man and woman looking at smartphone

Importance of an Accountability Partner for Student Loan Repayment Success

When you go to the gym, you might bring your significant other along to hold you accountable in your workout. Or maybe you have a co-worker you always want to collaborate with because they push you to produce your best work.

Whether it’s at home or work, we could all use accountability partners. Having a friend to keep you in check while you’re repaying your student loans could help you pay off your loans in the best way for you.

What Is an Accountability Partner?

While a boss or a parent is a hierarchical relationship, an accountability partner is an equal relationship. You keep tabs on each other to ensure you’re both hitting the goals you set.

When it comes to paying off your student loans, your accountability partner could help you make sure you’re setting goals and achieving them. They might check in often to see how you’re doing and, if you need to reset, they could help you re-evaluate your vision. Having an accountability buddy keeping an eye on you might help motivate you to work toward your goals.

Why Would Someone Need an Accountability Partner?

It’s easy to say you’ll independently hold yourself accountable, but if you fail to follow through, there may not be any consequences. And if you keep putting something off, you might have a hard time achieving your goals.

If you’re a self-starter, or you hit the goals you make for yourself, then you might not need an accountability partner. But if you’re struggling to finish what you start and you want someone to keep an eye on you, having a buddy could be helpful.

Finding a partner or buddy who’s there to talk out your issues with could be an excellent step to reviewing and revising your current strategy for hitting your goals.

Finding an Accountability Partner

Your partner should be your equal—you’ll both be setting yourselves up to stay in line and crush your goals. If you aren’t sure who your accountability partner should be, you could look for the people you’re closest to, like a spouse, friend, co-worker, or even a relative. If you’re okay with your parents keeping tabs on your repayment goals, you could consider them as an option, too.

Author Susan Cain has a few suggestions on how to find an accountability partner, no matter your goals; we just applied them to student loan repayment here:

  1. Finding someone you trust. They don’t have to be your best friend, but they can be a good friend, relative, or significant other. Different personalities might be better, too.

  2. Reviewing your goals. When it comes to your student loans, it can be helpful to have a clear target in mind, like increasing your monthly payments by a certain dollar amount, or paying the full balance off by a set month or year.

  3. Being specific about your action plan. Share your student loan repayment plan and what consequences might occur if you don’t meet that goal.

  4. Setting up regular check-ins. Once a month or every few months, you could have a date set to meet up for coffee or a phone call to catch up on your progress. This could be a good way to set little goals — by achieving them before your check-in.

  5. Revisiting goals. Remember, your goals can be fluid. It’s okay to shift and change as your strategy evolves. Maybe you get a raise and can tweak your contributions. Maybe you get a side hustle, and you could meet your original goal sooner. Don’t be afraid to make changes if what you’re doing isn’t working.

Will an Accountability Partner Help You Repay Your Student Loans?

While you wouldn’t expect your financial accountability partner to gift you money to repay your student loans, you can expect them to give you a figurative kick in the butt to keep your repayment goals on track.

If your goal is to increase your monthly student loan payments, you could set an amount you’re comfortable with paying. If you find after a few months that your goal is easily attainable and want to contribute more, that’s when you could revise your goal and increase your amount.

You might want to talk with your accountability partner about this change, too. They might be able to offer a different perspective.

Are you taking that money away from something important, like a credit card bill or your future retirement? Your accountability partner could help shift your thinking. The change might not be as good as you thought.

Having someone to help you along the way to student loan repayment success might get you to hit your goals you wouldn’t otherwise have managed. A person who has your best interest in mind but also treats you as an equal instead of a subordinate could be a great way to stay on top of your student loan payments.

Refinancing Student Loans

One thing you and your accountability buddy might discuss is the possibility of refinancing your student loans. You could potentially end up paying lower interest over the life of the loan and save money in the long run.

Refinancing with SoFi could mean serious savings, with low interest rates, no hidden fees and no pre-payment penalties.

