When I was going through the process of getting a student loan for my first year at college – I thought little of the fact that my dad stepped in to cosign my student loan. I had scant knowledge about the whole loan process and basically felt money just “grew on trees” (which probably led to my early money management problems when I entered the “real world”).
I now have a greater understanding of the risk he was taking by cosigning. If I failed to come through on my repayment of that loan, he could have been saddled with the debt.
Fortunately, the Lord has provided for me through the years where I’ve been able to meet my loan obligations. And about four years ago, I paid off the last of my school loan. Freedom!
Cosigning a Student Loan
Generally, a cosigner is needed on student loans because most young people do not have sufficient (or any) credit history to qualify for loans. To meet this need – someone close to them will step in (like my father) to “vouch” for the student. In essence – they become the guarantee to the creditor that the loan will be repaid.
Oftentimes, having a cosigner will help get the student a lower interest rate on their loans as well. This is one of the benefits of having a cosigner.
Due to the past recession and issues with home loans and lending – it has been a little harder to become credit-worthy. Having someone with a proven history of paying their bills on time and a good credit score will also bode well for the student applying for a loan.
(It is of note that a cosigner is only needed on a private student loan and NOT on a federal loan.)
Can a cosigner be released from your loan?
So you’ve graduated and you are ready to start making your way in the world. You’ve found a job, got some wheels, and are living with one of your roommates from college. Life is looking good.
You come to the point where you’d like to start cutting your ties with some of your financial supports. You’re making decent money (for a graduate that is) and feel it’s time. One of those “ties” is with your student loan cosigner. You’d like to release them from any future obligations as it relates to your student loan.
While your intentions are noble – there are a few things you’ll need to be able to prove to your lender before the cosigner can be removed from the loan.
Most lenders will require that you have made at least 12 to 24 consecutive monthly on-time loan payments before they allow a cosigner to be removed. This is why it is so important that a student remains faithful with their repayment schedule. Make paying on your loan each month a top priority (even if you sometimes feel as though you aren’t making a dent). Plus, your credit rating is being build during repayment and any slip or missed payment can have an adverse affect on your score.
A couple other lender restrictions may entail – meeting the “age of majority” (the age “society” has deemed you’ve entered adulthood – typically 18 in most countries), as well as underwriting and credit requirements.
Once these have been satisfied, the student can fill out a “request for cosigner release” with their lender. During the application review, it’s important regular loan repayments be made on-time.
Finally – be sure to check with your lender as each will have some adjustments to these requirements.
(It’s important to note that a cosigner will (in most cases) be removed from their loan obligations in the event of the borrowers death or permanent disability.)
Have you ever applied to have someone removed from your student loan? How did the process work for you? Leave a comment below!