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How to request cosigner release on Sallie Mae student loans

If you've made a year of on-time repayments and have good credit and income, you might qualify.

You only need to make one year of on-time repayments to be eligible for Sallie Mae cosigner release. But you won’t be able to qualify unless you’ve finished your degree. And while the application is short, it’s not exactly seamless — you need access to a printer and possibly a scanner.

Can I qualify for Sallie Mae cosigner release?

Make sure you meet Sallie Mae’s criteria before you apply for cosigner release:

  • Satisfactory repayment history
  • No forbearance or modified repayment plans
  • Demonstrated ability to make repayments on your own
  • Pass a credit check
  • Proof of graduation
  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • Legal age to take out a loan

Satisfactory repayment history

There are a couple of ways you can meet this requirement:

  • Make 12 full on-time repayments in a row
  • Prepay the equivalent of 12 months of principal and interest repayments

This doesn’t include the reduced repayments you made while you were in school or during your grace period.

No forbearance or modified repayment plans

Loans in hardship forbearance or on a modified repayment plan like income-driven or graduated repayments can’t qualify.

This requirement isn’t all or nothing: If only some of your Sallie Mae loans are ineligible, you can still apply for cosigner release on the others that qualify.

Demonstrated ability to make repayments on your own

This means you have to show you have a steady income that can cover your repayments. In addition to this, Sallie Mae will ask for details on your monthly expenses in the application.

Pass a credit check

While Sallie Mae doesn’t disclose credit score requirements for cosigner release, you’ll have a better chance of getting approved if you have good to excellent credit.

If you have any negative marks on your credit report, you won’t qualify. This includes:

  • Open bankruptcies
  • Open foreclosures
  • Student loan defaults
  • Debt repayments that are more than 90 days late in the past two years

Proof of graduation

If you didn’t graduate, you can’t qualify for cosigner release. You must submit documentation to show that you finished your program along with the cosigner release application.

US citizen or permanent resident

International students who became US citizens or permanent residents need to submit proof of their status change.

Legal age to take out a loan in your state

This is 18 in most states, with a few exceptions:

  • Alabama and Alaska — 19 years old
  • Mississippi and Puerto Rico — 21 years old

Who can request to remove the cosigner from a Sallie Mae loan?

Only the primary borrower — in most cases, the student — can request a cosigner release. As long as they meet all the requirements, the primary borrower can take a cosigner off any Sallie Mae student loan, including parental loans.

However, there’s little a cosigner can do to take themselves off the loan, other than paying off the full balance.

How to fill out the Sallie Mae cosigner release application

Think you check off all the requirements? Follow these steps to apply for cosigner release:

Step 1: Download the cosigner release application.

You can find the cosigner release application on Sallie Mae’s website. You can either fill it out on your computer using a PDF reader or by hand.

Either way, you’ll eventually need to print out the application to date and sign it before submitting it to Sallie Mae.

Step 2: Read over the requirements to qualify for cosigner release.

Double-check the requirements listed on the cosigner release application to make sure you meet all criteria. If you aren’t sure, reach out to customer service by calling 800-472-5543.

Step 3: Fill out the application.

Type or neatly print the following information about yourself on your application form:

  • Name and date of birth
  • Social Security number or Sallie Mae account number
  • Permanent address
  • Employer name
  • Position and start date at your job
  • Work, home and cell phone numbers (fill in all that apply)
  • Annual salary before taxes
  • Additional income, such as alimony, child support or income from another job
  • Monthly housing cost
  • Monthly car repayment
  • Monthly student loan repayment
  • Any other regular monthly debt repayment, like a personal loan
  • Citizenship status
  • Cosigner name or names

Finished? Print out the application to sign and date it.

Step 4: Gather required documents to submit with your application.

You need to provide documents to prove you finished your program, verify your income and confirm your citizenship status if it changed since you first took out the loan.

Proof of graduation

Depending on your program, you can submit a copy of one of these documents to prove you graduated:

  • Diploma
  • Certificate of completion
  • Academic transcript
Proof of income

You need to provide at least one of the following documents to verify your income:

  • Current pay stub issued in the last 90 days
  • Most recent W2 with a current pay stub
  • Most recent tax return with a current pay stub
  • Social Security income or disability award letter
Proof of citizenship

Submit a copy of your certificate of naturalization or other proof of your new citizenship status along with your application.

Step 5: Submit your application to Sallie Mae.

There are three ways you can submit your application:

1. Mail

Mail in your application and copies of your documents to the following address:

Sallie Mae
PO Box 3319
Wilmington, DE 19804-4319

2. Fax

Fax your application and documents to Sallie Mae at 844-822-1121.

3. Online

Follow these steps to submit your application online:

  1. Scan the second page of your application and all required documents.
  2. Log in to your account on Sallie Mae’s website.
  3. Go to the Forms page and click Secure Document Upload to upload and submit your application.

I submitted the application. What’s next?

Sallie Mae will review your application and send you a decision. If you qualify, the loan will be transferred into your name. Otherwise, you’ll continue to repay the loan with your cosigner still on it.

Contact Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae has several contact numbers, depending on the nature of your inquiry.

  • New student loans, call 855-756-5626.
  • Existing student loans, call 800-472-5543.
  • For school resources, call 844-827-7478.

Sallie Mae’s customer service lines are open during the following hours:

  • Monday through Thursday — 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET
  • Friday — 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
  • Saturday — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET

Can’t qualify? Consider refinancing instead

Another way to remove your cosigner from your student loan is to refinance with another lender. Some lenders have more flexible requirements than Sallie Mae — many don’t require you to have graduated, for example. And you can even bring on a different cosigner to help you qualify if your income or credit aren’t high enough.

Bottom line

Your chances of qualifying for cosigner release are high if you’ve made a year of on-time repayments and have strong credit and income. But you can’t qualify if you have debt from a college program you didn’t finish.

You can learn more about your options for removing your cosigner from your student loans with our guide to student loan refinancing.

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Anna Serio was a lead editor at Finder, specializing in consumer and business financing. A trusted lending expert and former certified commercial loan officer, Anna's written and edited more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. Her expertise and analysis on personal, student, business and car loans has been featured in publications like Business Insider, CNBC and Nasdaq, and has appeared on NBC and KADN. Anna holds an MA in Middle Eastern studies from the American University of Beirut and a BA in Creative Writing from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, CUNY. See full bio

Anna's expertise
Anna has written 251 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Personal, business, student and car loans
  • Building credit
  • Paying off debt

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