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8 Best Lenders to Refinance Student Loans With a Co-Signer

These lenders give your co-signer a way to get off of your refinanced student loan.

Cecilia Clark
By
Last updated on June 21, 2023
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Des Toups
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Best Lenders to Refinance Student Loans With a Co-Signer

Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Min. credit score
Fixed APR
Variable APR
Learn more
LendKey Student Loan Refinance

LendKey Student Loan Refinance

Check rate
on LendKey's website
on LendKey's website
COMPARE RATES
on Credible’s website
on Credible’s website
Best for Co-signer release after 12 months

660

5.49-12.18%

5.52-8.70%

Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance

Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance

Read review
3.5
/5
Best for Co-signer release after 12 months

Does not disclose

N/A

N/A

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

Check rate
on Nelnet Bank's website
on Nelnet Bank's website
5.0
/5
Best for Co-signer release after 24 months

Mid to High 600s

7.12-11.19%

7.60-14.50%

Check rate
on Nelnet Bank's website
on Nelnet Bank's website

Our pick for

Co-signer release after 12 months

LendKey Student Loan Refinance
Check rate
on LendKey's website
on LendKey's website
LendKey Student Loan Refinance

LendKey Student Loan Refinance

4.0
Min. credit score

660

Fixed APR

5.49-12.18%

Variable APR

5.52-8.70%

Key facts

LendKey works with community banks and credit unions. Co-signer release policies vary by institution, but may require as few as 12 payments. Check your specific loan agreement.

Pros
  • Forbearance of 18 months for 15- and 20-year loan terms is longer than many lenders.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
Cons
  • Loans aren't available in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island or West Virginia.
  • No payment postponement available if borrowers return to school or serve in the military.
Qualifications
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 751.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000, depending on the higest degree earned.
  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least an associate degree.
Available Term Lengths5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
DisclaimerSee LendKey's full terms and conditions at https://www.lendkey.com/disclaimers
Read Full Review
Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance

Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

N/A

Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

In addition to making 12 consecutive, on-time payments, Navy Federal requires you to provide proof of income and pass a credit check to release your co-signer.

Pros
  • Forbearance of 18 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • Greater-than-minimum payments allowed via autopay.
Cons
  • Available only to existing Navy Federal Credit Union customers
  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.
  • You can’t see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
Qualifications
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • $7,500 minimum to $125,000 for undergraduates, or $175,000 for graduate students.
  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least an associate degree.
Available Term Lengths5, 10 or 15 years

Our pick for

Co-signer release after 24 months

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance
Check rate
on Nelnet Bank's website
on Nelnet Bank's website
Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Mid to High 600s

Fixed APR

7.12-11.19%

Variable APR

7.60-14.50%

Key facts

Nelnet Bank does not do a hard credit check when you apply for co-signer release. But you must meet the lender’s current credit underwriting eligibility requirements to qualify.

Pros
  • International students can apply with a co-signer who is a qualified U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • You can see if you'll qualify and what rate you'll get without a hard credit check.
Cons
  • Does not discharge loans in cases of death or permanent disability.
  • Doesn't allow biweekly payments via autopay.
Qualifications
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 - $225,000.
  • Must have a degree: No.
Available Term LengthsMultiple term options
DisclaimerFixed interest rates range from 7.12% APR (with auto debit discount) to 11.19% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. The fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan. Variable interest rates range from 7.60% APR (with auto debit discount) to 14.50% APR (without auto debit discount). Variable rates for Nelnet Bank Refinance Loans are calculated using either (a) the One-Month SOFR; (b) the 30-day Average SOFR; or (c) the forward-looking term rate based on SOFR as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and/or The Wall Street Journal “Money Rates” table on the twenty-fifth day (or the next business day) of the immediately preceding calendar month. The variable rate may reprice and change on the first day of each month if the SOFR index changes. This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month SOFR index is 5.32% as of March 1, 2024.
ISL Refinance Loan

