Valley Congressman, Tim Ryan voted for the bipartisan Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act, which will now head to President Biden's desk to be signed into law.

The legislation will allow both borrowers, who combined their loans as a couple to submit a joint application to the U.S. Department of Education to split their joint loan into two separate federal direct loans.

Additionally, this legislation will allow one borrower to submit a separate application if they are experiencing domestic or economic abuse or are unable to reasonably reach the other borrower.

From 1993 to 2006, married couples were able to combine their student loan debt into join consolidation loans. Both borrowers agreed at the time to be jointly liable for repayment, which could prove problematic if they'd want to separate the loans.

The program was eliminated in 2006, but did not provide a means of severing existing join loans, even in cases of domestic violence, economic abuse or an unresponsive partner.

As such, borrowers remain liable to this consolidated debt without any options to separate them.

This legislation has been backed by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Consumer Law Center, American Federation of Teachers, the North Carolina Coalition against Domestic Violence and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance.

The legislation was included in the Education and Labor Committee's Higher Education Act Reauthorization during the last two Congresses.