I’m Divorcing My Deadbeat Husband and He Wants Me to Pay His Student Loans. – Janet

“Dear Steve,

I am going through a divorce, and am drowning in debt. My “husband” was unemployed for 6 years, which caused me to borrow money to help the family survive. He graduted from school last year, and is currently unemployed and has decided (told me so) that I must be the one to pay for his Sallie Mae school loans, over $12,000 worth of it that i co-signed for anyways. I make $30,000 a year, but I have 2 children and a car loan and the other $12,000 loan as well as his school one, and many utilities that i had fallen behind in while he was living with us.

Is there any way at all for me to get absolved of having to pay the Sallie Mae loan?
I really don’t want to do a bankruptcy and lose my car just so I can afford to pay off my deadbeat husbands school loan while he sits somewhere doing nothing.

Please help!


Dear Janet,

Wow, he’s really quite a loser. He makes mean look nice. And the worst part of this, he’s got you boxed into a corner with no way out.

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I’m sure at one time you loved him but the time to have fixed this situation was when he would not get off his ass to help the family survive, years ago.

The instant you cosigned for the student loans you made yourself jointly liable for his loans. You could always not make any payments and let the student loan lender go after your deadbeat, soon to be ex. But if you guaranteed those loans they will soon turn and want to talk to you for repayment.

And now that you are on the loan, the lender is not going to want to let you off the hook.

Unfortunately I think that bankruptcy is probably the most reasonable solution. The car lender will probably let you reaffirm the loan and keep the car. You should talk to a local bankruptcy attorney about your situation and the total amount of debts that you owe. You’ve got to get yourself in a position to make those student loan repayments. They can’t be discharged in bankruptcy and you don’t want to let them rack up massive interest and penalties by letting them rot.

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Moving forward Janet, make sure your loving ex-husband is on the hook for child support through the courts. If he does not pay, I want to see his ass in jail, and I’m a forgiving liberal. This man needs no more consideration and breaks from you. You’ve done enough and he’s done enough to you. Do not let him walk away from his responsibility for the children you had together.

You deserve an extra big hug.


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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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