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Why am I included on spouses student loans?

Established Contributor

Re: Why am I included on spouses student loans?

Ok i will try for income based repayment. I think my wife selected the option "let my servicer choose the best option" when she applied

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Message 11 of 18
Established Contributor

Re: Why am I included on spouses student loans?

Nursemanit: First off, not everybody is married when they get student loans. In fact, I would guess most people have to put it off marriage until after school is done. Second, most people work. Most people who do not take temporary leave, such as from unemployment, disability or having kids. It makes zero sense to stop working for 20 years just to avoid making payments on a student loan!! It also makes no sense to think there are a bunch of people out there just itching to spend their time getting a degree then never use it, so much that so much so that this it will doom the student loan system.
The student loan system is doomed however because the current system is unsustainable. People have to take out a increasing mountain of debt nowadays with astronomical interest rates, but there is a wage stagnation. Additionally a bachelor's degrees is no longer a thing you get to be ahead in the workforce, it's what you get and still have a problem getting a job.

This person is asking for advice on how to fix a problem in a way that lenders allow them to. It's wrong for you to attack them for wanting to do so.

Message 12 of 18
New Contributor

Re: Why am I included on spouses student loans?

Sabi  - You are making many false assumptions.


1. It makes no difference if you took the student loan before you are married vs. after. And the OP is questioning why they can not claim $0 in income and not pay the loan. There is a simple concept that seems to be lost to many people. You borrow money that means  you must pay it back. If you don't then "we" meaning everyone else has to pay it for you. There should not be loopholes that leave it to  other to pay your loans. 


2. We have less than 4% unemployment - and wages are no longer flat like they were from 2009. Yet despite this student loan defaults are rising. I agree that colleges are quite drunk on spending and the costs are out of control however 100% of people who take out student loans since 1990 were provided estimates of what the monthly payments would be post graduation and the interest rates. Knowing this  they signed for the loan promising to  pay the money back . No one was tricked into student loans. 


3. The interest rates on student loans are very low. Show me one unsecured loan you can get at a better rate than a student loan. It is not the student loan program or the interest rates -but the modern feeling of entitlement that is causing the student loan crisis. 


4. A 4 year degree is still a valuable tool and you should be able to get a job in a market with sub 4% unemployment. You may not get that job you dreamed about but you can get a job. I live in one of the most economicaly depressed areas of the country. I only have a 4 year degree yet if I lost my job I would estimate that it would take less than a month to get a new one. Heck, I could get a job in a day but it would be about a month before I got my first check. I am confident of this because I obtained  a degree that is marketable in any economy instead of a fun degree that was less marketable. It is not the governments fault if you take out 60,000 in loans to get a degree in a dead or non - marketable field.  



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Message 13 of 18
Frequent Contributor

Re: Why am I included on spouses student loans?

I don’t think the OP was looking for anyone to pontificate on his desire to make use of the various income-driven repayment plans available nor his and his wife’s choice for her to be a stay at home spouse.
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Message 14 of 18

Re: Why am I included on spouses student loans?

@beutiful5678 wrote:

I agree. Unfortunately, there's not much in the U.S. system of financing higher education that makes sense.



When I was 20 years old I was working two part-time jobs and living on my own - even helping my parents at times - yet I still had to include their income on my FAFSA as if my family was helping me and it was figured in when calculating my financial aid. 


At the time I felt there was nothing fair about it - I was getting zero financial support from my family - but that's what I had to deal with.  (FWIW I still feel it's not a great way to do things.)


In my case the damage wasn't too bad (my family doesn't have much) but for young people who have wealthy parents who refuse (for whatever reason) to assist them financially with school it's really not fair.  In that case short of getting married you just have to 'deal with it' until you're 24, which could mean someone putting off higher education altogether for literally years.


I realize that isn't what this thread is addressing, but I just wanted to point out that not everything is as you might think it 'should' be with financial aid, student loans, and repayment. 


@CreditGuy03, if your wife's repayment schedule is causing a financial hardship I highly recommend having her reach out to her servicer as soon as possible.  Several times I saw that I would be running short, and my servicer was always able to help me make an arrangement (twice I was able to get a forbearance) to help me get back on track. 


I always called before there was a problem (I hadn't been late yet) and I found them to be easy to talk to and deal with.  You won't know what options are available until you call and ask.

Message 15 of 18
New Contributor

Re: Why am I included on spouses student loans?




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Message 16 of 18

Re: Why am I included on spouses student loans?

@nursemanit wrote:




I was speaking specifically to subsidised loans and grants; my freshman year was before the law changed and I qualified for sufficient grants to cover almost everything.  The next year the rules were different and my parent's resources had to be provided.  With this change everything turned to loans only, some subsidised, and some not.  Speaking as one who had the 'privilege' of paying off all those loans I can assure you there is a meaningful difference.  Also, my parents were fine with providing information for the FAFSA; some aren't so lucky (which is a whole 'nother issue).


As for putting off school until 24... I agree that's not for everybody.  I was just pointing out the lack of fairness in forcing a 18-year old to take out expensive loans while a 24-year old with the same income would likely qualify for grants.


In any case, I was trying to draw a parallel to the OP's issue, not start a separate topic.

Message 17 of 18

Re: Why am I included on spouses student loans?

You clearly must have missed OP’s commentary on the IDR payment system. If his wife isn’t working why should he have to pay for her debt...

IMO, maybe Congress should eliminate the IDR and PSLF program for future borrowers. Then everyone (Future borrowers) would have no choice to but to pay back their full student loans.

Being able to pick and choose which debt you pay back isn’t the way the system works. Be thankful Congress established IDR as a method of a reduced very thankful and don’t complain about my or my spouse’s payment.
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Message 18 of 18