Who Can Be Your Cosigner for an International Student Loan?
May 17th, 2013 by Jonathan Frankel

200309878-001Though international students may at first consider the State Department’s student visa application to be their first and last step when it comes to studying in the United States, they will soon discover that there other hurdles to overcome before they can begin their studies in the US. The reality is that funding can be an obstacle not only to be admitted into the university or college but also once the degree program has begun. When it comes to funding college, many students typically rely on personal wealth, university funding (such as scholarships), and student loans. While it’s important for students to find funding they don’t have to pay back, some students will turn to international student loans to help cover their funding gap. To do this, however, you should ask yourself who can be your cosigner for an international student loan?

A US Cosigner

Almost all international students are required to have a cosigner since lenders will want to evaluate their creditworthiness. At some US and Canadian schools, no-cosigner loans are available now. Since most international students do not have a sufficient credit history, lenders usually require them to find a US citizen or permanent resident that has good credit history and who has lived in the US for the past two years. For US students, while a cosigner may not be required, it can increase the odds of approval at a more favorable interest rate.

Thus not only must the cosigners have a high credit score (which indicates good credit history), solid employment or income history, they must take on the responsibility of paying back the loan in case the student cannot. Since this is a huge responsibility, it can prove difficult for students to find a cosigner.

Who you can turn to

If you are an international student or US student and you are asking yourself, who can be your cosigner, here are some people you can turn to:

  • Family – The best place to turn for a cosigner is your family. If you have a parent, guardian, aunt, uncle, cousin or any other family member that meets the criteria listed above, this is typically the best place to turn. Remember, international students must have a US cosigner so this may require contacting more distant relatives.
  • Friends – Yes, if you or your family have close friends who will agree to act as your cosigner, then you are in luck! If you’ve contacted your circle of friends and still haven’t had any luck, you may want to ask your family members if they know someone who would act as your cosigner.
  • Any Adult – That’s right, the rule is that your cosigner must be an adult who meets the citizenship and credit requirements. They do not have to be a family member or friend, they just have to be willing to cosign your loan. Remember, this is a huge responsibility for someone to take on so it is likely going to be someone you know or someone you have a close connection to.

>> Read on to learn how to find the right cosigner

>> Find your international student loan now


  1. Boketsu Banganganda says:

    Your Boketsu ask patners if i can to received financial assistance to pay educational and cover my need such;tuition,room fee ;travel insurance and others expenses.
    MR Boketsu Banganganda,Bonald

  2. Elizabeth Bidzakin says:

    I am considering coming to school in the U.S,AND finances is an obstacle,I think this will be helpful

  3. mark elie jean tinord says:

    I would like to know if don t live here how do i find a school

  4. Dennis Okoi says:

    Thank you for the information. For those of us who really want to study in the United States but do not have a friends or family over there, how do we get this cosigner resident in USA? Secondly, how much can be borrowed per semester? Thank you.

  5. John Sunday says:

    I don’t have a cosigner in USA because iam living in South Sudan and would like to Loan and study while am here in South Sudan.

  6. ADIET says:

    I need a cosigner in order that my application to go smoothly.for i am in CAMEROON and my address is below. Thanks for you feedback.

    Post Box 13035 Bonanjo
    Douala COMEROON
    Telephone# : 00237-77328774.

    • Jenny Frankel says:

      A cosigner is required on all student loans and unfortunately that can be quite difficult. You will need to find a US citizen or US permanent resident who is able to cosign your loan – read this article for additional help.

  7. Maliki olorunfemi monday says:

    Am eager to study abroad but my uncle in United State of America is not encouraging because of the condition attached to loan.friends i need your help to join you guys.

    • Jenny Frankel says:

      Hi Maliki, thanks for contacting us. All non-US citizens applying for a US loan will need a cosigner who is a US citizen or US permanent resident. You can use our comparison tool to see what loan options you have and discuss with your uncle the options available. Wishing you the best on your studies!

  8. dosumu ayodele says:

    i am an international student seeking to admission to american univeristy next year fall admission. but will require international student loan to fund my education bills. i know i can meet all other requirement to obtain except for the cosigner factor . can you give full details on how to get a us cosigner

    • Jenny Frankel says:

      Hi Dosumu, thanks for contacting us! American University is an eligible school for our loans, however you will need a cosigner to apply. For many students, this can be quite difficult. Most students ask family members or friends to cosign the loan – check out our cosigner article for more information. Good luck at American University.

  9. John Ekpe says:

    Please i want to know the criteria on which the giving of the loan is based.

  10. Vera says:

    We are finding difficult to find a cosigner to paying for our daughter school’s fees.Please, we need your help.

  11. William says:

    I intend enrolling for a master’s degree next fall and hope to fund it by international loan. I have more than enough co-signers but my problem is the SSN requirement to apply for the loan since i don’t reside in the States. Is there a way around that?

