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Returning to debt after living abroad since 2007


I graduated in June 2006 and in May 2007 I left Canada to move abroad. I have been abroad ever since.

I do recall, in late 2007, I tried to re-extend my 6 months interest-free period, but i found out that I have to be a resident in Canada to do so, and I never followed up since. I did not submit a non-resident application, and I have not paid tax on my foreign-earned income. I have visited Canada every year to see friends and family, but had never made contact with any government entity.

It is now almost 2015, and I am planning to return to Canada. What are my liabilities? What are my obligations? Should I start paying the debt while I am abroad (I am interested in paying it in whatever way that helps me improve my credit score)

My loan was OSAP, partially funded by the CSL and part by Ontario only. I believe my final amount was approximately $40,000, but I am afraid to contact the Ministry of Finance / CRA / whoever else to inquire about the loan and ‘reactivating’ what might be a dormant/dead loan.

Thanks for your help and for your advice, it is really helpful!


Posted from: Ontario

One Response to “Returning to debt after living abroad since 2007”

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi, Trustee | B.A. | C.I.R.P said...

There can be little doubt that you still owe $40,000.00 plus accrued interest on your student loans. While it is uncertain that the government will try to collect on the student loans while you were out of the country, they will certainly try when you return to Canada.

Further it would seem that you were a Canadian resident for this period and as such were required to file tax returns on worldwide income. Depending on where you lived, what you earned etc. you may or may not owe back taxes. You may wish to contact a tax specialist for advice on determining what if any tax liability you may have. If you file an Assignment in bankruptcy upon your return the student loan debt may be included in the bankruptcy but that does not prevent Canada Student Loans from objecting to your discharge. At which time the Court may determine any condition of your discharge should that occur. It would be important to talk to a Trustee with the details of your situation so that you know where you stand.