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AES Consolidated Student Loans in Divorce – Lori

“Dear Steve,

My ex-husband and I consolidated our students loans. My potion: $20,000, his portion, $40,000. We divorced. Our loan was with Educational Direct. Post-divorce, we refinanced(?) our loan and it now lies with American Education Solutions. In the divorce agreement, which we filed through We The People ourselves, we agreed to pay on the loan jointly. My husband hasn’t made a payment in over 17 months. According to AES, the loan was not a consolidation loan and only my name exists on the loan. According to AES, he is not liable in any way. I did seek help from a lawyer, who sent a letter to my ex insisting he pay on the loan or that he would be summoned to court. I cannot afford the $5000 retainer to take the next step and so am still struggling to make payments myself.

Any advice? I was under the impression that bankruptcy is not an option for student loans and I do not, as of yet, qualify for any loan forgiveness programs, even though I work in the education field. Is my only hope to obtain a lawyer and try to resolve it that way? Thank you.


Dear Lori,

I’d start a search through your papers to see if you can find anything that shows your ex-husband actually signed that consolidation with you. Do statements come in just your name or both names?

Unfortunately it might just be that the loan is in your name only, unless you can find proof otherwise.

The divorce decree issue is one that trips up a lot of people. Just because you and your ex-husband came to an agreement on how the loan would be paid, that has no impact on the lender. That’s just between you two. To enforce the agreement you’d either have to get him to pay or drag him back to court.

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Bankruptcy would not be an option for the student loans but some people find themselves filing bankruptcy to get rid of their other debt so they can afford the student loan payment.

Even if you consolidated two different accounts what you need to look for besides the names is to see if only you guaranteed the loan. If that’s the case, then the prognosis would not be good.

First step, find those original student loan consolidation papers and let’s see what they say.

Please post your reply to me in the comments section below.


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About the author

Steve Rhode

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.

1 Comment

  • Well, if you find he DID co-sign, depending on if you care if he hates you or not, if it was listed as part of you divorce settlement you can file (in CA) what is known as an “Order to Show Cause” document with a “Supporting Declaration” written basically saying “WHY you are coming back to court and how your ex refuses to go along with the judge’s orders, and that you need it taken care of.” 

    Furthermore, if you can’t afford a lawyer there is usually in most courts a “Family Law Facilitator” that will help you fill out the documents needed FOR FREE and if you can’t afford the filing fee either, they have what is known as a “Application for Waiver to Pay Filing Fees and Order”. 

    I’m not sure how much money it is based on but if you are working part time, are on disability, or it depends if you have kids and your income…  It’s not as hard as it sounds.  I’m sorry you are having to deal with this.  I can totally relate.  I do believe you qualify for the forgiveness thing in bankruptcy court but not until after you’ve completed school.  But, being as this is not my major problem right now, my knowledge is limited. 

    But the first part I said IS TOTALLY CORRECT if it was court ordered in your FINAL JUDGEMENT, DIVORCE DECREE or a MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT—-even if he never co-signed on a promissory note.  If it was discussed in your divorce, it’s probably in one of the above documents I just referenced.  Look under the debts and obligations part of the final decree. 

    Good luck.  And thanks for being a teacher!

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