Biden signs bill allowing couples to break joint consolidation student loans – KIRO 7 News Seattle
President Joe Biden signed a bill this week that allows student loan borrowers with spousal loans separate their balances and receive federal debt relief.
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Congress in 2006 ended the Spouse Consolidation Joint Loan Program, which allowed couples to combine loan payments into one payment and one interest rate.
After the program ended, couples who consolidated their loans could not separate them.
Because the loans were combined and the law could not separate them, borrowers could not take advantage of programs such as the Civil Service Loan Cancellation Program.
The loans remained combined and the couples became legally responsible for each other’s debt even if they separated or divorced.
“They will be able to immediately request a loan break,” said Rep. David Price, DN.C., who sponsored the legislation.
“The bottom line is that this bill also allows a disadvantaged spouse to apply,” Price added. “If their spouse is callous, abusive or economically irresponsible, the spouse can apply for the breach of the loan, where their share of it is assigned.”
Republican senses Marco Rubio, Florida, and John Cornyn, Texas, backed the bill.
To enjoy of the new law, borrowers must apply to the Ministry of Education. Although in most cases both parties must agree to the separation, if either party can show that they have experienced domestic violence or economic abuse, or if they have an unresponsive partner, they can apply on their own, according to the bill.
Biden announced the Student Loan Debt Cancellation Plan in August that would cancel $10,000 in federal student loan debt for those with federally-backed student loans and $20,000 in student loan debt for those who have received Pell grants.
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