If you have student loans, refinancing could be a smart way to save money because it allows you to get a new interest rate and repayment term for your loans. However, these terms are often dependent on your credit – so if you have bad credit, you may want to apply with a co-signer. This person shares responsibility for the loan if you miss a payment, but they can also help you get approved or get a better rate.
Why would you refinance a student loan with a co-signer?
There are a few advantages to refinancing a student loan, or any other loan, with a co-signer.
When someone co-signs a loan, they agree to make payments on the loan if you stop or are unable to continue paying. When someone co-signs for a loan, the lender will consider their credit history and financial situation in addition to yours when making a loan decision.
If you find a willing co-signer who has strong credit, it can be much easier to qualify for a loan. Lenders will be more willing to approve the application because they will see that someone with good credit is willing to be on the loan. A strong co-signer can also mean a lower interest rate, which means a lower monthly payment and less interest accrued over the life of the loan.
5 companies that refinance student loans with a co-signer
There are many student loan companies, but not all will allow you to refinance with a co-signer. Here are some of the best lenders that let you add someone to your loan.
SoFi is an online lender that started out with student loans but now offers a wide variety of financial products. Borrowers can add a co-signer to their refinance loan by logging into their SoFi account and adding the co-signer’s name and email address. SoFi will send an invitation to the co-signer and continue the application from there.
SoFi is known for its member benefits, including discounts on fares and career services. It also does not charge any fees, even if a payment arrives late.
Unfortunately, once you’ve added a co-signer to your SoFi loan, there’s no way to remove them. Other lenders will let you release a co-signer after making a certain number of payments on time, but the only way to remove a co-signer from your SoFi loan is to refinance again. Borrowers should also note that adding a cosigner adds a week or two to the refinance process, so SoFi may not be the best option if you need to refinance quickly.
Federal Naval Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) is another great lender for students looking to refinance their loans. It has low interest rates and a choice of three repayment terms. It also offers a relatively quick co-signer release, allowing you to remove your co-signer after just twelve consecutive, one-time payments.
The main disadvantage of the NFCU is that you must be a member of the credit union to be eligible. You can only register if you are a member of the Armed Forces or Department of Defense, or if you are a DoD civilian, or have an immediate family member who is a member of the Armed Forces.
College Ave is an online lender focused exclusively on student loans and refinancing. The site has a simplified application and also offers many resources and educational content to learn more about student loans and how loans work. The lender also offers eleven different loan terms for its refinance product, making it easy to customize your loan and monthly payment to suit your budget.
However, the lender is opaque about their eligibility requirements, meaning you’ll need to enter your information to see if you and your co-signer are eligible for a loan. There is also a refinance limit of $300,000 for medical, dental, pharmaceutical or veterinary degrees and a limit of $150,000 for all other degrees.
LendKey is an online lending platform that connects borrowers with a variety of partner lenders. This makes it an attractive solution for borrowers who want to get multiple quotes to find the best deal, since their application will be matched against the requirements of multiple lenders. Loans offered by LendKey come with terms ranging from five to 20 years and no origination fees.
A major drawback is that because LendKey does not originate its own loans, many details about your loan depend on which lender you are ultimately matched with. LendKey’s advertised rates and terms represent all of its partners, so you may end up with a lender that has multiple fees or insufficient repayment terms.
Road of laurels
Laurel Road Refinance Loans offer students a wide choice of loan terms and extremely low interest rates. In addition to the standard automatic payment discount, you can get an interest rate discount by signing up for a checking account with the company. Laurel Road also allows students to refinance loans as early as their final semester of study.
Although Laurel Road refinances most types of loans, it should be noted that many types of associate degrees are not eligible. Borrowers with an associate’s degree must have earned that degree in a healthcare-related field in order to qualify for refinancing.
Can a co-signer be removed from a student loan?
It is possible to remove a co-signer from a student loan if you meet the conditions. Refinancing a loan is one of the easiest ways to remove a co-signer from a loan because, in effect, you are replacing the existing loan with a brand new one. In this case, you will need to have sufficient income and a good credit rating to qualify for a new loan on your own.
Many student lenders also offer the option of requesting a co-signer release. Generally, you should have improved your credit since you originally received the loan and have made a minimum number of timely payments. Most lenders will allow you to apply for a discharge after one or two years of payments.
Keep in mind that not all student lenders allow cosigners to be removed from loans without refinancing. If this is something you’re interested in for the future, be sure to keep it in mind when shopping for loans.