As highlighted in our Student Loan Refinancing Guide, there are two primary reasons for refinancing student loans with a co-signer. In this article we discuss the two reasons in more details and share a few other pointers.
To make the overall refinance process easier, we’ve developed a student loan refinance checklist available for free. The checklist is designed to complement our Student Loan Refinancing Guide. If you haven’t so already, I recommend reading our Student Loan Refinance Guide before reading this article.
Table of Contents
- Reason 1: Qualifying
- Reason 2: Interest Rate
- When Will A Co-Signer Make A Difference?
- Co-Signer Release Option
Reason #1: Qualifying
The first reason for refinancing student loans with a co-signor is to qualify if you have tried to refinance on your own and were declined.
If you were declined, make sure to reach out to your FitBUX Coach (Joining FitBUX and getting a coach is free!). Your FitBUX Coach will help you figure out the next steps, as you may not need to add a co-signer to qualify just yet. Your FitBUX Coach will assist with the following:
- There may be a miscommunication and your Coach can reach out to our student loan refinance partners,
- There may be other student loan refinance companies that may be a better fit based on their approval criteria, and
- There may be additional steps you can take to help you qualify within a few months.
If you exhausted these options, then adding a co-signer may give the student loan refinance company the comfort to give you the loan. However, your co-signer will now be liable for the loan. There is information you need to know about the liability element which we discuss a little later on.
Reason #2: Interest Rate
The second reason for refinancing student loans with a co-signer is to get a lower interest rate. For instance, if you just graduated and have a limited credit history, you may not get a great rate with a lender that relies heavily on credit data when making an approval decision.
However, if you add a co-signer, such as a parent, with a well-established (and good!) credit history, you will be considered less “risky” by the lender. Therefore, you may be able to get a lower rate.
Each student loan refinance company FitBUX partners with treats the addition of a co-signer differently. The “quality” of the co-signer matters greatly. We discuss these characteristics below.
When Will A Co-Signer Make A Difference?
As previously mentioned, each student loan refinance company is a little different. However, there are two general rules:
- Your co-signer’s credit score needs to be higher than yours,
- Your co-signer’s annual gross income should be higher than yours.
If your co-signer is retired, they will have to show significant retirement income for them to help you on the loan.
These are the general rules of when a co-signer will help. The reason they are rules is that student loan refinance companies will only look at one applicant for qualifications, you or your co-signer. They will not take combined incomes into consideration.
The only company that makes an exception to this is Splash Financial. Splash has a special spousal co-signer option. Using this option will allow you to use combined income on your application if you are married and use your spouse as a co-signer.
Co-signer Release Option
There are scenarios where co-signers are worried about being liable for a loan. Therefore, some refinance companies have added a co-signer release option to make things easier.
The co-signer release is a stated number of months of on-time payments. Once you satisfy that time period, you can apply to have the co-signer released from the liability. For example, a 36 month co-signer release means once you make 36 on-time payments you can apply to have your co-signer release from the liability.
This option varies for each student loan refinance company. Some may not offer it at all. If you are thinking of using a co-signer, be sure to check our student loan refinance company reviews to see if they offer this.
Also, be sure to inform your co-signer of this option. I’ve seen a lot of parents say no to co-signing because they didn’t want the liability. However, once they found out about the release they were willing to co-sign.
If you’d like to read more about student loan refinancing then check out our page dedicated to it. If you’d like to read more about money, be sure to check out FitBUX’s main blog page.