Compare lenders that accept cosigners for personal loans

How applying with someone else can help you qualify for a better rate.

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If you can’t afford to make a big purchase outright and your credit is nonexistent or less than perfect, a cosigner might be able to help you get the financing you need. Applying with a friend or relative is a way to meet minimum eligibility requirements while also potentially securing a better rate. But your options might be limited since not all lenders allow them.

Our top pick: LendingClub Personal Loan

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 640
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $40,000
  • APR: 6.95% to 35.89%
  • Requirements: US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, steady source of income, ages 18+.
  • Available in 48 states
  • Checking rate won't affect your credit
  • Can apply with a cosigner

Our top pick: LendingClub Personal Loan

A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 640
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $40,000
  • APR: 6.95% to 35.89%
  • Requirements: US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, steady source of income, ages 18+.
Promoted

5 best lenders that accept cosigners

Compare our top picks for lenders that accept cosigners or joint applicants on their persoanl loans.

How we picked these providers

Our team has reviewed over 100 personal loan providers before selecting these 5 providers. We verified their legitimacy by reading customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot, as well as security on their website. We made our selection by considering factors such as APRs, terms, eligibility requirements and loan amounts. We also considered whether or not there were credit or income requirements for the borrower, even with a cosigner.

LenderBest forAPREligibility
LightStreamMarried couples where one spouse makes more money.CompetitiveYou must have a good or excellent FICO and be an American citizen or a permanent resident of the US.
Go to Lightstream's site
LaurelRoadApplying with a doctor or other medical professional.8.01% to 16.3%Must be a US citizen or permanent resident with a valid I-551 card. Best for people w/ 680+ credit scores and $60,000+ annual income.
Go to Laurel Road Loans's site
FreedomPlusRefinancing debt or borrowers with high retirement savings.5.99% to 29.99%Must have a credit score of 620+, debt-to-income ratio of 40% or lower and annual income of at least $30,000.
Go to Freedom Financial Asset Management, LLC's site
SoFiYoung professionals making headway in their career.5.99% to 17.88%Ages 18+, US citizen or permanent resident
Go to SoFi's site
UpgradeYoung professionals making headway in their career.6.98% to 35.89%At least 18 years old, US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, valid email address
Go to Upgrade's site

Compare top cosigner loans

Updated December 6th, 2019
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
3.99% to 35.99%
450
$100,000
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
6.95% to 35.89%
640
$40,000
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
5.99% to 17.88%
680
$100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
5.99% to 29.99%
620
$40,000
Consolidate debt and more with these low-interest loans. Cosigners welcome.
18% to 35.99%
Varies
$20,000
An established online and in-store lender with quick turnaround times. Poor credit is OK.

Compare up to 4 providers

Can I get a bank or credit union loan with a cosigner?

You can, though it depends on the bank or credit union. Most credit unions allow you to apply with a cosigner, as do small banks. Larger banks like Wells Fargo also sometimes accept cosigners, though it’s not as common. These tend to have stricter eligibility requirements than their regional or community counterparts.

Banks often offer customer discounts — especially banks — so you might be able to get a better deal by borrowing with a cosigner. With a credit union, there’s a chance you’ll be able to skip the membership requirement by applying with a cosigner, though typically both applicants need to be members to qualify.

What’s a cosigned loan?

A cosigned loan is a loan where two people share the responsibility of repaying the loan. You’re generally responsible for making repayments. But your cosigner agrees to pay back the loan if you miss repayments or defaults. You might want to consider a cosigned loan if you have trouble qualifying for a competitive rate on your own.

How does getting a loan with a cosigner work?

Getting a loan with a cosigner works by having both you and your cosigner submit your personal and financial information on the application. Rather than relying on just your credit, lenders will also take your cosigner’s financial history and credit into account when reviewing your application.

The addition of a cosigner reduces risk for lenders — as long as your cosigner has solid credit. Because a cosigner is intended to act as a guarantee against loss, lenders will review your cosigner’s finances just as thoroughly as they reviewed yours.

What are lenders’ conditions for cosigners?

