Why am I Stuck With the Spousal Consolidation Loan When My Ex-Spouse Went Missing?


Dear Steve,

Spouse consolidation student loan. We divorced and I look into my credit I found this amazing surprise. What are my options as for repayment, loan forgiveness? I currently can’t afford to make any payments due to my income and I don’t qualify for deferment since ex-spouse is missing in action.



Dear Marie,

Federal spousal consolidation loan are the worst. This must be a pretty old loan though. The Department of Education has not generated new spousal consolidation loans in many years. I believe they went away in 2006

If this truly is a spousal consolidation loan then you are 100 percent for the entire loan balance if your former spouse fails to pay. You can divorce your spouse but not this particular type of loan.

Deferment is only available if your former spouse participates. The Department of Education says “In order to qualify for a deferment both borrowers must individually and simultaneously qualify for the same type of deferment.” – Source

Even the Department of Education’s own working group meeting in 2003 thought Spousal Consolidation Loans sucked. They said, “Spousal consolidation loans, as they exist today, are not in the best interest of borrowers as both individuals are held jointly and severally liable for the debt regardless of their future marital status.” – Source

Your first stop should be at the National Student Loan Data System to confirm what you have is actually a true spousal consolidation loan.

Let me know what date it says your loan was originated. Post an update in the comment section below.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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