Change spousal consolidated student loan laws

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The spousal consolidated student loan laws desperately require rehabilitation. With the support of others, I intend to change policy as it applies to these laws.

As a previous advocate for change articulated, “From January 1, 1993 to June 30, 2006, married borrowers could consolidate their federal loans together into a single loan. This loan was referred to as a joint consolidation loan. Each borrower assumed full responsibility for repaying the joint consolidation loan. The statutory language concerning joint consolidation loans was added by the Higher Education Amendments of 1992. Unfortunately, there was no provision in this legislation for splitting a joint consolidation loan when the borrowers got divorced. Thus joint consolidation loans became a tie that binds beyond divorce. If one ex-spouse failed to make his or her share of the joint payment, the other ex-spouse would be forced to make the full payment or risk ruining the credit scores of both borrowers by defaulting on the joint loan. To prevent more borrowers from experiencing this problem, the provision for joint consolidation loans was repealed by the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005). Unfortunately, there are still some borrowers who have joint consolidation loans. Congress did not provide any solutions for borrowers who are stuck with a joint consolidation loan.”

Legislation must be sponsored and passed. The law must be changed. Please help make a difference and protect borrowers who are financially bound to their ex-spouses loans. Although these loans are no longer offered, many remain shackled to financial obligations in which they receive no academic benefit.