Learn more about refinancing student loans with SoFi today.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are looking to refinance federal student loans, please be aware that the White House has announced up to $20,000 of student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for qualifying borrowers whose student loans are federally held. Additionally, the federal student loan payment pause and interest holiday has been extended beyond December 31, 2022. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, since the amount or portion of your federal student debt that you refinance will no longer qualify for the federal loan payment suspension, interest waiver, or any other current or future benefits applicable to federal loans. If you qualify for federal student loan forgiveness and still wish to refinance, leave unrefinanced the amount you expect to be forgiven to receive your federal benefit.

CLICK HERE for more information.


Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

SOSL18249

Read more
student in library on laptop

Paying for College After Losing Financial Aid

When you applied to college, you knew it was going to be expensive. For many students, paying for the cost of their college education out of pocket just isn’t an option.

Many turn to financial aid to fill the gap between what they can afford and the cost of tuition—the U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $120 billion in grants, work-study, federal student loans in 2018. So, you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAⓇ) every year and plan on receiving a financial aid package that might help you make ends meet as you work your way to your degree.

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you lost your financial aid? Losing financial aid in college might be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of getting a degree.

Federal student loans and grants aren’t the only way to pay for college, and knowing what options are out there could help you continue your college education without skipping a beat.

Losing Your Financial Aid

To qualify for federal student aid, you must meet specific eligibility requirements outlined by the U.S. Department of Education. While most college students don’t have a problem meeting them, there’s no guarantee you’ll maintain eligibility through the entirety of your college career. Requirements include:

•  Demonstrating financial need

•  Being a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen

•  A valid Social Security number

•  Enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program

•  Demonstrating that you’re eligible to pursue higher education by showing a high school diploma or completion of other qualifying schooling

If you don’t meet one or more of these requirements at any time, you may potentially lose your financial aid. While it could be possible to gain that eligibility back, you may need to find other ways to pay for school in the meantime.

How to Pay for College After Losing Financial Aid

Whether you’re no longer eligible for financial aid or you weren’t eligible to begin with, there are several options that could help cover your education costs.

1. Applying for Scholarships

Most universities offer academic scholarships to students who meet certain minimum GPA requirements. If you’ve done well in school so far, you may qualify. If you’re already in a program, you may also have access to scholarships available only to students in your major.

You could speak with a financial aid counselor at your school or visit the college’s scholarship page on its website to find out what’s available.

Also, many private companies and organizations offer scholarships to diligent students. Websites like Scholarships.com , Fastweb , and College Board allow you to search for scholarships and even provide tips on how to improve your chances of getting one.

2. Getting a Job

Working even part-time while taking classes might sound like a surefire way to kill your social life or induce sleep deprivation. But after losing financial aid, it may be essential to staying in school.

Many colleges have on-campus jobs that allow you to work without needing to stray too far away. And in fact, some financial aid packages include work-study, which is often an on-campus job that can help you earn money toward your tuition and other school fees.

Being awarded work-study doesn’t guarantee you a job through your school or local community, but it typically helps you secure placement and a specific number of working hours consistent with your award. But if your school has thousands of students, the competition can be fierce. If you have a car or access to public transportation, you could consider looking off-campus. As you expand your search, you might want to compare wages, hours, and other benefits.

3. Seeking Help From Family

If you have a supportive family situation and your parents can help you without putting their own financial situation in jeopardy, it may be worth asking for assistance. They don’t necessarily need to cover your tuition costs for you.

Instead, they may be able to provide you with a place to live rent-free, or you could ask for a loan with clear terms for repayment. Whatever you do, you might want to be mindful of your parents’ or other family members’ needs and don’t assume you’ll receive help.

4. Considering Transferring

Depending on the cost of tuition and the amount of financial aid you lost, it might be worth transferring to a less expensive college to save on costs. While that won’t pay for your tuition on its own, it may give you access to more scholarship and grant opportunities.

5. Applying for Private Student Loans

While federal loans often carry lower interest rates and more benefits than private student loans, the latter can still be an option if you fall short with the alternatives, whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student.