LenderWhich loans can you apply for with a cosigner?What are the conditions?
LendingClubAll borrowing reasonsThe lender will consider both of your qualifications, including but not limited to, credit scores, income, debt-to-income (DTI) ratios and credit histories. You and the cosigner will be equally responsible for repaying the loan.
OneMain FinancialSecured and unsecured personal loansIf the main applicant relies on another person’s income, that person must be listed as a cosigner and assume responsibility for loan repayments with the main applicant.
SoFiAll borrowing reasonsYou can apply jointly with another member of your household. You’ll both share the responsibility of paying back the loan.
FreedomPlusAll borrowing reasonsThe lender considers two incomes, lowering your DTI and ultimately your assessed risk to the lender. Both applicants agree to apply for joint credit.
Bank of AmericaAuto refinanceYour cosigner must provide all of the same financial information as you on the application, including W-2s, tax returns, recent pay stubs and bank statements.
Chase BankAuto loansThe cosigner must provide the same required documentation when applying. The cosigner acknowledges and assumes equal responsibility.
Wells Fargo BankAuto loans, home equity financeThe cosigner can be a spouse, partner, relative, friend or another person who shares the loan responsibility.

Do I need a cosigner?

You might want to consider a cosigner in the following situations:

  • You have less-than-perfect credit. Applying with a cosigner that has stronger credit than you can help you qualify for more competitive rates.
  • You’re unemployed. If you rely on benefits or other sources of income — like your spouse — a cosigner can help you meet the lender’s income requirements.
  • You otherwise can’t qualify. A cosigner can help you meet other requirements that are in the way of you getting the funds you need.
  • You want to borrow more. How much you’re eligible to borrow is based in part on your income. A cosigner can help you get larger amounts if you don’t bring home enough each month.

What should I look for in a cosigner?

Your cosigner might not be much help if they don’t meet all of the following criteria:

  • Meets cosigner requirements. Generally that means they must have a job, be over 18 and be a US citizen or permanent resident. They must be 19 in Alabama and Nebraska, 21 in Mississippi.
  • Good or excellent credit. This means a credit score of at least 670 — though the higher, the better deal you’ll get.
  • Low personal debts. Your cosigner might not be eligible to share the responsibility of another loan if they already have a high debt-to-income ratio.
  • Can afford repayments. A cosigner won’t be much help if there isn’t money in their budget for your monthly repayments if you stop paying.
  • Not planning on borrowing soon. Your cosigner might struggle to qualify for a loan of their own if they sign on to your debt.
  • Close relationship. There’s a reason most cosigners are relatives or close friends of the borrower. Cosigning is risky and might not be worth it to someone you don’t have a relationship with.

Benefits and drawbacks of applying with a cosigner

Pros
  • Potentially improves your odds of approval
  • Might make you eligible for lower interest rates
  • Helps you qualify for larger amounts
  • Decreases your debt-to-income ratio
Cons

  • If your cosigner’s credit isn’t good enough, you may still be rejected
  • Could affect your cosigner’s credit if you default
  • Might strain your personal relationship with your cosigner
  • It can take longer to apply

Is it easier to get a loan with a cosigner?

It depends. A cosigner can be effective because they minimize risk for the lender. If your cosigner doesn’t minimize risk — that is, if they have a poor credit score or rocky financial history — they may not make the approval process any easier.

On the other hand, if your cosigner has stellar credit, they may increase the odds of you being accepted for a loan. And they may even be able to score you a better rate than you would’ve been offered on your own.

How to apply for a loan with a cosigner

Applying with a cosigner is very similar to applying by yourself. Follow these steps:

  • Compare your options. You can start by reviewing the lenders listed in the table above. Keep in mind that a lender may not accept cosigners for each of its loan types.
  • Prepare your financial documents. Both you and your cosigner should have the documents required on hand to make the process faster. These can include W-2s, bank statements and employment information.
  • Apply together online. If the person who’s agreed to be your cosigner is available, consider having them there with you when you apply online. This way, they can answer any specific application questions that you’re unsure of.

3 questions to answer before applying for a loan with a cosigner

Cosigning a loan is a big responsibility for your friend or relative. If you don’t make your payments or default, your cosigner is on the hook for paying back what you borrowed.

