Many couples struggle with money issues, especially when it comes to student loan debt.
Unfortunately, it’s a common problem. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately one-third of all adults under the age of 30 have student loan debt, so many couples will likely have student loans when they get married.
If you have student loan debt and are trying to pay it off as quickly as possible, one option to consider is spouse loan refinancing. It’s a program offered by PenFed Credit Union just for married couples that allows you to combine and tackle your student loan debt together.
Plus, spouse loan refinancing can save you both money on student loan interest.
Here’s how PenFed’s spouse student loan consolidation program works.
What is PenFed’s Spouse Loan program?
PenFed is a national credit union serving over two million members. It offers a range of financial products, including checking and savings accounts, home mortgages, and student loan refinancing.
PenFed has a unique feature that other refinancing lenders don’t offer: the ability to consolidate student loans with your spouse’s debt. With its spouse loan program, you can combine and refinance your student loans together while both taking advantage of refinancing’s benefits.
Instead of having multiple loans, you’ll have just one, so your debt will have the same rate, repayment term, and monthly payment.
3 benefits of consolidating student loans with your spouse
Why refinance student loans together? Combining your student loans with your spouse’s debt has many advantages over keeping them separate.
1. You can lower your student loan interest rates
If you both took out multiple student loans, you might have a mix of federal and private student loans, and have some with high interest rates. Over time, those high rates can cause you to pay thousands in interest charges on top of what you initially borrowed.
When you refinance your student loans, you may qualify for a loan with a lower interest rate. By the end of your repayment term, the lower rate could help you save a substantial amount of money, and you could even pay off your debt earlier than scheduled.
For example, the average borrower has $29,650 in student loans. If each spouse has that much in student loan debt after marriage, their combined debt is $59,300. If the weighted average of their interest rates is 6% and they have a ten-year repayment term on all of their loans, the couple would pay $19,702 in interest charges in addition to the money they initially borrowed.
By refinancing, they could qualify for a spouse loan with a 4% rate and a 10-year repayment term. They’d pay just $12,746 in interest charges, allowing them to save $6,956 by refinancing their debt.
2. You’ll simplify your student loan payments
The typical bachelor’s degree graduate will leave school with eight to 12 different student loans.
If both spouses have student loans, that means there could be as many as 24 loans to manage, with different monthly payments, due dates, and loan servicers to remember. That can be incredibly confusing and makes it more likely that you’ll make mistakes and miss a payment.
When you refinance your student loans with your spouse, you consolidate your loans into one. Instead of having many loans, you’ll have just one monthly payment and one loan servicer. Being able to streamline your payments is one of the top reasons to consolidate them with your spouse.
3. Stay-at-home partners are more likely to qualify for a loan
If you are a stay-at-home partner or earn substantially less than your spouse, combining your student loans with your partner is a great idea. The lender looks at the combined household income rather than individual’s income, making it more likely that you’ll qualify for a loan. And, PenFed looks at the highest credit score between the two of you, so you may get a better interest rate than you’d get on your own.
Requirements for spouse student loan consolidation
To qualify for a loan, you must meet the following criteria:
- You and your spouse must be U.S. citizens
- You both must be the age of majority in your state
- You must have private or federal student loans
- You must have a bachelor’s degree or higher
- You must have between $7,500 and $300,000 in student loan debt
- Your income must be at least $42,000
Applying for a loan
The application process for a spouse loan is slightly different than regular student loan refinancing. To apply for spouse loan consolidation through PenFed, follow these steps:
- Use PenFed’s Find My Rate tool: You can use the Find My Rate tool to get a rate quote and see how much you’d save by refinancing. When you find a loan term that works for you, select the loan and specify that you’d like to apply for a spouse loan.
- Select the primary borrower: The person with the highest level of education should be the primary borrower on the loan application. The secondary borrower doesn’t enter their education information, so including the person with the highest education as the primary borrower ensures you get the best loan terms.
- Enter your spouse’s information: Enter information for your spouse, including income, if applicable.
Once you’ve submitted the loan application, PenFed will contact you on the next steps. In most cases, the loan application process can be completed in a matter of days. Until you receive verification that your existing student loans have been paid off, continue making required payments to avoid late payment fees.
Spouse student loan consolidation: The bottom line
Managing your finances as a couple can be a challenge, but by working together, you can come up with a strategy to pay down your student debt. PenFed’s spouse loan program can help you consolidate and simplify your debt so you can handle it more easily, and even save money over the course of your repayment.
If you’d prefer to refinance your loans separately, use Purefy’s Compare Rates tool to get rate quotes from top refinancing lenders. You can fill out the form in under two minutes and get estimates without impacting your credit score.