22 Aug Loans? Who’s Responsible for These Student Loans?
We are up to the letter in L in our Divorce from A to Z series. L stands for loans, more specifically student loans. We are going to figure out who is responsible for paying them after divorce and what options are out there if you cannot afford the loans.
First, student loans are different than most other types of debt when it comes to divorce, repayment, and dividing them up. Generally speaking, student loans are the responsibility of the one who took them out, whether it was before marriage or during the marriage. With other types of debt, if you take out a credit line during the marriage, it belongs to both of you, even if only one name is on it.
There is an argument that can be made for professional degrees that were earned during the marriage, if the community benefited from the education or it can be shown that one spouse has much higher earning capacity than the other. However, for the most part, if you took out a student loan, plan on being solely responsible for your loan.
One complication that does come up is if you did a consolidation loan as a married couple. The Federal Joint Consolidation Loan was offered up until about 2006 and allowed married couples to consolidate their student loans into one loan. This program was a bad idea. Upon divorce, there is not an easy way to apportion the loan out and it can be quite complicated to work out.
If you have student loans that you are responsible for, there are also many federal programs available to get your payment to a manageable level. You will want to find out your rights and use the best program that fits your budget.
If you have specific questions on your divorce, debts, and student loans, our email advice option can help answer a single question.
LEGAL ADVERTISEMENT. This is just a basic overview and is not legal advice specific to your situation. You should consult qualified legal counsel with questions regarding your situation.