Apr 15

3 Tips to Handle Marrying into Student Loan Debt

student debt survivor debtThis post was written by Jana Lynch, founder of the Bloggers Helping Bloggers Mentoring program and owner of the personal finance blog Daily Money Shot, where she talks about money, life, parenting, and makes obscure pop culture references. You can also stop by and say hi on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

I often joke that my punishment for not finishing either undergraduate or graduate school with any student loan debt was to marry into a whole lot of it. Okay, I admit it’s not a funny joke but it is true. While I was fortunate enough to have my parents and scholarships pay for both of my degrees, my husband was not so lucky. And while he worked his ass off in college and graduate school to pay for his education, it just wasn’t possible without the help of loans. When all was said and done, he was conferred with over $40K of debt the same day his was conferred with his Master’s.

So that was both a happy and sad day.

Prior to our marriage, I had no idea just how much his debt was. I mean, I knew he had loans since I watched him fill out the paperwork and listened to his conversations with his friends, fraternity brothers, and housemates about the loans but the actual amount was a mystery.  And quite frankly, it was none of my business. So I didn’t feel the need to ask. But then we got married. And our finances were combined. And his debt became my debt. And then I found out the number. And maybe I freaked out a little bit.

It’s not that we had a fight about it; I was just in shock because I couldn’t understand how he could incur so much debt, especially when he worked the whole time. Then he explained it to me which helped. I listened and when he was done, I didn’t really have a good response except to say that I wanted it paid off before any of our future children started college. Fortunately, he agreed with that.

So that was good.

But marrying into that kind of debt comes with a special set of challenges. After all, going from $0 to $40K with a simple, “I do” is tough to handle. If you’re not buckled in and prepared for it, it can cause a huge accident.

Here’s a few ways I recommend handling marrying into a large amount of debt:

  1. Be honest about your feelings. I don’t resent my husband’s debt. I really don’t. He did what he had to do in order to fund his education and I am proud of him for that. Additionally, his education has offered him a number of career opportunities that he would not have had otherwise. But making that payment every month still hurts, particularly as it prevents us from achieving some of our other financial goals. I’ve told him this and he gets it. He’s not angry with me for feeling the way I do. What helps is that he hates the debt as well.
  2. Work as a team to pay it off. Just as we did with our car payments and credit card debt, we decided to work as a team to pay off this debt.  Although I have no control over the repayment plan he selects, we do discuss any extra payments we anticipate making and we’ve jointly established a time frame for eliminating the debt (hopefully within the next 5 years). Working together makes the goal more attainable and neither one of us feels like we have to tackle the mountain alone.
  3. Be supportive. My husband knows that he came into the relationship with a lot of debt. If I continually berate him for it, it’ll just cause friction in the marriage and anger towards me. That’s not really healthy for either of us. Instead, I choose to support him in his endeavors to work to pay it off (and help when I can). When he gets upset with the circumstances the loans cause (especially after spending too much time on Facebook), I remind him that we don’t know how his friends are affording all they do. I remind him that not all of them had to go what he went through to get a college education (and Master’s degree). I let him know that we’re doing the best we can and that, eventually, we’ll finish paying it off. I’m pretty sure he appreciates this tactic.

While I certainly can’t understand what it’s like carrying around the burden of that kind of debt, having it thrust upon you is really no picnic either. But my actions and attitude in this situation are really the only things I can control. The debt will still be there regardless of how I act. So I might as well work with him to get it paid off instead of against him.

KK’s readers, have you married into any sort of debt? How did you handle it?

**Note from KK-I’m so pleased for the first Guest Author here on Student Debt Survivor to be Jana. She’s such an accomplished blogger and such a kind friend. She’s been nothing but welcoming and helpful to me as I’ve embarked on my blogging journey.**

Image: Ben Sutherland


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  1. My husband and I both had debt when we married. His was nowhere near as much as mine but we chose to keep debts incurred prior to marriage separate. I do not want my husband paying for my massive student loan debt. Instead, we choose to live off my husband’s income and everything I make goes directly towards my student loans.

