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Cosign a Private Student Loan1

Most undergraduates and many graduate students need help qualifying for student loans to pay for college expenses and pursue their educational goals. That’s where cosigners come in.

By agreeing to share equal responsibility for repayment, a creditworthy cosigner may help a student qualify for a student loan. Anyone of legal age (18 years old, in most states), who is a citizen or national of the U.S. and meets general loan eligibility and credit requirements can cosign—a parent, guardian, spouse, relative, or even a friend.

Benefits to the student:

  • May improve chance of loan approval
  • Potentially qualify for a lower interest rate
  • Help student build and establish credit history

Cosign an existing student loan application

To cosign, please have your student’s application ID handy or select the link in their email invitation.

Start a new application as a cosigner

If your student has not yet started an application with us you can begin and invite them to join the application. You can also call a Student Loan Consultant at 1-800-378-5526.

A student loan cosigner is typically a parent, guardian, spouse, relative, or friend of the student. To cosign, you need to meet general eligibility and credit requirements for:

  • Legal age (18 or older in most states)
  • Income
  • Citizenship requirements
  • Established credit history

During the application process, we ask cosigners for the following:

  • Social Security number
  • Income and/or employment information
  • Current address and telephone number
  • Monthly rent and/or mortgage payment amounts

The cosigner and student borrower share responsibility for loan repayment. Payment dates and late payments will become part of both of your credit histories.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Wells Fargo will work with the student borrower’s school to ensure that the student is not borrowing more than they need.
  • For many loans, the school will receive the loan funds and apply those funds directly to the student’s account. Any remaining funds will be given to the student by the school.
  • Understand how much the student is borrowing. We recommend that student loan payments be no more than 10-15% of a borrower’s monthly income after college.
  • Always keep copies of loan documents for your records.

A cosigner can be released from the loan if the borrower is a U.S. citizen and contacts Wells Fargo to request release of the cosigner. At the time the borrower submits a request to release the cosigner, all the following requirements must be met:

  • The most recent 24 consecutive monthly payments were made on time including the first required payment.
  • If the first required payment was not made on time, the most recent 48 consecutive monthly payments were made on time. A payment is "on time" when it is made within the payment grace period applicable to the loan. 
  • No forbearances or modifications were granted for hardship reasons during those consecutive monthly payment periods.
  • The borrower meets a full credit and income evaluation.

In the event of the death or total and permanent disability of the student, the loan may be forgiven and the borrower and cosigner may not be responsible for repayment.

Top frequently asked questions

Should I cosign for a student loan?

When applying for a Wells Fargo private student loan, keep in mind that we consider the creditworthiness of the student applicant.

Undergraduate students typically need to apply with a creditworthy cosigner in order to meet our income and credit history requirements. Graduate students can often  qualify on their own without income.

By cosigning, you may help a student to qualify for a private student loan and possibly receive a lower interest rate.

Who can be a student loan cosigner?

A student loan cosigner can be any individual who is of legal age (18 years old in most states), who is a citizen or national of the U.S., and meets the general loan eligibility and credit requirements. A cosigner can be a parent, guardian, spouse, relative, or even a family friend.

As a cosigner, you share responsibility with the student borrower for repaying the loan in the event that the student is unable to make student loan payments.

Why is a cosigner important?

Most undergraduate and some graduate students may need a cosigner to meet our employment, income, and credit requirements. If a student has little or no credit history or limited income, a cosigner may help the student qualify for a loan. Additional benefits of having a cosigner include:

  • Potentially qualify for a lower interest rate.
  • Help student build and establish their credit history when payments are made on time.

Can a parent or sponsor be the borrower?

If you would rather borrow on behalf of your student in your name and have the funds disbursed directly to you, please take a moment to learn more about our loan for parents and sponsors.