People Are Moving Abroad To Escape Student Loan Debt
By Parker Diakite
Americans are leaving the US to escape paying off their student-loan debt.
According to a study by Nitro, 1-in-4 Americans have student loan debt.
Right now, Americans owe more than $1.53 trillion in student loan debt. That number is expected to top $2 trillion by 2022, as reported on CNBC.
And while there isn’t clear data on the number of borrowers who have relocated abroad, CNBC observed Facebook groups and Reddit channels where users described fleeing the US amid the student-debt crisis.
One borrower told the publication that he considered living in a cave to escape his student debt after learning a friend was doing it.
Instead, Chad Haag decided to relocate to a jungle in India in the village of Uchakkada where he spends $50 a month for a house with a backyard full of coconut trees and chickens.
“I’ve put America behind me,” Haag, 29, he told CNBC. “I saw four elephants just yesterday.”
Average debt at the time of graduation is averaging $30,000, up from an inflation-adjusted $16,000 in the early 1990s. At the same time, salaries for people with a bachelor’s degree have remained almost flat over the last decade.
So Why The Move?
People falling behind on their payments can have their wages and tax refunds garnished by the federal government if they are working in the USbut that’s not the case for those working abroad.
Moving abroad, however, has its risks.
Experts say borrowers who reenter the US will find that their loan balance increased due to compound interest and late fees.
Yet, Americans who decide to stick around are struggling as well. Student-loan debt has the highest 90-day delinquency rate of all other household debt, according to Bloomberg. Economists predict that nearly 40% of borrowers could default on their loans by 2023.