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Paying US Student Loans in Sweden

Need to figure this part out

post 29.May.2018, 07:56 PM
Post #1
Joined: 14.May.2018

Hey all,

I'm an American who is in the process of working out the final details of a job I am being offered in Gothenburg that I will be relocating for in August. I work for a large international company, so they are giving me assistance with many of the relocation pieces I've seen a lot of gripes about on this page.

One outstanding piece I'm trying to map out - I still have a decent amount of student loans that I need to pay off back in the States. Does anyone have any input on the best way to continue my payments stateside when all my income will now be earned in Sweden?

More targeted,
- Is it easy to transfer funds from a Swedish bank to an outside bank without getting slaughtered on conversion rates?
- Has anyone had success attaching a foreign bank account to an American student loan servicer and make payments from that account?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I do have enough liquid funds to cover a year or so of my normal payments (I have autopay, and would just leave funds in American account), but I just want to think long term since my contract will be for 3 years.

Appreciate any insights!
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post 29.May.2018, 10:16 PM
Post #2
Joined: 25.Jun.2009

I applaud you for working at repaying your debts. There have been other posters on here who look for advice on how to evade their US debt. Do you have a bank in Sweden? If so I would inquire with them or your bank in the US as to the best course of action. They should be the experts. Hopefully you can find the right knowledgeable person with the answer.
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post 30.May.2018, 06:43 AM
Post #3
Joined: 12.Dec.2013

Get the Swedish bank to do the currency conversion, rather than the US Bank, i.e. send dollars not SEK.
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post 30.May.2018, 06:57 AM
Post #4
Location: Germany
Joined: 10.Apr.2007

Varying currency exchange rate (SEK/USD) are likely to cost a lot more than the transfer costs.

Look at the 2 Year chart
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post 30.May.2018, 10:56 AM
Post #5
Joined: 30.May.2018

Well since the interest rate is really low, I'd compare your interest you have on the US student loan. Consider moving it over to a Swedish loan unless it's a really bug sum. In that case you can make some money of it, to trade it against a cheaper loan.

I myself travel a lot and work in a EUR-country, but still live in Sweden, and I use a borderless account from TransferWise that is actually working quite well. There is also another company called Revolut which gives you really cheap conversion rates.

Regarding the loans you can find student loans here:
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post 31.May.2018, 05:49 AM
Post #6
Joined: 28.Jul.2010

What you will need to do is have a bank account in the US that you can transfer funds too. Then all you have to do is transfer funds from your swedish bank account into the american one every month. Because of the number difference and such, you cannot have the american studen loans draw directly from the swedish one and most will just say, if you can't pay by direct transfer to "write a check " since they don't accept any type of debit/credit card...

Then connect your american bank account to your american student loan and you're good to go. You can set up your student loans in the US so that they automatically draw from the american account or just do it manually every month. Just remember that it takes 3 days or so for the funds from the Swedish bank account to show up in the American one.I recomend having at least one months payment in the student loan account so you can be a month ahead (due to the transfer days). I use Swedbank and it is easy to do international wire transfers through them..transfer fees are not that much (and look at your american account. Some bank accounts actually charge to accept a wire transfer. I have USAA which is one of the few banks that does not require you to be in the US to open an account through them and has no wire-in transfer fees.) And no, I haven't been slaughtered by the conversion rates. When the dollar is running low, I just transfer more over.

This system has been working for me for a while now.
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post 31.May.2018, 04:12 PM
Post #7
Joined: 14.May.2018

I went ahead and checked my current U.S. bank's incoming Wire Transfer fee, and it turns out that it is also $0 (Navy Federal).

Once I get to Sweden, I will get my bank account sorted and just wire transfer funds back to my U.S. account as necessary. Should make all of this pretty easy. Thanks everyone for the assistance!
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yet another brit
post 2.Jun.2018, 12:01 PM
Post #8
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

I am not sure, but you *may* be able to deduct (30% of) the interest paid on a US student loan as a capital loss against Swedish tax.

You can't deduct a Swedish student loan as the interest is set artificially "low".
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post 3.Jun.2018, 07:58 AM
Post #9
Joined: 28.Jul.2010

You can deduct the interest. But it honestly isn't worth the hassle, at least I never thought so. It is about equivalent to the fact that you can get a tax refund on the interest payed in the US. Again, when you are not earning any income in the US, trying to get this money back is just not worth the hassle. Just pay it off and get rid of it.
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post 17.Jun.2019, 11:10 PM
Post #10
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 8.Oct.2014

I was in a similar situation myself when living in Sweden.

I was a New Zealander who had debts in New Zealand that still had to keep being paid off while I moved to Sweden.

I signed up to World Remit, which offers some of the best rates out there and only a $2.50 US fee no matter what the value of your transfer value is.

I would transfer once a Month from my Swedish bank account to my NZ bank account via World Remit.

If you use the service we both get free money on your first transfer smile.gif
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post 18.Jun.2019, 01:09 PM
Post #11
Joined: 26.May.2010

QUOTE (Anisette @ 3.Jun.2018, 08:58 AM) *
You can deduct the interest. But it honestly isn't worth the hassle, at least I never thought so. It is about equivalent to the fact that you can get a tax refund on the i ... (show full quote)

Deducting the interest in Sweden takes about 5 minutes.

You change the box for "Ränteutgifter m.m." (8.1) and add a note in box 17 (Övriga upplysningar)

Student loan interest of USD 200.00 paid in USA . Using the yearly average exchange rate of 8.894 SEK per USD (source from, this comes to 1778.8 SEK. Documentation available on request.

Depending on your loans, saves from a few hundred to a few thousand krona per year. Easiest money I make all year.

As for payments, I can advocate for Transferwise as well. Move funds every few months and have an ACH withdrawal from your account in the USA. Bank fees will kill you if you are moving small amounts (sub-1000 USD). Better to take the 0.5% hit on the transfer. When I moved here 15 years ago I would move money once or twice a year to minimize the fees, but with Transferwise, it makes it easier and any extra money that you pay on the transfer you usually make up because you spread the money out over the course of the year and get an average exchange rate rather than whatever happens to be at the minute.
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post 20.Jun.2019, 06:25 AM
Post #12
Location: Värmland
Joined: 12.Oct.2015

revolut is the best for me, using it for several years now.
free worldwide bank transfers, excellent exchange rates, free debit card, what else do you need?
especially as I live in Sweden and every other country I travel without revolut card I get hammered with banks exchange fees,cash withdrawal fees etc.
must have if you do transactions in different currencys than you home .
there is a personal link from me
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