Would you move abroad with a debt?

(30 Posts)
aroomofherown Thu 11-Oct-12 22:05:30

I have a dilemma which I hope you can help me with. I'm Australian. I live in the UK, and I have a great job as a secondary teacher. However, ALL of my UK friends have now moved abroad and I'm dead lonely. I'm single. My job really is the only thing I am staying here for. I have spent the last year trying to build a future here, because I felt like this a year ago - but I've lost interest now because it hasn't really worked out.

I'd like to move back to Australia (or maybe via another country in an interntional school for a few years first) - my family and childhood friends are there and I miss them. Things like birthdays, Christmas, and weekend dinners are such great times and I'm missing out. I have periods of depression and I'm convinced it's just the circumstances. Plus my parents aren't getting any younger.

I owe about £5000 on my credit card blush (please don't judge me) but part of me just wants to quit my job and go at Christmas and hope to get a job for the start of the school year. Obviously I can't pay off my whole credit card by then. And I won't have a guaranteed job when I quit, although I'm a reasonably strong candidate and I'm happy to work in the outback for a year or so (can't be more lonely than here!) and that will sort me out financially.

Would you go, or would you wait till July?

Or would you do something different?

Way2Go Thu 11-Oct-12 22:22:55

Can you borrow some money from a family member in Australia. Then you could clear the debt immediately and leave when you want. If you are able to borrow the money make sure you involve a solicetor and do it properly.

Don't just abandon the debt.

aroomofherown Thu 11-Oct-12 22:25:33

I really don't want to do that - my parents aren't wealthy and I don't want to look incompetent blush

I wouldn't abandon the debt. I'd pay it off from Australia, which is rather awkward but not impossible.

LCarbury Thu 11-Oct-12 22:29:21

What if you really full-on ebayed EVERYTHING + got deposit back from your home, assuming you are renting? You could probably pick up some extra bar or shop work around the Christmas holidays, too.

SavoyCabbage Thu 11-Oct-12 22:37:01

We paid of a credit card from Australia. Dh is an accountant so he did it all but he seemed to think it was all very normal.

He contacted them and told them and gave them our new address. It was easier to pay from here as the dollar is so high against the pound.

Really the CC are buggered of you just go back and don't tell them so they are going to agree with it.

aroomofherown Thu 11-Oct-12 22:39:11

Hmmm. Forgot about deposit from house. There are a few bits I could definitely ebay. I don't mind at all picking up extra odd bits of work either.

If I moved out for the last month and managed to find somewhere cheaper that might be an option.

I'd still have a debt though, but it would be significantly smaller than it is now. Acutally If I focus I can probably pay off £4000 just from my income, and use the rest to get my ticket home. Just means that I'd have no spare money when I arrive in Australia, although one friend has offered a couch for a few weeks. And there are a few others whose place I could abuse use for a week or so at a time. Not ideal but not impossible.

aroomofherown Thu 11-Oct-12 22:39:56

Savoy that is interesting - how did you transfer the money?

aroomofherown Thu 11-Oct-12 22:40:55

You're right about the exchange rate too - I'd forgotten about that!

DolomitesDonkey Thu 11-Oct-12 22:43:35

I moved abroad with student loan debt and just paid it by cc each month. As someone else said there's feck all they can do - especially as you intend to leave the EU. They'd just be delighted that you're offering to pay it back full stop!

redvelvetpoppy Thu 11-Oct-12 22:44:52

We emigrated to Australia over a year ago & are paying off our UK credit card from here, although our circumstances are slightly different, ie we may return to UK so have kept house & bank account etc.

However, if we return to the UK next year then we will be paying off an Australian credit card from there!!

But I do agree with throwing all your money at it now to get it paid off if you can, I personally hate having debts & it's a horrible feeling having them in 2 countries. (Actually my DH's credit cards but used for family stuff)

aroomofherown Thu 11-Oct-12 22:49:59

Yes I personally hate having debts too. It makes me feel so unworthy and disempowered and tied down - probably why I'm in such a quandary about this.

But it seems like that is not going to be what holds me back then.

aroomofherown Thu 11-Oct-12 22:52:00

But then - would you wait for another 6 months (really not an easy 6 months, I'm finding it really tough), save really hard and go back with some money?

crabb Thu 11-Oct-12 22:54:30

You can do international bank transfers via National Australia Bank online banking now, it's one of the normal transfer options. Don't know if all banks offer it, and it costs $20 per transfer at the Australian end.

aroomofherown Thu 11-Oct-12 23:04:42

Really crabb? That makes it pretty easy.

So do I resign in the next fortnight, which is the deadline for leaving at Christmas? (Don't worry, I know no-one can really answer that question for me, I'm just musing out loud smile)

ripsishere Fri 12-Oct-12 02:09:53

I'd do it and we have done it.
We owe Lloyds about 2k, I just transfer it from Malaysia using the magic power of embanking.
Don't just go (although I know you aren't planning to). Banks have long memories.
Good luck with whatever you decide. Presumably if you handed your notice in soon, you'd leave at Christmas?
I think the new school year starts then in Aus so you'd be ideally placed.

Alligatorpie Fri 12-Oct-12 06:09:11

We live abroad and use our UK /Canadian credit cards to pay for things like flights and hotels. Then we transfer the money back to cover it ( I know we are paying more in exchange rates, but we can't get a cc here).
It is super easy, never had any problems. Just keep your UK bank account and transfer the money when you have it.

aroomofherown Fri 12-Oct-12 07:03:05

Yes I'd need to resign in the next two weeks. I'm going to contact some recruitment agencies today if possible and just feel out the market.

