Is Cosigning a student loan bad?

Asked by: Beau Douglas  |  Last update: August 29, 2023
Score: 4.7/5 (59 votes)

The main risk with cosigning a loan is that any missed payments can reflect negatively on your score, even though it isn't “your” debt. And cosigning is a long game — even the most trustworthy student may make a mistake five years from now and miss a payment.

Is it bad to cosign a student loan?

Cosigning will affect both parties' credit scores. If the student borrower makes late payments or defaults, you could see your score drop, too. Some lenders let you remove a cosigner after a few years. Student loan refinancing1 is another path to cosigner release.

Is it better to cosign a student loan?

That's where parents come in — with their credit history, if they agree to cosign on a loan, that signals to the lender that the debt will more likely be repaid on time and in full. Since your cosigner's credit history is considered when you take out a loan, you might qualify for a lower interest rate.

Does a cosigned student loan go on your credit report?

When a person cosigns a student loan, they agree to take full responsibility for the debt. The cosigner is responsible for the full amount of the loan, so the debt will appear on both the cosigner's and the student's credit reports.

Does being a cosigner on a student loan affect getting a mortgage?

Cosigning a student loan can make new loans, like a mortgage, more difficult to get approved for. Adding debt to your credit profile can increase what's known as your DTI (debt-to-income ratio).

What Everyone's Getting Wrong About Student Loans

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Do most parents cosign student loans?

If the cosigner has good credit, a stable income, and minimal debt, the student can often secure a far more favorable loan. Cosigners are most often parents, but not always. In some cases, friends, partners, or other relatives will cosign a student loan instead.

Is Cosigning a loan a big deal?

Whatever you cosign will show up on your credit report as if the loan is yours, which, depending on your credit history, may impact your credit scores. Cosigning a loan doesn't necessarily mean your finances or relationship with the borrower will be negatively affected, but it's not a decision you should make lightly.

What rights does a cosigner have on a student loan?

If the borrower stops making on-time payments and eventually defaults, the cosigner has the right to sue the borrower to collect the money they (the cosigner) have paid towards the student loan.

Why do parents cosign student loans?

Improves the odds of approval — If your child is short on credit history or has bad credit, they'll likely have a tough time qualifying for a private student loan without a cosigner. But if they apply with a cosigner who meets a lender's eligibility requirements, it can help them get approved.

What percentage of student loans are cosigned?

In fact, 91% of undergraduate loans carry a cosigner, according to MeasureOne. Those that don't might have higher interest rates as a result; the lender likely took on more risk in the transaction. That's what a good cosigner or co-borrower does: improve their applicant profile with their superior credit history.

How do I get off a cosigned student loan?

After making on-time payments for a set period — usually 36 to 48 months — you can apply to have the cosigner released. If you meet the lender's borrower requirements on your own, the lender will approve the request and remove the cosigner. Going forward, you'll be solely responsible for the loan.

Should my parents cosign my loan?

Cosigning your child's student loan application can help improve their approval odds, and also help them secure better terms. But it can also impact your credit in ways that could potentially hurt your chances of getting credit when you need it.

Who are the most common co signers for student loans?

Parents are the most common cosigners for student loans, but they're not the only ones. A relative, family friend, or creditworthy adult can cosign as long as they meet the lender's cosigner eligibility requirements.

Why is it bad to cosign a loan?

Since you're just as legally responsible for the debt as your buddy, the lender may choose to sue you if the loan goes unpaid. Then a court could easily order you to pay 100% of the debt plus legal fees. And recouping any of that cash might mean you're forced to turn around and sue your friend.

What are the risks of being a cosigner?

If you are asked to pay and cannot, you could be sued or your credit rating could be damaged. Consider that, even if you are not asked to repay the debt, your liability for this loan may keep you from getting other credit you may want.

Why is it not a good idea to cosign a loan with family?

Co-signing for someone else could affect you significantly in any future loans you may apply for. Lenders refer to this situation as someone having too much credit and is often used as a reason to deny a loan application.

Is it better for the parent or student to take a student loan?

It's usually better for students to take out student loans themselves, rather than parents taking out loans on behalf of their child. But every situation is different and it's up to each family to determine the right move for them.

Are parents on the hook for student loans?

Are Parents Responsible for Repaying a Child's Student Loans? No. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in applying for student financial aid from the federal government, from the state government and from many colleges.

Can a cosigned student loan be forgiven?

If the cosigner dies or becomes disabled, the student remains responsible for payment. SoFi: if the student dies while in school or in repayment, the loan balance is forgiven. If the cosigner dies, the student remains responsible.

Are cosigned student loans eligible for forgiveness?

For cosigners, though, the terms might not be as generous. SoFi is one private lender that will offer private student loan forgiveness to the cosigner when the primary borrower dies. Many other private lenders, though, require cosigners to keep making payments.

What to do if parents won't cosign student loans?

If you decide to take out a student loan without the help of your parents, here are a few options to consider.
  1. Get Federal Student Loans as an Independent Student. ...
  2. Submit the FAFSA Under Special Circumstances. ...
  3. Find Another Adult to Co-sign a Student Loan. ...
  4. Look for Lenders That Don't Require Co-signers.

Can I remove myself from being a cosigner?

Some lenders have a release option for co-signers, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A release can be obtained after a certain number of on-time payments and a credit check of the original borrower to determine whether they are now creditworthy.

Can I be removed as a cosigner?

Co-Signer Release

One option is to ask the lender for a co-signer release. In fact, it may already be a clause in your loan documents. Not all lenders will sign off on a co-signer release, but if you meet certain conditions—mainly, you made each loan payment on time for several years—the lender may agree to it.

Can a cosigner hurt?

Co-signing a credit card for a friend or family member is a big leap to take and one that could hurt your credit score if the person you sign with doesn't pay the card payments on time.

Do you need good credit to cosign student loans?

In order to be a cosigner, you must be the age of majority in your state and have good credit (as defined by the lender). You must also be a US citizen, permanent resident, or have a valid student visa. Lastly, you should have a steady income that can prove you're able to repay the loan in case the borrower cannot.