Some Americans are choosing to flee to go live in jungles or caves or wherever the undersecretary of Education won't be able to track them down and break their legs. But you don't need to get a fake passport and an improvised dye job in a truck stop bathroom to escape. Just getting on a plane is often enough to make it completely disappear. That's what dentist David Donelson discovered when he drifted to Dubai after his divorce left him destitute and in debt up to his dentures. Merely by leaving the country, his lawyer managed to drastically reduce his monthly student loan payments by thousands of dollars.
This is thanks to a little-known tax break called the Foreign Earned Income Inclusion, which lets U.S. taxes ignore the first $100,000 you make each year abroad. Since loan payments are calculated based on a percentage of your adjusted gross income, it can act like a poverty invisibility cloak. Make less than 100k a year (art grads, looking at you), and the IRS will think you're making zero money, and since calculating a percentage from zero summons Algernon, the god of death and calculus, the student loan office will just leave you alone.
It gets even better. Unlike debt fugitives, expats won't be getting chased down drainpipes the moment they return to the U.S., and they're allowed to come back for up to 35 days a year without losing this tax break -- plenty of time to catch up with everyone and have time left to do a few smug victory laps around your alma mater.
Of course, the debt won't go away. In fact, since you're not even paying off the interest, it'll embiggen instead. But this isn't about erasing the debt; it's about outliving it. Once you've established your fiscal exile, you have two options: Stay out until you're dead, or keep letting the algorithm believe you're broke as hell and have the debt expunged. So if you're about to finish college, follow these rules and you'll never have to think about paying off your loans. All while you're abroad, making a little money and only flying back home for the holidays or when you need your laundry done. So not all that different from staying in college, really.