ISL Refinance Loan

Min. credit score

660

Fixed APR

6.81-11.83%

Variable APR

N/A

Key factsBest for saving on interest before graduation and borrowers who didn’t finish school.
Pros
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • You can refinance without a degree.
  • You can refinance while in school or during a medical residency.
Cons
  • Interest rates vary by refi product.
Qualifications
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Approximately 750.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000. (Minimum for California residents is $10,000.)
  • Must have a degree: No.
Available Term Lengths5, 7, 10, 15 or 20

Our pick for

Co-signer release after 36 months

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
Check rate
on Laurel Road's website
on Laurel Road's website
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

660

Fixed APR

5.44-10.39%

Variable APR

5.49-10.59%

Key facts

You will need to pass a hard credit check to release a co-signer from a refinanced Laurel Road loan.

Pros
  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.
  • Refinancing available for medical and dental residents.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
Cons
  • Payment postponement isn’t available if borrowers return to school.
Qualifications
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance.
  • Must have a bachelor's degree. For parent PLUS loans, the child does not need to have graduated to refinance.
Available Term Lengths5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
DisclaimerFull Laurel Road Disclaimers. Rates as of 2/9/24, rates subject to change. Terms and Conditions Apply. All products subject to credit approval. IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Please note that if you refinance qualifying federal student loans with Laurel Road, you may no longer be eligible for certain federal benefits or programs and waive your right to future benefits or programs offered on those loans. Examples of benefits or programs you may not receive include, but are not limited to, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income-driven Repayment plans, forbearance, or loan forgiveness. Please carefully consider your options when refinancing federal student loans and consult http://studentaid.gov/ for the most current information. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association. All products offered by KeyBank N.A. ©2022 STUDENT LOANS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED OR GUARANTEED. KeyCorp® All Rights Reserved. Laurel Road is a federally registered service mark of KeyCorp. 3 Corporate Drive, 4th fl, Shelton, CT 06484.
EDvestinU Student Loan Refinance

EDvestinU Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

700

Fixed APR

7.41-11.03%

Variable APR

7.52-9.27%

Key facts

Among other criteria, EDvestinU requires a FICO score above 699, income of at least $30,000 or $50,000 (depending on your loan balance) and a debt–to–income ratio of 43% or less to release a co-signer.

Pros
  • You can refinance without a degree.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
Cons
  • You cannot refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.
  • Maximum loan amount is lower than most lenders offer.
Qualifications
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 756.
  • Minimum income: $30,000.
  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $200,000.
Available Term Lengths5, 10, 15 or 20 years
DisclaimerAPR, projected monthly payments, and total cost of loan examples are based on a $10,000 loan disbursed in one disbursement with either 5–year, 10–year, 15–year or 20–year repayment. APR’s provided include a 0.25 percent interest rate reduction for authorizing our loan servicer to automatically deduct your payments each month from your bank account. The interest rate reduction for authorizing our servicer to automatically deduct monthly payments from a savings or checking account will not reduce the monthly payment, but will reduce the monthly finance charge, resulting in a lower total cost of loan. Variable APR rates may increase or decrease depending on fluctuations in the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) index. Monthly interest rate accrual is based on the published One–Month London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") as of the last business day of the previous month plus your applicable margin.
Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

4.95-7.74%

Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

You will need to pass a hard credit check to release a co-signer from an Advantage Refinance Loan.

Pros
  • You can refinance without a degree.
  • Forbearance of 24 months is twice as long as most lenders.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
Cons
  • Loans aren’t available in Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, Washington D.C.
  • You cannot postpone repayment if you re-enroll in school.
Qualifications
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Does not disclose.
  • Minimum income: Does not disclose.
  • Loan amounts: Minimum $7,500. Maximum depends on creditworthiness and debt-to-income ratio.
Available Term Lengths10, 15 or 20 years

Our pick for

Co-signer release after 48 months

INvestED Student Loan Refinance

INvestED Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

670

Fixed APR

5.86-9.49%

Variable APR

7.85-11.49%

Key factsBest for Indiana residents or borrowers who attended school there.
Pros
  • You can refinance without a degree.
  • Forbearance of 24 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • Interest-only repayment may be available if you can’t afford payments.
Cons
  • You can’t see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • You must be from Indiana or have attended school in the state to qualify.
Qualifications
    Available Term Lengths5,10,15 or 20 years

    Can you refinance student loans with a co-signer?

