Thinking of living abroad after graduation? If so, you’re in great company. Tons of students choose to move overseas after college – and with good reason. By living abroad, you get the opportunity to meet interesting people with incredible stories, learn a new language, and gain a fresh perspective on the world. And although it can be a life-changing experience, it’s still something you need to thoroughly prepare for in advance – especially when it comes to your student loans. With that said, here are three tips for paying off your debt while living abroad:
1. Get organized.
Getting organized is something you should do before you move abroad. Contact all of your lenders and give them your international address and phone number so they can get in touch with you if necessary. From there, gather all of your lender contact information, monthly payment amounts, and due dates in an easy-to-access spreadsheet. This is critical because life overseas can quickly get hectic. Between traveling, socializing, and exploring your new city, it’s all too easy to forget about your loans. The more organized you are in advance, the less likely you are to drop the ball.
2. Sign up for an international bank account.
This is another step you’ll want to take before you move overseas. If you’re going to live abroad for an extended period of time, you should definitely use an international bank. We recommend trying Chase or Citibank, and linking all of your bills (including your student loans) to your new account. These types of banks can accept electronic transfers in foreign currency and from foreign banks, which will make your life overseas a lot easier.
3. Set up automatic payments.
Between the time change and adjusting to your new lifestyle, living abroad can be a recipe for disaster when it comes to making your student loan payments on time. That’s why automatic payments are going to be your best friend. They’ll ensure that you’re never late and your payments are covered no matter what – even if an emergency comes up, like you lose access to the internet or your computer is stolen and you can’t get to the bank.
If you decide to go through with your plan to live abroad, know that it will be an incredible experience. Just make sure you’re prepared to handle your student loans in advance, so you can fully enjoy the ride – rather than worrying about missing a payment and doing lasting damage to your credit score.