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Having a cosigner could help you get approved for a student loan. But this also comes with some risks for the cosigner — they’re responsible for the loan if you don’t make your payments.

With cosigner release, a cosigner can have their name removed from a loan — though not all lenders offer cosigner release.

Here’s what you should know about cosigner release:

What is a cosigner release?

Cosigner release is the process of having a cosigner removed from an existing loan, which means the cosigner is no longer responsible for the loan. If a borrower can prove to the lender they’re financially stable on their own, they might qualify for cosigner release.

If you’re considering cosigner release, keep in mind that there are benefits for you as the borrower, too. This includes:

  • Showing you can financially handle the loan on your own
  • Potentially taking financial strain out of the relationship between you and your cosigner

Learn More: How to Refinance Student Loans

How to release your cosigner

Releasing a cosigner from a loan is easy if you qualify. However, it can take some time to meet the minimum requirements.

Here are some of the general criteria you’ll likely need to meet to be eligible for cosigner release:

1. Check if your loan is eligible for cosigner release

Not all private student loans allow for cosigner release. The first step is to find out if your loan qualifies.

Here are our partner student loan lenders that offer cosigner release:

Lender Fixed rates from (APR) Variable rates from (APR) Min. credit score Cosigner release offered
ascent 3.62%+ 2.73%+ 600 After 24 months
citizens 4.25%+1 1.25%+1 Does not disclose After 36 months
collegeave 3.99%+2,3 1.24%+2,3 Does not disclose After 24 months
edvestinu 4.09%+7 2.04%+7 750 After 24 months
invested 3.83%+8 1.64%+8 670 After 48 months
mefa 3.75%+ N/A 670 After 48 months
4.25% – 12.35%9 1.25% – 11.15%9 Does not disclose After 12 months
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your credit score. 100% free!

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Lowest APRs reflect autopay, loyalty, and interest-only repayment discounts where available | 1Citizens Bank Disclosures | 2,3College Ave Disclosures | 6Discover Disclosures | 7EDvestinU Disclosures | 8INvestEd Disclosures | 9Sallie Mae Disclosures

Citizens Bank Student Loan Rate Disclosure

Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of July 1, 2020, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.18%. Variable interest rates range from 1.25%-11.40% (1.25%-11.01% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 4.25%-11.95% (4.25% – 11.53% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown requires application with a co- signer, are for eligible applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, borrower making scheduled payments while in school and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of the loan.

Keep in mind that each lender has its own cosigner release requirements. If your lender offers cosigner release, be sure to review their specific criteria to see how to qualify.

2. Meet the requirements for on-time payments

Most private student loan lenders require you to make all monthly payments on time for a certain amount of time to qualify for cosigner release. You’ll need to meet this minimum before you can release your cosigner.

For example, Sallie Mae offers cosigner release after 12 months of on-time, consecutive monthly payments.

Stay on top of your payments: Even if you don’t need to release a cosigner, be sure to make at least the minimum payment on your student loan by the due date each month.

On-time payments are good for your credit, help you avoid late fees, and keep you on track to successfully pay off your loan.

Learn More: When to Refinance Your Student Loans

3. Meet the income and credit score requirements

Lenders also typically require that you meet their credit score and income requirements to qualify for the loan on your own.

You’ll likely need to undergo a credit check, as well as submit recent pay stubs or tax returns to show your income.

For example: If you have an Ascent Cosigned Credit-Based Loan, you have to meet the minimum requirements for a new student loan borrower on top of making 24 months of consecutive on-time payments to qualify for cosigner release.

This includes having a credit score of at least 600, plus having $24,000 or more in annual income.

Learn More: Transferring Parent Loans to a Student

4. Submit your cosigner release application

You’ll generally find the cosigner release application on the lender’s website, though you might also have the option to submit a paper form.

Be sure to follow all of the steps and include any necessary supporting documents (like pay stubs) to make sure your cosigner release application is successful.

You might be able to release your cosigner by refinancing

If your lender doesn’t offer cosigner release or you don’t qualify for it, student loan refinancing could be another option. When you refinance student loans into a new loan, your cosigner will be released when your old loans are paid off.

Tip: Keep in mind that you might still need a cosigner to qualify for refinancing. If this is the case, you could consider refinancing with another lender that offers a cosigner release option.

Be sure to shop around and compare as many refinancing lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. You can do this easily with Credible — after filling out a single form, you can compare rates in two minutes.

The lenders in the following table are our refinancing partners that offer cosigner release.

Lender Variable rates from (APR) Fixed rates from (APR) Min. credit score Cosigner release offered
advantage education loan consolidation N/A 4.54%+ Does not disclose After 36 months
citizens bank student loans 2.49%+¹ 3.20%+¹ Does not disclose After 36 months
invested refinancing 1.87%+4 2.92%+4 670 After 48 months
penfed purefy student loan consolidation 2.59%+ 3.23%+ 670 After 12 months
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lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free!
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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Bank Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 5SoFi Disclosures

Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure:
Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of July 1, 2020, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.18%. Variable interest rates range from 2.49%-8.38% (2.49%-8.38% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 3.20%-8.63% (3.20%-8.63% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.

About the author

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg is a Credible expert on personal finance. His work has been featured at Business Insider, Investopedia, The Balance, The Huffington Post, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Mint.com and more.

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