    • Jenny Frankel says:

      Hi William, thanks for your question. Our loan comparison tool will match you with lenders that work with international students. While some lenders require a SSN others do not. I would recommend finding a student loan and then contacting the lender directly to see whether a SSN is required.

  12. ali yusuf abdirahman says:

    ask patners if i can to received financial assistance to pay educational and cover my need such;tuition,room fee ;travel insurance and others expenses.try to understand

  13. Abhimanyu says:

    Hi ,

    I have lived in US for more than 2 years and have strong Credit History but I don’t have any co-signer. Could my own credit history be used for education loan . I just want 30-40% of my total cost . Please suggest

    • Jennifer Frankel says:

      If you are an international student, even having been in the US for more than 2 years with good credit, these international student loans still require a cosigner. Since it’s a no collateral loan, they still require you to have a cosigner in case you cannot pay back the loan. Thanks for your question!

  14. Shakhriyor Juraev says:

    I would be glad if I find any cosigner that in order to get success of studying in US. Thanks a lot before . Also Allah helps you

  15. Abdul Rahman says:

    Hi Jennefer. I really appreciate your patience in replying to all theae xomments by students intending to further thier studies in the us. I am also intending to study in the us using an international student loan to finance my studies.
    In my case i have a cosigner, my mother who is a us citizen.
    But my concern is how would that affect my visa application process. i will be expected to pay back this loan by my lenders and at the same time the us immigration would expect me to leave after my studies in the us.

  16. DICKER MAGARA says:


  17. Richmond says:

    One option I heard of (not neaesscrily the best for you) was to buy a house for the minimum down payment and rent it to your son and other students who may need a place to stay off campus. The rent will pay the taxes and interest on the mortgage and you can sell it (perhaps at a profit) after he leaves school. You would have to try to find one close enough to school to avoid transportation costs and also one requiring little improvement or maintenance. Your son would become the on-site manager and collect the rents. It has been done.My own experiences.

  18. Ron says:

    As I spoke to you last time,I am admitted to Hofstra University as an international student.As such,I could not be given either fincial assistance or a scholarship.However,I can still apply for a loan provided I have a co-signer who can stand for me.Unfortunately,I don’t have anyone who can sign up for me,reason why I am submitting this matter to you.Please help me out of this situation.
    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Sincerely yours,

  19. milin p says:

    My question is regarding student loan as well. My wife is applying for a student loan (Working in US since past 3 yrs on work visa). I am on my work visa as well and in the US since past 8 yrs. Can I be a cosigner on my wife’s application?

    Any feedback would be highly appreciated.

    • Jennifer Frankel says:

      Unfortunately you would not be eligible to cosign your wife’s loan as the cosigner must be a US citizen or permanent resident.

  20. Angel says:

    Dear Jennifer,
    I appreciate if you give me some advice about student loan.
    I have been in US for 3 years, graduated from CMU with a master degree and currently work in a company. Fortunately, I have admission for PhD and need student loan just for one year. I have a good credit score myself, and also my boyfriend who can be my cosigner has a good credit score too. However, he also is neither a US Citizen nor Permanent resident. I was wondering if there is any type of student loan that I could apply? Your help and response is HIGHLY APPRECIATED.

    • Jennifer Frankel says:

      Hi Angel, unfortunately to be able to cosign a loan, that person must be a US citizen or permanent resident. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  21. malati says:

    Sir we want education loan for my sons postgraduate study in US.My nephew who is presently in US can be a cosigner.? My nephew has been in US for past 11 years working in HP solutions but he hasnt got green card

    • Jennifer Frankel says:

      Good morning! Unfortunately to cosign a loan, that person must be a US citizen or permanent resident with good credit, and must have lived in the US for the past two years. Since your nephew does not meet these requirements, he would not be eligible for cosign for your son.

  22. KELLY INAMBAO says:

    i would like to study in USA and pliz if there is anyone who is willing to be my cosigner am thanking that person in advance.Am a Zambian citizen who is interested to do medicine programme in your country and i promise to b part of de family

    • Jennifer Frankel says:

      Hi Kelly! A co-signer is legally obligated for repayment of the loan, the same as the borrower.  The loan will appear on the co-signer’s credit history as an outstanding obligation.  If the borrower fails to repay, the co-signer would have to repay.  Basically the co-signer is joining the loan application, as an international student cannot receive such credit on his/her own. Because of this, your cosigner is typically a friend or family member you know. Hope this helps 🙂

  23. KELLY INAMBAO says:

    pliz i really know dat is a difficult task to b a cosigner fo my student but anyone who is willingly am promising to b part of de family and after graduation to get a job within USA

  24. Mohsen says:

    I know that the cosigner should be a US citizen or US permanent resident. But I want to know that is there any specific private bank (maybe common banks in the US and Canada) that accept Canadian citizen as a cosigner?

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