Tips to help you better communicate with your student loan cosigner

Parent and child walking outside and talking

Keeping in touch with your cosigner is key

So here’s the thing—talking to and being open with your cosigner is just as important as when you “signed the papers.” It’s not just about being polite, it’s about trust and making sure everyone is on the same page. Let’s talk about why having a convo with your cosigner matters, and some topics that are important to discuss. 

First, a few reminders

Your cosigner is in this with you. Like, really in this with you. They share 100% of the legal responsibility for this loan. If you miss a payment, it’s on them to make it. If neither of you pay, the loan goes into default, and that could hurt their credit score, and yours too.

That’s why it’s important to be transparent with each other through regular conversations. 

Need help with those convos? 

Start from the top. Make sure you and your cosigner have both downloaded your lender’s app and set up accounts. This way, everyone has access to the same information and can check in as needed.

Make a plan. Sit down and talk about your game plan. Discuss job (or job prospects) and how you plan to tackle those loan payments.

Talk budgets. Ah, the dreaded B-word. But trust me, it's important. Break down your expected expenses—housing, transportation costs, the occasional midnight pizza run—and how you plan to cover it all.

Get into the "what if" scenario. It's not a fun conversation, but it's necessary. What happens if things don't go according to plan? What if you don’t have a job lined up or hit a rough patch financially? Discuss worst-case scenarios and come up with a solution together. It's better to be prepared than caught off guard.

Stay in contact. Agree to keep the lines of communication open. If you're struggling moneywise or facing unexpected hurdles, don't hide it from your cosigner. They can't help if they don't know what's going on.

Last, but not least 

Don’t forget that you’re the main borrower, even though your cosigner is sharing responsibility for the loan. Your decisions will impact them too. 

They’re more than just a signature on your loan

They’ve got your back and they want to hear from you. So along with all of your other adulting, reach out to your cosigner and take ownership of your financial future. 

footnote Sallie Mae does not provide, and these materials are not meant to convey, financial, tax, or legal advice. Consult your own financial advisor, tax advisor, or attorney about your specific circumstances.

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footnote Sallie Mae, the Sallie Mae logo, and other Sallie Mae names and logos are service marks or registered service marks of Sallie Mae Bank. All other names and logos used are the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners. 

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