    1. I think that’s a great plan and we have decided to do the same once I have a normal, regular income again.

        • KK on April 15, 2013 at 6:40 pm
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        Agreed, gotta do what works best for you and your family. Sounds like a good plan.

      • Bob on August 20, 2013 at 2:22 am
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      “What’s mine is mine, and what’s his is ours.”

      It was interesting that you said live off of his income while you were paying off your student loan. So a clarification is in order. You were able to pay off your student loans because he paid all of the bills…he essentially was subsidizing your standard of living, that’s how you paid off your debt. Wow some partnership there. He gets stuck with all the necessary bills with his income and you get to pay off the bills that you want. Would you be ok with that situation if it were reverse.

  2. I have student loan debt, but my wife has slightly more. We were both fully aware of this going into marriage and when we got married it did not become her problem or my problem, but our problem. It’s important to go into it as a team, as you said, because it’s really not fair to one or the other to have to carry the burden themselves.

    1. Exactly! Although it’s technically his debt, it is ours to pay off. We are in this mess together now!

        • KK on April 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm
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        Agree with both of you. If bf had debt or vice versa we’d both plow through it together.

  3. I totally agree about working as a team to pay it off! That’s what marriage should be – a partnership! Greg had student loan debt and I never once considered it as “his debt.” It was ours. I’m glad that it’s gone now!

    1. Holly, I cannot wait for the day my husband’s loan is paid off. It will be such a massive relief.

        • KK on April 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm
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        I’m not married, but I’d imagine it would be really hard to go into a marriage with a “my debt” “your debt” mentality.

  4. I totally agree about working as a team to pay off the debt, though I believe it’s a personal decision for all couples to make. I had student loan debt when we got married and my wife did not have any. We worked together to pay it off and would do the same thing for her.

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm
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      Definitely a person decision. I know folks have a lot of feelings about debt payoff (you pay it off yourself, you help each other you only pay off certain types etc.). Really it all boils down to what the couple is comfortable with.

  5. My wife and I paid off her student loan debt before getting married but we hunkered down for about 12 months in order to pay it all off. It seemed like torture back then but now looking back it seems as if it was easy. We didn’t eat out, go to the movies, or take liberty in a lot of the luxuries our friends were at the time.

    1. That was the strategy we employed when we paid off the rest of our debt. Besides the mortgage, this is all that’s left. We need to be a little more diligent on this one but we’re getting there.

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 6:54 pm
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      I bet that, “torture” was well worth it. Bf and I did the same thing (separately since we’re not married yet) when we paid off the debt it was such a relief.

  6. Thanks for these helpful tips! I’m sure a lot of people will also find this very useful. Working as a team to accomplish a common goal is always the best option. It was one of the difficult stages that we’ve gone through with my wife but because we we’re together with finding the solutions and solving the problem, it became a whole lot easier for us.

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 6:55 pm
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      I think being “in it” together is helpful in most circumstances. If you feel like you’re an island and there’s nobody to help you life can be pretty lonely.

  7. “What’s mine is yours!”
    Both Vanessa and I had some debt and we made sure to discuss it before marriage. I’d imagine a $40,000 wedding day surprise makes things much more difficult. We continue to work as a team and pay off the remainder of my loan. Thankfully hers is gone!

    1. It’s great that you guys discussed it before you got married. Definitely shows a healthy attitude towards money, which helps when you combine finances.

        • KK on April 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm
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        Totally, you guys are definitely ahead of the “game”.

  8. W doesn’t have any student loan debt, but I do. We are both working on paying off my student loans, luckily he doesn’t seem to mind 🙂

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm
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      If bf had debt and we were married I’d absolutely help him pay off the debt. I wouldn’t be able to live my life “debt free” knowing that bf was struggling to pay off his loans.

