How to Remove a Cosigner from Student Loans

Nicolas Cesare  | 

A student loan cosigner can provide a lot of help for a student who’s struggling to pay for tuition, room & board, and expensive textbooks. Younger students, or those with a troubled financial past, will have difficulty getting some student loans on their own. Financial aid like Student PLUS Loans and private student loans require a credit check beforehand, and a bad credit score could make it impossible for a student to receive this kind of aid. However, with a cosigner who has a strong credit history, it’s possible to get these student loans.

This is the story for students who are still working on school, but what happens after graduation? What if the cosigner runs into financial difficulty of their own and can no longer keep their obligations to someone else’s debt? What if the former student is ready to move on and handle their debt without a safety net? In these cases, it’s time for student loan cosigner release, a process whereby a student loan cosigner is released from their obligations towards the loans they cosigned on. Here’s everything that you need to know about removing a cosigner from a student loan.

See If You Qualify

In order to qualify for student loan cosigner release, the loans in question will have to meet several requirements.

  • The recipient must have graduated. Cosigner release is only available after graduation, so don’t go expecting to remove a cosigner from a loan right away if the recipient is still in school.
  • A certain number of payments must be met. This requirement can range anywhere from 12 months to there years. Contact the debt owner to learn their specific time requirement for student loan cosigner release.
  • The loan recipient must have a good credit score. Once a cosigner is released from a loan, it’s up to the former student to pay it off completely on their own. However, since the debt holder wants their money back, they’re not going to release the cosigner unless the loan has good prospects with them. The loan recipient should build their credit score before trying to release the cosigner.

Prepare Your Documentation

Once you meet all of the requirements, it’s time to get your paperwork in order for student loan cosigner release. Make sure to get a copy of the loan recipient’s credit report to make sure that you’re eligible.

Since each loan provider has different release procedures, they’ll all have an individually tailored application process. For some, that there’s a form that you need to fill out. For example, here’s Sallie Mae’s application form. However, others may expect you to get the ball rolling. If your loan provider doesn’t have a clear process towards cosigner release, you’ll have to write them a letter stating your intentions and reasoning in order to get the ball rolling.

Removing Cosigner from Student Loans: Other Options

Student Loan Refinancing

Refinancing your student loans is a creative way to get a cosigner removed. When  you refinance your loans, you combine them all into one new loan, usually with a better interest rate and repayment terms. This new loan is being created from scratch, so this is the perfect time for a cosigner to get out; they’ll simple refrain from cosigning on this new loan.

Student Loan Consolidation

Student loan consolidation is a lot like student loan refinancing, except you don’t get as much leeway on the new terms and interest rate. Just like with student loan refinancing, you get to convert all of your student loans into one big loan. However, the interest rate of this big loan is determined by averaging the interest rate on your previous loans. This is important for the overall outlook when it comes to paying off student loans, but it’s not so important for student loan cosigner release. When you consolidate your loans into a single new loan, you can remove your cosigner and start fresh.

Having a cosigner for student loans can be valuable early on in a student’s career. However, that doesn’t mean that the cosigner has to be stuck with the loan forever. When circumstances change, it’s time to pursue student loan cosigner release.


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Nick Cesare is a writer from Boise, ID. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing and making avocado toast.

This post was updated January 24, 2018. It was originally published January 29, 2018.