If your spouse has student loan debt, what does that mean for you and for your financial future?
What can you do now that will keep you safe throughout the decades ahead, even if something bad happens?
Immediately address the biggest thing you must worry about when your spouse has student loan debt.
Think, for just a minute, of the unthinkable. What if your spouse dies, leaving you with a mountain of student loan debt that you have to pay off? Are you doomed? Or is there something you can do now to get out of paying thousands back all by yourself later?
No parent wants to consider this — but what happens if one of your children runs up $80,000 in student loan debt, and then perishes in a car accident or dies of cancer? Will your grief be compounded by having to make years (decades!) of student loan payments, until the student loan obligation is paid in full? Every parent needs to be clear on the answer to this question: “What happens to student loan debt after you die?”
The answer is scary, but — there’s great hope for those who can plan ahead just a bit.
What happens to student loan debt after you die?
First, the good news, then the bad news.
1. If the loans are Federal Direct Student Loans (the ones you get only by filling out the FAFSA form), the debt goes away when the borrower dies.
According to U.S. Department of Education policy, if a borrower of a federal student loan dies, the loan is automatically canceled and the debt is discharged by the government. (This is one of many reasons why I urge parents, please — fill out the FAFSA form, even if you’re rich. It’s the only way to get the best, safest student loans in the event that you end up needing them.)
Unfortunately, private student loans do not offer the same protection against liability.
2. If the loans are private student loans, the news is scary.
Very few private student loan lenders offer what are called “death discharge protections” or “death and disability forgiveness policies.” If the borrower dies, someone left behind has to pay up.
If you as a parent are out of debt by the day your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to help with college bills. If you start the process of getting out of debt years before your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to save for college.
Either way, you’ll dramatically increase the chances that your child will graduate from college and begin adult life debt-free.
Today I’m featuring four amazinglyeasy steps to get out of debt, from best-selling author Dave Ramsey. These steps to get out of debt are so easy, you can fit them on a post-it note.
There’s no question about it; the ability to focus and concentrate for extended periods is absolutely critical to college academic success.
In his outstanding book Deep Work, author Cal Newport says this about extended periods of focus and concentration: “Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. It’s like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy.”
Can student loan debt interfere with the focus and concentration necessary for doing “deep work”?
College students say yes.
In this article by college student Ashley Bulchandani on dailytarheel.com, she tells adults exactly how she feels. “As a current college student, I am personally struggling with college debt and paying off my loans.” She worries that, “debt accumulation can stress out students and lead to negative behaviors such as drinking, smoking, working a lot, and not focusing in class.” She points to research showing that, “excessive college debt results in overall low academic performance in college and low graduate school attendance.”
Today I’m featuring a 5-minute video clip from the popular TV show Adam Ruins Everything. This 5-minute clip is titled, “How College Loans Got So Evil.” It’s funny! But then again, it’s not funny at all — because it’s true.
Please share this post with every parent, teacher, guidance counselor, school staff person, government official, and college staff person you know.
Because we all need to know the truth — so we can take evasive action for the kids we love.
*Viewer discretion is advised
For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free, read on.
Parent, I urge you: DO NOT cosign a student loan for your child.
Today I’m featuring information from an article by nationally syndicated radio host and author Clark Howard. I consider this to be must-read info for every parent. After you read below, you can find articles by Clark Howard, listen to his radio show, view his videos, and sign up to receive his money-saving advice right in your email inbox at ClarkHoward.com.
Are you considering cosigning a loan for an adult child who needs a car, a student loan, or a credit card?
Here are 7 deeply concerning things you need to be aware of before you pick up that pen.
1. If you cosign a student loan, you may unwittingly strain future family relationships.
Nobody likes to think about this, but there’s an almost four in 10 chance that when you cosign a student loan, you will be the one who has to pay off the balance. A CreditCards.com survey found that of the cosigners they surveyed, 38 percent had to pay some or all of the loan balance or credit card bill because the primary borrower did not, 28 percent experienced a drop in their credit score because the person they chose to cosign for paid late or not at all, and 26 percent said the cosigning experience damaged their relationship with the person they cosigned for.
A 10th grader contacted me recently and asked me this great question about taking college classes in high school.
“Jeannie, I know that you strongly recommend dual enrollment college classes in high school for kids who want to get through college debt-free. I want to do dual enrollment full time in 11th and 12th grades so that I’ll have two years of college done by the time I graduate from high school. But my parents are trying to steer me toward doing dual enrollment only just part time. They’re worried that if I take a full load of dual enrollment college classes in high school, I’ll miss out on ‘the full high school experience.’ What do you think?”
Could you one day have your social security checks garnished to pay for your kids’ college?
You may be in danger of having your social security checks garnished and not even realize it.
Parents duped into taking out Parent PLUS loans to pay for their kids’ college can find themselves on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars each month, right at a time of life where they may be wanting to (or worse, needing to) retire.