  9. My girlfriend has the same situation. She has accumulated a ton of debt from two advanced degrees and is working on getting a job. What i told her was that we would tackle this together, but that if we were to get married, she would take on her debt with her salary while we lived off my salary. While this isn’t the most ideal situation, she agreed that for a few years we wouldn’t be so financially happy with regards to our goals, however, we would work together to figure it all out. Also, she can work at a govt job for a smaller salary but her loans would be voided after 10 years.

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm
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      I think that’s a fair tradeoff David. Having that debt must be really stressful for her. If you could work and pay the bills and should could get rid of the debt as fast as possible. I wouldn’t want to take my chances with the 10 year forgiveness (you never know when they programs will fall through), but you have to do what works best for you.

    1. So glad she knows about that program! I have a friend that used it and I know it helped her family (they have two kids, one with special needs) tremendously.

  10. It sounds like you have the right attitude about your husband’s student debt. I had student loan debt when I got married and was clear with my husband that it was my debt and he didn’t have to pay it. However, we agreed to join finances and he wanted to help me pay it down because he saw that my degree would benefit both of us. I’m lucky to have such a supportive guy and especially lucky that we paid it all off a few years ago.

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm
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      Sounds like a keeper to me! Congrats on the debt pay off!

    1. I agree that your husband is a great guy for helping you. Student loan debt really does impact both partners so working together to get rid of it is key.

  11. Personally, I find it really important to discuss debt before saying “I do.” I totally understand that it’s none of your business early on in a relationship, but once you know your finances will become one I’d want all the cards on the table.

    In terms of paying it off, my boyfriend has mentioned he feels ownership over paying off his debt. I’ve tried to explain to him that if we were to get married his debt would impact me too. My strategy would be to live off solely my income and have his income go to paying his debt so we could knock it out fast and he could feel he took care of it himself.

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 7:07 pm
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      Absolutely. I’d be horrified to say, “I do” and then learn the bf had hundreds of thousands of dollars (or even $50k of debt). It wouldn’t stop me from marrying him, but that’s definitely a convo we had really early on in our relationship.

    1. It’s great that you are having that discussion. I believe that had I met my husband after college and we had been more…grown up, we would have approached the situation differently. I wish we had talked more in-depth before we got married 9 years ago but hindsight really is 20/20.

  12. I wrote about something like this last week about paying off debt that was incurred before marriage. When we got married, I had $50k of debt and my wife had none. I told her that I didn’t want to include her because I created it and it was my responsibility. I think that if it is incurred before marriage, then it needs to be dealt with individually. My wife and I are on the same page with this, so it works for us. She helped me with encouragement and that allowed me to pay it off within 4 years. It was hard, but I felt good because I did it. Many disagree with me and that is cool. As along as you talk about it upfront and have a plan, then it doesn’t matter how it gets paid off.

    1. I agree. It’s really not anyone else’s business how you and your wife chose to handle debt. It’s a very personal decision and you did what was best for your relationship. Nothing wrong with that!

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm
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      No judgement here. As long as you have a plan to make it through the debt (and you did), it’s nobody’s business how you went about doing it.

    • Kasey on April 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm
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    I’m surprised by how many people don’t talk finances before marriage. I already told my boyfriend that I have a few requirements before saying I do. One is I want to see his credit report and two he has to go to the doctor and get a check up. My friend got married and her husband refused to go to the doctor. He was an alcoholic (she didn’t know) and he died 3 months after they got married. I don’t want any surprises like that! I also knew someone who was engaged and didn’t know their partner had filed bankruptcy before (hence my credit report requirement now) obviously one would hope their partner wouldn’t hide anything from them but I’m not taking any chances. I want to know what I’m getting myself into, the good and the bad.

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm
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      OMG that’s horrible. Your poor friend. I hadn’t thought about bf having a physical (he gets them I just don’t know what happens-he reports he’s healthy and I don’t think he’d lie). Maybe have a little interview process in place. SS card, birth cert, physical, credit report 😉

    1. O. M. G. Those are some of the worst circumstances I have ever heard. No wonder you are taking so many extra precautions!

