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Who can cosign a student loan

We often think of a cosigner as a parent. But a relative or other creditworthy individual can also cosign a private student loan. In fact, we find that 26% of Smart Option Student Loan® cosigners are someone other than the borrower’s parent.

Being a cosigner means that you and your student share the legal responsibility for repaying the student loan and making sure payments are made on time. Agreeing to be a cosigner may make it easier for your student to be approved for the loan. As they begin to make on-time payments, it’s also a great way to help them build their own credit history.

Cosigning a Sallie Mae® student loan

After your cosigned student loan is approved, you can stay up to date and access the loan information with the same login credentials you created when you applied. If you don’t have an online account, it’s easy to register.

Your account lets you

  • View billing statements and payment history.
  • Enroll in auto debit or make a one-time payment online.
  • Make edits to your personal information (address, phone number, email).
  • Review the student loans you cosigned.
  • Get your FICO® Score for free.

Common questions about cosigning a Sallie Mae student loan

How can late student loan payments or delinquency impact my credit?
As a student loan cosigner, you’re equally responsible for making sure that student loan payments are made on time. A missed payment or a late payment may also result in late fees, which will increase the total loan cost. In addition, late payments may be reported to consumer reporting agencies, which could have an impact on your credit.

Can I make payments on a student loan I cosigned?
You can make a payment on the loan that you cosigned by logging in to your account or using any other accepted payment method.

What happens if the borrower can’t make payments?
As a cosigner, you share the responsibility with the borrower for on-time loan payments. If the borrower can’t—or doesn’t—make payments, then you’ll need to make the payments for them.

Do international students need a U.S. cosigner?
For most of our student loans, Non-U.S. citizen students (including DACA students), enrolled in an institution located in the U.S., are eligible to apply with a creditworthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and with required U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) documentation.

What if the student dies or becomes disabled?
If a student dies or becomes permanently and totally disabled, we’ll waive all remaining payments on their Sallie Mae student loan. Call us at 800-472-5543.

Is being a cosigner a long-term commitment?
Yes. A cosigner is responsible for a student loan until it’s paid in full. However, with some Sallie Mae loans, like the Smart Option Student Loan®, the borrower can apply to have their cosigner released after meeting certain requirements.

Have questions about cosigning a loan?

Call us at 855-756-5626

Based on a rolling 12-month period from October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.

Borrowers and cosigners with an available FICO® Score and a Sallie Mae-serviced loan with a current balance greater than $0, may receive their score quarterly after the first disbursement of their loan. The FICO® Score provided to you is the FICO® Score 8 based on TransUnion data. FICO® Scores and associated educational content are provided solely for your own non-commercial personal review, use and benefit. This benefit may change or end in the future. FICO® is a registered trademark of the Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Only the borrower may apply for cosigner release. Borrowers who meet the age of majority in their state may apply for cosigner release by providing proof of graduation (or completion of certification program), income, and U.S. citizenship or permanent residency (if your status has changed since you applied). In the last 12 months, the borrower must be current on all Sallie Mae-serviced loans (including no hardship forbearances or modified repayment programs) and have paid ahead or made 12 on-time principal and interest payments on each loan requested for release. When the cosigner release application is processed, the borrower must demonstrate the ability to assume full responsibility of the loan(s) individually and pass a credit review that demonstrates a satisfactory credit history including but not limited to no: bankruptcy, foreclosure, student loan(s) in default, or 90-day delinquencies in the last 24 months. Requirements are subject to change. Shortest qualification period based on a August 14, 2020 review of national private loan programs offered by publicly-traded competitors.