Several banks, credit unions, and online lenders offer private student loans. As a result, you might want to shop around to make sure you get the best terms for your needs.

Also, unlike most federal student loans, private student loans typically require a credit check. And unless you have a strong credit history, a reliable source of income, and can meet other lender requirements, you may have a hard time getting approved. Again, if you have supportive parents, another option is to ask them to co-sign a private student loan with you.

Getting Financial Aid Back After Suspension

If you’ve lost your eligibility , the decision isn’t necessarily final. For example, if you’ve defaulted on a federal loan, you may be able to regain your eligibility once you get the loan out of default.

Whatever the reason, you could talk with your school’s financial aid office and find out what you need to do to get it back. It may take some time, but it can be well worth it, especially if you have a few years left in school.

Practicing Smart Student Loan Habits

If you’ve taken out student loans or you’re planning to use student loans in the future to finance your education, you might want to use them wisely.

Before you borrow, for instance, you could make sure you’ve exhausted all of your other options to get money to pay for school, including getting a job and applying for scholarships and grants. Also, you could avoid borrowing more than you need to limit how much you’ll owe in the long run.

As you get closer to graduation, you might consider refinancing your student loans once your credit and income are in good shape. Refinancing could potentially help you score a lower monthly payment, a lower interest rate, or both.

Know that if you refinance federal loans, you’ll no longer be eligible for programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness, income-driven repayment plans or other federal benefits. To see what your new refinanced student loan could look like, take a look at our student loan refinance calculator.

Learn more about refinancing your student loans with SoFi today.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are looking to refinance federal student loans, please be aware that the White House has announced up to $20,000 of student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for qualifying borrowers whose student loans are federally held. Additionally, the federal student loan payment pause and interest holiday has been extended beyond December 31, 2022. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, since the amount or portion of your federal student debt that you refinance will no longer qualify for the federal loan payment suspension, interest waiver, or any other current or future benefits applicable to federal loans. If you qualify for federal student loan forgiveness and still wish to refinance, leave unrefinanced the amount you expect to be forgiven to receive your federal benefit.

CLICK HERE for more information.


Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.


SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

SOSL18247

Read more
students in library

U.S. Student Debt Has Surpassed Credit Card Debt

Scary, but true. The amount of student debt in the United States is approximately $1.5 trillion , about one-and-a-half times what Americans currently owe on their credit cards. People use credit cards for home repairs, to go on vacation, to buy groceries, to eat out at restaurants—and for just about any other expense you can think of. Yet, all of these purchases combined are dwarfed by our country’s total student loan debt.

Student loan debt is now the second biggest form of debt in our country, only behind mortgage loans—and the debt balance and its accompanying crisis continues to grow. In this post, we’ll delve into what impact this situation is having on the millennial generation (and other borrowers). We’ll also reverse engineer the reasons why this debt crisis is taking place and share strategies to help whittle down student loan debt, maybe even paying it off more quickly.

National Student Loan Debt and Its Impact on Borrowers

A recent study shows that millennials who have student debt have a net worth, on average, that’s 75% less than those without student debt (an average of $29,087, compared to $114,376 for those who are loan-free).

Students with loan debt also tend to have, when compared to their peers with no student loan debt:

•  about half as much money in the bank ($5,500 versus $10,180 )

•  approximately $19,000 less in their retirement accounts ($21,160 versus $39,905 )

•  larger mortgages—and on homes with less value

In short, financial wellness of millennials with student loan debt is clearly substandard, overall, when compared to others in their demographic without this debt. And, although people with college degrees tend to get higher-paying jobs, overall, the weight of the student debt that often accompanies it can drag down a person’s ability to gain financial wellness.

Here’s another statistic to consider: in an era when total student loan debt has surpassed total credit card debt, millennials with student loans also have more credit card debt.

•  55% of those with student loans also have credit card debt ; only 32% without education-related debt do.

