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Leaving Japan with credit card debt

cizzie

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So my girlfriend has lived in Japan for the past 6 years on a employer sponsored residency. She now wants to leave but has credit card debt. We’d like her to continue to pay it in the us, but We aren’t sure if she could leave the country at all with any outstanding balances. I wanted to know what options do we have, she wants to leave at the beginning of may and had 500k yen in credit card debt.
 

mdchachi

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I don't think there is any problem with leaving. No one will stop her. The main concern would be the ability to return to Japan in the future. So it makes sense to take care of her obligations in that sense. But I don't think there are any issues with paying her bills from the U.S. Just the practical matters of how to do so with regards to banking internationally.
 

Buntaro

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Are you worried Immigration will block her when she arrives at the airport to leave the country?
 

cizzie

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This was my main concern As well as hers. She says she heard bad stories but usually that is someone exaggerating.
 

cizzie

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I apologize I am on my phone and not sure what the quote feature is not working but to buntaro, I wanted to know what would be the best course of action to pay internationally would ach from a us account be possible?
 

Buntaro

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I am sure you will be able to find a payment method. You have several choices.

Mail personal checks (U.S. dollars) to the credit card company in Japan. They will charge you a fee to process the checks. Find out how much the fee will be. (Opening a checking account in America is quite easy. I recommend using BBVA Bank.)

Mail international postal money orders (U.S. dollars). They will charge you a fee to process the money orders. Find out how much the fee will be.

Use direct bank transfers. You guessed it, there will be a fee. It has been my experience that direct bank transfers have the highest fees.

You may also be able to use Western Union to send the money, but I am not sure about this.

Use a Japanese bank with a branch in America to change the money to yen (and perhaps send it as well). I used to use Sumitomo Bank in Los Angeles. Japanese banks allow people to send money money directly from your bank account to another person's bank account. (This is how they got rid of using personal checks.) You may be able to send the money directly to the credit card company in Japan from an ATM in a Japanese bank branch office located in an American city. If both you and the credit card company's office are both in, say, New York, you could simply wlk in the front door and pay.

The credit card company may have an office in the U.S. If so, mailing a check to their office in America might be the best way to go.

You definitely need to contact the credit card company and see which of these options is the best. If you don't want to mention your girlfriend, say it is for "a friend".
 
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cizzie

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I am sure you will be able to find a payment method. You have several choices.

Mail personal checks (U.S. dollars) to the credit card company in Japan. They will charge you a fee to process the checks. Find out how much the fee will be. (Opening a checking account in America is quite easy. I recommend using BBVA Bank.)

Mail international postal money orders (U.S. dollars). They will charge you a fee to process the money orders. Find out how much the fee will be.

Use direct bank transfers. You guessed it, there will be a fee. It has been my experience that direct bank transfers have the highest fees.

You may also be able to use Western Union to send the money, but I am not sure about this.

Use a Japanese bank with a branch in America to change the money to yen (and perhaps send it as well). I used to use Sumitomo Bank in Los Angeles. Japanese banks allow people to send money money directly from your bank account to another person's bank account. (This is how they got rid of using personal checks.) You may be able to send the money directly to the credit card company in Japan from an ATM in a Japanese bank branch office located in an American city.

The credit card company may have an office in the U.S. If so, mailing a check to their office in America might be the best way to go.

You definitely need to contact the credit card company and see which of these options is the best. If you don't want to mention your girlfriend, say it is for "a friend".

Wow really great points I think I like the Japanese banks in America idea as she has to close her account there from what I understand do you know if that bank is in NY as well?
 

Buntaro

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mdchachi

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I would call the credit card/bank and ask them directly how to pay from overseas starting from U.S. dollars. See if they have any clues. She doesn't have to tell them she's leaving the country. Just that the funds are in U.S. dollars overseas and will need to be paid periodically.

Although the rule may be that nonresidents can't have accounts, probably she could change the address of record to a trusted friend's address and keep it open.
That's what I would do. Well, that's what I did, actually. I kept my Japanese bank account for over 10 years after I left Japan.
 

cizzie

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I would call the credit card/bank and ask them directly how to pay from overseas starting from U.S. dollars. See if they have any clues. She doesn't have to tell them she's leaving the country. Just that the funds are in U.S. dollars overseas and will need to be paid periodically.

Although the rule may be that nonresidents can't have accounts, probably she could change the address of record to a trusted friend's address and keep it open.
That's what I would do. Well, that's what I did, actually. I kept my Japanese bank account for over 10 years after I left Japan.
This is actually a great idea as well she had a few friends that got married in Japan and are not leaving anytime soon I’ll start asking.





Thanks so much man! You’ve been a big help
 

mdchachi

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There is no requirement to close the account when moving out of the country.
I think it depends on the bank. If you do leave it open I suggest not leaving much money in it. It may be difficult to get your money back out after you've left if you're not planning to travel to Japan again.
 

cizzie

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I think it depends on the bank. If you do leave it open I suggest not leaving much money in it. It may be difficult to get your money back out after you've left if you're not planning to travel to Japan again.
We honestly planned to do this anyway as I figured since her residency will end in another 2 months better safe than sorry
 
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