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Important Things to Know When Considering a Cosigner

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.

But there's good news: Having a creditworthy cosigner has many benefits.

Who can 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.

Some examples of potential cosigners include:

  • 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.

Cosigner release available

Be sure to remind your cosigner that cosigner release is available. You may apply to release your cosigner from the loan after you graduate, make 12 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.
  • 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.

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


1 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: open bankruptcy, open foreclosure, student loan(s) in default or 90 day delinquencies in the last 24 months. Requirements are subject to change.