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Best personal loans with a co-signer in 2024

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.

Our picks for best personal loans with a co-signer

Compare top 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 that compensate us. This does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may affect the order in which the companies appear.

Upgrade

Buyer's Choice Award Finalist
Maximum loan amount
$50,000
Repayment terms
24 - 84 months
Minimum credit score
None

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.

Borrowers who are willing to open a new bank account with Upgrade can earn a $200 welcome bonus after opening a new Rewards Checking Plus account, adding funds to the account and initiating a direct deposit of at least $1,000 within 45 days of the account opening.

Overall, ConsumerAffairs readers express a positive experience with Upgrade loans. A reviewer in Kentucky said about her 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."

APRs range from 8.49% to 35.99% 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% of the loan amount.

Maximum loan amount
$20,000
Repayment terms
24 to 60 months
Minimum credit score
None

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. Depending on your state of residence, the minimum and maximum loan amount might be higher or lower. Repayment terms last from 24 to 60 months.

OneMain Financial also offers more than 1,300 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.

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."

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%. Late fees will also set you back $5 to $30 or 1.5% or 15%, depending on your state.

Buyer's Choice Award Winner
Maximum loan amount
$50,000
Repayment terms
24 to 60 months
Minimum credit score
620
3x Award Winner
Selected for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for Best Customer Service, Best Experience with Staff and Best Loan Process

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.

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."

Rates range from 8.99% to 35.99% at the time of publishing, and origination fees of 1.99% to 6.99% of the loan amount apply.

Maximum loan amount
$40,000
Repayment terms
12 to 60 months
Minimum credit score
No minimum

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 $40,000 and repay it over 12 to 60 months.

We also liked that Credit Direct does not have any administration fees or hidden fees. It also does not have a minimum credit score requirement, meaning borrowers with bad credit scores have financing options — at higher interest rates.

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!”

Credit Direct loans come with fixed rates ranging from 6.99% to 29.99% at the time of publishing.

Maximum loan amount
$100,000
Repayment terms
24 to 60 months
Minimum credit score
Varies

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. It also offers fast approvals and same-day funding for qualified borrowers.

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."

Rates at Truist at the time of publishing are from 8.74% to 17.39%. Additionally, there are no origination fees and no hidden fees.

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.

How to find a co-signer

To find a co-signer, start by looking among close family members or friends who are familiar with your financial situation and possess a strong credit history. It's important to have an open and honest conversation about the responsibilities involved in co-signing a loan, ensuring they fully understand the commitment and potential risks.

Co-signer qualifications

A co-signer typically needs to be over 18 years old and a U.S. citizen, as well as be able to meet the following qualifications:

  • Strong credit score: A higher credit score indicates reliability in managing debt, which can help secure better loan terms.
  • Stable income: Proof of a steady, reliable income ensures the co-signer can cover the loan payments if the primary borrower fails to pay.
  • Good debt-to-income ratio (DTI): A low DTI ratio shows that the co-signer has a manageable level of debt compared to their income.
  • Willingness to assume risk: The co-signer must understand and accept the responsibilities and risks involved in co-signing a loan.

When is a co-signer a good idea?

A co-signer can be beneficial when you have a low credit score that might prevent you from securing a loan on your own. Having a co-signer with a strong financial background can help you qualify for loans with better terms, such as lower interest rates. Additionally, using a co-signer can be a strategic move for building or improving your credit score, as long as you make timely payments on the loan.

Risks of using a co-signer for personal loans

While there are many benefits of using a co-signer for your personal loan, it can be a risky move for the co-signer.

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.


    Article sources

    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 Bureau, "Why would I need a co-signer for an auto loan?" Accessed Nov. 28, 2022.
    2. Federal Trade Commission, "Cosigning a Loan FAQs." Accessed Nov. 28, 2022.
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