Most college students need to apply with a cosigner to qualify for a private student loan. But your cosigner doesn’t need to be on the hook for your debt forever — if you know how to remove the cosigner from your student loan. Many private lenders offer cosigner release after a certain period of on-time repayment, though it’s not always easy to get approved for this benefit.
To learn how to remove your cosigner from your student loan and relieve them of responsibility for your student debt, let’s go over the following three topics:
- How to remove a cosigner from your student loan via your lender
- How to remove a cosigner from your student loan by refinancing
- Why you might want to consider cosigner release
If you have a cosigner for your private loans, here are three steps to get started with student loan cosigner release:
The first step is to get in touch with your lender and ask about cosigner release. You can call your lender or customize and send one of these sample letters from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
One of the letters is for inquiring about the process of cosigner release, while the other is for the cosigner, like a parent, who is looking to be removed from the loan.
You can edit the letters as you wish and send them via email or postal mail to your lender.
Many lenders have specific requirements for cosigner release. They might require a certain number of consecutive on-time payments, proof of income, proof of graduation or creditworthiness. Make sure you get your paperwork in order, such as pay stubs, cosigner release forms or anything else the lender requests. Be sure to make copies for yourself as well.
Private student loan giant, Sallie Mae, for example, has this list of requirements that borrowers need to meet to pursue cosigner release — including proof of income, a credit review and more.
After contacting your lender and gathering your information, it’s time to apply for cosigner release. Send in your documentation via certified mail or email and keep any communication from your lender. You should hear a response within several weeks — if you don’t, follow up.
It’s key that you follow up, as many lenders don’t make it easy to access this information or don’t advertise cosigner release as an option at all.
Once you complete the process of getting your cosigner released, be sure to keep any documentation related to the process for your records to help you avoid any issues down the line.
Although cosigner release is possible, some borrowers have trouble getting approved for this benefit. In 2015, the CFPB found that 90% of borrowers who applied for cosigner release were rejected.
Hopefully the rates of rejection are lower today, but be prepared to face potentially stringent requirements when you pursue cosigner release.
Another option for obtaining cosigner release is to refinance your loans through another bank. In addition to getting a cosigner removed from your loans, you may be able to reduce interest rates and save money on your loan repayment too.
To get approved for refinancing, you’ll need to meet a lender’s criteria for credit and income. If you qualify, you could potentially get a lower interest rate than you have now. What’s more, you’ll also get the opportunity to consolidate multiple loans into and choose new repayment terms.
One downside of refinancing federal loans, though, is that you lose access to federal repayment plans and protections. For more on the ins and outs of this process, check out this guide to student loan refinancing.
Now that you know how to remove a cosigner from a student loan, you might be wondering what the benefits are to doing so. Well, a cosigner is as responsible for the loan as you are, meaning they would be expected to pay if you fell behind.
You might want to remove your cosigner so that they’re no longer legally responsible for your debt. Releasing your cosigner could also help improve their debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, since they would no longer have your student loan as an open account on their credit report.
A lower DTI ratio means your cosigner could have more access to credit, such as a mortgage or auto loan. Plus, their credit score won’t be dinged if you miss a payment on your student loans.
Removing your cosigner can also help you both in the event of injury or death. If the primary borrower is unable to pay back their loans for these reasons, the cosigner becomes responsible. Along similar lines, sometimes a private loan will immediately enter default if a cosigner passes away.
Finally, untangling your finances could take tension off your relationship. You’ll no longer have to worry about the implications of sharing debt and the stress that could create between you and your cosigner.
For these reasons, it can be a beneficial move to release your cosigner from your student loan. While approval isn’t guaranteed, pursuing cosigner release is certainly worth a shot if you want to free your cosigner of responsibility for your student debt.
Rebecca Safier contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2022!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.74% – 6.52%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 6.59%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.86% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of January 19, 2022.
2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Interest Rate Disclosure
Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.69% APR to 6.14% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 5.99% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index. If you apply before 12/15/2021, the index is the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.89% – 5.89% to the LIBOR. If you apply on or after 12/15/2021, the variable rate will be based on the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In each case, the variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent, plus a margin and will change on the 1st of each month. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX.
3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
4 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates range from 2.49% APR to 6.94% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 6.59% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 11/15/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 Important Disclosures for Navient.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.