A cosigner release allows you to remove a cosigner from your student loan once the lender’s criteria is met, allowing you to take full responsibility of the debt.
Since most college students have yet to establish a solid credit history, adding a cosigner is usually required for private student loans, especially those with lower interest rates. However, it’s best to let your cosigner off the hook as soon as possible to avoid any further impact to their credit.
Here are six lenders who offer student loans with cosigner release if you meet certain requirements.
The main criteria for releasing a cosigner from your private student loan generally includes:
- Proof of income: You’ll need to meet the lender’s income requirements and show that you can keep up with the monthly loan payments by yourself.
- Payment history: Most lenders require regular, on-time payments for a specified period of time, typically between 12 to 48 months.
- Good credit: In general, you’ll need to have a good to excellent credit score in order to release your cosigner.
The following lenders offer cosigner release to borrowers who meet the above requirements, along with lender-specific stipulations. If you’re interested in a lender not on this list, ask them if they offer this perk so you know what to expect should you decide to take a cosigner off of your loan.
|Student loan cosigners are more common than you think|
|A recent student loan debt analysis showed that in the 2020-21 academic year 90% of undergraduate and 63% of graduate private loans used a cosigner.|
Sallie Mae has one of the shortest time frames for cosigner release, allowing you to apply after just 12 months of on-time payments (or an advanced payment equal to this amount).
Here are the other requirements:
- You meet the age of majority in your state (18 years old in most states).
- You graduated with your degree or certificate from the program you used the loan for.
- You’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- You can provide proof of income with a paystub from the last 90 days or another qualifying documentation.
- You’ve been current and have made satisfactory payments on all your Sallie Mae student loans for the past 12 months.
- You pass a credit check and can demonstrate your ability to repay the loan on your own.
- You haven’t had any loans in deferment or forbearance, or on an alternative repayment plan, such as income-driven repayment or graduated repayment, for the past 12 months.
A Sallie Mae loan allows you to borrow up to 100% of your school’s tuition and related expenses, such as room and board. Sallie Mae’s student loan annual percentage rate (APR) ranged 2.62% to 13.72%, with terms of 5, 10, 15, 20 years.
SoFi, which stands for Social Finance, is another lender who offers cosigner release to students who meet their criteria.
Here are the main requirements:
- You meet the age of majority in your state when you took out the loan (18 years old in most states).
- You’ve made consecutive, on-time payments for 24 months.
- Your loan was issued or refinanced after May 1, 2019 (loans prior to this date aren’t eligible for cosigner release).
SoFi allows you to borrow between $1,000 up to the full cost of your tuition. They offer student loan APRs of 1.89% to 11.98%, with terms of 5, 10, 15 years.
LendKey’s partner lenders might offer cosigner release to borrowers. As a student loan marketplace, LendKey connects you with community banks and credit unions for a private student loan or refinanced student loan.
If you borrow money from one of LendKey’s partners, you’ll need to check with the lender directly to see if they offer cosigner release. According to LendKey, some of its partners will remove a cosigner if you:
- Make a certain number of consecutive on-time payments.
- Haven’t put your loan into forbearance or deferment within a certain period or had your loan go into delinquency or default.
- Can meet credit and income requirements.
- Haven’t had any bankruptcies or foreclosures in the last 60 months.
LendKey offers loans from $2,000 up to the cost of attendance. Their loan APRs range at 1.13% to 12.60%, and the terms run 10 years.
College Ave Student Loans allows you to apply for cosigner release after more than half of your repayment period has elapsed. So if you have a 10-year repayment plan, you can apply to remove your cosigner after five years.
Here are a few other requirements for cosigner release on a College Ave student loan:
- You’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Your documented annual income is more than double the outstanding balance of your loans. (For example, if you owe $20,000 in loans, your income needs to be more than $40,000.)
- Your credit report shows no late payments of 30 days or more in the past year, as well as no bankruptcies, foreclosures or repossessions within the past two years.
College Ave borrowers can take out as little as $1,000 or up to the full cost of attendance. College Ave APRs run 1.19% to 12.99%, with terms of 5, 8, 10, 15 years.
