6 Personal Loans that Accept Cosigners or Co-Borrowers

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Updated on Wednesday, August 19, 2020

When you need to borrow money but don’t want the uncertainty of credit cards, a personal loan is one option to consider. Personal loans can be useful in many circumstances, whether you want to consolidate high-interest debt, finance home improvements or cover an unexpected expense.

But if you don’t qualify for a loan on your own, or are only seeing high-cost offers from lenders, applying for a personal loan with a cosigner or co-borrower could help. Here’s a closer look at what it means to be cosigner or co-borrower, and lenders that permit them.

What is a cosigner and a co-borrower?

A cosigner and co-borrower can increase your chances of loan approval. Lenders will take their financial information, such as their credit score, income and debt-to-income (DTI) ratio into account when determining loan approval. Having an additional party responsible for the loan decreases the lender’s risk.

Although the terms cosigner and co-borrower sound similar, however, there are differences:

  • Co-borrowers (also called joint borrowers) share and repay a debt together. In general, they share rights to the money they jointly borrow or the property or services they purchase with those funds.
  • Cosigners (also called guarantors) let you use their good credit and income on your loan application. But the intention is for you alone to repay the money you borrow and your cosigner may not share rights to the money or the things you buy with it.

In both cases, cosigners and co-borrowers accept legal responsibility to repay the debt. The loan usually shows up on the credit reports of both parties as well, potentially hurting or helping the credit scores of everyone involved depending on how you manage the account.

Differences between a cosigner and co-borrower
CosignerCo-borrower
What it isCosigners agree to guarantee loans you can’t qualify for alone, but they may not share legal rights to the things you purchase with the money you borrow. Co-borrowers, like spouses or business partners, agree to manage an account together and often share equal rights to the things purchased with the loan.
How it affects repaymentThe primary borrower is generally responsible for repayment, but the cosigner is legally liable for the debt as well. Both borrowers are responsible for repaying the loan.
What happens if you defaultBoth parties are liable for the debt. Both of your credit reports and scores may suffer damage.Both borrowers are liable for the debt. Both of your credit reports and scores may suffer damage.

Personal loan companies that accept cosigners or co-borrowers

Company
APR*
Repayment term
Min Loan Amount
Max Loan Amount

4.99% - 19.99%*

with AutoPay

24 to 144*

months

$5,000

$100,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 4.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $299.66.
SoFi

5.99% - 18.53%*

24 to 84

months

$5,000

$100,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.53% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 18, 2020 and are subject to change without notice. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

7.99% - 29.99%

24 to 60

months

$7,500

$40,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

The loan terms presented are not guaranteed and APRs presented are estimates only. To obtain a loan you must submit additional information and documentation and all loans are subject to credit review and our approval process. The range of APRs is 7.99% to 29.99% and your actual APR will depend upon factors including your credit score, usage and history, the requested loan amount, the stated loan purpose, and the term of the requested loan. To qualify for a 7.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available. All loans are made by Cross River Bank and MetaBank®, N.A., Members FDIC.

10.68% - 35.89%

36 or 60

months

$1,000

$40,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

18.00% - 35.99%

24 to 60

months

$1,500

$20,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $400. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes.

Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.

Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: Florida: $8,000. Iowa: $8,500. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $7,500. North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. Texas: $8,000. West Virginia: $14,000. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.

Up to 35.99%

12 to 60

months

$1,000

$25,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LightStream

  • Allows cosigners? No
  • Allows co-borrowers? Yes

LightStream, the online lending division of SunTrust Bank, offers no-fee personal loans That means: No origination fee, no application fee and no prepayment penalties for paying off your loan early.

Although LightStream doesn’t list a minimum credit score requirement, they do note that their loans are available for consumers with good credit. And the lender allows people to apply for their loans with a joint applicant.

Is LightStream right for you? Borrowers looking for larger loan amounts or competitive APRs may find LightStream to be an attractive choice for personal loans. But LightStream requires applicants to have good credit to qualify for a loan. So, if your credit or your co-borrower’s credit isn’t in the good to excellent range, you might not be eligible for the lowest rates or highest loan amounts advertised.

SoFi

  • Allows cosigners? No
  • Allows co-borrowers? Yes

While SoFi is mostly known for their private student loans and student loan refinancing options, this company also offers personal loans. SoFi personal loans are available for people in every state except for Mississippi, and they allow co-borrowers on the same loan application.

One big benefit of personal loans from SoFi is their lack of fees. The company doesn’t charge an origination fee for their personal loans nor do they charge prepayment or late fees. SoFi even has a program that lets you pause your loan payments if you lose your job.

Is SoFi right for you? SoFi offers competitive APRs on personal loans compared with many other lenders. But your financial history, credit score and DTI ratio will influence the rate and terms you’re offered, if you qualify for financing. On the bright side, SoFi makes it possible to see if you could get approved for a loan without a hard inquiry on your credit report.

FreedomPlus

  • Allows cosigners? No
  • Allows co-borrowers? Yes

FreedomPlus focuses on borrowers with less-than-stellar credit. Loan amounts are offered up to $40,000 and your repayment terms may span up to 60 months. FreedomPlus does charge an origination fee from 1.99% - 4.99% of your loan amount, but they don’t charge penalties if you pay your loan off early.

