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Best personal loans with a co-signer in 2023

Having a co-signer may make it easier to qualify for a loan

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OneMain Financial, Achieve Personal Loans and Upgrade
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A personal loan with a co-signer is an unsecured loan you apply for with another person. While only some lenders that offer personal loans let applicants apply with a co-signer, those that do make it easy to borrow for any reason and repay the loan over several years. Applying with a co-signer makes the most sense when you cannot qualify for funding on your own, or when your credit rating or income makes it difficult to get a loan with the best rates and terms.

The best personal loans with a co-signer come with competitive, fixed rates, fixed monthly payments and a set repayment schedule.

Key insights:

  • Not all lenders allow co-signers on personal loans.
  • When you apply for a personal loan with a co-signer, your co-signer becomes responsible for the debt if you fail to repay or default on the loan.
  • Having a co-signer can help you qualify for a loan with better rates and terms.

Our top 5 picks for personal loans with a co-signer

To make our choices for the best personal loans with a co-signer, we collected 806 data points (26 individual data points for 31 lenders) from popular lenders, including customer reviews and overall ratings from ConsumerAffairs readers. We used these data points to evaluate factors that impact borrowers most, including credit score requirements, loan limits, repayment terms and annual percentage rates (APRs), before making our final selections.

Our picks may be Authorized Partners who compensate us. This does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may affect the order in which the companies appear.

  • Maximum loan amount: $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • ConsumerAffairs rating:4.8

Upgrade is a personal loan company that lets borrowers access $1,000 to $50,000 in funding with or without a co-signer. This lender lets approved borrowers choose a repayment term from 24 to 84 months. Rates range from 8.49% to 35.99% APR at the time of publishing.

You can check your rate without a hard inquiry on your credit, which makes it easier to gauge approval odds. Note that all personal loans through Upgrade come with an origination fee of 1.85% to 9.99% origination fee; late payment fee applies of the loan amount.

Borrowers who are willing to open a new bank account with Upgrade can earn a $200 welcome bonus after opening a new Rewards Checking account, adding funds to the account and making three debit card transactions within 60 days of account opening.

  • Loans available to borrowers with lower credit score
  • Broad range of repayment options
  • Welcome bonus for borrowers who also open a checking account
  • Origination fee
  • Interest rates higher for those with bad credit

Overall, ConsumerAffairs readers express a positive experience with Upgrade loans. A reviewer in Kentucky said about their loan experience: "I was very pleased with the streamlined process and how quickly I received the funds. I received information in a timely manner regarding when my payments would start. I would recommend this company to my family and friends. I had several options from which to choose."

However, a few negative reviews complain about slow funding and response times from customer service.

OneMain Financial
  • Maximum loan amount: $20,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Minimum credit score: Varies
  • ConsumerAffairs rating:3.6

OneMain Financial is an online lender that offers personal loans to people with imperfect credit, including loans that allow a co-signer.

These loans come in amounts from $1,500 to $20,000, which is lower than many lenders offer. Repayment terms last from 24 to 60 months, and origination fees can be charged in a flat amount ($25 to $500) or as a percentage of the loan (1% to 10%). APRs at the time of publishing are from 18% to 35.99%.

OneMain Financial also offers more than 1,400 physical branches you can visit throughout the country. This makes it possible to apply for funding online or in a branch if you prefer a more personalized experience.

  • Check rate with no impact on credit score
  • Apply for funding online or in person
  • No minimum credit score requirement, which can make it easier to get approved
  • Origination fees apply
  • Maximum loan amounts lower than competitors
  • Interest rates higher than at other lenders

Most reviewers feel that OneMain Financial offers great customer service and plenty of loan options. A reviewer in Tennessee said: "One Main Financial representatives truly care about you as an individual, are empathetic to your needs and go out of their way to help. They are a reputable company and very easy to do business with. Payments are easy to set up online. I highly recommend One Main Financial for your personal loan needs."

Some ConsumerAffairs reviewers do complain about failing to get approved or having to pay high origination fees.

Achieve Personal Loans
  • Maximum loan amount: $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • ConsumerAffairs rating:4.3

Achieve Personal Loans, formerly known as FreedomPlus, is another personal loan company that lets borrowers apply for funding with a co-signer if they prefer. It promises same-day decisions and funding within 24 to 72 hours.

Loan amounts start at $5,000, but applicants can request funding up to $50,000, depending on their needs. Loans can be repaid over 24 to 60 months, and borrowers can tailor their repayment plan to their budgets when they apply. Note that the minimum you can borrow may vary according to where you live based on state-specific restrictions.

Rates range from 7.99% to 29.99% at the time of publishing, and origination fees of 1.99% to 6.99% of the loan amount apply.

  • Same-day loan decisions and fast fundin
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • Borrowers can check rate with no impact on credit
  • Origination fees apply on every loan
  • Loan minimums may vary based on state legal restrictions
  • Funding can take up to 72 hour

Most ConsumerAffairs reviewers say they got the funding they needed without any issues. For instance, a reviewer in Ohio said: "The process was quick and painless. I would highly recommend my loan expert I worked with. He was efficient and explained everything well. The entire process went so fast and there were really minimal items I had to do. My loan officer was very personable, too. I would highly recommend this company to a friend."

Some reviewers did report disappointing customer service experiences.

