Aussie Ex-Pats: Your HECS Debt Is About To Come Back To Bite You

If you’re an Aussie ex-pat with a HECs debt living overseas, get ready, ‘coz the ghost of the student loans you thought you avoided are coming back to haunt you, big time.

For the past 16 years, there’s been a loophole that says that Aussies who move overseas don’t have to pay back their HECS or HELP debt, regardless of whether they’re earning the income threshold of $54,126 or not.
Currently there are roughly 46,000 Australians living and working internationally without repaying their HECS and HELP debts, but that’s all about to change, because the Senate just passed new legislation to close the loophole, beginning in January 2017.
The Senate:
Former education minister Christopher Pyne described the current situation as “obviously unfair” in May, when the changes to legislation were announced.
Our plan will enforce the same HECS repayment obligations on Australians living overseas that apply to those who remain on our shores,” he said in a statement. “There is no good reason why someone working as a banker in London or New York and earning over the threshold shouldn’t pay back what they owe Australia.
The Federal Government expects that closing the loophole will bring in $150 million over the next decade, and the legislation will be applied retrospectively to anyone who’s lived overseas for more than six months.