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    How to Find a Cosigner for a Loan

    By Kayla Korzekwinski

    Kayla Korzekwinski is a Scholarships360 content writer. She earned her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied Advertising/PR, Rhetorical Communication, and Anthropology. Kayla has worked on communications for non-profits and student organizations. She loves to write and come up with new ways to express ideas.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: September 28th, 2023
    How to Find a Cosigner for a Loan

    You’ll likely need to find a cosigner if you’re looking to borrow private student loans. This is more common than not for college students, who usually don’t have an extensive credit history. Continue reading to learn how to find a cosigner!

    Don’t miss: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

    What is a cosigner? 

    A cosigner is a secondary person who takes on financial responsibility for a loan. The loan is listed on both the borrower’s and cosigner’s credit reports. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the cosigner becomes responsible for payment.

    Cosigners are required for most private student loans. This is because private lenders have eligibility requirements for credit score and history, which young students often don’t meet. If the cosigner is creditworthy, they can help the student become eligible for a private student loan.

    See also: How do student loans affect credit?

    Having a cosigner will increase your chances of receiving a student loan. Some lenders also offer a lower interest rate for having a cosigner.

    Who can be a cosigner? 

    Anyone who is a United States citizen or permanent resident with good credit can co-sign a student loan.

    Being a cosigner is a big commitment, especially since private student loans can take 10 – 15 years to pay off. It’s important that you select a cosigner who is trustworthy. The borrower and the cosigner should be able to openly discuss their finances.

    Here are some other things to look for in a student loan cosigner:

    • A history of making payments on time
    • A good credit score
    • Stable employment and steady income
    • No recent bankruptcies 

    The cosigner should be able to comfortably pay the loan on their own if they needed to. In an ideal situation, the borrower would make their payments on time and in full, and the cosigner would act as a safety net.

    Consider as an alternative to student loans: Income share agreements

    How to find a cosigner

    Most students don’t need to look farther than a parent to co-sign their student loans. If your parent can’t be your cosigner, look to another family member, such as a grandparent, aunt, or uncle. Siblings or cousins can also make good cosigners, but be sure they can take on the responsibility.

    A cosigner does not need to be a family member. If you don’t have a family member who can co-sign your student loan, consider a close friend or mentor. If you are a graduate student, a professor who you’ve worked closely with may also be willing to be your cosigner. Overall, you should choose someone who wants to support your education. 

    When asking someone to be your cosigner, have a good understanding of the details of the student loan. Be open and honest about the potential risks that come with co-signing a loan. You can sit down with the potential cosigner and make a plan to ensure that there are no negative effects for either person. 

    Be cautious of online cosigners or strangers

    Some students who can’t find a cosigner turn to personal ads or websites that match students with a random cosigner. These websites request personal information and details of the loan are hoping to receive. There is often a fee for the service, too. 

    These situations should be avoided because the stranger you are matched with may not actually be creditworthy. Or, they may want something in return such as a portion of the funds from the loan. The worst-case scenario is that you get scammed.

    Before looking for a cosigner online, put the website through the same rigorous evaluation that you would a student loan lender.

    See also: How to spot student loan scams

    Remember, choose your cosigner wisely (and don’t forget to thank them!)

    A cosigner will most likely increase your chances of receiving a private student loan to fund your education. Good luck!

    Next Steps

    Next Steps

    • Before looking for a cosigner, make sure that you can afford the student loans you are taking on. And make sure to read over the terms and conditions carefully to ensure that you understand what you are getting into
    • If either parent has a good credit score, check with them to see if they would make good cosigners
    • If your parents can’t be your cosigner, try asking another family member or family friend with a good credit history
    • If you can’t find someone you know personally who is willing to cosign, you may have to contract a cosigner. Use extensive caution in this process to avoid being scammed. Try to get in touch with other people who the cosigner has provided services to. And make sure that the terms of the cosign agreement are fair and clear

    Keep on reading

    Frequently asked questions about finding a co-signer for a loan

    Can you find a student loan cosigner online?

    It is possible to find a student loan cosigner online, but it is less-than-ideal for a number of reasons. The first reason is that any cosigner you find online will be charging you a fee. This fee can end up being very substantial, and as someone who is already taking on loans, you will not want to incur any unnecessary fees.

    Additionally, it can be difficult to ascertain whether a cosigner is legitimate if you find them online. You’ll want to ensure that you put them through an intensive screening process before submitting any payment. And make sure that you do not submit personal details that they may use to steal your identity. Ensure that any cosigner you find online has a legitimate business practice with accountability. Talk to previous clients, find a way to reach them and hold them accountable for their end of the deal.

    What do I do if I can't find a student loan cosigner?



    If you can’t find a student loan cosigner, you may have to expand your search to online options. You can also look into borrowing more federal loans, which do not require a cosigner and generally have more favorable terms anyway.

    Another option is to look into loan alternatives, such as an income-share agreement. While these are not all too common at the moment, they are expanding into new schools and fields of study. To many students, an income-share agreement will be far preferable to a loan.

    What credit score does a student loan cosigner need?

    The answer to this question varies based on the loan you’re applying for. The reason to enlist a cosigner is because they will have a better credit score than you – if theirs is lower than yours, they are not actually helping you out at all. That being said, the loans with the lowest interest rates and/or the most favorable repayment terms will require higher credit scores, while less favorable ones will have less strict requirements.

    Ideally, a student loan cosigner should have at least 670 credit score which is considered at the low end of the “Good” spectrum of scores.

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