For many students in Massachusetts, taking out loans was the only way they could afford to attend college. While some graduates have since repaid their debt, students in Massachusetts do contribute to the $1.5 trillion of student loan debt owed in America.
CNBC reports that more than a third of respondents to a SunTrust Bank survey shared that financial problems, including student loan debt, led to their divorce. In addition to this, 13% of responders specifically blamed student loans for the end of their marriage. Experts say the reason is not hard to guess at. It is difficult to build a life with someone who has high student loan debt. Debt can stand in the way of purchasing a home or car, and if they missed any payments, their credit score in general could plummet.
Spouses who decide to help their partner repay their debt may wish to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect themselves. In the event of a divorce, they may recover that investment in their partner by crediting it off the marital assets that should be dispersed.
Business Insider notes that since the 1980s the cost of purchasing a home increased by 39%. When spouses add student loan debt to the mix, this makes it almost impossible for them to qualify for a home, even when they combine incomes. Many couples where at least one of them had student loan debt were also delaying starting a family or had fewer children than they originally planned to.
To make matters worse, almost one-fourth of spouses with student loan debt did not tell their partners and 36% lied to their partners about money overall. Naturally, once these secrets and lies are uncovered it can put additional strain on a marriage due to broken trust. While many people do not believe that student loans are a driving factor in divorces, they do believe it can compound with other issues to drive a permanent wedge between spouses.