How to Release a Student Loan Co-Signer

Pens and pencils a student loan co-signer might use

Flickr user Steven Lilley

When it comes to getting student loans, most young borrowers will need a co-signer in order to qualify for a loan. Co-signers, in essence, are responsible for paying back a loan if the borrower is somehow unable to. This can hurt the co-signer’s personal finances and credit score if things go badly.

So is it possible for a student loan co-signer to be released from their obligation? At what point does the borrower assume full responsibility?

Refinance Student Loans

After graduation, if the student borrower has a steady income, a good credit score, and a history of on-time payments, then it’s possible to apply for student loan refinance and become fully in charge of their own repayments—thus releasing their co-signer.

The best time to do this is when the borrower has a steady, well-paying job and has had time to build up their credit score. Ensure that you’re on good financial standing before refinancing.

Co-Signer Release Option

Most (but not all) student loan lenders will have a co-signer release option available. Each lender will have slightly different requirements for borrowers and their co-signers to qualify for the release, but generally speaking it will include some of the following:

  • A history of on-time payments
  • A credit score requirement
  • A certain income level

Students who meet the requirements may be able to file an application online, or can request a form from their lender directly.

Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Earnest company logo.
Variable APR: 1.99%* +
Fixed APR: 2.98%* +
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Variable APR: 1.92%* +
Fixed APR: 2.95%* +
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Credible company logo.
Variable APR: 2.39%* +
Fixed APR: 2.79%* +
Undergraduate and Graduate
Laurel road company logo.
Variable APR: 1.89%* +
Fixed APR: 2.80%* +
Undergraduate and Graduate
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 2.56%* +
Fixed APR: 2.59%* +
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Fixed APR: 2.55%* +
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS

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

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