Loan Cosigner definition

Writer and editor - Bryan Robinson | Updated on 2023-01-11

What is a cosigner?

A co-signer is somebody who agrees to take equal responsibility for repaying a debt, such as a loan. Having a cosigner on a loan can help the borrower get approved for the loan and may get them a lower interest rate. The cosigner essentially agrees to put their good credit on the line for the borrower. In the event the borrower defaults on the loan, the cosigner will be responsible for repaying the debt.

A co-signer is an individual who agrees to be held liable for the debt of another person in the event that the borrower defaults on their loan.

Cosigners are commonly used when students are applying for loans, as they typically have little to no credit history.

The cosigner essentially becomes a co-borrower on the loan, and is equally responsible for repaying the debt. If the borrower misses a payment or defaults on the loan, the cosigner’s credit score will be negatively affected. For this reason, it’s important to only cosign for someone you trust to repay the debt.

A cosigner acts as a financial guarantor for the borrower, promising to repay the debt if the borrower defaults.

Who can be a cosigner?

A cosigner is usually a friend or family member who trusts you and is willing to help you get approved for a loan. A cosigner can also be a business partner or someone you know who has good credit.

For borrowers with little to no credit history, or those who have filed for bankruptcy in the past, cosigners can significantly increase the chances of loan approval. Lenders often require a cosigner for borrowers who present a higher risk of default.

The cosigner must have good to excellent credit and a steady income in order to qualify. The cosigner must be prepared to make payments on the loan if the borrower is unable to do so.


Check out Debt to income ratio here, or our Collateral page.

What are the benefits of having a cosigner?

The benefits of having a cosigner include increased chances of loan approval and lower interest rates.

The benefits of having a cosigner include increased chances of loan approval and lower interest rates. Having a cosigner can also help you build up your credit score if you make all of your payments on time.

If you’re thinking about getting a cosigner, it’s important to choose someone who has good credit and who you trust to make timely payments.

What are the risks of being a cosigner?

When you cosign a loan, you’re basically saying you’re equally responsible for repaying the debt if the primary borrower can’t or doesn’t make payments. This means if the borrower falls behind, you’ll have to make the payments or else risk damaging your credit score and incurring other penalties.

The risks of being a cosigner include being held liable for the debt if the borrower defaults on their loan.

As a cosigner, you’re willing to sign for someone else’s loan and be held equally liable for it. This means if the borrower doesn’t make their payments, you’re responsible for doing so. This also means if the borrower defaults on the loan, your credit score will tank just as much as theirs will.

In other words, being a cosigner is a huge risk. But sometimes, it’s a risk worth taking. Maybe you have a child who is just starting out and they need help getting a loan for their first car. Or maybe your spouse has some debt that is holding them back from getting a loan with a good interest rate. In these cases, being a cosigner can help your loved ones get access to the money they need while keeping your own finances healthy in the process.

Just remember that if you do cosign for someone, make sure you trust them implicitly. This person will have your financial fate in their hands, so you need to be confident they’ll handle it with care.

How can I release myself from being a cosigner?

If you are a cosigner on a loan, you may be wondering how you can release yourself from this responsibility.

You can release yourself from being a cosigner by refinancing the loan or by asking the borrower to find a new cosigner.

If you cosigned on a loan for someone and you want to release yourself from the responsibility, there are a few things you can do. One option is to refinance the loan in your own name. This will require the borrower to find another cosigner or to qualify for the loan on their own. Another option is to ask the borrower to find a new cosigner. This will release you from responsibility for the loan, but it is up to the borrower to find someone willing to take on that responsibility.

Bryan Robinson

Bryan Robinson
Writer and editor


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