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Could your marriage fail because of your student loans?

In case you need another reason to get your debt problem under control, there is an additional issue plaguing consumers in New Jersey and elsewhere.

SunTrust Bank studied the effect of student loan debt on relationships, specifically, marriages. While it was no surprise that financial stressrs of all types create tension between spouses, researchers discovered that student loan debt was cited in 13 percent of respondents as the reason for their divorces.

Why this matters

For some college and university students, taking on debt through educational loans is the only path to a college degree. In the past 10 years, student loan debts have risen 62 percent, with the average debt load per student being $34,144.

The number of debtors who owe at least $50,000 has tripled as well, according to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

In other words, when young, college-educated couples decide to take the plunge and get married, the student loans can become almost a third entity in the marriage and drag it down.

Student loan debt is non-dischargeable

When couples marry and begin their families, they often take on many additional debts, e.g., mortgages, car loans, credit card debt for furniture and babies’ needs, and medical debt. They may begin to feel as if they will never be free of the crushing weight of all that they owe, and the combination of outstanding student loans for both parties may be the straw that breaks the marital bond.

The bad news for couples is that student loan debts, for the most part, cannot be wiped out in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. The good news is that many other debts, including credit card balances and medical bills, can be discharged upon the debtor’s meeting all requirements of the bankruptcy plan.

You don’t have to lose your house

Many debtors continue to struggle with meeting their financial obligations long past the point of feasibility. That just prolongs the misery and increases stress levels for married couples.

Often, the concern with filing bankruptcy is that the debtor will lose his or her house. That doesn’t have to be the case. Consumers have several options when it comes to filing for bankruptcy, and restructuring debt to retain the house is one of them.

Don’t let your marriage become a casualty of your student loan debt. Take the steps now to secure your future together.

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