To do or not to do? The eternal question when it comes to combining student loans with that of your spouse. Well, not anymore. Whilst student loans cannot be transferred, they can very well be combined. Takes “I do” to a whole new level, doesn’t it? Here we will see about Consolidating Student Loans with Spouse
Let us understand what consolidation of student loans means. A spousal consolidated student loan is taking all the student loans from both spouses and combining them into a single student loan to be paid every month which may be beneficial to both spouses depending on their situation.
The real question, however, is should it be done? And if so, how?
Well, worry not. Let’s break it down together.
Combining student loans, while not easy, may be easier to pay off than individual student loans. However, it is easier said than done. Like most things, it requires a deeper understanding of the procedures and the results of consolidating two student loans.
Some things to consider:
- Would it cause any significant difference?
- Should it be done? Is it worth it?
- Would it benefit both you and your spouse?
Consolidating your loans might actually be a smart choice.
Here are some of the advantages:
Simplification of Monthly Payment
Consolidating student loans with your spouse can make the overall payment much easier. Instead of paying multiple loans to multiple loan providers, you can simply combine them and have a single monthly loan payment. This just makes things easier in the long run.
Refinancing would even help lower the interest rate thereby allowing both you and your spouse to save more.
Only one of you would need a good credit score.
Loan Payment Term Increase
Increasing your loan payment term. Instead of the fixed ‘x’ years that you were given to pay off your loans, you can now have some extra time on your hands to pay off your loans by consolidating them with your spouse’s.
Reduction in Monthly Payment
Another advantage that comes hand-in-hand with this consolidation is that you can reduce your monthly amount.
Payment by Both
There is no mine and yours. There is only ours. The loan would be both of yours to pay.
That said, it may not always be the best solution. After all, we lead different lives in different situations. So, what works for one, might not work for the other. Considering the disadvantages of consolidating student loans:
Whilst this is a sour subject to discuss, in case of a separation, detangling finances may become difficult. Both of you are equally responsible to pay off this debt whether or not you are together.
Losing Federal Protection
Whilst Spousal Student Loan Consolidation might seem like a good idea at first, it may not always be beneficial. If either you or your spouse took out a federal direct loan, you may lose the benefits that come hand-in-hand with these loans such as loan forgiveness programs where you are required to work in a public sector or a non-profit. Federal loans are forgiven at the time of death of the spouse who took out the loan. But if it is a consolidated loan, the remaining spouse would be responsible to pay off the debt completely.
Difference in Loan Payments
One spouse may have taken a hefty loan which would then increase the loan repayment amount for the other spouse. It may just be wise to keep loans separate in such cases so as to prevent the spouse with lesser debt to be legally obligated to pay off the remaining debt.
Taking both sides into consideration, one can only say consolidating student loans with their spouse is wise or unwise depending on their own situation. The benefits may outweigh the drawbacks for one but the same cannot be said for the other.
Whilst some of these drawbacks might just be a snag, it is always best to take time to consider what is best for you and your spouse. Do the upsides outweigh the downsides? Is it worth the pain and the hassle? Or is it just an unnecessary thing to be added to your plate and would be quite difficult to detangle down the road and is not worth all the hassle and work?
When should you consolidate?
That is up to you to decide. Before making up your mind, make sure you ask yourselves this:
- Is it worth it? Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?
- Do we need the benefits provided by federal loans?
- Will the difference in our incomes cause a problem in repaying this debt?
- If worse comes to worst, what can be done?
- Is it okay if the pace of loan repayment becomes faster or slower or remains the same?
These are some things to ponder about. Weigh your benefits against your drawbacks to see what is the best option for you and your family.
All in all, consolidating student loans is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Yes, it may help you by reducing multiple payments into a single consolidated payment per month which is just easier to deal with. It can help decrease your interest rate and increase your repayment duration. But it can also make things complicated. Loss of federal benefits. Separation. Untangling consolidated loans in these situations is more pain than hassle.
There is no fixed universal answer for this eternal question. Same question, multiple correct answers depending on your particular situation. Compare your pros and cons list to help you decide what’s best for you and your family. There is no right or wrong here. Just what’s best for you and what is not.