When first delving into the world of student loans, some students might be frustrated to find that they rarely can qualify for a private loan by themselves. Few lenders will automatically approve a student’s loan without a co-signer. But why?

First Off: What’s a Co-Signer?

A co-signer is a person (typically a parent) that also signs their name on the loan contract along with the borrower’s. It’s the co-signers responsibility to pay back the loan money if, for some reason, the borrower is unable to, or fails to make a payment on time. They are the lender’s insurance that the loan will be repaid, a Plan B so to speak.

Why Do You Need a Co-Signer?

Most college students don’t have much previous experience handling their own personal finances. As such, banks and lenders don’t have proof that the they are reliable with their money, and can be entrusted with paying back a loan in the future. A student hasn’t had much time to establish good credit yet.

This is where the co-signer comes in. By co-signing, someone with an established credit backs the borrower, so the lender is much more willing to approve the student loan.

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