Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Co-Signing Private Student Loans

Can I Not Pay My Private Student Loan With a Cosigner?

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I paid my undergraduate degree completely in loans, some federal, most private. The private loan companies include: Discover student loans and Wells Fargo. My loans are sum total of 70,000.

I want to go back to graduate school but I’m terrified of getting into more loans. What do you suggest for lenders who have cosigners?

Claiming bankruptcy is an option for me but not so much for my mom. She’s very set in obliging with student loan repayment regardless of what cost. I would really appreciate your feedback!!

If you have a cosigner how should you go about not paying off your private student loans? How can I get the cosigner off my loan?



Dear Mirella,

Getting a cosigner removed off a private student loan is darn near impossible. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 90 percent of people who applied to have their cosigners removed were rejected.

The rejections were for a number of reasons even though it appeared the students were eligible to have the cosigner removed.

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The CFPB said:

Companies rejected 90 percent of consumers who applied for co-signer release: Many private student lenders advertise options to release a co-signer from a private student loan. However, an analysis of industry responses to the CFPB’s information request found that the lenders and servicers surveyed granted very few releases—of those borrowers that applied for co-signer release, 90 percent were rejected.

Company policies can permanently disqualify borrowers from co-signer release: Student loan borrowers reported that some companies’ policies penalize or disqualify borrowers who prepay their loans and are in good standing. Some companies also disqualify borrowers from releasing a co-signer if the consumer accepts the servicer’s offer of postponing payment through forbearance. These company policies can permanently ban a consumer from seeking co-signer release for the life of the loan and penalize consumers that may have graduated during tough economic times.

You can read more of the CFPB findings by clicking here.

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But if you want to take a shot at getting your mother off your student loans as a cosigner, read how to do that here and here.

One reality is maybe you can’t afford to go back to school if the only loans you can get are private loans that require a cosigner. They are without a doubt the worst type of loans to have.

If you have to get loans to attend, look at federal student loans only. At least there are some income based repayment options and loan forgiveness programs available with those.

When you have a cosigner involved, the role of the cosigner is to be the person the bank goes after when you can’t or won’t pay.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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