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Student Loans: How to Tackle them as a Team in Marriage

Student debt can be a significant financial burden and sense of friction in a marriage. Navigating the complex landscape of student loans is crucial to managing this debt efficiently. This post will provide you with all you need to tackle your student loans head-on, and as a team.

Table of Contents

Student Loans: How to Tackle them as a Team in Marriage

The Student Debt Conversation

Schedule a time to meet with your spouse. Talking on a weekend morning and in a private setting is usually best. Commit to a distraction-free conversation. 

It can be tough to unpack the emotions of learning about your partner's debt. Try not to rush to judgment, and remember that there is a difference between debt burdens deriving from catastrophic emergencies or a less-than-perfect higher education system and using debt to supplement a cush lifestyle.

Be empathic and work to understand the emotions of your partner. Give each other grace. You can't construct a plan to work together to eliminate student loans until you commit to working through the emotions of the debt together. 

Debt Reduction Strategies

Avalanche Method

In the avalanche debt repayment method, you pay off your highest interest rate loans first. The money you saved after paying off that loan goes toward the next highest interest-bearing account. The process is then repeated.

This method is the fastest and most cost-effective way to pay off your loans if you can stick to it. On the other hand, the avalanche method can feel discouraging if the first loan has a high balance and isn't repaid quickly.

Snowball Method

With the snowball debt repayment method, you pay off the loan with the smallest balance first. After that debt has been paid, the money you were putting toward it gets rolled over to the next-smallest debt.

When you pay off the smallest debt first, you'll be able to eliminate your first debt more quickly and stay motivated. On the other hand, using this method is the slowest and most expensive way to pay off your loans.

Hybrid Method

Pay off the loan with the smallest balance first using the snowball method. Switch to the avalanche method once you have gained the confidence you need to carry out the plan. 

Read How to pay down debts with your spouse for a more detailed explanation.

Professional Support for Significant Student Debt

Student Loan Planner is a specialized service dedicated to helping individuals manage and optimize their student loan repayment journey. By offering personalized consultations and expert advice, this platform assists borrowers in creating customized repayment plans.

 Student Loan Planner analyzes various repayment options, including refinancing, consolidation, and forgiveness programs, to minimize loan costs and maximize savings, ultimately guiding individuals toward more manageable and efficient debt-reduction plans.

Understanding Student Loans

Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans are funded by the government and offer various advantages:

Direct Subsidized Loans

These loans are available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. The government covers the interest while you're in school at least half-time and during certain deferment periods.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Available to both undergraduate and graduate students, these loans aren't based on financial need. Interest accrues from the time the loan is disbursed, even while in school.

PLUS Loans

These loans are available to graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students. They require a credit check and can cover expenses not met by other financial aid.

Private Student Loans

Unlike federal loans, private loans are offered by banks, credit unions, and online lenders. They typically have fewer borrower protections but may offer competitive interest rates for individuals with strong credit scores.

Interest Rates

Private loans may have fixed or variable interest rates, and they often depend on your creditworthiness.

Repayment Terms

Private loans may offer different repayment terms and forbearance options compared to federal loans, but they usually lack the flexible repayment plans of federal loans.

Consolidation and Refinancing


This process involves combining multiple federal loans into a single loan, potentially extending the repayment period and offering a single monthly payment. However, it might not lower your interest rate.


Typically used for private loans, refinancing involves taking out a new loan to pay off existing student loans, potentially at a lower interest rate. However, this might mean losing federal loan benefits.

Learn More

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