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Important Things to Know When Considering a Cosigner

Sallie Mae's private student loans reward our more creditworthy customers with better interest rates and lower fees.

If you're a student with little or no credit history, it may be difficult for you to qualify for a loan without a creditworthy cosigner. That's particularly true now, as lenders tighten their credit criteria.

But there's good news: Having a creditworthy cosigner has many benefits, including the possibility of substantial savings on your total loan cost.

Who should you ask to be a cosigner?

A wide range of individuals can be a cosigner as long as they are creditworthy, understand and accept the responsibilities of being a cosigner, and meet any specific cosigner requirements of the lender.

A creditworthy cosigner is an individual with good or excellent credit and an ability to repay the loan.

You may want to ask:

  • A parent or guardian
  • A relative such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or cousin
  • Your spouse
  • Another individual who is supportive of your higher education goals

Still not sure? Consider this: Who's the first person you'd invite to your graduation? That person might be the one you ask to be the cosigner.

How should you ask someone to be a cosigner?

Be confident. Tell your potential cosigner what you plan to do with the education you receive and let him or her know that cosigning will help you achieve one of your life's goals. Remind your cosigner that he or she could also help you qualify for a better interest rate on your loan.

Be sure to remind your cosigner that cosigner release is available. After graduation a borrower may apply for their cosigner to be released from the loan once they have made 12 consecutive, on-time principal and interest payments and meet certain credit requirements.1

So choose your cosigner wisely, and you'll reap more of the benefits that having a creditworthy cosigner can offer.

Benefits of applying with a creditworthy cosigner

  • A greater chance of getting approved for your loan
    When you apply with a cosigner, Sallie Mae considers the income and credit histories of both you and your cosigner. A cosigner with a long history of good credit may be able to help if you have a limited credit history and enable you to qualify for the loan.
  • The possibility of a lower interest rate
    The more creditworthy the cosigner, the greater potential there is for you to receive a lower interest rate on your loan. And a lower interest rate can mean significant savings over the life of your loan.
  • An opportunity to establish a credit history
    Having a good credit history can help you get favorable rates on a car, a home, and other purchases after you graduate.

Responsibilities of a cosigner

  • Fill out the application. Both a student and a cosigner can apply together by clicking one of the apply links on this page.
  • The cosigner is equally responsible for the loan obligation.

Cosigner release

1The release of a cosigner is at the sole discretion of Sallie Mae. Only the borrower may apply for cosigner release. The borrower must provide proof of graduation or successful completion of certification program, not be delinquent and have made 12 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest immediately before applying, provide proof of income, pass a credit review that demonstrates a satisfactory credit history and the ability to assume full responsibility of the loan(s) individually, have no student loan(s) in default, must not be reported as 90+ days delinquent in the past 24 months, must not be in hardship forbearance and/or in a modified repayment program, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and meet the age of majority in their state. Requirements are as of October 13, 2014, and are subject to change.


Applying with a cosigner is easy

Are you and your cosigner ready to apply? Apply now

Are you ready to cosign an existing application? Enter your confirmation number

Questions about applying with a cosigner?

Call us at 877-279-7172877-279-7172