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 almost 30 percent 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
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.