My Ex-Husband and I Consolidated Our Student Loans. I’m Still Paying. – Marie

“Dear Steve,

My ex-husband and I consolidated our student loans back in 2004. In our divorce in 2012, I am required to pay on the joint loans for 10 years then in reverts to him. He is currently paying individual loans of ours. He makes considerably more than I do (about $45,000/yr and I’m around $25,000/yr) and I am unable to make the payments. The loan is now with Sallie Mae for about $40,000. The judge also ordered that we both would be required to provide any information or documentation requested involved in paying the loan.

Would I be able to qualify for the Student Loan Forgiveness Act or the 10/10 Loan Repayment Plan? Would it go off the combined income or mine since I am ordered by the court to pay?



Dear Marie,

I’m afraid you are still married through the loan. You see a divorce agreement is an understanding between you and your ex. It does not alter the relationship with you and your creditors.

If it was a joint loan before your divorce it is a joint loan after your divorce until the loan is paid off.

The loan may or may not be eligible for forgiveness. It really depends if this is a government guaranteed loan or not. For details on government programs for federal loans, see The Ultimate Guide to Dealing With Student Loans You Can’t Afford.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments 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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