How do co-signed loans work

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By CreditNinja
Modified on January 19, 2024

A cosigned loan means that someone else signs onto the loan with you, and if you don’t make your payments they become responsible for the loan. This is commonly used if the initial borrower has a lower credit score. Having a cosigner reassures the lender that they’ll get their money back even if the initial borrower doesn’t repay the loan. 

Using a cosigner can be a good way for a borrower with a low credit score to get approved for a loan that they normally might not. It adds an extra layer of security for the lender. Cosigners are commonly used for auto loans, certain personal loans, and other types of financial products. If you have a low credit score, the lender may only offer you a loan if you’re willing to use a cosigner. 

It’s a fairly straightforward process to use a cosigner. If you’re applying for a loan with a low credit score, the lender might ask if you’re willing to use a cosigner. If so, you would have that person sign for the loan with you. Typically, borrowers who need a cosigner tend to use very close family or friends. Once they sign on to the loan and you’re approved, you get the money.

You will then begin to repay the loan according to the payment schedule set forth in the contract with the lender. If you should miss a payment, or fail to pay altogether, the lender will then seek out the cosigner to make the payments in your place. In this situation, the cosigner and the initial borrower will both be held financially and legally responsible for the loan. 

Using a cosigner isn’t something you should take lightly. You’re essentially asking someone to be responsible for a loan and potentially make payments for you. This is why usually a cosigner is a very close relative or friend. The best advice we can give you is to work on improving your credit score so that you don’t have to ask anyone to be a cosigner on your loan. 

Focus on paying off your current debts, always making payments on time, and lowering your credit card usage. All of these things can play a hand in improving your credit score over time.

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