FreedomPlus doesn’t list an exact minimum credit score to qualify. But FreedomPlus does allow co-borrowers on their loan applications, which can make it easier to qualify if you do not have the income or credit to qualify on your own.

Is FreedomPlus right for you? FreedomPlus doesn’t offer the lowest APRs or fees among these personal loan lenders. But if your credit isn’t in excellent condition, it may be worth filling out an application to review your borrowing options.

LendingClub

  • Allows cosigners? No
  • Allows co-borrowers? Yes

LendingClub is not a lender but a peer-to-peer loan marketplace. Through the LendingClub marketplace, you can apply for personal loans – either on your own or with a co-applicant – from other individuals who agree to invest in the platform.

Personal loans through LendingClub are offered for up to $40,000 for debt consolidation, home repairs, emergency expenses and many other purposes. APRs can be on the low side provided you have good or great credit since the lender’s lowest advertised rates start at 10.68%. However, LendingClub’s minimum credit requirements are Not specified. With joint applications, your combined DTI ratio must be less than 35%.

Is LendingClub right for you? Loans through the LendingClub platform may work well for borrowers who are looking for smaller amounts. But LendingClub does state that borrowers who pay the lowest rates have a high credit score, a lengthy and successful credit history, and a low DTI. If you don’t think you or your co-borrower can meet these requirements, you may want to shop around for other personal loan options.

OneMain Financial

  • Allows cosigners? No
  • Allows co-borrowers? Yes

OneMain Financial has higher APRs than some of their competitors. Loan amounts are offered between $1,500 and $20,000 and repayment terms are available for 24 to 60 months.

OneMain Financial extends personal loans to borrowers with fair credit who may not be able to get a loan elsewhere. It also allows borrowers to apply for a loan with a co-borrower, which could help you qualify for a lower APR if your credit is poor. You may even be offered a secured personal loan if you otherwise may not qualify. (A secured loan is backed by collateral, such as savings or your car. If you default, the lender can seize the collateral.)

It’s important to note, however, that you will have to visit a physical OneMain Financial branch to close on your loan. The lender has locations in each state with the exception of:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Is OneMain Financial right for you? Although OneMain Financial doesn’t offer the lowest APRs on personal loans, the lender may be worth considering if your credit and your co-applicant’s credit needs improvement. Just be sure you’re comfortable visiting a physical branch to close your loan, if you qualify, before you fill out an application.

Mariner Finance

  • Allows cosigners? Yes
  • Allows co-borrowers? Not specified

Mariner Finance allows individuals to apply for a personal loan with a cosigner. The company offers APRs as high as 35.99% depending on your creditworthiness, but it doesn’t list a minimum credit score to qualify. Like Mariner Finance, you may be offered a loan backed by your vehicle.

While Mariner Finance does have looser requirements to qualify for their loans, it’s important to note that they only operate in 24 states:

Mariner Finance: States they operate in
AlabamaIllinoisNew JerseyTennessee
CaliforniaKentuckyNew YorkTexas
DelawareLouisianaNorth CarolinaUtah
FloridaMarylandOhioVirginia
GeorgiaMississippiPennsylvaniaWashington
IndianaMissouriSouth CarolinaWisconsin

Fees can vary on personal loans from Mariner Finance as well, so make sure to read the fine print and understand them before you move forward with one of their loan options.

Is Mariner Finance right for you? Rates on Mariner Finance personal loans are high compared with other lenders. But, if you have credit challenges, you might still be able to qualify for financing. You can check your potential loan offers with a soft inquiry that will not affect your credit score. So, there’s no downside to reviewing your options.

How to ask someone to be a cosigner or co-borrower

There are several reasons you might want to ask a friend, relative or partner to be cosign or co-borrower on your loan. Adding another person to the loan – especially someone with solid credit and income – could make it easier to satisfy a lender’s qualification criteria. However, you and the person you’re asking need to take risks into account before signing on the dotted line, namely that you’ll be equally responsible for the debt and suffer any consequences should you fail to repay.

When asking someone to be a cosigner or co-borrower, follow these tips:

  • Have an honest conversation: Share information about your income and current expenses. You should prove that you can afford repayment, and the cosigner or co-borrower should know what it means to sign on to the loan.
  • Agree on how the funds will be used: Whether you’re splitting up funds or will keep the full amount of the loan for your own expenses, you both should know precisely how the money will be spent.
  • Decide on a backup plan: You and the other party should know what to do if you begin to struggle financially. For example, a cosigner may agree to pick up payments until you get back on track, and you can later pay them back for the missed payments.
  • Consider an exit strategy: Research how to have a cosigner taken off a loan, for example. Signing on to a loan can be a multiyear commitment.

Beware services that let you hire a cosigner

Just because you need a cosigner doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find a friend or relative who’s willing to help you out. But you may find companies online that offer to connect you with potential cosigners for a fee. Once you connect with a “professional cosigner,” you can discuss hiring the individual for an additional cost.

Online cosigning services are often a waste of money and may even put you at risk for identity theft if you share personal information with strangers. Companies that offer such services are also known for making big promises online but often failing to deliver the services they advertise.

If you need a personal loan but don’t have a cosigner or co-borrower, you can explore loans for bad credit borrowers.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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