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Married life would certainly be easier if student loan debt weren’t along for the ride. A question commonly arises among young marrieds: Am I on the hook for my spouse's student loans?

First things first: You should sit down with your partner and talk about both of your debt burdens going into the marriage. Financing your burden will take dollars away from saving for a house and other goals. If you’re on an income-driven repayment plan, filing your taxes jointly will make your payments higher.

But if your spouse brings debt into the marriage, you shouldn’t be responsible for that debt.

If your spouse dies still owing federal student loans, you are not on the hook for that burden. The Department of Education just cancels the debt.

Private student loans have different terms and conditions. And if a borrower dies, the lender may try to recapture some of the student debt from the borrower’s estate.