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I paid most of my debt off before coming but have a little left on a loan outstanding but have left money to cover payments for 3 months after which I will transfer over.
Technically you can't really run from debt, UK companies can sell on any debt to aussie companies who will chase you for the money. However if a debt has not been aknowledged for 6 years (meaning they don't find you or you don't respond to letters) then it is not legally enforcable. I will point out however that people who deliberatly take out a debt with the intention of fleeing the country and not paying back are committing fraud.
As shel says there is family assistance if you have pr but little else and there is an online calculator on the centrelink page so you can see how much you could possibly get depending on earnings. Also yes your credit rating starts fresh which I was annoyed about as we chose to bank with HSBC as we did in the UK and they assured us our credit would therefore come with us but uh uh no :( told it only takes between 3 and 6 months tho to build enouhh for cards etc although I have to say its kind of nice actually owning everything (with the exception of the house obviously) outright.
 

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I had a HSBC premier account in the UK but they charge a monthly fee for it so before moving I downgraded it to a regular current account because other than covering the remaining loan payments I won't be using it.
 
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