Chad Albright fled the United States to avoid $ 30,000 in college loan payments
- Chad Albright, now 39, left the United States on a one-way trip to China in 2011, four years after graduating from Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania.
- At the time, he had $ 30,000 in college debt and didn’t know how he was going to pay it off.
- He now lives in Ukraine, where he is a permanent resident and works in sales.
- Now he’s racked up late fees and compound interest on top of the loan bill, and worries about never owning a car or house, or starting a family.
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A Pennsylvania man with over $ 30,000 in college debt left the United States to avoid paying his student loans.
While many people still pay their university loans until their last years, Chad Albright, now 39, left the United States on a one-way trip to China in 2011, four years after graduating from Millersville University in Millersville, Pennslyvania, according to the York Daily Record.
Now he lives in Ukraine and hasn’t verified his student loan account for eight years.
Albright worked full time in a pizza place after high school to save money for college, and realized at 25 that he would still need loans to pay for his degree.
“I wanted this degree and I was ready to work for it. Everyone always told me it would be worth it,” Albright told the Record.
After graduating with a public relations degree in 2007, he applied for jobs while continuing to work as a pizza delivery boy. He eventually returned to live with his parents and fell behind in his loan repayments.
“I was expected to make a loan payment of $ 400 every month, but I had no money, no sustainable income. College ruined my life,” Albright said.
In 2011, he got a job as an English teacher in China, earning $ 1,000 a month and his rent paid by his employer.
He bought a one-way ticket to Zhongshan, China, and never looked back.
“My life was so much better once I left. Why would I ever go back?” Albright said.
After a few years in China, Albright moved to Ukraine, where he is now a permanent resident and works in sales.
The federal government can garnish wages and tax refunds for loan borrowers living in the United States, but not for people working abroad.
When Albright left the country, he owed $ 30,000 in loans. Now he’s racked up late fees and
in addition to the loan bill.
Because he defaulted on his loan payments, his credit suffered and he was never able to make “big purchases.”
He said he might never be able to get married, buy a house, or have children.
“I’m happy to be away from my debt, but I’m on my own most of the time,” Albright said. “I don’t really have any other options at this point, however.”
But potential student loan scammers should beware: whether parents or other family members co-signed your loan, they will be forced to repay your debt.
Albright is not alone in his decision to leave the country default on loans.
Alan Collinge, founder of Student loan justice, told CNBC that this decision highlights problems with the student loan system in the United States.
“Any rational person who learns that people are fleeing the country because of their student loan debt will conclude that something has gone horribly wrong with this loan system,” Collinge said.
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