A new bill would offer federal student borrowers a way to separate their consolidated loans from a former partner.
The Joint Consolidation Separation Act was passed in the Senate on Wednesday. The bill would allow borrowers to apply for separation from the joint venture through the Department of Education. After approval, the balance of the loan, which includes unpaid debt and unpaid interest, will be divided on the basis of the percentage of debt of each borrower at the time of consolidation.
Married federal student loan recipients were offered spousal reunification as an alternative to joining their student loan on a monthly payment with a lower interest rate.
The program ended in 2006, but it did not offer an alternative for couples who have ended their marriage to separate the reunion, creating a sticky situation for many.
Individuals working in the public service who have debts consolidated with both current or ex-spouses are not eligible for waiver under the public service loan waiver program.
The bill has garnered support from many groups advocating for the survival of domestic violence, including the National Network to End Domestic Violence.