Paying My Student Loans

by Kelly · 7 comments

in Repeats

This post originally appeared on January 23, 2008. It explains how I’ve managed my American student loan payments as an expatriate in France. Note that this is a unique solution, and won’t work for everyone!

Two bills moved with me when I moved to France: my American Visa and my student loans. I have paid off my credit card, although the account remains open, so I no longer have monthly payments. My student loans are another story.

As an American living abroad I no longer have a US checking account. I had one during the first few years that I lived here, but it was very difficult to transfer money into the account*. Without American checks, paying my two American bills was a major hassle. I have to admit that, for a while, it was too much of a hassle and so I didn’t pay them.

National Bank of Dad often stepped up to the plate for the monthly payments, but the interest rates were high, involving lots of grumbling on the banker’s part about adult children living independently and responsibly and within their means.

Then it finally hit me- my father owns a store, and has the ability to charge credit cards for purchases. So I gave my father my debit card number, and now he charges my loan payment every month and sends in a check. I try to keep this as simple as possible, so I round up the number a little bit to an even amount.

I also always express my heartfelt thanks, because, without this solution I know I’d have those student loan collectors beating down my door. This isn’t a solution that will work for everyone obviously, and I often wonder how people in my situation manage their overseas bills.

*Transferring money out didn’t seem to pose as big a problem!


1 Andy @ Retire at 40 December 25, 2008

Wow, isn't is amazing how hard some companies seem to make it to actually give them money. Glad your arrangement with your Dad worked out well. Luckily, I no longer have a student loan (from the UK but now living in NZ).

<abbr>Andy @ Retire at 40´s last blog post..Credit Cards are another Tool in your Financial Toolbox</abbr>

2 breagha December 27, 2008

Long-time reader of your blog, but first time poster 🙂

If you had an American checking acct, couldn't you set up automatic debit? Or is that not possible? Perhaps transferring the money into the American account is the difficult part. I guess technically this is what you're doing, just not debit wise through your bank. Having lived overseas a number of times (though while I was in school, not while actually paying back loans), I totally understand the difficulties of getting money to and from the US, as well as the National Bank of Mom and Dad and how thankful one is/should be to have that luxury 🙂

Merry Christmas!

3 Kelly December 27, 2008


The problems really started to kick in once I didn't have an American checking account any more. Like Andy said, it really is amazing how difficult they make it to give them your money!

4 Loan Modification January 22, 2009

nice post. Borrowing money for college is a big responsibility but college remains a smart investment for obtaining a satisfying career that earns a competitive salary.

5 Nerina S. August 21, 2009

Hello everyone,
I am planning on attending the Sorbonne university in the fall, but since there are not many financial aid options for American students in France, I will have to take out a loan.. I was wondering if I could take out a loan through American Education Services (AES) for my studies abroad.

Has anyone done this ? Is it possible ?

I would appreciate so much any information on this topic,


6 Lemon January 17, 2010

I’m moving to Europe in a couple of weeks and am facing this same situation. I spoke to one of the reps and they said they’ll be able to set up a monthly taking out of my non-American account. I’m skeptical but hoping for the best!

7 Lemon January 17, 2010

Lol, sorry that last comment is so weird but I had to try about 15 times before it didn’t seem “spammy”.

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