•  Their average balance is $2,888 compared to $1,476 for graduates without student loan debt.

A Forbes article looks at the “disastrous domino effect” created by student debt, with one couple sharing how their debt is forcing them to “put their lives on hold year after year.” It’s had a negative impact on their marriage as they focus on paying down debt, and as they’re waiting to have children and buy a home. This debt has been a “huge burden and point of contention.”

Related: Will There Ever Be a Student Loan Bailout?

The borrower being quoted was a participant in a 50-state survey, Buried in Debt , of student loan debt and its impact on borrowers.

This report examines how the unrelenting stress of student debt can strain borrowers financially as well as emotionally. One of the participants shares how she regularly thinks about selling everything she owns to live in her car so she can put more money towards her debt.

Conclusions from the report include:

•  Nearly 90% of borrowers surveyed struggle to make payments.

•  The majority have less than $1,000 in their bank account.

•  6% of them have even had Social Security payments or wages garnished.

•  Nearly one third of them say their student loan bill is higher than their rent or mortgage payment.

•  65% say it’s higher than their entire monthly food budget.

More About the National Student Loan Debt Crisis

The amount of U.S. student loan debt continues to grow, increasing by 170% in just 10 years’ time . You read that right: over the last 10 years or so, the amount of student debt (in real dollars!) nearly tripled, which may lead people to believe we’re in the midst of a student loan bubble, similar to the subprime real estate bubble from a decade ago.

In June 2018, NASDAQ.com published Safehaven’s prediction that the student loan bubble is about to pop, and the article also shares how, earlier in 2018, the chairman of the Federal Reserve stated that this student loan increase could “slow down economic growth.”

Why this Debt is Growing

In part, the total student loan debt is growing because the costs of getting an education are still rising beyond the rate of inflation. In fact, over the last 10 years, the published costs of in-state tuition and fees at public universities increased at an average of 3.1% beyond the rate of inflation.

And, as long as the cost of attending college outpaces the cost of living, problems will continue for borrowers. Plus, the housing market crash of 2008 has also fed into today’s student loan debt crisis. That’s because some parents who’d planned to borrow against their homes’ equity to help their children attend college often couldn’t do so, post-2008. So, these students needed to take on debt of their own. More specifically, some economists suggest that, for every $1 drop in home equity loans, there has been an increase of 40 to 60 cents in student loans.

Even more alarming, analysis by The Brookings Institution estimates that, by 2023 (just a few short years away!), nearly 40% of student borrowers may default on their loans.

Paying Down Student Debt More Quickly

If possible, you could consider making an extra payment annually toward your loans’ principal balance. Can you do this twice a year? Every quarter? Paying extra toward your loans can help you get them paid off more quickly.

If that strategy is too much for your cash flow situation, you could always try figuring out how much you could increase your monthly payment beyond the minimum. Even if that doesn’t seem like an option right now, you can continue monitoring your financial situation and taking advantage of when you can pay more to your debt balance.

It can also help to create or review your monthly budget to see where you can cut back on expenses. For example:

•  How many paid apps, monthly subscriptions, and so forth do you have automatically deducted from a bank account or put on a credit card? Do you use them enough to justify their prices? There are even apps that help you can cancel unnecessary subscriptions and more.

•  When is the last time you shopped around to make sure you’re getting a good deal on your car insurance, enter’s insurance, or cell phone plan? How much could you save if you switched to a less expensive plan, and would the coverage still be as good?

•  What discretionary spending can you reasonably live without?

What would happen if you put those “found” dollars onto your student loan balance?

Refinancing Student Loan Debt with SoFi

If you’ve ever consolidated, say, balances from multiple credit cards into a personal loan, then you already know how much more convenient it can be to have one monthly payment. And, if you can get a lower rate on your new loan, you could also pay less interest over the life of the loan—depending on your repayment term.

The same is true when you refinance your student loans. It isn’t unusual for students to have taken out multiple loans for their education, and consolidating them into one loan with one monthly payment and a potentially lower interest rate might help them manage their repayment.

