8 Personal Loans With a Co-Signer in 2023
With a co-signed personal loan, you add a second borrower to your loan application. You're both responsible for paying back the loan.
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A co-signed or joint loan is an option for people who don't qualify for a personal loan on their own. Adding another person’s credit history and income to an application can help you qualify and get a lower rate or higher loan amount.
A co-borrower is similar to a co-signer, except the co-borrower has access to the funds from the loan.
Here are lenders that offer personal loans with a co-signer or co-borrower, plus information about the differences and risks associated with adding someone else to your loan application.
Personal Loans With a Co-Signer in 2023
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Personal loans with a co-borrower
Our pick for
Personal loans with a co-signer
What’s the difference between a co-signer and a co-borrower?
Co-signers and co-borrowers have a similar effect on a personal loan application but different responsibilities for repaying the loan and accessing funds.
Co-signer: A co-signer vouches for someone else’s loan application and agrees to repay it if the borrower doesn’t. The co-signer can’t access the loan proceeds, nor can they see information about the loan, like how much you’ve repaid or if you missed a payment, says Massachusetts-based certified financial planner Therese Nicklas.
Co-borrower: A co-borrower is a partner applicant on a joint personal loan and shares responsibility for repayment. This person has equal access to loan funds and payment information.
When is a co-signer a good idea?
Lenders use information like your credit and income to decide whether you qualify and what your loan amount and annual percentage rate should be. Adding someone with better credit, higher income and low debt to support your application makes a lender more confident that the loan will be repaid.
A co-signer can help if:
You have bad credit. There are personal loans for bad credit, but few lenders approve applicants with credit scores below 600. If that’s you, a co-applicant with better credit could increase your approval odds.
You want a larger loan. Lenders offer the largest loans to well-qualified applicants, so including a co-applicant could increase the size of your loan.
You need a lower rate. Since the APR affects your monthly payments, adding someone to the application could get you a lower rate, meaning a less expensive loan.
» MORE: See your bad-credit loan options
How much a co-signer or co-borrower helps depends on factors such as:
The co-applicant’s credit score.
Both your credit histories.
Your combined debt-to-income ratio.
The lender’s underwriting criteria.
Risks of adding a co-signer
It’s important for you and your co-applicant to understand the risks of co-signing before submitting an application. These can include:
A hard credit check, which will temporarily lower both of your credit scores.
Higher debt-to-income ratios for both of you, which could make it harder to access credit during the life of the loan.
Damage to both of your credit scores if a payment is missed.
Damage to the relationship, which could be harder to salvage than your credit.
Next steps: Check personal loan rates
Pre-qualify to see if you're approved for a loan on your own and, if so, at what rate. The pre-qualification process doesn’t affect your credit score, and you could find an affordable offer without a co-applicant.
If not, some lenders allow you to add a co-borrower during pre-qualification to give you a more accurate rate estimate. A co-signed option may only be available if you don’t get a loan offer.
» Get started: Pre-qualify on NerdWallet
Last updated on December 13, 2022
NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.
Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.
This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.
NerdWallet's Personal Loans With a Co-Signer in 2023
- LendingClub: Best for Personal loans with a co-borrower
- Upgrade: Best for Personal loans with a co-borrower
- SoFi: Best for Personal loans with a co-borrower
- Achieve Personal Loans: Best for Personal loans with a co-borrower
- LightStream: Best for Personal loans with a co-signer
- First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan: Best for Personal loans with a co-signer
- PenFed Credit Union Personal Loan: Best for Personal loans with a co-signer
- Truist Bank Personal Loan: Best for Personal loans with a co-signer