There are a couple of reasons why your Spouse information or signature are required to submit an Income Driven Repayment (IDR) Application.
- Whether you file taxes jointly or not, your combined income can be considered for certain plans to arrive at the monthly payment calculation. Most times, it’s just the spouse signature that is required at the bottom of the form.
- If both you and your spouse have Federal student loans, additional information is required for the IDR application (ie, Full Name, Date of Birth, SSN). This is also to be considered when calculating an income-driven repayment amount, but takes your spouse’s loan balance into account. Generally this results in a payment which is more reasonable, based on your combined income-to-debt ratio (among other factors)
Rest assured, by your Spouse signing an Income-Driven Repayment application, this in NO WAY assumes spouse responsibility or any guarantees your loans. Your loans will always be in your name.
Note: There was once a temporary program in place (which no longer exists) which allowed for spouses to consolidate their loans together. As of now, we are not aware of a process to separate loans which have been consolidated via this process. If this applies to you, and you wish to separate a joint spousal consolidation loan, please contact your loan servicer.