School loans and Marriage, a new struggle for young couples
It’s not unusual for individuals who are considering marriage to have school loans. Experts agree debt, as well as a variety of other marriage issues, should be discussed prior to marriage. Handling and spending money is currently one of the most contentious issues for marriages and is commonly declared by couples as the reason the marriage did not work. So before you marry it’s important to discuss you debts, your expectations for paying off debts, the standard of living each spouse wants and how large purchases will be made in the future.
How are school loans accumulated prior to the marriage impacted by marriage?
Many couples wonder what happens to their school loans after they are married. Will they be held responsible for debts their spouse accumulated prior to the marriage? The good news is that financial institutions cannot hold you legally responsible for debts your spouse obtained prior to your marriage and if your spouse defaults on the loan their default will not affect your credit score, but it is important to view marriage as a partnership so if your spouse has debts it’s best to consider them your responsibility too.
How are school loans handled if the debts are accumulated after marriage?
Couples should not only be concerned about student loan debts accumulated prior to the marriage they should also consider the financial impact on the marriage if student loans are taken out after the marriage. Although a spouse may not be liable for school loans taken out by the other spouse, if the debt holding spouse defaults on the school loans the financial institution can take jointly owned property to satisfy the debt. Consider also, a lien makes selling these properties more difficult.
Is consolidation of our school loans a good idea?
Many couples enter marriage and both partners have student loans. Although consolidating those loans together may allow you to get a better interest rate, thus lowering your monthly payment obligations, it may make both spouses liable for the debt. This means that any failure to pay has negative credit score implications for both spouses.
Should I agree to co-sign on my spouse’s school loans?
Co-signing on school loans will make you financial liable for the school loan if your spouse defaults on the loan. If you are not married the issues are the same. Co-signing can help lower interest rates, but before co-signing make sure you understand the legal obligations.
Bottom line about school loans
Marriage is tough even without large debts. If you or your spouse is in a difficult financial situation it can put pressure on the marriage. Marriage experts agree it is best to consult with a marriage counselor or get pre-marriage counseling prior to marriage to address all issues.
Many churches offer free premarital counseling classes which address a wide range of topics from finances, in-laws, extended family, expectations and children.