What to know about student loans before getting married

Madison Rexroat

Marriage is a big life step, but it also comes with huge financial impacts, one of which is your student loan payments.

Before getting married, each person should be clear about how much student debt they have. Dishonesty about uneven amounts of debt could cause financial and emotional tension in the young relationship and being clear will allow you to plan your futures together accordingly. 

Once you are married, expect to lose some student loan benefits you received as a single person. Income-based repayment plans are, as the name implies, based on your income, so if your income suddenly becomes a joint income, your payments will skyrocket. One option is to file taxes as “married filing separately” to keep your loans separated but of course, always consult with a tax specialist before making that decision.

Another missed benefit will be consolidation, as it is difficult if not impossible to achieve since most federal loans can only be consolidated individually. If you do manage to consolidate each person’s student loans into one easy payment, it might complicate things later down the road if you get divorced.

In the case of death or defaulted loans, your spouse could be responsible for your debt if your lender doesn’t offer a death discharge or if your spouse co-signed a loan.

To read the full article by USA Today College, click here.