Before applying, answer these questions about your financial situation and ability to repay the loan:

  1. What is the loan for? Your cosigner will likely want to know why you’re taking out a loan. Financing a vacation is much different than consolidating your debt, and you’ll need to be clear with your cosigner before you apply.
  2. How much are you borrowing? A small loan is easier to repay than a large loan. A lower amount is more attractive to a cosigner because you’re less likely to face default and if you do, they’ll be on the hook for less money.
  3. How often will payments need to be made? Knowing how often you’ll need to pay down your debt is important. Most lenders require monthly payments and give you the option to make additional payments at no cost. This can impact your cosigner — after all, they’ll have to pay if you don’t — so be sure you can make regular payments.

What a cosigner means for different loan types

The type of loan you’re considering will have different implications for cosigners when you borrow. Usually, this is based on the amount you need to borrow, the terms and the loan’s purpose.

  • Personal loans. When a person cosigns with you for a personal loan, they assume liability for the loan but aren’t entitled to any of the funds. Some people may not be willing to put their name on the line for a personal loan.
  • Auto loans. The benefits as a cosigner for an auto loan are limited. If they’re not listed on the title, they don’t have any ownership. Being listed on the title makes the individual a joint applicant, not a cosigner.
  • Student loans. Cosigners are common on student loans because parents often agree to be legally responsible for their child’s loan payments. Since young students may not have established a credit history, a parent cosigner can help them borrow the amount they need to pay for their education.
  • Mortgages. Like an auto loan, unless the cosigner is listed on the property title, they don’t own the property. If you default on your mortgage, the property is security for the loan. The cosigner isn’t transferred any type of ownership.
  • Business loans. For business loans — especially for riskier businesses — cosigners may be asked to provide collateral. The cosigner doesn’t hold any ownership of the business, but still risks losing their collateral if you default.

Essentially, a cosigner provides backup in case you’re unable to pay back the loan, but they don’t enjoy any benefits from assuming that type of risk. While getting a cosigner can be a handy tool if you can’t qualify by yourself, you need to be sure you’re able to handle what you borrow before asking someone to risk their finances on your loan.

How does a cosigner differ from a guarantor?

Guarantor is associated with apartments or rentals where only the primary applicant is living at the residence, although it is also used with personal loans on occasion. The main difference is that a cosigner is responsible for late or missing payments as well as loan default, whereas a guarantor is only responsible if you default.

Is a cosigner different from applying jointly?

Yes, but both do put responsibility on the person who is applying with you. Joint applicants — also known as coapplicants — and cosigners are both fully liable for the loan should you default. However, a joint application implies a level of ownership by the coapplicant over the disbursed funds. A cosigner usually has little to no say in how the loan is used.

Compare cosigner loans

Alternatives to borrowing with a cosigner

Sometimes the negatives outweigh the benefits of borrowing with a cosigner. Before putting your relationship on the line, consider these alternatives instead:

  • Secured loans. Backing your loan with collateral like a savings account, car or your home can help you qualify for a competitive rate even if you have bad credit.
  • CDFI loans. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are local banks and credit unions that typically offer affordable funding to low-income or low-credit borrowers in the area, usually as a chance to build your credit.
  • Loans for students. If you’re in school and don’t meet credit requirements on your own, some lenders like Boro will consider your grades and major instead of credit and income when you apply.
  • Loans for nonresidents. A handful of lenders like Stilt specialize in funding for nonresidents on a valid visa who don’t have a cosigner but need a loan. They might offer credit building services as well.

Bottom line

Finding a provider that meets your needs and allows a cosigner can potentially result in easier acceptance and a better interest rate. However, you and your cosigner should discuss the terms of the loan before applying. This ensures you both understand the risks before signing the dotted line.

Learn more about how borrowing work by reading our personal loans guide.

Frequently asked questions about cosigners

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KaylaJanuary 23, 2019

    Where can I matched with a willing loan cosigner?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJanuary 24, 2019Staff

      Hello Kayla,

      Thank you for your comment.

      A family member, a friend or someone who meets the requirement can be your consigner. Please refer to the eligibility criteria and the steps to apply for the loan with a consigner above.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

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