When people consider moving to Japan, one of the biggest concerns is taking care of those outstanding bills/debts from back home. You know, the car payments, credit-card bills, student loans, etc. This often makes people feel like they are tethered to their home countries; it’s a major reason people avoid making extended trips abroad. I know because I’ve been there. I remember being so worried about how I was going to handle my financial obligations if I came to Japan to live and work…for an entire year no less. I nearly let my doubt get the better of me, and came incredibly close to missing one the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Despite the worries, assured myself that everything would be fine and I came to Japan anyway.
So, I had a stable job, and was making enough to pay my bills…but…getting money to the US was a real hassle. I had a hard time finding a service that would do it easily. I searched and searched….and searched, but everything was either too expensive, or took too long. In the mean time, bills were coming due, and they had to be paid. Banks and student loan companies weren’t going to wait for me to finish searching for a convenient way to pay them.
My initial solution was 1) sending money to my family members via the Japan Post, 2) getting them to deposit it in my bank account, and then 3) finally making payments. For some banks, you can also send the money order directly to them, but that still takes a bit of time. The good thing about doing it this way is that it wasn’t so expensive. After doing it the hard way a few times, though…waiting in line, filling out paper work for every transaction, paying for postage, etc., I thought to myself “There has to be a better way!!”
I ended up speaking to one of my American co-workers (and now good friends) and learned that it’s really not as hard as it seems. I was introduced to a service called GoLloyd’s (www.golloyds.com).
My last transfer was on September 1, 2010, for ￥14,000. I’ll show you a breakdown of the fees:
-￥14,000-￥525 (Domestic remittance to GoLloyds)= ￥13,475
-￥13,475-￥2000 (GoLloyds Commision Fee)= ￥11,475
The amount I received in my US bank account for this transaction was $130.00.
-$130.00-$15.00 (Home bank, domestic wire transfer)= $115.00
So there is some expense involved, but depending on your home country’s exchange rate, sometimes you may lose a bit, and sometimes you may make a bit (the latter is always nice).
This company was simply a godsend! After filling out the brief application, and waiting about 2 weeks, I got my welcome pack in the mail. Now, sending money home has never been easier. I go to my branch bank ATM and within 2 minutes, my transaction is done.