  13. I’m actually in your hubby’s position. I brought $26k of debt into my fiance’s life. Since he was lucky enough to graduate without student loan debt, he’s been very understand of our unique life situation while I funnel all of my money into student loan debt. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it paid off before the end of this year, so we can start looking forward to doing normal young adult things again.

    1. Good luck, Jordann! It’s great that your fiancé is so understanding of the situation. He’s definitely a keeper 🙂

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm
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      Good guy! You’re so close Jordann. Just waiting for your, “debt free” announcement!

  14. I’m not so sure that when you marry someone their debt becomes your debt. I’m pretty sure that when people marry, their own debt incurred prior to the marriage is theirs and theirs alone.

    Unless they take out the debt together, or the spouse co-signs, I’m pretty sure it’s just individual debt.

    On another note, I feel quite the contrary–I resent people who have degrees and no debt. I would not be too happy if someone decided to “resent” me for having debt, or wanted to fight with me about it. It’s hard enough being in this situation, I can’t imagine if someone tried to make me feel bad about it, as if I don’t feel bad enough about it on my own!

    1. It’s not our debt in the literal sense. It’s more figurative. If we were to divorce, the debt would go with him. My name is not attached to it in anyway as we were not married when he took out the loans.

      I think I am confused by your comment about resentment. Why would it be okay for you to resent someone with no debt (which is also confusing to me because you don’t always know why someone has a degree and no debt; you can’t make assumptions about circumstance) but someone couldn’t resent you for yours? It seems unfair. Also, if there is that kind of resentment, it’s probably not a relationship that is meant to be.

      1. I really believe that everyone should be responsible for their own debt, married or not. If I married someone with student loan debt, I would expect them to pay it themselves, just as I would pay mine myself and not expect them to pay it–any of it.

        Whether it’s okay or not to resent people who graduate with no debt–meaning people whose parents paid for their school–is neither here nor there. What I feel is what I feel, whether you think it’s okay or not. *shrug* At the same time, it seems silly to resent people for their misfortunes, which is why someone resenting me for having debt seems quite ridiculous. Resenting someone for having an easy life in the form of parent-subsidized college is somewhat understandable.

        1. Not everyone who graduates without loans does so because their parents paid for college. It is inaccurate to assume that. For instance. my parents did not contribute any money at all to my graduate education. I earned a scholarship that paid my tuition and gave me a job. This is true for many, many people in both undergraduate and graduate programs. I also don’t think that loans are a “misfortune”. But I have read your blog and I am well acquainted with your opinions on this matter. While we can go back and forth on this for days, you will continue to believe what you want and I will do the same. So let’s just leave it at that. Neither of us is wrong; a difference of opinion is just fine.

          We can agree to disagree on paying off loans–this is what works in my relationship and if you need different circumstances for yours, that’s your business.

          1. “I earned….”

            Good for you.

            I didn’t have a graduate education. So if I’d had someone pay like you did, I would have no debt right now. Something to think about.

            Thanks for reading my blog. I feel the PF blogosphere was sorely in need of voices that weren’t born out of excessive privilege. Someone who had struggled, as it were.

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm
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      I think it’s a totally normal feel some sort of resentment or at least frustration with debt (any kind, yours or your partner’s). If bf had a ton of debt I’d still love him, but I’d feel frustration that it might push back our future financial goals. Same goes for my own debt (when I had student loans)-I was frustrated with myself for taking out the loans and for the fact that it took me 3 years to get rid of them. 3 years I could have been saving for a downpayment on a house.

