Tuesday, 8 September 2009


Like a lot of folk, before my son came along I lived a fairly carefree hedonistic lifestyle.  Enjoying holidays, gadgets and good red wine are just some of my vices.  At around the time my partner told me she was pregnant, I realised that I owed the banks £18,000.  This was spread across: loans, credit cards and my overdraft.  I was partly in this position because I had previously run up £8K on credit cards, got a loan to pay the balance back and then not cancelled the cards.  Instead, I started to run them up again...

Since then I've been making a concerted effort to pay the debt down.  The changes to my lifestyle have largely been prompted by being a parent with less opportunity to spend lazy Saturday afternoon's in the beer garden, followed by late nights in the curry house.  Aside from that, I've done my best to be more financially savvy - choosing better finance deals, switching to cheaper insurances and selling all my junk on ebay.

As long as I've had it, the debt has been a large millstone around my neck - blocking any plans that my partner and I might have had about moving to Australia.   I had always assumed - that living in a global economy - it would be easy for the debt to follow me to Australia.  Now that I've been researching my visa application and reading support forums it seems that my assumption was incorrect.

The gist of the advice being given is that due to a number of reasons - such as the data protection act preventing the UK division of a bank from sharing your details with its Australian partner, or a UK court not being able to accept an Australian address for a civil proceeding - it seems unlikely that you will be pursued for  money that you owe in the UK whilst resident in Australia.  Whether this is morally correct, or whether you care about being bankrupted in your absence I'll leave you to decide.  That said, at the time of writing, I am expecting to be debt free within a couple of months...

Some useful discussion threads on the subject (these should not be interpreted as legal advice!):

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