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Many expatriates who have an unpaid personal loan or credit debt from a bank want to know if they can leave on a final exit from Saudi Arabia. Can they return to Saudi Arabia with an unpaid loan or a credit card debt? We have addressed these important points in this article.
Generally, at the time of issuing bank loans, banks make an agreement with the employers to intimate them about the service termination or resignation of the employee.
As soon as your employer informs your bank about the termination or resignation, they freeze your bank account and wait for the End of Service Benefits to be credited. It is important to mention here that according to SAMA guidelines, freezing End of Service Benefits of an employee is an illegal act.
After this, they negotiate with you to make a settlement with them. It is better to settle this amount with the bank at this stage, otherwise, they will continue to follow you even in your home country.
Final exit with an unpaid loan
If you are going on a final exit, you should pay-off your bank loan before leaving Saudi Arabia. However, unless your loan installments are overdue, there is no problem in getting a final exit visa from Jawazat with unpaid bank loans.
There could be a problem in getting the final exit visa if you have some overdue installments and the bank registers a case against you in the court. In the presence of a police case, you would not be able to get a final exit visa from Jawazat.
Final exit with an unpaid credit card debt
Leaving Saudi Arabia on a final exit is easier even if you have an unpaid credit card debt. The Jawazat system is not integrated with bank records so you will get a final exit easily even if you have credit card debt. Generally, banks do not register a legal case to recover credit card debt.
Get a clearance letter if you pay-off
If you decide to pay off your bank loan or credit card debt before leaving on a final exit from Saudi Arabia, ask for a clearance certificate from the bank. This certificate will be proof if someone approaches you to recover funds later.
After you leave Saudi Arabia with an unpaid loan
After a certain number of months of missed payments, the bank hands over your account to a collection agency. These agencies are a third-party organization that has a presence in your home country. They will find your contact details and approach you to recover the debts.
For example, Bilkish is based in India and they are the authorized representative. If you are from the Philippines, the government has already started implementing Credit Information Corporation (www.creditinfo.gov.ph) which will gather all the credit data of the Filipinos.
Can these collection agencies take you to the court? Well, it depends if there is an agreement between your country and Saudi Arabia to do this. Generally, they just try to follow-up with you and make an out of court settlement. They will get a commission of whatever you pay back to the bank.
Can I return to Saudi Arabia with an unpaid loan?
If you get a job offer from Saudi Arabia and you have an unpaid loan from a Saudi bank as well, you must be wondering if you can really come back to Saudi Arabia?
Well, you can come back to Saudi Arabia if your bank has not lodged a legal case against you in Saudi Arabia for the collection of dues. Unfortunately, there is no way to check if they have registered a legal case against you. Generally, they register a legal case;
- After 6 months of undue payments and;
- The amount of default is more than SR 25,000.
If the bank has registered a case, the Saudi Embassy in your home country will stamp your visa but you will be detained at the airport after the immigration.
In this case, it is better to settle the loan either from your home country or make transfer the money to any of your friends or relative in Saudi Arabia who can get you out of the detention by paying-off the amount of loan.
Saudi Arabia Debt Punishment
There is no specific punishment in the Saudi Laws for the debt default unless it involves fraud. The court will order to keep you behind the bars until you pay-off the debt or someone else does it on your behalf.
Can I go to GCC countries with an unpaid Saudi loan?
If you leave Saudi Arabia with an unpaid loan and want to come back to any GCC country, you can easily go there. The GCC system is not interconnected with the Saudi banking system so there will be no problem in entering the country.
Similarly, you can go to any other country as well.
How to pay the unpaid personal loan after the final exit?
In case you decide to pay off your loan from your home country, we have given a 7-step approach to settle it before coming back to Saudi Arabia.
Find an agent
In order to pay the unpaid personal loan, debt, credit card from Al Rajhi Bank or any other bank in Saudi Arabia after the final exit, you should have a legal representative or lawyer in the Kingdom. The representative will check the legal case and communicate with lenders on your behalf.
Consult with the bank
The bank’s main concern in Saudi Arabia is to get the payment for unpaid personal loans, debt, the credit card which is why they are open to any payment method. You can talk to the bank to remove extra charges and fines and reduce the amount to a number that you can practically afford to pay. You can also agree on the installments method.
Keep in mind that banks will not easily waive your fines and debt punishments, but your representative should be capable enough to point out the related laws which are helpful for you to agree with removing fine and extra charges in Saudi Arabia.
Put down everything in writing
After completing the oral agreements to pay the unpaid personal loan, get everything in black and white. It should be signed for proof. This document must be on a letterhead of the bank; signatures of both parties and stamp by bank official seal.
This must be first signed and approved before handing over any amount. The purpose of this paper is the protection of the borrower. Sometimes after the payment, they refuse to agree that some agreement was made and demand additional money. This leaves the customer with the problem.
Request for a clearance letter
After paying money for the unpaid personal loan, you need to obtain two documents from the bank to clean your record and avoid any potential punishment in Saudi Arabia. The clearance paper, which will serve as evidence that you made all your payments to the lender.
The release document, which will be proof that the bank took back the complaint registered against the customer. The bank can provide the letter on the same day, or this process can take up to two weeks.
Deposit the release paper to the authorities
Your representative needs to deposit the release paper to the police station where the case has been filed against you and confirm them that all the unpaid personal loan, debt, credit card has been paid.
Obtain a police clearance certificate
Your representative needs to visit the police headquarters to get a clearance certificate if necessary. This is optional. After paying the unpaid personal loan, debt, credit card and clearing the case with police, they will delete all your records from the system in Saudi Arabia. Recommended: How to get a police clearance certificate?
Re-visit to country
Once you clear all your records and obtain all the documents, you can enter Saudi Arabia on a new visa and start a new life here. Manage yourself well this time and don't spend more than what you earn. Recommended: Can I come back to Saudi Arabia after the final exit?