      1. KK, my husband is frustrated with his debt so I know that helps the situation.

        And C, I don’t understand why you are so antogonistic and angry. There are a number of people in your exact situation–I am married to one of them–who chose to accept their situation instead of blaming the world and hating anyone not like them. Loans are not mandatory, and certainly not in the volume you have them. Yes, my parents paid for my undergraduate degree but I worked my ass off for my grades and oh, yeah. I always had a job. I didn’t sit in an ivory tower, scoffing at the “commoners” who had to pay for their own education as you seem to think. And just as you want people to be sympathetic and understanding of your situation, it might behoove you to do some thinking about the other side. It’s not always as rosy as you assume.

        I am done arguing with you and I have no more comments. Oh, and for the record, there are plenty of PF bloggers who were not born of privilege. They just choose to focus on the good instead of wallowing in the negative. You should read their sites, too.

  15. It’s extremely important to talk about these things before getting married. And for those that are planning to get married, even though the debt is only in one persons name, you have to understand that you are taking it on as well. Not in the sense that you are responsible for it, but that it will affect how much you can save or invest and budget.

      • KK on April 15, 2013 at 7:18 pm
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      Good points Jon. It might be debt in your partner’s name, but when you get married that debt is going to impact your partner, and ultimately you.

    1. Totally agree with you. We should have discussed this prior to getting married. I think we didn’t because we had been living together for years before we got married and we thought we had finances under control. Clearly we didn’t know as much as we thought!

  16. I had debt when I married and my husband did not. He’s been great ! From when we discussed what to do about it during our engagement (basically just a “we know going joint is the best thing to do are you OK with that wrt the student loans?” conversation) he hasn’t made me feel the least bit bad about it even though we’re using his savings to pay it off. I mean, he probably couldn’t make me feel bad about it because I just don’t have any guilt over accruing that debt, but I’m glad he’s taken it all in stride and has raised no objections to doing what we agree is best for our family. We don’t even say in conversations with each other that the debt is “mine” and the savings are “his,” just refer to “our student loans” and “our student loan savings.”

    1. We do the same. Making it our debt is more incentive to pay it off. Particularly when we think about the effect on our daughter’s college education.

      • KK on April 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm
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      Love that Emily. It’s not “your loan” or “his savings”. When you get married it all gets, “smushed” together and you deal with the ups and downs together.

  17. Given that we’ve been together since we were 15, my husband knew what he was getting into as he watched my debt grow 😉 He didn’t have much compared to me. All of our money is joint so we work together to pay off our debt.

    1. I think that was part of our problem, too. We started dating as sophomores in college so I knew the debt was there, getting bigger every year. I do wish I knew the total prior to our wedding, though.

      • KK on April 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm
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      Oh wow, I wonder if being together for that long makes the debt easier (you both know what you’re “getting into” when you married each other? I met bf when I was 25, so we both had our own lives so to speak and our own debt.

  18. I married into $24k of SL debt, and am now at $14k. Sure, it sucks to have, but I don’t resent my wife or her debt at all. Actually, I’m impressed she went to a $30k+ a year school and only came out with $24k in SL debt. I should probably take her out to dinner.

    Being on the same page about money, having monthly budget discussions and working as a team has helped us to NOT fight about money, and allowed us to tackle the debt with enthusiasm instead of bitterness or guilt. Things progress much quicker that way, and the stress is reduced.

    I wonder if the fact that my wife is hot contributes to this at all??? Something to think about….

    1. You probably should take her to dinner, Jake. That’s a pretty impressive feat!

        • KK on April 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm
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        Seriously, good for her! My undergrad was $30k a year also. compared to some of my friends (who owed $120k when we graduated) I thought I did pretty, “good” too.

    • CF on April 17, 2013 at 12:09 am
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    I would be wary about a marrying someone with a lot of debt, but if they had a plan for dealing with it and it we were compatible otherwise, it would not be a deal breaker. 🙂

      • KK on April 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm
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      Same here. The debt wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me, but it would make me ask a lot of questions about my partner’s intentions to pay down the debt.

