Cosigner 101: How to Get A Cosigner
July 21st, 2016 by Lette Berhe

cosignerAs an international student applying for a study abroad loan, one of the key things you will need to have is a cosigner. Don’t really know what a cosigner is? Not to worry, here is a breakdown of  what a cosigner is, their role, and the best way to get one.

What is a Cosigner?
When applying for an international student loan, lenders need to evaluate your financial background and stability before approving your application. This means that they need to make sure that you will pay them back. However, because you are an international student you do not have a financial record in the US for lenders to look up. This is where a cosigner becomes an important part of the international student loan process.

A cosigner is someone who signs your loan application with you and by doing so says, ¨If Maria cannot make her loan payments, for whatever reason, I will take over the responsibility and make the payments on her behalf.¨ A cosigner signs this legal document which states that they will take on the responsibility of your debt if you cannot.

Who Can Be a Cosigner?
When looking for a cosigner it is important that they fit the requirements. The US lender needs to be able to access their credit history to decide whether or not to accept your loan application and what interest rates to provide you. This means that your cosigner must have the following qualities:

  • Your cosigner must be a US citizen or legal resident (have possession of a green card)
  • Your cosigner must have lived in the US the past 2 years

What to Look For in a Cosigner?
The person you choose as your cosigner is giving the lender permission to access their financial history. The lender does so to calculate what type of loan and payment plan to offer you. This means that you want to choose someone who has good credit. Why? The better your cosigner’s credit, the better interest rates the lender will provide you. The worse your cosigner’s credit, the higher the interest rates.

How to Find a Cosigner
The best place to look for a potential cosigner is within your group of friends or family unit. Although your potential cosigner may be someone close to you, to increase the chances that who you ask will say yes, it is a good idea to go in prepared. Becoming someone’s cosigner is a very big responsibility because if for whatever reason you cannot make payments this person is signing a legal document committing to take the responsibility. This is a financial contract that may have negative repercussions on your cosigner so it is important to approach them with a financial plan of how you will actually be responsible for making your payments.

To learn more about what is good and bad credit, check out our section on What is a Credit Score. 


  1. David Justin Bazia says:

    I’m student in South Sudan and have enrolled in University known as Full Sail University and have accepted. unfortunately I don’t have cosinger . what should I have do in order to borrow money and pay for school. please I need assistance South Sudan situation is waste these due to lack of education and fighting will not end.

    • Rachel Rollins says:

      Hi David,

      Thanks for visiting!

      Unfortunately we do not have a loan program for your school without a cosigner. We may have loans available if you have a cosigner who is a US citizen or permanent resident with good credit and income history and who has lived in the US for the past two years.

      To be eligible, you will also have to provide a valid student visa in order to finalize the loan.  You can apply for up to the total cost of education, as determined by your school, minus any other aid received. After you apply and receive credit approval for you and your co-signer, your school must certify the amount of the loan. The proceeds are then disbursed directly to the school.

      You should apply for a loan after you have been accepted and enrolled into an eligible school. You can see eligible schools here:

      You can start the application process and find all available lenders here:

      Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Good Luck!

  2. Alex says:

    I want to study in USA next year.I will not be able to fund my studies.I need a loan but i dont have a cosinger .Please help me.

  3. […] Find out more about Cosigners in Cosigner 101. […]

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