What you should know about a cosigner
Many students seeking higher education often have trouble obtaining the financing they need to fund their education because they have not had enough time to establish good credit on their own. When a student cannot obtain financing on their own, a cosigner may be able to help.
A student loan cosigner is a creditworthy adult who agrees to be responsible for the student loan in the event that the student is unable to make timely payments themselves. Adding a cosigner reduces the risk of defaulting on a loan. Because of this, lenders are more likely to approve loans when there is an additional person responsible for paying back the borrowed money.
Having a cosigner can also bring down the costs of student loans. Even if a student is able to obtain a loan without a cosigner, adding an additional creditworthy borrower to the loan can sometimes result in a lower interest rate and a lower monthly payment. When researching student loan options it is important to ask your lender about how a cosigner might benefit you.
Who can be a cosigner?
Many people assume that only a parent can cosign for a student loan. This is not true. Any creditworthy adult who is over the age of 18 and a U.S. citizen can cosign on a private student loan. The cosigner and student should know each other well and also trust one another as this is a long term commitment.
Responsibilities of a cosigner
Both the student and the cosigner are equally responsible for repaying the student loan. This means that late payments or default on the loan will reflect both on the student’s and the cosigner’s credit. The cosigner will be obligated for the life of the loan until it is paid off. There are some exceptions to this obligation: if the student refinances the loan into their own name, or if the cosigner is released from the loan.
If you cosign for a student loan you may be able to be released from the loan.
Some lenders will allow the cosigner to be released from the student loan obligation if the student can prove they are capable of making payments on their own. Proof that the student is capable often is determined by the student making a certain amount of consecutive on-time payments from their own bank account. Each lender is different, so it is important to get this information from your lender before agreeing to cosign on a student loan.
For example, PYT partners with Ascent Tuition who provides private student loans with or without a cosigner. If you choose to have a cosigner, there is an option to release the cosigner after the student makes 24 consecutive on-time payments.
Is cosigning on a loan risky?
Being a cosigner on a student loan does come with risks. Many people fear that their credit will be damaged or that the loan could hurt their relationship with the student. Proper planning can help ensure that both the student and the cosigner feel comfortable with this decision. It will also help ease the minds of both the student and the cosigner by getting the most accurate information possible from the lender and making sure all of your questions are answered.
Weigh your options. The student should determine if a cosigner will be necessary for loan approval and if the addition of a cosigner will lessen the cost of the loan.
Ask your lender about whether or not a cosigner can ever be released from a loan. If so, make sure to understand what their provisions are in order for the cosigner to be released.
Understand your loan terms and repayment options. Many loans offer different terms and interest rates. Make sure you know what your future monthly payment will be and when repayment begins. When inquiring about your monthly payment, ask your lender if there is any possibility of your monthly payment increasing.
Plan, plan, plan! Develop a monthly budget and plan on how you will make your monthly payments once repayment begins. Let your cosigner know what your plan is in order to make on time payments every month. For example, will you be setting up automatic payments with your bank or sending a check every month? Leave no details out of this plan and make sure to communicate this with your cosigner.
The student loan process can be complex and confusing, but luckily for you we are here to help. Reach out to PYT for more information on obtaining student loans with or without a cosigner. To discuss with a PYT expert, contact us http://www.gopyt.com/contact