How to Find the Right Cosigner for Your Loan


How to Find the Right Cosigner for Your Loan

Qualifying for a loan seems like it shouldn’t be too complicated. Answer a few questions, submit your information, and wait for a decision, right? But what happens if you’re new to the game and you don’t have much of a credit history? Or what if your credit score is recovering from a few late payments from a couple years back? Luckily, adding a qualified cosigner has the potential to significantly increase your odds of securing a loan. A cosigner is someone who agrees to take on debt payments if a borrower is unable to pay them back. It’s like a bit of extra protection on your loan that gives you the opportunity to continue building your credit.

How to choose a good cosigner

When choosing a cosigner, a great place to begin is with close friends or family members. You’ll want to start with a list and narrow it down by considering the following questions:

  • Is your cosigner likely to have an established credit history with good credit or better? Places like Credit Karma allow you and your cosigner to get a free soft credit check.

  • Is your cosigner someone you trust and regularly communicate with?

  • Do you have accurate contact information for your cosigner?

  • Is your cosigner a US citizen or green card holder?

How to ask someone to be your cosigner

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, it’s time to talk with your potential cosigner. Here are a few ways to start the conversation:

  • Ask your cosigner if they’re willing to help invest in you. While you may indeed be asking for financial assistance, you’re taking on the responsibility of paying back the loan. Rather than simply asking for money, you’re taking ownership of your future.

  • Give your cosigner an overview of your program and how it will help you reach your career goals. An added benefit of having a cosigner is that you’ll have an additional set of eyes and ears to help you decide if your program is truly a worthwhile investment.

If your potential cosigner is open to cosigning your loan, you should be ready to discuss financial details. Double-check to make sure your cosigner has good or better credit, no past due bills or collections, and no bankruptcies in the past 7 years. You should also ensure your cosigner knows that you, as the primary borrower, will have a loan repayment plan that’s simple and easy to follow. Skills Fund provides fixed rates and manageable payment amounts with some schools even offering the option to pay only interest while you’re in the program. A good cosigner will also want to see your program's loan and rate options before you apply. This is easy with Skills Fund! Just visit your school's Skills Fund partnership page and preview your options. Remember, your cosigner shares an equal responsibility for your loan, so it’s important to make sure you’re both on the same page before applying.


How to apply for a loan with your cosigner

Once you’ve gone through the details and are ready to move forward, you’ll go ahead and fill out your Skills Fund loan application. Select the option to apply with a cosigner. If your cosigner is with you, they can apply at the same time you do. Or, provide your cosigner’s contact information, and your cosigner will receive an email asking them to apply as your cosigner. Once you’re approved, you’ll both be notified. We’ll ask your school to approve your enrollment in the program and certify your loan, then you’ll sign your final loan documents. From there, we’ll take care of sending your tuition straight to the school and any cost of living funds directly to you.

Your cosigner is invested in you

We want to make financing as simple as possible so you can take care of what matters most. Adding a cosigner to your loan is a great way to have an extra bit of support along the way. If you decide to add a cosigner, be sure to keep them updated. Let them know when you’ve started to repay your loan. You’ll also get the chance to give them updates about all the progress you’re making in your program as you take steps to advance your career. As your cosigner, they’re invested in your success!

If you’re ready to get started, click the button below to check out our partner schools.