guy and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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