Keep in mind that having someone co-sign your loan means you’re tying it to your bottom line with that specific debt. Also note that lenders are not required to give you a co-signer release, which means your co-signer can be locked in on your loan until the loan is paid off or you decide to refinance again without the co-signer.
If you decide it makes more sense to have a co-signer, you’ll likely need to repeat steps #2 and #4 above. In other words, you’ll want to double-check the co-signer’s FICO score and reapply to major lenders, now including the co-signer’s proof of income, debts, and other applicable information.
6. Always read the fine print
Before moving forward, make sure you understand the lender’s policy on forbearance or deferment periods – for example, if you lose your job, what kind of protections do you have? All at all? You should also look for information on the co-signer release policy, if there is one.
And always confirm that there are no setup fees or prepayment penalties. (They’re both rare for student loans. None of the major lenders have them, but it never hurts to check.)
7. Fill out the paperwork
Once you’ve been approved, all that’s left is paperwork. And luckily, you can do this process entirely online with most lenders.