Credit Direct
  • Maximum loan amount: $47,500
  • Repayment terms: 12-60 months
  • Minimum credit score: No minimum credit score required
  • ConsumerAffairs rating:4.1

Credit Direct offers unsecured personal loans for reasons like debt consolidation and home remodeling projects, with funds available as soon as 24 hours after you apply. This lender lets applicants borrow between $1,000 and $47,500 and repay it over 12 to 60 months.

Credit Direct loans come with fixed rates ranging from 4.99% to 29.99% at the time of publishing. There are no administration fees.

  • No administration fees or hidden fees
  • Competitive rates, especially for borrowers with great credit or a co-signer with great credit
  • No minimum credit score required
  • Interest rates can be high for those with bad credit
  • Repayment terms shorter than at other lenders

Many ConsumerAffairs readers report having positive customer experiences and receiving the funding they need on a speedy timeline. A South Carolina reviewer said: “The whole experience was awesome from start to finish. Very easy and stress-free! Everyone was very helpful and compassionate throughout the entire process. Kudos to all involved. Would highly recommend to family and friends! I cannot say enough about how easy the process was and how eager the staff was to help. Very understanding and nonjudgmental!”

Note that some reviewers complained about struggling to get approved for a loan.

  • Maximum loan amount: $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Minimum credit score: No minimum required
  • ConsumerAffairs rating:2.8

Truist, created from the merger of BB&T and SunTrust, offers checking and savings accounts, auto loans, home equity lines of credit, personal loans and other financial products.

Its personal loans stand out because of the high maximum loan amount. You can borrow up to $100,000 and pay it back over 24 to 60 months. Rates at Truist at the time of publishing are from 6.99% to 15.98%.

  • No origination fees and no hidden fees
  • Rates are highly competitive
  • Same-day funding available
  • Only offers loans in 17 states plus Washington, D.C.
  • Fewer than 50% of applicants qualify for lowest rate

Many ConsumerAffairs reviewers praise Truist for its selection of banking products and welcoming atmosphere. A reviewer in Georgia said: "I love my bank. It is so nice to bank somewhere where they know your name when you walk in and they are all so nice. They have always been very helpful, and I would recommend this bank to my family and friends."

A handful of reviewers did complain about payments that are late to post and poor customer service.

How to get a personal loan with a co-signer

Applying for a personal loan with a co-signer is a lot like applying on your own. Most online lenders make it possible to apply for an unsecured personal loan entirely online, and many let you check your rate with no impact on your credit. This makes it easier to shop around and compare rates and loan terms across multiple lenders.

Once you find a lender with a loan that makes sense for your needs and goals, you should:

  • Check for loan fees, including any origination fee.
  • Make sure the monthly payment amount fits in your budget and spending plan.
  • Verify the repayment term, payment dates and how to make payments.

From there, you can apply for a personal loan by submitting a range of information for yourself and your co-signer. You should plan on submitting details like both of your full names and addresses, Social Security numbers, employment and income information and monthly mortgage or rent amount.

You may also need to supply pay stubs, W-2s or tax returns.

William Bevins, a financial advisor in Franklin, Tennessee, urges both the main borrower and the co-signer to think over the responsibility involved in applying for a personal loan. The co-signer is taking on just as much risk, given they'll be on the hook for repayment if the original borrower defaults.

"If the payments stop being made, the co-signer ultimately bears the responsibility," he said. He also notes that using a friend or family member as a co-signer can interfere with an important relationship if repayment becomes an issue.

"Entering a financial contract such as this has the potential of ruining close relationships. It might be advantageous to think of the long-term fallout if things go badly," he said.

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    Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

    Is it easier to get a personal loan with a co-signer?

    Applying for a loan with a co-signer lessens risk for the lender. As a result, many applicants find that it’s easier to qualify for a personal loan and get better rates and terms with a co-signer.

    What is the difference between a co-signer and a co-borrower?

    A co-signer helps a loan applicant qualify for a loan or get better loan terms, but they don’t typically have access to the loan funds, and they don’t repay the loan unless the primary borrower defaults. On the other hand, a co-borrower has equal access to loan funds and usually helps with repayment. A co-borrower also has ownership rights of any asset that secures the loan (like a vehicle on an auto loan).

    Will a co-signer help me get a better interest rate?

    Applying for a loan with a co-signer who has good credit and a strong income can help you qualify for a personal loan with a better rate. If you're curious whether you need a co-signer or you want to see if you can qualify without one, look for lenders that let you check your rate without a hard inquiry on your credit report.

    Can you be denied a loan with a co-signer?

    You can definitely be denied a loan with a co-signer, just as you can be denied a loan if you apply on your own. Ultimately, loan approval hinges on factors like your income and credit score.

    Bottom line

    If you can’t qualify for a personal loan on your own, it doesn’t mean your search for a personal loan is over. One possible strategy is to look for a lender that allows a co-signer to join you on a loan application. As you would without a co-signer, compare lenders based on how much you can borrow, how you can use funds, the cost of borrowing (the APR), the loan term and reviews.

    Even with a co-signer on board, you should only take out a loan you can afford to pay back on your own. That way, the co-signer never has to assume financial responsibility, and you don’t jeopardize any important relationships.

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. Consumer Financial Protection Burea, “What is a co-signer?” Accessed Nov. 28, 2022.
    2. Federal Trade Commission, “Cosigning a Loan FAQs.” Accessed Nov. 28, 2022.
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