How to Get Personal Loans for Bad Credit With a Cosigner or Co-Applicant

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Almost 7 out of 10 personal loan borrowers said their loans helped them accomplish their financial goals, according to a 2017 survey by Discover Personal Loans.

To get a personal loan, however, you first have to apply and get approved. One of the most common obstacles applicants face is credit requirements. Many personal loan rejections result from poor credit.

If you have bad credit, you might be able to get personal loans for bad credit — with the help of a cosigner or co-applicant. Here’s what you need to know about applying for personal loans with a co-applicant or cosigner.

4 questions to ask before getting personal loans with a cosigner or co-applicant

Is it easier to get a loan with a cosigner?

In short, yes. When you apply for personal loans with a cosigner or co-applicant, you have a second person helping you meet the loan criteria and credit requirements. Here’s what you need to consider if you plan to apply with another borrower.

1. Does the personal loan accept a cosigner or co-applicant?

If you’re looking to use another borrower as your ticket to personal loans for bad credit, you’ll need to find lenders that allow cosigners or co-applicants.

The option to add a cosigner or co-applicant isn’t as common for personal loans as it is for other products, such as private student loans. So make sure to check the lender’s policy online or via customer service before applying.

2. Can your cosigner or co-applicant qualify for this personal loan?

You’ll need to make sure you’re getting a cosigner or co-applicant who can qualify for a personal loan.

After confirming the lender does offer personal loans with a co-applicant or cosigner, you’ll want to check out its credit requirements. Some lenders list personal loan requirements, such as a minimum credit score or minimum annual income, on their site. Usually, a good credit score to get personal loans will be at least in the mid-600s.

Your cosigner or co-applicant also can try to get a rate quote with a soft credit check, which won’t ding their credit. The lender will tell your co-borrower whether they can qualify for the personal loan and what personal loan rates the lender is likely to extend.

3. Is your cosigner or co-applicant fully aware of their responsibilities?

A personal loan cosigner or co-applicant is as legally responsible for this debt as you are. That means:

  • It affects both your credit scores. The loan will show up on your credit report as well as your cosigner’s or co-applicant’s. So any missed payments or delinquencies will damage both your credit scores.
  • Your co-borrower must repay the debt if you don’t. If you’re unable to repay this debt for any reason, your cosigner or co-applicant would be responsible for paying back the funds. Talk through these possibilities to make sure you both understand what sharing this debt will look like.

4. Does this personal loan’s features fit your needs?

Lastly, check the terms of the personal loan to make sure it will fit your needs. Some key features to look for include:

  • Personal loans in the amount you need to borrow, whether that’s $1,000 or $100,000.
  • Personal loan terms that match your goals, whether that’s getting the most affordable monthly payments or paying off the debt as fast as possible. Use our personal loan calculator to see how different loan amounts, rates, and lengths affect your repayment.
  • Low personal loan fees and interest rates. Some personal lenders charge origination fees, and they’ll offer different rates. Compare advertised costs as well as your customized rate quotes to find the best deal for you.

Top personal loans that offer a co-borrower option

To get your search for the right lender started, we’ve highlighted two great options: Citizens Bank and LendingClub. Both lenders allow borrowers to co-apply for personal loans.

Citizens Bank personal loans

If you have poor credit or an income below the $24,000 annual minimum Citizens Back requires, a co-applicant can help you get the personal loan you need.

According Citizens Bank, “The final interest rates and loan terms offered will be based on the higher of the two FICO scores [of the co-applicants].” So if your co-applicant has a higher FICO score, that could qualify you for the best personal loan rates Citizens Bank offers.

Citizens Banks personal loans are also a great option if you need to borrow fast. The lender claims on its site that many loans are funded within two days.

Here are a few other details about Citizens Bank personal loans you should consider:

  • Fixed interest rates and rate discounts of up to 0.50%
  • No origination or application fees and no prepayment penalties
  • Personal loan amounts ranging from $5,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms of three, four, five, six, and seven years
  • Soft credit check rate estimate for both applicants
  • Fast loan application processing and fund disbursement
  • Eligibility requirements include a “reasonably strong credit history” and minimum income of $24,000

LendingClub personal loans

With flexible underwriting criteria and features, LendingClub is a smart place to find personal loans for bad credit.

LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lending platform that facilitates loans funded by real people to real people. It has a minimum credit score requirement of just 600, which means it accepts and considers applicants with poor or fair credit.

“LendingClub offers certain applicants the option to apply for a loan together,” said Alia Dudum, consumer debt expert for LendingClub. The option to apply jointly for a LendingClub personal loan makes this product even more accessible for borrowers.

“To qualify for a joint application loan, a number of factors of either or both applicants are considered,” Dudum said, “including but not limited to information provided on the joint application, information provided by credit bureaus, credit score(s), income, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, credit history length, and recent credit history.”

A qualified co-applicant can strengthen your LendingClub personal loan application and increase your chances of getting your loan approved.

Here are some additional details on LendingClub personal loans:

  • Fixed interest rates
  • Origination fee of 1 percent to 6 percent, charged upon disbursement
  • No prepayment penalties or application fees
  • Personal loan amounts of $1,000 to $40,000
  • LendingClub personal loan terms of three and five years
  • Rate quotes with a soft credit check

If you need personal loans for bad credit, it might be because you mishandled debt repayment in the past. So while it’s easier to get a loan with a cosigner, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s a good idea.

Make sure you limit your personal loan amount to what you need and can afford to borrow. Lastly, have a plan to responsibly repay the personal loan you’ve taken out with your cosigner or co-applicant to avoid any mishaps.

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

RATES (APR)loan amount
5.75% – 16.24%1 $5,000 to $100,000
7.46% – 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000
7.99% – 35.89%* $1,000 to $50,000
5.99% – 24.99%3 $5,000 to $35,000
5.99% – 29.99%4 $7,500 to $40,000
6.79% – 20.89% $5,000 to $50,000
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Disclaimer: Student Loan Hero is a subsidiary of LendingTree
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 16.240% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.75% APR to 14.60% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.75% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.50% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR 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. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  5. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.
4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 5.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 5.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available.
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

 Important Disclosures for Citizen.

Opploans Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.79% – 20.89% (6.79% – 20.89% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. 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.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.