An Ascent loan may be eligible for cosigner release after 24 consecutive full payments have been made without incurring any late penalties.
Here are the other requirements:
- You meet the income and credit requirements to qualify for the loan on your own.
- You sign up for autopay.
- You contact the loan holder directly to release your cosigner.
An Ascent student loan can provide from $2,001 to the cost of attendance (aggregate maximum of $200,000). They offer terms of 5, 10, 15 years, with loan APRs of 0.98% to 14.75%.
Borrowing a student loan from PNC? These are the criteria for getting your cosigner’s name taken off your debt:
- You’ve made at least 48 consecutive monthly payments.
- You didn’t put your loans into forbearance or deferment within that period.
- You meet PNC’s underwriting requirements for credit and income.
PNC allows students to borrow between $1,000 to $65,000, depending on the degree program. Their student loan annual percentage rate (APR) range 2.99% to 8.19%, with terms of 5, 10, 15 years.
While cosigner release can be a great perk, keep in mind that not everyone will qualify. Although recent data isn’t available, a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study from 2015 found that roughly 90% of cosigner release applicants had their requests denied.
If your sights are set on cosigner release, speak with your lender about the specific criteria to make sure you can meet it. For example, lenders such as Sallie Mae won’t approve your request if you’ve modified your student loan repayment plan in the past year or received hardship forbearance.
Keep in mind that cosigner release probably isn’t the most important factor when choosing a lender. It may be better to find a loan with the lowest interest rate to reduce your costs in the long run. You can also look into private student loans that don’t require a cosigner.
So while you should keep cosigner release in mind, don’t forget to shop around with a variety of lenders to find a student loan that best fits your individual needs.
When it comes time to apply for cosigner release, you’ll need to submit certain documents. Here’s a list of what may be required:
- Your current address
- Social Security number (to prove citizenship or legal status)
- Recent pay stubs or other proof of income
- Recent tax returns
- Graduation documents (if applicable)
- Monthly payment statements (e.g., rent or mortgage, car payment and internet)
After you’ve collected the necessary paperwork, you can follow these three steps to complete the process:
- Meet the required payments: Double-check that you’ve reached the lender’s payment timeline (e.g., 24 months). In addition, eligibility depends on consecutive, on-time payments that were applied toward both the principal and interest. Unfortunately interest-only payments can’t be included in the final count.
- Fill out the cosigner release form: You can usually find it on your lender’s website, otherwise reach out to your lender directly. Ensure that the form is filled out completely and that all required paperwork is submitted.
- Accept your new loan: If the cosigner release is approved, you’ll be required to sign new paperwork stating that you’re the only borrower. Congratulations! The loan is 100% yours now.
If you’re having trouble getting approval for cosigner release, another option is to refinance your student loan in just your name.
When you refinance, you basically cancel the cosigned loan and take out a new one in your name. You can choose a new repayment term, and you may be able to snag a better interest rate too.
Use our student loan refinance calculator to experiment with possible payment options.
By restructuring your debt through refinancing, you could save money and let your cosigner off the hook for your student loans, once and for all.
Just remember, it’s generally best not to refinance federal loans, since you permanently lose access to the various federal aid programs (such as income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness). Make sure to consider whether refinancing is the right move before making your decision.
Can I remove myself from a cosigned loan?
Most lenders only allow the borrower to apply for cosigner release. This is because the borrower has to submit documentation proving they have the necessary income and resources to assume full responsibility of the loan. However, it’s still worth reaching out to the lender to ask if there are any steps you can take to help speed along the process.
How do late payments affect the cosigner’s credit?
The cosigner shares responsibility for the loan and therefore is dinged for any late payments. This could potentially damage the cosigner’s credit history. This is one reason it’s advisable to remove your cosigner once you’re able to manage the student loan on your own.
How long is a cosigner responsible for the student loan?
The cosigner remains on the loan for its full duration. That means they aren’t off the hook until the loan is either paid in full or the primary borrower applies for cosigner release. Alternatively, the borrower can refinance the loan in their own name, which will remove the cosigner completely.
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