Trapped in a Spousal Consolidation Loan and Trying to Get Forgiveness


Dear Steve,

We have a “spousal” consolidation loan which was sold many times since the 2005 origination.

Our original consolidation app does not specify it as a spousal loan. Navient, the current holder of the loan, says it is a spousal loan.

My husband was in law enforcement for 43 years & we have applied for a direct loan, so we will qualify for PSLF.

Orig loan was $57K. We owe $16K & have made 180 payments. Eliminating the loan & seeking a refund of payments over 120 is our goal.

What can we do? In your previous article, you say we should contact our Congressman. Is that our only option? Or are we ineligible for the PSLF program?

Also, we do not qualify for Biden’s new forgiveness program.



Dear Linda,

All of this hinges on the accurate designation that this was a Spousal Consolidation Loan. It might be since these loans were available until 2006.

I would suggest you log in to NSLDS to learn specifics about how your loans are identified. You can do that here.

It is possible that your loan was misidentified. There are only about 775 active spousal consolidation loans outstanding. If this was just an administrative mistake, that would be good news.

Holders of Spousal Consolidation Loans have been left high and dry. There has not been much good news in the past.

There is a current proposal in Congress to fix this situation. The bi-partisan bill S.1098 – Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act is yet another attempt to fix this problem. This bill allows two borrowers who had previously received a joint consolidation loan for their federal student loan debt to submit a joint application to the Department of Education to sever their consolidated loan into two separate loans.

Under the proposed Act, the spousal consolidation loan could be split into two Direct Loans, then eligible for PSLF and other forgiveness.

See also  It's Unfair We Can't Consolidate Our Spousal Consolidation Loan

According to Stanley Tate, a student loan lawyer, “Technically, joint spousal consolidation loans are eligible for loan forgiveness programs the federal government offers. But borrowers can face difficulties qualifying for them.

For instance, if one or both spouses work in public service, they can qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. But to be eligible for this student loan forgiveness program, they must have a Direct Consolidation Loan. If they received a spousal consolidation loan under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL), they are not eligible for PSLF. They cannot consolidate a second time. And they may not consolidate the FFEL loan into a Direct Consolidation Loan.”

At this point, I’d advise downloading a copy of your NSDLS loan designations and contacting me with a copy for me to review for you.


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6 thoughts on “Trapped in a Spousal Consolidation Loan and Trying to Get Forgiveness”

  1. I tried to access the NSDLS but it says it’s for organizations only? (I’m in the exact same boat as far as Spousal Consolidation Loan, except my ex-spouse refuses to do or sign anything to do with the Consolidated loan). Thanks!

    • It looks like the process has changed. Arrrgh.

      [Updated NSLDS Access Information]

      1. To access your student loans data on the NSLDS, visit https://studentaid.gov
      2. Choose Log In
      3. Enter your FSA ID & Password
      4. Accept the Terms and Conditions
      5. After you’ve entered the system, hover over your name which is in the top right of the screen.
      6. Select My Aid
      7. Next, select Download My Aid Data which is to the right.
      8. The next windows informs you to protect the downloaded file which contains personally identifiable data and financial information. It is advisable to download this in the privacy of your home and not at public internet locations. Select Continue.
      9. This downloaded text file can now be sent to your financial advisor for analysis and recommendations based on your specific goals. Again, please protect this file as it contains personal financial information about your student loans.

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