Do I Have to Refinance Student Loans With A Cosigner?

A pen which might be used when you refinance student loans with a cosigner

Flickr user Joe Strupek

Student loan refinancing is a great way to get a lower interest rate or lower monthly payment. Of course you can only do this if you meet the lender’s criteria. Not only that, every lender has their own eligibility criteria. If you do not meet the specified criteria then the lender may ask you to refinance student loans with cosigner.  

Here’s what you need to know about the general eligibility criteria for refinancing student loans and when you may need a cosigner.

When You Need to Refinance Student Loans with Cosigner

In general, most lenders will want to check three things in order to accept your refinance application:

  1. Your credit score – Having a good credit score makes it easier for you to get your refinance application accepted because it shows that you are a responsible borrower. To the lender this means you will make your monthly payments on time and are at low risk for default.
  2. Your income – Earning a higher monthly income means you are not likely to be strapped for cash every month. With a steady inflow of decent money coming in every month, the risk of delayed payments or default is low.
  3. Your debt-to-income ratio – Your debt-to-income ratio is the ratio of all your monthly debt payments compared to your monthly income. A low debt-to-income ratio indicates that will be able to meet your monthly payments easily with your earnings. However, a high debt-to-income ratio means you may find it difficult to make your payments on time every month.

If you have a good credit score, a decent monthly income, and a low debt-to-income ratio, you will find it easy to get student loan refinancing without a cosigner. If not, you may have a harder time getting refinanced without a cosigner.

While this seems pretty straightforward, chances are you would not have had much opportunity to build your credit score as a student. Also, unless you are really lucky, you are not likely to have found high-income employment as a new graduate. Your debt-to-income ratio is going to be on the higher side. Under these circumstances, most lenders will require you to refinance student loans with cosigner.

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What It Means To Refinance Student Loans with Cosigner

Private lenders hesitate to loan money to borrowers who do not meet their lending requirements. Having a cosigner assures them that their money is safe, because if you default on your payments, they will then hold the cosigner liable for paying off your loans.

Of course, you cannot get just anyone to be a cosigner. Your cosigner must meet the lender’s qualifying requirements. They must have good credit, be earning sufficient income, and have a low debt-to-income ratio. And if your cosigner has a stellar credit history, you may also be able to refinance your student loans at a much lower rate of interest.

Additionally, keep in mind who you want to ask to be your cosigner. It can’t just be anyone. Make sure you ask someone you trust.



Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Earnest company logo.
Variable APR: 1.74% - 7.99%*
Fixed APR: 2.74% - 7.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Variable APR: 2.05% - 5.25%*
Fixed APR: 2.69% - 7.93%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Credible company logo.
Variable APR: 1.86% - 8.14%*
Fixed APR: 2.15% - 8.73%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Laurel road company logo.
Variable APR: 1.89% - 6.20%*
Fixed APR: 2.99% - 6.30%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 4.60% - 8.25%*
Fixed APR: 4.49% - 7.74%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Fixed APR: 4.44% - 8.48%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ISL Education Lending
Variable APR: 2.94% - 4.99%*
Fixed APR: 2.99% - 5.09%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT College Ave
Variable APR: 1.86% - 6.01%*
Fixed APR: 2.73% - 5.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate, Parent PLUS

*APR includes a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in automatic payments.

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