How to Move Abroad With Credit Card Debt

Written by ciele edwards
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How to Move Abroad With Credit Card Debt
You can pay off credit card debt after moving abroad. (credit card image by Christopher Hall from

A divorce, immigration issue or change in employment may result in you needing to move out of the country quickly. Settling your financial affairs before you leave is crucial, but if you don't have the money to pay off your credit card debt completely, you don't have to stop making payments and allow the debt to go into default. Making the proper preparations before you move ensures that you can pay off your outstanding credit card debt--even from outside the country.

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Things you need

  • U.S. bank account

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  1. 1

    Make an appointment to speak with your bank's manager or an account representative. Explain that you are moving overseas and ask if the bank will accept checks from your account abroad. Some banks, such as Wachovia, can send foreign checks to a central processing centre to have the funds transferred. This process can take four to six weeks. If your bank can't conduct foreign transactions, find one that can.

  2. 2

    Sign up for online payment services with your credit card provider.

  3. 3

    Leave enough money in your bank account to cover several months of minimum payments to your credit card company. This money serves as a financial cushion should your first few foreign deposits take longer than expected.

  4. 4

    Send a check or money order from your home abroad to your U.S. bank every month to cover the credit card payment. Although the funds may take weeks to clear and post to your account, the money you left in the account will cover the credit card bills until your foreign checks begin to clear.

  5. 5

    Pay your credit card payment through your U.S. bank account every month using the online bill pay feature. Continue making payments in this manner until you pay off your credit card debt completely.

Tips and warnings

  • Pay down as much of your credit card debt as you can before you move. The less time you need to make payments from abroad, the better.
  • Take the exchange rate into consideration when sending money to your U.S. bank.
  • Stop using your old credit card. Apply for a credit card in your new country. Not only will you be able to pay off your debt faster when you stop making charges, but applying for a new credit card will help you start building a credit history in your new home.
  • If you can purchase a money order in U.S. dollars while in your new country, you may send the money order directly to your credit card company as payment.

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