  19. If you’re having trouble finding a job or keeping up with your payments, there’s important information here for you, too.
    1. Know Your Loans:
    2. Know Your Grace Period:
    3. Stay in Touch with Your Lender:
    4. Pick the Right Repayment Option:

    • Suzan on October 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm
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    Here’s what my husband and I have done: While my husband did have some debt from grad school, I did not have any debt and had actually accumulated savings during high school/college from jobs and scholarship stipends. We were both in agreement that once we were married, we would pool our incomes and try to pay down my husband’s debt as fast as possible. We have been doing that, and feel united in jointly paying it off with our two salaries, which pool into a joint account.

    As for the money I had coming into the marriage, however, I have not put any of my high school/college savings towards paying off his debt…. just my post-marriage income. Although I actually could pay off my husband’s debt immediately by gutting my high school/college savings, I felt uncomfortable with that on principle… it just seemed kind of unfair to shell out for debts he incurred before we were engaged, married or in any way operating as one unit. Fortunately, my husband didn’t expect me to do that if I felt uncomfortable with it, especially since he recognized this was money I’d earned in high school jobs and stuff a decade before we even met! Sure, in the long run we will pay a couple hundred dollars extra in interest because we aren’t paying the debt as quick as I could – but for us, it is worth it to pay that interest over the course of this year and do it together, rather than to create a weird dynamic in our relationship.

    For us, this has been a really healthy compromise…. my husband knows I wholly support him since we are really a team budgeting our post-marriage incomes together to pay down the debt as soon as possible, but I don’t feel used or anything like that. At the end of the day, I imagine the savings I have separate will be helpful for the both of us… we’ll probably use my savings towards a house or something, and now that we’re married, I’m totally fine with it going towards investments we decide upon together.

      • KK on October 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm
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      Sounds like a good compromise to me. I would be a little reluctant if I was you, to use all my money to pay off my sig other’s debt. Likewise if I was your hubby I’d probably feel a little weird/guilty with you paying off my debt. I think it’s a good idea for you both to sacrifice together and pay down the debt together using your mutual money that you’ve earned since you’ve been married. That way there are no hard feelings, and neither of you feel like you “bailed him out” which could feel awkward.

    • TJ on December 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm
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    This is very frustrating to me. I am the one with the student loan debt in my marriage. My husband makes the entire income, short of a few (32) hours a month, that I make working part time now that I am a stay at home mom. My husband is completely self taught in what he does and fortunately his field does not require a degree. It’s very frustrating because my husband has not taken a “marrying into debt” attitude about it. He’s taken a ignore it and maybe it will go away (or at least that’s what it feels like to me). My entire monthly income goes to a car payment that was in my name previously to getting married and my school loans are in default. I really have no idea how to resolve this as my husband is completely unwilling to discuss it unless it affects him directly. i love my husband and don’t get me wrong, we have a great relationship otherwise, but this is a huge issue. I don’t want him to adopt my debt and I also don’t want him to be responsible for it if something would happen to me. On the other hand, ignoring it isn’t helping either. Sorry, thanks for letting me vent. If anyone out there has any suggestions on resolving this, I am definitely appreciative!

      • KK on December 31, 2013 at 4:36 pm
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      Hi TJ, thanks for coming by! Unfortunately the “ignore it” strategy won’t work with student loans because they don’t go away and aren’t defaultable (unless, god forbid, you pass away). Now that you are married, your debt does impact him directly (or in my opinion it should). Money and money fights are one of the major causes of stress (and divorce) in the US, so it’s something he’ll have to be willing to discuss with you at some point, or it could be a real deal-breaker (it would be in my household at least). Good luck and hang in there! Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you want to discus further.

    • J on January 26, 2014 at 12:22 am
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    Um…hasn’t anyone heard of a tiny little piece of paper you can sign before you get married called a pre-nup? If you had talked about finances before you got married and made the full financial disclosures that this form requires, you would have known about your husband’s debt. Additionally, you would have some protection from still having to pay for your husbands school debt in case things go south as they do in over 50% of US marriages. Work finances out before you get married or you’ll have to pay for a divorce too.

