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How to Refinance Student Loans With a Cosigner

If you're thinking about refinancing your student loans, but you have a cosigner, this article will help you understand the process.

Getting the best refinancing rates is all about proving to the lender that you can be trusted to repay the remainder of your loan balance. That's why having a cosigner helps because it gives the student loan lender someone else to hold responsible if you default.

But not everyone is a good candidate to cosign, and not every private lender offers the option to refinance with a cosigner. We'll explain the finer details of refinancing with a cosigner, including your options when refinancing through Juno.


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Why You Should Refinance Student Loans with a Cosigner

It's a common scenario. You see that student loan interest rates are falling and want to refinance to take advantage of a lower rate. But when you apply, you're denied because of poor credit, low income, or insufficient credit history.

Instead of accepting the denial, you can ask someone to cosign on the loan to improve eligibility and increase your odds of being approved with better loan terms. The cosigner acts as a buffer for the lender, someone they can rely on to pay the loan back if you, the primary borrower, default. 

You may be approved to refinance student loans without a cosigner, but adding a cosigner will help you get a lower interest rate or reduce your monthly payment amount. This can save you hundreds or even thousands in interest over the life of the loan. 


How to Refinance Student Loans with a Cosigner

When refinancing through Juno, not all of the listed lenders will accept a cosigner. Only Splash and Laurel Road will allow cosigners, not Earnest.

Here's what to know about the application process and before selecting a lender:

Splash

Splash is not a direct lender, but connects borrowers to other lenders who offer student loan refinancing. Their lending network includes banks and credit unions.

Fixed interest rates start at 2.49% APR, and variable rates start at 1.88% APR. Borrowers who refinance between $50,000 and $150,000 with Splash will earn a $500 cashback bonus, and borrowers who refinance more than $150,000 will earn a $1,000 cashback bonus.

Laurel Road 

Laurel Road offers student loan refinancing for medical professionals, including doctors, dentists, physician assistants, nurses, and optometrists. Juno customers will receive an interest rate that is .25% less than if they went through Laurel Road directly. Fixed interest rates start at 2.75% APR, and variable rates start at 1.74% APR. 

If you have loans from medical school, you may qualify for $100 payments while in residency or fellowship. This can be especially helpful because residents and fellows often live on a low salary and may not be able to afford the full monthly payment. 


Juno's Exclusive Student Loan Refinance Deals

Cosigner:

Can’t be refinanced with a cosigner

Rates:

Fixed starting at 3.49% APR, Variable starting at 2.24% APR including autopay and Juno discount.

Juno benefit:

Rate reduction of 0.25%

Check:

Soft Credit Check to get rates; Hard Credit Check to refinance


Cosigner:

May be able to refinance with a cosigner

Rates:

Fixed starting at 3.29% APR, Variable starting at 2.74% APR. May include autopay discount.

Juno benefit:

Up to $1,000 cashback based on loan amount

Check:

Soft Credit Check to get rates; Hard Credit Check to refinance


Cosigner:

May be able to refinance with a cosigner

Rates:

Fixed starting at 3.99% APR, Variable starting at 2.50% APR

Juno benefit:

Rate reduction of 0.25%

Check:

Soft Credit Check to get rates; Hard Credit Check to refinance


Juno's Exclusive Student Loan Refinance Deals

RatesJuno BenefitCheck
Best for Most
Can’t be refinanced with a cosigner
Fixed starting at 3.49% APR, Variable starting at 2.24% APR including autopay and Juno discount.Rate reduction of 0.25%Soft Credit Check to get rates; Hard Credit Check to refinance
Register for Earnest Deal (it’s free!)
Alternative Best for Most
May be able to refinance with a cosigner
Fixed starting at 3.29% APR, Variable starting at 2.74% APR. May include autopay discount.Up to $1,000 cashback based on loan amountSoft Credit Check to get rates; Hard Credit Check to refinance
Register for Splash Deal (it’s free!)
Best for Medical Professionals
May be able to refinance with a cosigner
Fixed starting at 3.99% APR, Variable starting at 2.50% APRRate reduction of 0.25%Soft Credit Check to get rates; Hard Credit Check to refinance
Register for Laurel Road Deal (it’s free!)

four people sitting at table writing on notepads

Refinancing and Consolidation with a Cosigner FAQs

What are the requirements for a cosigner?

Because a cosigner may end up taking over student loan payments if you default, the lender may have a minimum credit score and minimum income requirements. In general, a cosigner needs to have good credit, consistent income, an acceptable debt-to-income ratio, and a verified employer.  

If the cosigner you choose has a history of late payments or doesn't have a source of income, the lender may not approve them. You can try to find a new cosigner or work on improving your own creditworthiness and income so you can qualify without one.

A cosigner can be anyone you know, and they don't have to be related or married to you. You can ask a family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor. The only requirements that matter are the ones set by the specific lender. 

Will a cosigner stay on the loan forever? 

The cosigner will remain on the new loan until the debt is paid off until you refinance the loan without them, or until you ask the lender to remove them. Only some lenders will remove a cosigner upon request.

If you currently have a cosigner on a loan, you can try to refinance the loan without the cosigner. If the lender approves you as the sole borrower, then the cosigner will no longer be on the loan and will not be financially or legally liable for any payments. To refinance without a cosigner, you'll need to have good credit and a high enough income to qualify by yourself. 

Some lenders may offer a cosigner release, which means that they will remove the cosigner from the loan without requiring a complete refinance. This isn't available with every lender, and you generally need complete at least six months of on-time payments before you can qualify for a cosigner release. 

Removing the cosigner from the loan will benefit them significantly, as it will be one less loan on their credit report. This may help them qualify for a mortgage or other major loan since many lenders see being a cosigner as a liability. 

Does it cost extra to refinance with a cosigner?

There are no extra costs or fees associated with refinancing with a cosigner. It may take more time for the lender to verify a cosigner's income and employment history, but this will not affect you financially.

Because adding a cosigner can decrease the interest rate you receive, adding a cosigner on the loan can actually save you money in the long run.

Can I refinance federal student loans with a cosigner?

Generally yes, you may refinance federal student loans with a cosigner as well as choose to consolidate them with your private student loans, if you wish. However, keep in mind that refinancing federal loans mean you'll lose certain protections and repayment options, including income-driven repayment plans, student loan forgiveness, and deferment/forbearance. Private loans generally do not have these benefits, so there are fewer tradeoffs with a refinanced loan. In other words, you're mostly just comparing the interest rates and repayment terms of your current private loans versus the new refinance loan.

woman sitting at desk working at desktop computer

Juno can help you find the lowest rates on refinancing student loan debt. Juno negotiates on behalf of borrowers with partner lenders to help each student qualify for the best rates they can given their financial situation. 

Join Juno today to find out more about how you pay off your student debt faster.


Zina Kumok
Written By
Zina Kumok

Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four and everything in between. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Read about how she paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years at Conscious Coins.

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