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Topic: How to pay student loans abroad?  (Read 439 times)

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How to pay student loans abroad?
« on: August 23, 2019, 06:06:56 PM »
Hello,

I want to preface this with massive apologies and noting that I am an idiot and should have figured this all out before moving abroad.

So when I opened my US account with Schwab back in 2012-ish I was told that it was a great bank for expats. It was, but when I went to update my address from my parents so I could begin the process of changing to my married name (yay!), I was told that's not the case. They suggested an International Account, but turns out that's only for investing. They do not have an International Checking Account option and have now informed me that my accounts will be closed in 30 days.

I feel like an absolute idiot. I only wanted to keep the account so that I could continue paying my private US student loans (Sallie Mae) from a US bank account.

I'm stuck on what to do. Can I pay them with a Transferwise Borderless Account? Can you link a direct debit to a Borderless Account? If I can't do that, my other option is to try to get the monthly payment taken from my husband's bank account, but that's a UK account and again, I don't know if that's a possibility.

What do people do in this situation? Any help would be massively appreciated because I've been hit with this 3 days before I leave for my honeymoon and I don't want to spend it worrying how to pay my loans.
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Re: How to pay student loans abroad?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2019, 08:03:57 PM »
Are you still in the US? You could open an account with a local credit union and use transferwise to put the money into it. Or look into the borderless accounts, but I'm not sure how they work because I haven't used them. There are options so don't panic!

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Re: How to pay student loans abroad?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2019, 03:38:34 PM »
Do you absolutely need to change your address as well or can you just change your name?

I kept my account with Bank of America open when I moved but just set the address to my parents house. I use Transferwise every month to send money from my account with RBS here to my BOA account and have a direct debit set up with my loan provider (Great Lakes) from my BOA account.

My provider does not allow direct debits from a non-US account and they also offer a 0.25% interest rate break if you pay by direct debit. I would check with Sallie Mae about if they offer either of those. You may be able to pay monthly from a UK account but would just have to do so manually.

Last time I checked, it wasn't possible to set up a direct debit from a Transferwise Borderless account but 1) that's been a couple of months and 2) I don't have one so I can't say 100%.

I agree with margo - don't panic! There is a solution here, it's just a matter of finding it. You are definitely not the only one. :)
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Re: How to pay student loans abroad?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2019, 09:34:32 AM »
I kept an American bank account open and transfer money every so often through transfer wise just to pay student loans. Only logical way I’ve found to do it


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Re: How to pay student loans abroad?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2019, 09:35:39 AM »
I also put my mom on my bank account so they couldn’t say there wasn’t an US address. Not sure if you have an option like that but my moms been my saving grace


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Re: How to pay student loans abroad?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2019, 03:17:49 PM »
I have my same checking account from when I lived in the US. My mother is on the account so she can deposit or withdraw money if I need it. I use transferwise to move any money there to my checking account here. I paid on my student loan debt that way. If there’s someone who can receive any correspondence from the US bank, I wouldn’t change the address.
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Re: How to pay student loans abroad?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 05:16:33 PM »
Are you still in the US? You could open an account with a local credit union and use transferwise to put the money into it. Or look into the borderless accounts, but I'm not sure how they work because I haven't used them. There are options so don't panic!

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Thank you! I'm in the UK actually and had the Schwab account as my US account. But now that they no longer allow expats to have Checking Accounts with them, I ended up opening a Transferwise Borderless account. I ended up transferring my money over to that account and looks like I can use the account number given with the transferwise account to transfer to Sallie Mae each month. It's a pain, but at least gives me the option to pay. Thank you for reassuring me though, I was in a state!  ;D
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Re: How to pay student loans abroad?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2019, 05:22:11 PM »
Do you absolutely need to change your address as well or can you just change your name?

I kept my account with Bank of America open when I moved but just set the address to my parents house. I use Transferwise every month to send money from my account with RBS here to my BOA account and have a direct debit set up with my loan provider (Great Lakes) from my BOA account.

