When you need to borrow money but don’t want to deal with the uncertainty of credit cards, a personal loan is a smart option to consider.
Not only do personal loans come with fixed interest rates, but they also come with fixed monthly payments and a fixed repayment period. With a fixed payment, you’ll never end up with a monthly bill that’s higher than you thought it would be. A fixed repayment timeline also lets you know exactly when your loan will be paid off.
If you’re on the fence about borrowing money, keep in mind that there are many reasons why a personal loan may be a viable option for you. Perhaps you want to consolidate high interest debt with a new loan that features a lower interest rate and better terms. Maybe you need to remodel your kitchen or fix your car that has been broken down for months. Whatever the reason, a personal loan offers a predictable way to borrow money without any surprises.
But what do you do if you can’t get a personal loan on your own? A cosigner or co-borrower could help you qualify for funds. Here’s what you should consider before applying with a cosigner or co-borrower, plus personal loans that accept cosigners or co-borrowers.
When should you find a personal loan cosigner?
While personal loans offer a smart way to borrow money, not everyone can qualify. Lenders consider your income, employment status, debt-to-income ratio and your credit score before they approve you, which could be a problem if your finances aren’t in the best shape.
If you don’t have the time to improve your credit score before applying for a loan, a personal loan cosigner can help your application. A cosigner agrees to guarantee the loan if you stop making payments. A cosigner could be a family member or a close friend, but it needs to be someone with good credit for them to help you qualify for a loan.
Here are the pros and cons of getting a cosigner for your personal loan:
- Qualify for a loan when you may otherwise not have been able to
- Get better terms on your personal loan
- Can use the loan to build your credit
- Have someone to hold you accountable, if you’re new to debt
- Your cosigner’s credit report could take a hit if you miss payments
- If you stop making payments, your cosigner will be equally responsible
- Can strain your relationship if you’re not on top of your loan
Don’t mistake a cosigner for a co-borrower
Before you apply for a personal loan with a cosigner, it’s also important to note the difference between a cosigner and a co-borrower. Where a cosigner lends their good credit to your loan application and guarantees to repay your loan if you do not, a co-borrower is someone who shares in your obligation to repay money you borrow.
If you plan to take out a personal loan with your spouse and you each plan to make payments toward the loan, for example, your spouse would act as a co-borrower and not a cosigner. With that being said, it’s possible you could benefit from having a co-borrower or a cosigner provided the other individual has good credit and the financial means to repay the loan.
7 personal loans that accept cosigners or co-borrowers
A cosigner can help you qualify for a loan you may not be able to get on your own. Fortunately, there are a handful of companies that readily accept loans with more than one applicant.
To help you find some of the best loan options within this category, we compared lenders based on their interest rates, loan terms, borrowing limits and credit requirements. Here are some of the top personal loans you can get with a cosigner or a joint applicant.
LightStream is a popular online lender that offers personal loans for almost any reason. Their personal loans come with a fixed interest rate, a fixed monthly payment and a fixed repayment timeline that dictates exactly when your loan will be paid off from Day One.
Although LightStream doesn’t list a minimum credit score requirement, they do note that their loans are available for consumers with “good credit.” LightStream also allows people to apply for their loans with a joint applicant. LightStream personal loans come with no fees — no origination fee, no application fee and no prepayment penalties for paying off your loan early.
LightStream personal loans may be best for:
- Anyone who needs to borrow a lot since LightStream personal loans have a higher borrowing limit than some of their competitors
LendingClub is another loan company that allows joint applicants to apply for personal loans. Unlike other lenders on this list, however, LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lender that gets its funds from other individuals who agree to invest in the platform.
LendingClub lets consumers borrow up to $40,000 for debt consolidation, home repairs, emergency expenses and many other purposes. Interest rates 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.
LendingClub also considers applicants with a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 40%, meaning that your monthly debt obligations cannot make up more than 40% of your monthly gross income.
LendingClub personal loans may be best for:
- Borrowers with fair credit who may not be able to qualify for a loan with other lenders
- Anyone who needs to borrow less than $40,000 with a joint borrower
- People who want to borrow from individual investors rather than a traditional bank
3. OneMain Financial
OneMain Financial is a personal loan company that offers higher interest rates than some of their competitors. However, OneMain does extend personal loans to borrowers with “fair credit” who may not be able to get a loan elsewhere.
Loan amounts are offered between $1,500 and $20,000 and repayment terms are available for up to five years. OneMain Financial also allows borrowers to apply for a loan with a cosigner, which could help you qualify for a lower interest rate if your credit is poor. It’s important to note, however, that will you will have to visit a physical OneMain Financial branch to close on your loan.
OneMain Financial personal loans may be best for:
- Individuals who need a cosigner for their loan
- People with fair credit who may not qualify for a personal loan with another lender
- Anyone who needs to borrow up to $20,000 and pay it back for up to five years
FreedomPlus is another personal loan company that focus on borrowers with less-than-stellar credit. Loan amounts are offered up to $40,000 and you can repay for up to five years. FreedomPlus does charge an origination fee from 0.00% - 4.99% of your loan amount, but they don’t charge any penalties if you pay your loan off early.
While FreedomPlus doesn’t list an exact minimum credit score to qualify, they do list a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 40%. FreedomPlus also allows 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.
FreedomPlus personal loans may be best for:
- Individuals with fair credit who have a co-borrower to apply with
- Anyone who needs to borrow up to $40,000 for nearly any reason
- Someone who can’t qualify for a personal loan without any fees
5. Mariner Finance
Mariner Finance is another personal loan company that allows individuals to apply for a personal loan with a cosigner. This company does offer interest rates as high as 35.99% depending on your creditworthiness, but they do not list a minimum credit score to qualify. For that reason, Mariner Finance may be a good option for consumers who may need to pay a higher interest rate due to credit mistakes they’ve made in the past.
While Mariner Finance does have looser requirements to qualify for their loans, it’s important to note that they only operate in 22 states: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Fees can vary on personal loans from Mariner Finance as well, so make sure to read the fine print and understand all fees before you move forward with one of their loan options.
Mariner Finance personal loans may be best for:
- Individuals who need a cosigner for their personal loan
- Anyone with less-than-stellar credit who can’t get a loan with another company
- People who need to borrow up to $25,000; however, note that loans greater than $7,000 or less than $1,500 need to be funded at a physical branch
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. This company doesn’t charge an origination fee for their personal loans, nor do they charge prepayment fees or late fees. SoFi even has a program that allows you to pause your loan payments if you lose your job. SoFi makes it possible to see if you could get approved for a loan without a hard inquiry on your credit report.
SoFi personal loans may be best for:
- People with good credit who want to apply with a co-borrower
- Anyone who needs to borrow a lot since personal loans amounts go up to $100,000
- People who want a personal loan without any fees
If you need a personal loan with a cosigner or a co-borrower, make sure to check out all the companies on this list. While we included some lenders that charge higher interest rates and fees, our list of top lenders for personal loans with a cosigner was created to include options that could work for borrowers with all credit ratings and financial situations.
As you compare loan options, make sure to read the fine print and compare loan terms, interest rates and fees. With enough research, you’ll have a good shot at finding a personal loan that meets your needs — with or without a cosigner.