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For those students who opt for this route it is essential they have a loan co-signer when entering into an agreement with the private lender. Your chosen private lender then critically examines the credit report you have availed. This will help in evaluating your application and most importantly the lender will then determine the kind of risk that you pose in having the loan awarded to you. For applicants without a credit history then the lender will require that a family member Co signs the loan agreement before you are awarded the loan. Essentially Stafford loan does not need a co-signer all thanks to the process followed when borrowing the money. As such loans without co-signer actually do not involve examination of your credit score or history.
Co-Signer Requirements of Student Loans Most government-issued student loans dont require a co-signer. Federal Stafford student loans and Perkins student loans are awarded to students without a credit check or co-signer. The one exception would be federal Grad PLUS loans which are credit-based graduate loans. Federal PLUS loans for parents are also credit-based and may in certain cases require a co-signer for the parents to be able to take out the loan. However the credit requirements for federal PLUS parent loans and for federal Grad PLUS student loans are much less stringent than the credit requirements for non-federal private student loans. Private student loans are credit-based loans issued by private lenders or banks.
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The debt from any co-signed loans will also remain on your credit report as an open obligation until the debt is repaid (or written off in the event of a default). 4 Tips for Protecting Yourself as a Co-Signer on a Student Loan So should you co-sign on a student loan? You can never predict the future and unfortunate circumstances can derail even the best-intentioned and responsible student borrower. If you do decide to co-sign on a loan (or any other loan for that matter) make sure you clearly understand what your responsibilities are and under what circumstances you would be expected to take over the note: 1) Have a firm understanding with your primary borrower about the repayment plan -- you may even want to consider putting a signed written agreement in place between the two of you -- and stay in contact with the lender to make sure that the monthly loan payments are being received on time and as agreed. If your primary borrower misses a payment date contact her or him immediately to discuss the problem.