Your Questions Answered: What happens to a spouse's student debt after he or she dies?


SAN ANTONIO – On Monday, KSAT consumer reporter Marilyn Moritz reported that some 60 percent of recent college grads borrowed money to go to school, graduating with an average of $28,000 in debt.

For those thinking about getting married, managing those loans can get complicated, including increasing your monthly student loan payments in some cases.

The report covered subjects such as whether to file taxes jointly or separately, income-based repayment programs, and information on tax credits.

READ THE STORY: Here's what you should know about student debt before getting married

We wanted to know if you had questions about student debt and getting married. 

One viewer wrote in with this great question:

If (married people) continue to file IRS taxes independently, what happens to the spouse's student debt when the debtor passes away? Is the surviving spouse obligated for the debtors unpaid balance?"

KSAT digital reporter Ivan Herrera did some digging, and here's the information that he found:

The Department of Education says that federal student loans can be discharged if proof of death is submitted to the loan servicer.

A family representative must submit the acceptable documentation, such as an “original death certificate, a certified copy of the death certificate, or an accurate and complete photocopy of one of those documents. For more information about documentation requirements, contact your loan servicer,” according to the DOE.

You can find more information about death discharge on the Student Aid website by clicking HERE.

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