The More You Know: Great Advice for Grad & Pro 2020


Kathy Snell, 55, of Eugene, Oregon, would love to undo her spousal loan. But it has nothing to do with her marriage. “We’ve managed even through all the financial stuff to stay happily married,” Snell says. That “stuff” includes a joint student loan that’s grown to almost $420,000. Snell and her husband combined their loans via a federal program that ended in 2006. Their loan isn’t eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which forgives the federal loans of borrowers working for qualifying employers — like the University of Oregon, where Snell is an attending veterinarian. Other federal borrowers can consolidate existing loans to eventually qualify for this program. But federal spousal loans can’t be reconsolidated. Legislation to let spouses unbundle these loans is part of the College Affordability Act, which is under consideration by Congress. While Snell’s circumstances don’t apply to private loans, she still cautions couples about the flexibility they lose by combining loans. “Knowing now what I know, I would recommend against it,” Snell says. “Keep those student loans in your individual pot.”

The article Should Your Student Loans and Your Spouse’s Get Hitched? was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.

RYAN LANE is a NerdWallet authority on student loans. He has worked in the student loan industry for more than a decade.


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