A 29 years old man decided to leave the United States and move to a remote jungle village in India so that he can skip on paying back his student debt. Chad Haag was dependent on a student loan to pay for his college education. After his graduation, he struggled hard to get a college-level job. He also pursued a master’s degree in comparative literature, but that also didn’t help him to find a good job. His first job was to unload trucks and construct toy rockets on a factory assembly line. Later on, he worked as an adjunct professor, but he had only one class each semester which was not enough to make a living.
There came a time when paying $300 monthly installments for him became very stressful, so he packed his bags and moved to a small village in India. He told in an interview that before moving to another country, he also considered living in a cave to escape his loan. He said that he knew someone who had already done this, but when he thought about it, he decided that emigrating to another country will be better. Currently, he lives in a concrete house in the village of Uchakkada for $50 a month. He recently married an Indian woman who is a professor at a local college. He says that he is not worried about his soon-to-default student loan.
He said, “It’s kind of like if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it really exist? I would say that the debt does not weigh on me the way that it might have in the past, in the sense that most of the measures they could take against me have become practically irrelevant. For example, garnishing wages from an American employer is not even an avenue of power that they have anymore.”
He admits that $20,000 student loan was not much of a burden. He said that the inability to find a job which allows him to make the monthly $300 payments and still have enough in his pocket for the month made it really stressful than many other people. He said that leaving America also involved some sacrifices like there are some toilets in his village which are just simple holes dug in the ground. However, he said that overall he is happy with his decision to move here. He said, “I saw four elephants just yesterday.” He further added, “I have a higher standard of living in a Third World country than I would in America, because of my student loans. I couldn’t make the math work in America.”
Experts say that leaving the US and moving to a foreign country to escape on the student debt is risky. This is because when the borrower returns to the US, they will find that their debt is now more massive than before because of the compounded interest, collection charges, and late fees. Despite all this, many students choose this option, and personal finance websites even offer guides on how they can pull this off easily.