I didn't realise how easy this would be!

SavoyCabbage Fri 12-Oct-12 09:06:52

Where are your family living? You should apply to teach in that state as soon as you possibly can. It took me a very long time to pull together everything I needed to teach in Victoria so if you can start now on the paperwork you should.

solittletimeandsomuchtodo Fri 12-Oct-12 23:33:25

Go home-then you can enjoy the summer with your family and friends! Hanging around for another six months just to pay off a debt is madness. Do it from back in oz grin

NatashaBee Fri 12-Oct-12 23:36:00

I use Xoom.com to transfer money back from the US to pay my UK credit card. Currencyonline is good too but they don't do transfers from the US any more so I had to stop using them. It's easy to transfer funds internationally, don't let it stop you going.

Mosman Sat 13-Oct-12 08:03:09

I transfer money back and forth from and to Australia all the time. It really is very straight forward and given the price of everything here I buy very little so we are saving a fortune.

kakapo Mon 15-Oct-12 09:51:07

There is no way I'd stay somewhere I was unhappy for an extra 6 months aroomofherown, if there was a way around it (and there is). Speaking from experience, those final months can do a lot of damage to your mental health. And it's a lot of time to effectively 'lose' from your life. I say resign and organise repayments from Aus, go for it!

aroomofherown Mon 15-Oct-12 21:40:30

Thanks everyone. kakapo I understand exactly what you mean about the damage to your mental health - I'm not far off.

I have applied for two jobs abroad in exciting new places which are closer to home and I am feeling a lot better. Whilst I really do love my job it's the only thing keeping me going here, and I already feel like I've lost a year or two in this situation. So as soon as I land another good job, I'm off!

Iheartpasties Sat 20-Oct-12 03:18:36

Make sure your credit card in the uk is a good one before you leave your job, transfer it all to a 0% interest one - that way when you send money back to pay it off the debt is not getting any bigger! We're in oz and have a uk cc and just send back money as and when we can - into the uk bank account and a direct debit oays the cc minimum, we are aiming to save up a lump sum and then pay it off. it all seems easy, we use a bank transfer thingy where you build up points and get extra if you recommend someone else tp use it etc. shop around, ask around etc and find a good transfer rate etc.

lazydog Sun 21-Oct-12 08:27:03

You'd be moving back home and the debt is "only" 5k? Go for it! If it'd make you happier. We moved to Canada while we were still paying for the bloody double glazing on the house we'd lived in previously, and with a similar amount on our credit cards in the Uk. We kept our uk hsbc current account active (completely open about the rather drastic change of address!) and had to transfer funds from Canada to the UK regularly (we use XE Trade) but neither of our credit cards in the UK (Barclaycard Platinum & HSBC Mastercard) had any problem with us converting to a Canadian billing address. The loan we had for the windows was through Nationwide and they didn't care where we were located as long as their monthly direct debit payment was honoured.

KreepyK Mon 22-Oct-12 00:26:39

If you do leave your job at Christmas, would you be able to claim a refund of tax you've paid come next April? I did this the year I left my job in the UK to go travelling, and also got a similar refund when I left my job in Oz. As far as I know, tax is calculated assuming you are working for the full financial year, so if you only work for part of it, you may be entitled to a refund. Might be worth looking into as you may get a couple of hundred quid at least to help pay off the debt.
Good luck with the move!

diamondsagirlsbestfriend Mon 19-Nov-12 23:14:47

Aroomofherown I know that their are quite a few governess jobs going for the beginning of Term One, plus meals and accomidation are taken care of and some give you a fuel allowence. You can get between $500-900 a week governessing, some of them you have to be self employed but not all of them.

Want2bSupermum Tue 27-Nov-12 04:00:43

It wouldn't stop me but I would call up the bank and see if they can work with you to reduce the balance. This will help you pay it off faster. If they know you are moving to a country outside of the EU I would thnk they would be more open to writing off some of the interest or offering you a lower interest rate to help you repay the balance faster.

mortimersraven Tue 27-Nov-12 04:27:00

OP, definitely do what will make you happy! smile

I moved to China with a variety of debts (card, overdraft, mortgage) in the UK, that I'm currently paying off at a cracking rate, and way faster than I could be if I'd stayed in the UK. Money goes a lot further here, so I have more left over to throw at my debt.

I agree with the sensible poster (sorry I forgot the name) who pointed out that before you quit your UK job you should apply for another card with a 0% balance transfer offer and take advantage of that. I have 2 UK cards and I swap my remaining debt back and forth according to their deals.

aroomofherown Sat 08-Dec-12 16:58:01

Oooh sorry everyone I had assumed there were no more posts on this thread!

I've decided to quit work in April and go back to Australia then, and in the meantime start an Australian-based business. The setup costs, although small, won't help me get rid of the CC debt but in the long run it may not be such a problem.

There are some brilliant ideas here.

1. A governess job would be PERFECT (from term 2 now obviously). Accommodation and a space to work on developing my business until it pays itself <fingers crossed>

2. I didn't know you could ring a bank and ask them to work with you to reduce the debt!

3. The 0% balance CC worries me - I've applied for one before and was told I didn't have enough credit history to get one?! So am a little nervous about leaving a footprint although there's probably nothing to worry about if I'm leaving anyway.

It's so heartening to read that this does not have to control my life as lots of you have done this!

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