At SoFi, we allow you to refinance federal and private loans. We do, however, recommend that you explore the repayment benefits you can receive with federal loans, such as forgiveness programs or income-driven repayment plans, before refinancing. You’ll lose out on those benefits when you refinance with a private lender, so it’s important to be sure you won’t want to take advantage of any federal loan benefits either now or in the future.

When you refinance, you can opt for a fixed or variable loan and potentially select a more favorable loan term. If you are currently struggling to make your monthly student loan payments, it might make more sense to choose a longer term—though this can mean paying more interest over the life of the loan. Alternately, if you refinance to a shorter term, you could pay your loans off earlier, potentially paying less in interest.

In just two minutes, you can find your rate online and see if you qualify for SoFi student loan refinancing.

Ready to explore refinancing your student loans? Learn about how you can refinance your student loan debt into one convenient payment with SoFi.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are looking to refinance federal student loans, please be aware that the White House has announced up to $20,000 of student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for qualifying borrowers whose student loans are federally held. Additionally, the federal student loan payment pause and interest holiday has been extended beyond December 31, 2022. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, since the amount or portion of your federal student debt that you refinance will no longer qualify for the federal loan payment suspension, interest waiver, or any other current or future benefits applicable to federal loans. If you qualify for federal student loan forgiveness and still wish to refinance, leave unrefinanced the amount you expect to be forgiven to receive your federal benefit.

CLICK HERE for more information.


Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

SOSL18227

Read more
woman at desk on laptop

Which Student Loan Should You Pay Off First?

As a nation Americans are facing more student loan debt than ever before; the total debt is now around $1.5 trillion . According to the Pew Research Center , about four in 10 American adults hold student loans.

While the amount each individual holds varies greatly, on average those graduating from a four-year college have approximately $30,731 in student loan debt . If you have a graduate degree, that total could be even higher. Approximately 40% of all student loan debt is held by graduate students, which adds up to nearly $563 billion .

When crafting a plan to repay your student loans, it’s beneficial to start by making a budget. Outline all of your expenses, student loans, and any other debts you may have.

Then, tally up all of your income and investments. After cataloging all of that information, take a good look at your spending habits and see where you would be able to make any changes.

When you’re establishing your new budget, try to set aside extra funds to put toward paying off your student loans. And remember that student loans do not penalize you for prepaying on the loan.

What You Should Know About Interest Rates on Your Loans

Interest rates on federal student loans are set by Congress based on the 10-year treasury note. This means every borrower taking out a certain type of federal student loan, in a given year, will pay the same interest rate. These interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan.

Federal student loans also come with some limitations and are regulated by the Department of Education . For undergraduate students, the current aggregate (combined) limit of federal student loans as a dependent is $31,000; and no more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

As an independent undergraduate student, your aggregate loan limit is $57,500; and no more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. As a graduate student, the aggregate limit for federal student loans is $138,500 for graduate or professional students; and no more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

The graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study. If the plan of study you’ve chosen requires you to exceed those limits, you may have to consider taking out a private student loan.

These loans come with different interest rates and payment plans. You can learn more about the difference between federal and private student loans at the Federal Student Aid website.

If you’re not sure what your monthly payments will be, you can check out our student loan calculator to get an idea of what your loan payments could look like.

Here are three methods to consider if you’re ready to get serious about paying off your student loan debt.

The Debt Stacking Method

Take a look at your student loans and the interest rates you’re paying. The debt avalanche method, also known as debt stacking, focuses on repaying the debts with the highest interest rates first. In regard to student loans, that means if you have a federal graduate loan with a 6.6% interest rate, plus an undergraduate loan with a rate of 5.05%, you would prioritize paying off the graduate loan first, since it has the higher interest rate.

As you make your minimum monthly payments on all of your loans, you’ll also be paying a little extra toward the loan with the highest interest rate. When that loan is paid off, you’ll redirect those funds to the debt with the next highest interest rate. Continue using this rollover method until all of your debts are paid off.

