3 Qualities a Cosigner Must Have

Most student loans will require a cosigner to be approved, but selecting the right cosigner is important

Flickr user Tony Unruh

We’ve written about who can co-sign before, and how you’ll likely need one depending on the type of student loan you take out. Besides just asking someone randomly, consider if the person you want to cosign is the best person you know to ask. Here are some things to look for in a good cosigner.

Secure Financial History

This is extremely important in a cosigner. This person co-signing needs to have a good credit score, typically around 720 or higher. It can be a little lower than that, but that includes the risk of having higher interest rates. They should also have a stable employment history, and be at their current place of employment for over a year at the time you want them to cosign. If this person has a long history of making payments and working under stable conditions, they are a good person to cosign.

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Good Health

This one might seem a little wacky, but you’ll want to consider the health and/or age of the person you’re going to ask to cosign. Some loan lenders have a policy that forces the borrower to pay the full amount if their cosigner dies, even if you have made all of your payments on time.

Strong Relationship

If you fail to make your payments or go into default, you can screw up your credit and your cosigners. Now, you should plan to make your payments and not default, but if you don’t this can strain your relationship with your cosigner.

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