    Most lenders will let you refinance student loans with a co-signer, with Earnest being a notable exception. Here are some reasons you may want to refinance with a co-signer:

    • Your finances aren’t strong enough. Student loan refinance eligibility varies by lender, but you’ll typically need a credit score in at least the high 600s, a debt-to-income ratio below 50% and steady income. If you can’t meet these requirements, applying with a co-signer who does may help you qualify.

    • You can’t qualify for a nonfinancial reason. A co-signer might help depending on the reason. For example, if you’re an international student, you may be able to refinance with an eligible co-signer. In other instances — like refinancing without a degree — adding a co-signer wouldn’t make a difference.

    • You can get a better interest rate. A loan with more than one borrower is less risky for the lender, which means it may offer you a better rate. Plus, interest rates on refinance loans are credit-based in general. So even if you can qualify on your own, adding a co-signer with a stronger financial profile could improve a lender’s offer to you.

    Should you refinance student loans with a co-signer?

    Ask the following to decide if co-signing is the right move:

    • Can the co-signer afford the loan? Co-signing a student loan makes that person responsible for it. While they may not plan to repay the loan, they’ll have to if you don’t. The debt will also go on their credit report, meaning missed payments will hurt their credit score and the loan amount could affect their ability to do things like take out or refinance other debts.

    • Are they already on the hook? Most undergraduate private student loans require a co-signer. If you’re refinancing one of these loans, asking that person to co-sign again won’t change their responsibility. But it could reduce their risk: By helping you get a lower payment, you may be less likely to run into trouble and able to pay the loan off faster.

    • Is there a plan for release? You can refinance again to remove the co-signer; this can make sense if your financial situation improves. If that won’t happen soon, make sure the lender offers co-signer release — some, like SoFi, don’t — and you both understand the requirements. This will likely include making a set number of consecutive, full, on-time payments and meeting the original loan’s underwriting criteria.

    How to refinance student loans with a co-signer

    When you apply to refinance a student loan on a lender’s website, you’ll likely be asked if you want to include a co-signer. You can then add that person’s information accordingly.

    But before doing that, pre-qualify with multiple lenders — with and without a co-signer. This will let you see potential interest rates for both scenarios without affecting your credit.

    Your goal should be to get the best rate possible. But if you refinance with a co-signer, you’ll have to weigh the risk that person faces versus the reward of a lower rate. For example, say the lowest rate you’re offered is 4%, and you’d be able to release your co-signer after 36 months of payments. The next-best offer is 5% — but release is available after 12 months.

    A student loan refinance calculator can help you understand how much that one percentage point could save you. It will be up to you and your co-signer to determine whether that amount is worth more than a quicker path to release.

    STUDENT LOAN REFINANCE RATINGS METHODOLOGY

    Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and the top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

    We consider 41 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.

    The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

    Last updated on June 21, 2023

    To recap our selections...

    NerdWallet's Best Lenders to Refinance Student Loans With a Co-Signer

    • LendKey Student Loan Refinance: Best for Co-signer release after 12 months
    • Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance: Best for Co-signer release after 12 months
    • Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance: Best for Co-signer release after 24 months
    • ISL Refinance Loan: Best for Co-signer release after 24 months
    • Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance: Best for Co-signer release after 36 months
    • EDvestinU Student Loan Refinance: Best for Co-signer release after 36 months
    • Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance: Best for Co-signer release after 36 months
    • INvestED Student Loan Refinance: Best for Co-signer release after 48 months

    Further reading

    How Often Should You Refinance Student Loans?

    By Anna Helhoski and Trea Branch
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