If you are disciplined and organized when it comes to repaying your debts, the avalanche method could work well for you. Using the avalanche method of debt repayment will likely reduce the amount of money you pay in interest.

The Snowball Method

Another option for debt repayment is the snowball method, which disregards interest rates. With this method, after making the minimum payments on your loans every month, you will focus on the additional funds you have budgeted toward paying off the loan with the lowest balance.

When you have paid off this debt in full, you then roll what you were paying on those monthly payments into the debt with the next lowest balance. You continue to do this until all of your debts are paid off.

One of the benefits of this debt payoff strategy are the early rewards of paying off your smallest loans first. This helps keep you engaged in continuing your repayment plan.

If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of student loans you have to pay off, the snowball method could work for you. Often times when paying off debt, it can be discouraging if you don’t see immediate progress.

The snowball strategy works to encourage you to continue paying off your debts by establishing more frequent rewards. When you pay off that first loan, the sense of accomplishment you feel is enough to keep you committed to your repayment plan and financial goals.

Refinancing Your Student Loans

Another option to consider while you are setting your student loan repayment strategy is refinancing your student loans. Before you do, it’s important to understand that if you have federal student loans, certain benefits like deferment, forbearance, or the option for a Direct Consolidation Loan will be eliminated if you refinance with a private lender.

Refinancing allows you to take out a brand-new loan, with a new interest rate, and new loan terms. Often times, if you have good credit and income, you can lower your interest rate or potentially reduce your monthly payments depending on the loan term.

Another plus to refinancing your loans—instead of managing a number of monthly payments with different interest rates, you only have to worry about one monthly payment with one interest rate. To see how your payments and interest rate could change when you refinance, take a look at SoFi’s student loan refinancing calculator.

Consider refinancing your student loans with SoFi.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are looking to refinance federal student loans, please be aware that the White House has announced up to $20,000 of student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for qualifying borrowers whose student loans are federally held. Additionally, the federal student loan payment pause and interest holiday has been extended beyond December 31, 2022. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, since the amount or portion of your federal student debt that you refinance will no longer qualify for the federal loan payment suspension, interest waiver, or any other current or future benefits applicable to federal loans. If you qualify for federal student loan forgiveness and still wish to refinance, leave unrefinanced the amount you expect to be forgiven to receive your federal benefit.

CLICK HERE for more information.


Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SOSL19053

Read more
woman with coffee

Student Loan Debt Responsibility After Divorce

Divorce is probably not the first word that comes to mind when you think about repaying your student loans.

But for married couples who are splitting up, debt—and who’s responsible for it—can be a very real factor in a divorce settlement. So how is student loan debt divided in divorce?

There isn’t one right answer to this question—it depends on countless factors, often including what state you live in and got married in, and whether you have a prenuptial agreement.

Before we start discussing how divorce impacts your student loans, we want to be clear that nothing in this article should be taken as financial or legal advice. This broad overview of student loan debt responsibility post-divorce doesn’t take your unique circumstances into consideration, which is why we recommend discussing the nitty-gritty details with a financial advisor or attorney. That being said, let’s look at how divorce might impact student loans in various circumstances.

Addressing Separate Student Loans

When it comes to student loans, divorce can make things complicated. Separate loans are typically a little more straightforward, because if you’re the only name on the loan, you’re likely the only one responsible for repayment.

This is especially likely if the debt is in your name only and you took out the loan before you got married.

When you get a divorce, assets and debts are typically divided in part based on whether or not they are considered to be marital property (and this can vary by state, of course). You are typically responsible for loans taken out in your name before you were married, and likewise for your ex-spouse.

It can get a little bit more complicated if you or your spouse took out a student loan after marriage . These loans may be considered marital property, depending on state laws and the circumstances under which you took out the loans.