My provider does not allow direct debits from a non-US account and they also offer a 0.25% interest rate break if you pay by direct debit. I would check with Sallie Mae about if they offer either of those. You may be able to pay monthly from a UK account but would just have to do so manually.

Last time I checked, it wasn't possible to set up a direct debit from a Transferwise Borderless account but 1) that's been a couple of months and 2) I don't have one so I can't say 100%.

I agree with margo - don't panic! There is a solution here, it's just a matter of finding it. You are definitely not the only one. :)

Thank you, this is a massively reassuring. I had done what you have, by using my parents address on my bank account and was planning to use the plan of transferring the money monthly with transferwise. Looking back I should have kept my mouth shut and not tried to change my address, but when I opened the account and up until recently, everything I read pointed to "yes, you can have a non-US address linked to the account" so I went with it. It wasn't until it was too late that I realised that their policy just changed on that.

Yeah, it looks like I can't do a recurring direct debit with Sallie Mae, and they also don't accept payment from non-US accounts. From what I've seen it looks like I'll do a bank transfer using the US account numbers that Transferwise provided. Not the easiest solution, but it allows me to continue my loan payments!
Visa: Fiancée Visa (Settlement - Marriage) Non-Priority
Application Submitted Online: 02 Feb 2019
Biometrics: 06 Feb 2019
Documents Received in Sheffield: 07 Mar 2019 / 21WD
Decision Made: 11 April 2019 / 46WD

Arrived on Fiancé Visa: 18 April 2019
Wedding: 1 August 2019
FLR(M) Application: 17 September 2019
Biometrics (Manchester): 4 October 2019
Result: TBD


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Re: How to pay student loans abroad?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2019, 05:24:16 PM »
I kept an American bank account open and transfer money every so often through transfer wise just to pay student loans. Only logical way I’ve found to do it

This is what I did with using my parent's address. Looking back I should have just kept on and not said anything, but at the time I didn't know my bank made the policy change to no longer allowing non-US addresses. So by the time I found out it was too late. Oh well, lesson learned! Thank you though!  :)
Visa: Fiancée Visa (Settlement - Marriage) Non-Priority
Application Submitted Online: 02 Feb 2019
Biometrics: 06 Feb 2019
Documents Received in Sheffield: 07 Mar 2019 / 21WD
Decision Made: 11 April 2019 / 46WD

Arrived on Fiancé Visa: 18 April 2019
Wedding: 1 August 2019
FLR(M) Application: 17 September 2019
Biometrics (Manchester): 4 October 2019
Result: TBD


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Re: How to pay student loans abroad?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2019, 05:27:36 PM »
I have my same checking account from when I lived in the US. My mother is on the account so she can deposit or withdraw money if I need it. I use transferwise to move any money there to my checking account here. I paid on my student loan debt that way. If there’s someone who can receive any correspondence from the US bank, I wouldn’t change the address.

Yeah, I should have stuck with that plan and not changed the address. I feel a bit dumb as it seems like "of course they won't allow non-US addresses" but when I opened the account with that bank, I did so because it was expat friendly and they reassured me multiple times that I would be able to change the address to a non-US one once I moved over permanently. Just my luck that they changed their policy 2 weeks before I went to change my address.  ;D Oh well, lesson learned and hopefully others can learn from my dumb mistake haha.  :)
Visa: Fiancée Visa (Settlement - Marriage) Non-Priority
Application Submitted Online: 02 Feb 2019
Biometrics: 06 Feb 2019
Documents Received in Sheffield: 07 Mar 2019 / 21WD
Decision Made: 11 April 2019 / 46WD

Arrived on Fiancé Visa: 18 April 2019
Wedding: 1 August 2019
FLR(M) Application: 17 September 2019
Biometrics (Manchester): 4 October 2019
Result: TBD


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