If you’re just starting college, chances are you can’t qualify for a private student loan without a cosigner. In fact, 92% of undergraduates in the 2017-2018 school year who took out student loans had a cosigner, according to academic data firm MeasureOne.
Cosigning a loan is a big deal, as your cosigner is responsible for your debt in the event you can’t pay. Plus, your loan will show up on your cosigner’s credit report, increasing their debt-to-income ratio.
If you want to let your cosigner off the hook early, consider lenders that offer cosigner release after a period of on-time repayment. Here are six lenders who are willing to remove your cosigner from your student loan if you meet certain requirements.
6 lenders that offer cosigner release
The following lenders offer cosigner release to borrowers who make on-time payments and meet other criteria. If you’re interested in a lender not on this list, ask if they offer this perk so you know what to expect in the years to come.
1. College Ave Student Loans
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:
- Your most recent 24 consecutive payments were made on-time.
- You didn’t use forbearance for hardship reasons in the past two years.
- Your income for the past two years 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 or other red marks for the past two years.
CommonBond’s requirements for cosigner release aren’t quite as strict as College Ave’s. If you meet these criteria, you could qualify:
- You graduated from the degree program that you applied your loan toward.
- You’re older than 21.
- You’ve made at least 24 consecutive, on-time monthly payments.
- You meet CommonBond’s underwriting requirements for credit and income.
- You haven’t entered forbearance in the past 24 months (as doing so would reset the clock on your 24 consecutive payments).
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 payment.
- You didn’t put your loans into forbearance or deferment within that period.
- You meet PNC’s underwriting requirements for credit and income.
4. Sallie Mae
Sallie Mae has one of the shortest time frames for cosigner release, allowing you to apply after just 12 months of on-time payments. 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 for which you used the loan.
- You’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- You can provide proof of income with a paystub from the last 90 days or other 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, forbearance, or an alternative repayment plan for the past 12 months. This includes federal loans, as well. If you put a federal loan on income-driven repayment or graduated repayment, for instance, you can’t qualify for cosigner release on your Sallie Mae loan.
5. Citizens Bank
To apply for cosigner release on your Citizens Bank student loan, you’ll need to contact the bank’s loan servicing partner, Firstmark Services. The loan servicer will require that you meet the following criteria:
- You’ve made 36 consecutive, on-time payments on your loan.
- You meet credit and income requirements to repay the loan on your own.
- You’re no longer using Citizens Bank’s multi-year approval feature or are no longer enrolled half-time or full-time in school.
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.
Should you choose a lender with cosigner release?
While cosigner release can be a great perk, keep in mind that not everyone will qualify. In fact, a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study found that 90% of cosigner release applicants had their requests denied.
Lenders tend to have strict standards about who can qualify for cosigner release. Your credit will need to be strong, and some lenders, such as Sallie Mae, won’t approve your request if you’ve ever put federal loans on any repayment plan other than the standard 10-year schedule.
So if your sights are set on cosigner release, speak with your lender about all the criteria to make sure you can meet it.
And remember that cosigner release probably isn’t the most important factor when choosing a lender. It may be better to find a loan with the best rate to lower your costs of borrowing. 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 with the best rate.
Can’t get approved for cosigner release? Try refinancing the loan in your name
If you’ve already borrowed a student loan and are having trouble getting cosigner release, keep in mind that there’s another option: refinancing the student loan in your name.
When you refinance, you basically give the old cosigned loan away and take out a new one in your name. You can choose new terms, and you might also be able to snag a better interest rate.
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, once you refinance federal loans, you permanently lose access to the various federal aid programs, such as income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, so make sure you take that into consideration before making your decision.
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|
|1.99% – 5.89%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 7.24%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 6.04% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 5.89% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, and using the daily interest rate based on actual days in the year and rounding up, 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 7.59% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 7.24% 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.