Can a Spouse Get a Student Loan for a Husband?

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Supporting your husband's academic goals might include cosigning a student loan.
Supporting your husband's academic goals might include cosigning a student loan. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Sometimes going back to school to earn a first or second bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or college certificate seems like the best way to move careers forward. If your husband is considering going back to school, financial aid can help cover costs associated with tuition, textbooks, student fees and housing. As a supportive spouse, you may be tempted to get a student loan for your husband. Not all methods are ethical or legal, however. It’s not always possible to help by taking out a student loan for your husband.

Sneaky FAFSA

One strategy for getting a student loan for a husband is definitely not legal, so steer completely clear of this sneaky method. If you’re also a college student but don’t necessarily need student aid, you might be tempted to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in the hopes of receiving grants and loans that you can then direct toward a needy spouse. Don’t do it. It’s illegal, and if caught you’ll be subject to fines and penalties. You don’t want to risk your husband’s good standing with the school financial aid office.

Cosign

It’s possible for a spouse to get a student loan for a husband by cosigning on a private loan. This method carries some risk. First, private loans tend to have more stringent screening requirements (such as proof of income and credit score) before loan approval. Private loans tend to have higher interest rates and don’t always offer the same flexibility with repayment plans offered by federal loans. Second, cosigning on a student loan for your spouse carries significant financial risk. You will be responsible for repaying the loan even if your husband refuses to make payments.

Consolidation

Prior to 2006, married couples could consolidate student loans. This didn’t mean that they could take out loans for spouses, but it did make it possible to combine student loan payments. In 2011, there isn’t an option for student loan consolidation. You may decide to consolidate your own student loans and encourage your husband to consolidate his loans in an effort to free up additional funds to help pay for his college costs.

PLUS

Some people think of federal PLUS loans as family loans, since parents can take out these loan types to help cover costs for their child’s educations. Although eligible parents can get a PLUS loan to help cover a dependent child’s college costs, this isn't an option for you to get a student loan for your husband.

Other Options

If you’d like to help cover college costs for your husband, consider diverting household savings to help reduce reliance on student loans. Taking on a job or second job might be an option. You might also help your husband research applicable scholarships and grants that could help cover education-related expenses.

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