If myfiance has school loans, can I be forced to pay, either before or after our marriage,if she cannot?

Her grandmother has already started paying the loan and is a co-signer. She is still pursuing her degree. They have had a falling out and now her grandmother wants to discontinue paying. She claims to be in contact with an attorney. She said that they would attempt to garnish my wages because she is not working and has no personal income.

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, New Hampshire


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If you are not a cosignor or guarantor of a loan, no body can garnish your wages for it--whether boyfriend, fiance, or husband. Your fiance's grandmother is simply wrong, as long as you have never signed anything taken responsibility.

2) Your fiance's grandmother, unfortunately (for her!) is still on the hook for the loan. Since she is a co-signor, if you fiance doesn't or can't pay, the lender can go after the grandmother for the money, whether she likes it or not.

3) If you do get married, be aware that if your fiance defaults on the loan, it will indirectly affect you. e.g. it will make it more difficult to get credit for major joint purchases, like homes or cars (or cause you to pay more); your fiance's income or personal assets could be pursued by creditors, meaning they'd not be available for the family.

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