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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 U.S. citizen or U.S. national, or is a permanent resident alien with proper evidence of eligibility and who 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 may be released from the loan if the student borrower is a U.S. citizen or U.S. national, or is a permanent resident alien with proper evidence of eligibility, and contacts Wells Fargo to request release of the cosigner. We will evaluate credit, employment, and income factors to determine the student borrower's ability to take full responsibility for repaying the loan.

At the time the borrower asks us to release the cosigner, all of the following requirements must be met:

  1. If the first scheduled payment is received on time, then the most recent 24 consecutive scheduled monthly payments must be made on time and in full, or, if the first required payment was not made on time, the most recent 48 consecutive scheduled monthly payments were made on time and in full.
  2. An "on time" payment is defined as paid within the grace period - no late charges assessed.

  3. No forbearances or modifications were granted for hardship reasons during those consecutive monthly payment periods.

If these requirements are met, then the borrower must return a signed cosigner release application and, at that time, satisfy a full credit, employment, and income evaluation. Finally, the cosigner needs to sign a consent form agreeing to be removed from the loan.

To learn more about our cosigner release benefit eligibility or if the borrower is interested in applying for a cosigner release, please contact our office at 1-800-658-3567.

In the event of the death of the student, the loan will be forgiven and the borrower and any cosigner will not be responsible for repayment. Loan forgiveness is also available based on the total and permanent disability of the student.

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 U.S. citizen or U.S. national, or is a permanent resident alien with proper evidence of eligibility and who 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.

Can a cosigner view the student loan online?

Yes. Cosigners can view and manage student loan(s) for which they are cosigned through Wells Fargo Online.

  • Cosigners can sign up for Wells Fargo Online if they don’t already have access.
  • If the cosigner is already signed on to Wells Fargo Online and does not see the student loan(s) they’ve cosigned, they can add them by following these steps:
    • Select Profile and Settings under Account and Settings in the More menu (top right)
    • Select Manage online settings
    • Select Add Online Account Access and follow the instructions to add the student loan account(s)

As a cosigner, how do I make an online payment on a cosigned loan?

You can make an online payment through Wells Fargo Online®. Not enrolled? Complete this one-time quick sign up process.

What should I consider if I am a cosigner making payments?

Each primary borrower is assigned a single account number. When a loan is funded it will be added to that account number so a borrower may have multiple loans under the same account number.

All payments made by cosigners through Wells Fargo Online will be at the individual loan level, eliminating the need for you to provide detailed posting instructions.

If you would like the payment applied to a specific loan(s), please:

  • Select the student loan(s) you’d like to make a payment on within Wells Fargo Online. (All payments made through Wells Fargo Online will be at the individual loan level, eliminating the need for you to provide detailed posting instructions).
  • Set up automatic payments for each individual loan. 
  • Contact us at 1-800-658-3567 to speak to a representative

As a cosigner, can I receive statements?

We only provide statements (paper and online) to the primary borrower. However, for any loan you have cosigned, you can view the loan’s balance, monthly payment amount and payment due date by signing on to Wells Fargo Online.