A 29-year-old American has decided to leave the United States and move to a remote village in the jungle in India, so that he no longer has to worry about repaying his student loan.
Like many other Americans, Chad Haag had to rely on a student loan to pay for his university education, but he struggled to find a university job after graduation, and going back to school to get a master’s degree in comparative literature did not help him.
His first job led him to unload the trucks and then into an assembly line, then he worked as a contract professor, but with only one class assigned per semester, he could barely keep up, let alone repay the $20,000 loan. At one point, struggling to pay the $300 a month became too stressful, so he packed his bags, said goodbye to his life in the United States and moved to a small village in India.
The boy told CNBC that before moving to a country on the other side of the globe, he decided to live in a cave to escape the student loan. And he knew someone who had done it, but after thinking about it, he decided that emigrating to a far country would be better.
Now Chad lives in a house in the village of Uchakkada for only $50 a month, and recently he married an Indian citizen, a professor in a local college. As for his student loan, he simply does not worry about it anymore.
“I would say that the debt does not burden me as it did in the past, in the sense that most of the measures that could be taken against me have become practically irrelevant. For example, they can not even forfeit my salary, since I no longer have an American employer”, he explained.
Although Chad himself acknowledges that the $20,000 student loan was not as burdensome as the one borrowed from other borrowers, he explained that the impossibility of finding a job that would allow him to make monthly payments of $300 and have still enough to live made it all that much more stressful than he could bear.
Chad admits that having put his life in America behind him has involved some sacrifices, but overall he is very happy with his decision to move. “I have a higher standard of living in a Third World country than I would have in America”, concluded Haag.
Experts say that moving to a foreign country to escape student loans is risky, because if they wanted to go back to the United States they would end up with a bigger debt than before due to interest, collection costs and delays. However, it seems that many choose this option and there are even personal finance websites that even offer guides on how to move to another country.