  20. I’m getting married in two months, my fiance has $31,000 in student loan debt. This is very hard for me to handle as I have never had any financial debt in my entire life. I have been working as hard as I can and spending as little as possible for years in order to be able to put 60% or more down on a house for a then unknown wife. My plan was that we would then have such a small mortgage that she could stay home with our children and not have to work.

    My fiance has not ever had a job. She has had multiple summers with nothing to do and still did not get a job. Even while all of her class mates had jobs the entire year.

    I agree that realizing your fiance has so much debt can be very hard. I am trying to not let it get me down but I know it is going to make the first 3 years of our marriage somewhat harder. I’m trying to not worry about it so much after formulating a plan to pay if off. Still, it can be very depressing at times. I do not care about having nice material things but I do care about time and not having to worry about things. Reading articles is helping me to get over all of this somewhat.

    • Ken on August 24, 2015 at 10:46 am
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    I’ve been dating this woman for the last year. I knew she had some student loans from graduate school and her JD (which she doesn’t practice law). Well the other day I found out the amount she still owes and to be honest I was shell-shocked. It’s over 160k. She’s been out of school since 2006 and hasn’t made much of a dent into it. She sort of blows it off as it is what it is and I’ll take care of it. I was about ready to take this relationship to the next level but after hearing this I’m not. I am a divorced father of two that will be going to college within the next 4 – 6 years and I’m working on being debt free within 1 to 2 years myself. I just don’t know if I can take a relationship further with someone with this amount of debt. She makes a good living (around mid 80’s) but to me that doesn’t justify spending 160k on education. Anyone else been in this boat? Curious as to your thoughts or suggestions.

    • Rin on December 19, 2015 at 3:20 pm
    • Reply

    I have been with my boyfriend for a year now. He has been on student loan for two years and will so for the next two. We haven’t discussed anything close to partnership, a team to pay off debt together yet (of course it has only been just one year). However, this.. I won’t say worry, but this possibility of marrying into debt keeps coming to me as we both take this relationship very seriously, we both share the same value of being fully committed in a long-term, stable relationship, and the fact that we would be living together next year. My boyfriend is not bad with managing his money, so far as I can tell. But we are born in very different families. I, fortunate enough, don’t need to worry about basic necessities (living, food, etc) and education because my family is able to pay for me. On the other side, he is going through struggles to find a place that wouldn’t cost him too much, to maintain high marks in university while living on student loan.. I try to be very supportive and not let my certain superficial expectations get into the way, yet I’m worried that however cautious my boyfriend is with money management, it will always occur (and it did in fact) to him that we do come from different class (this sounds bad..) and both families have different financial expectations. I mean I’m very willing to live at a place that would accommodate his financial status next year, and let go of some of my expectations, but I’m sort of insecure and lost about our future, since I didn’t have to worry about the money issue all my life… I’m trying to adapt and compromise but I honestly can’t be 100% sure that this will last long (until and after marriage to pay off his debt together) Not talking about my fidelity though, im always 100% loyal to my boyfriend and faithful to our relationship, and I’m hoping that that belief will keep our relationship strong and lasting. But just sometimes ashamed of how dependent and superficial I am.. I couldn’t help but feeling a little down and surprised when he kept bringing up the money issue right before our anniversary, and him asking to buy him sushi right after a dinner celebration which he treated me to. So I’m actually a little shocked at how everyone here share the huge burden and help to pay off their partners debt. It must be a very kind and loving environment you all live in:) I’m genuinely happy for you and wish some day I’m able to think and do as what you all did that is best for the relationship and your partner.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    Sorry for the long post..

  1. […] Marry a guy (or gal) with $500,000 of debt in student loans. […]

  2. […] KK @ Student Debt Survivor wrote a great pieces about marrying into debt and the effect it can have on a relationship. Communication is so important in relationships, especially with finances. […]

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