When addressing marital property, most states either use community property laws, which implies that property or debt taken on during a marriage is jointly owned, or equitable distribution laws, where the property or debt belongs solely to the spouse who initiated the purchase or debt withdrawal. In states with community property laws, marital assets and debts are split 50-50 between ex-spouses.

Most states have equitable distribution laws , which can make dividing assets or debt a touch more confusing. In these states, each spouse has a claim to an equitable share of marital property, which may not be split 50-50.

Courts have final say over what’s fair and equitable, and to determine that, they may look at a spouse’s earning potential, or the support one spouse provided while the other was in school, such as childcare or even the opportunity costs of putting their own education on hold. Furthermore, if, for example, you or your spouse took out loans that were used to support you both, that could also be a consideration in court.

Approaching Refinanced Loans

Here’s the thing: It’s not possible for a couple to combine their separate student loans into a joint, refinanced loan. However, you can refinance your own loans and have your spouse serve as your co-signer.

When might that happen? If, for example, one member of a couple wants to refinance their loans but doesn’t qualify, their spouse may decide to cosign the refinanced loan in order to help them qualify or secure a better rate.

When couples cosign on their partner’s loans, both spouses are on the hook for the debt. While this may work while a couple is together, it can make things complicated when your ex-spouse is the co-signer of your refinanced loan. This new loan is owned by the couple, and may be considered marital property subject to community property laws or equitable distribution laws.

Paying Your Part

In cases where debt is considered marital property, divorcing couples on good terms can decide how to divide student loan debt and have a court sign off on it. However, in some cases, ex-spouses may simply not be able to take charge of dividing things up, and the court can decide how the debt will be divided instead.

At this point, you’re losing the power of a combined income to pay off your loans, so you may need to consider strategies to help the newly single you afford your payments.

First, it may be worth it to consider refinancing your loans to potentially secure a better rate or term. A better interest rate and shorter term might help you pay down your debt faster and could reduce the money you spend on interest over the life of the loan.

If you lengthen the term of your loan, you may be able to lower your monthly payments, which can help if your budget is strapped. (It’s a bummer, but divorce is expensive, which could potentially tighten your budget in the short term.

Lowering your loan payments could provide a much-needed reprieve.) However, longer terms typically come with higher interest rates, so you may actually end up paying more over the life of the loan.

Federal loans have income-driven repayment options that can also help you lower your monthly payments. These income-driven repayment plans have you pay a conservative percentage of your discretionary income, generally 10% to 20%, toward your student loans each month. And if you pay your loans off on one of the income-driven repayment plans for a period of 20 or 25 years, your remaining balance may be forgiven (though that forgiven balance will be taxed as income).

If you refinanced your student loans when you were married and your spouse was your co-signer, you could also consider refinancing a second time—as an individual. This could allow you to not only qualify for new loan terms or rates, but also ensure that your ex’s name is no longer tied to your student debt.

Staying on Top of Your Debt

Getting a divorce is rough, and having to deal with student debt at the same time can feel like adding insult to injury. The paperwork, lawyers, and courts involved with a divorce can make it easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. Trying to stay on top of your student loans and making regular payments is, of course, an important priority.

Whether you’re interested in refinancing in order to lower your payments and make some room in your budget for divorce fees, or you want to refinance without your spouse as a co-signer, SoFi can help. Refinancing with SoFi comes with no hidden fees, and the application process is fast, easy, and entirely online.

Learn more about how refinancing with SoFi can help you pay off your student loans.


Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are looking to refinance federal student loans, please be aware that the White House has announced up to $20,000 of student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for qualifying borrowers whose student loans are federally held. Additionally, the federal student loan payment pause and interest holiday has been extended beyond December 31, 2022. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, since the amount or portion of your federal student debt that you refinance will no longer qualify for the federal loan payment suspension, interest waiver, or any other current or future benefits applicable to federal loans. If you qualify for federal student loan forgiveness and still wish to refinance, leave unrefinanced the amount you expect to be forgiven to receive your federal benefit.

CLICK HERE for more information.


Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.


SOSL19049

Read more
TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender