If you’ve been reading some of my posts, you’ll know that I am a US ex-pat living in Sweden. My income is in Swedish Krona, this means I earn 0 USD but I still have a US student loan payments. Since I knew I was moving abroad, I contacted my loan provider and asked about my options. The representative I spoke to told me that I can continue on the PAYE program but will have to update my income annually. They said that since I would be making 0 USD then my payment would remain $0.00 monthly.
I told another one of my friends here in Sweden who also has the same loan provider. He mentioned how he was worried about making his payments while here and he was thinking about defaulting. Especially since he was thinking of never returning to the U.S. He referenced an article published in 2016, where some Americans moved to Europe to run away from their debt. Unfortunately, that is not the best option.
When I realized that I could continue on the PAYE program and still have my minimum payment is $0.00. However, I do continue paying my student loan because I do not want the compounding interest to work against me. I use Transferwise for this. Now it is an affiliate code but it at no cost to you. Now, I have tried several different ways of transferring money internationally and I have found that this is the most reliable and the cheapest.
Some advice is that when you talk to your student loan provider, talk to more than one person to make that they are on the same page. There are lawsuits about how these providers are predatory and lied to their consumers. So be wary.