Get Your Finances In Order Before Your Nomadic Teaching Adventures

Bert Maxwell's picture

One of the major drawcards to life as a traveling educator is that you get to experience different cultures without having to forego your passion for teaching. Debt can place a damper on that experience, and according to research, those with debt  experience high levels of guilt and shame. Even if you’re unable to settle all your debt before you embark on your journey, it’s good to have a plan in place to get those items off your list, especially if you’re thinking of making one of these destinations a permanent home. 

Get Your Finances In Order Before Your Nomadic Teaching Adventures

Your visa and your credit record

While this may come as a surprise, your credit won’t necessarily impact your journey when you go overseas. This is because you don’t have to furnish a credit report when you apply for a Visa. Even though this may seem like a good opportunity to forget those debts and start over, it can place a damper on your credit record. If you ignore your debts and the credit institution manages to secure a judgment against you, this could mean that if you decide to only travel for a year or two, you may have a judgment on your record for quite some time on your return, as they remain on your record for seven years.

Job applications may be impacted

For those looking to secure a good teaching position in their dream destination, failing to secure the post due to a bad credit record will be devastating. While you may not need to satisfy the embassy in terms of your credit record for a Visa, employers and employment agencies might feel differently. According to research, around  72% of employers do background checks, and almost a third of these employers request a credit check, too. This may seem logical for those looking to enter the financial industry, but as a teacher, it might make no sense at all. It turns out that employers aren’t only concerned with the possibility of financial mismanagement that will put their business at risk, but this is also used to determine whether their future employee might be irresponsible.

It’s important to know your standing before you even submit your application for the position, and to report incorrect information to the credit bureaus immediately. It also helps to know about Transworld Systems and how they, and other agencies, like Equifax and FICO, might impact your credit record. Disputes and irregularities are common, and even if it means roping in the help of an agency to clear up that record, it’s worth the trouble.

A garnishee order could damage your reputation with your employer

If you happen to work in an area that has shared jurisdiction with the country you have debt in - for instance, if you happen to take on a role in the European Union and the debt you’re owing is within the EU, a garnishee order could be served on your new employer. Not only is this an embarrassing way to start a job at a new school, but it can also put a damper on the possibility of securing an extension to your contract.

Make arrangements with debt collectors before you leave, and honor those agreements to ensure that there is no unnecessary contact with your new employer.


Debt is helpful when you need it most, and while managing it can be tough, it’s important to take the necessary steps to remedy it as soon as you’re able. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!