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Private Loan Cosigners

Information for cosigners helping students cover the costs of college


* Will not impact your credit score.

Cosigning for an ISL Education Loan

Cosigning for a student loan is not unusual. In fact, the majority of undergraduate students have at least one cosigner. Cosigners are typically parents, guardians or relatives. As a cosigner, you can help an applicant qualify for a loan or receive a lower interest rate. Understand, though, that cosigning for an education loan comes with added responsibilities for the debt.

See What Cosigners Think About Working with Us

How Cosigners Help Applicants

One or two cosigners may be beneficial to student loan applicants for many reasons.

Help with Meeting Requirements

Since many college students have limited or average credit histories, cosigners who meet the credit and underwriting criteria can help those students qualify for loans. That means meeting certain debt-to-income ratio limits and having a qualifying credit score to either meet the required minimum or qualify for a lower interest rate.

What Is a Debt-to-Income Ratio?

Most ISL Education Lending loans have a maximum debt-to-income ratio requirement. This ratio is calculated by dividing monthly debt payments by gross monthly income.

  • If you cosign for a Partnership Advance Education Loan or Illinois Partnership Loan, only your monthly payments for approved credit and gross monthly income are used to calculate the debt-to-income ratio. The applicant's debt and income is not considered at all.
  • If you cosign for a College Family Loan, the combined monthly debt and income of both you and the applicant is used to calculate this ratio.
  • No matter the loan, if you are one of two cosigners, the combined monthly debt and income of you and the other cosigner, not the applicant's debt and income, is used to calculate this ratio.

Help with a Better Rate

As a cosigner, you can also help an applicant receive a lower interest rate for their loan. A second cosigner may help the applicant receive an even better rate if they have a better credit score.

Some lenders combine and average out credit scores of applicants and cosigners to determine a loan's interest rate. ISL Education Lending is different.

  • We only consider the cosigner's credit score to determine the rate for a Partnership Advance Education Loan or Illinois Partnership Loan.
  • For the College Family Loan, we use the higher credit score between the applicant and the cosigner to determine the interest rate.
  • If you cosign for either loan with a second cosigner, the higher score between the two cosigners determines the loan's interest rate.

Comparing Rates

As a nonprofit, ISL Education Lending is able to offer competitive rates to students and their families. As a cosigner, you can help your applicant receive an even lower rate, which can help them pay less in interest over time.

Total Interest Paid on a $10,000 Loan

These gauges show the different estimated interest costs on fixed rates. Helping borrowers receive lower rates can pay off in the long run.1

Pre-Qualifying and Applying

If you intend to cosign for a Partnership Advance Education Loan or Illinois Partnership Loan, you can pre-qualify to see what rates the applicant would receive based on your credit score. Pre-qualify today and review information specific to you. Once you pre-qualify, you’ll receive an email with the information provided during that process and a link for the student to complete the application.

At this time, cosigners cannot start the application process. The applicant must complete the online portion of an application first. But you can review the specific credit and underwriting requirements for each loan under Common Questions, as well as review other important information.

Pre-Qualify Today

What Comes After the Online Application?

Once an applicant completes the online application, you will receive an email with instructions for completing the cosigner portion of the application. In addition, you will likely need to submit some paperwork that allows ISL Education Lending to verify the debt-to-income ratio and other information. Typically, a copy of your most recent pay stub will be required. If you’re self-employed or retired, you will need to submit copies of your most recent tax returns or proof of retirement income.

Required document details will be provided via email and our secure website. All documentation may be securely submitted online, through the mail or by fax.

Free College Financing Information Kit

Making sense of financial aid offers and options to pay for college can be challenging. Plan smart and pay less for college with this kit filled with valuable information about financial aid, student loans and reducing the need to borrow. Request the Free College Financing Information Kit today.

Fast Facts and Tips

What Parents Need to Know About College Applications

As you prepare to help your student through the college application process, understand the different elements and make a plan to help. Continue reading article.

Decision-Making Tips for Student Loan Debt

When financial aid is not enough to cover the total college costs, students and families have many loan options to consider. These tips can help with the decision-making process. Continue reading article.

What Parents and Cosigners Need to Know About Student Loans

If a student does not receive enough financial aid to cover the cost of college, you may be asked to help. Understand your role before taking out a loan in your name or cosigning a student loan to help with costs. Continue reading article.

Should I Refinance My Student Loans Before Graduating?

Is your student facing increasing variable interest rates on student loans with months (or years) to go before repayment begins? ISL Education Lending offers a fixed-rate refinance loan that may help you and your student avoid increasing rates, even for loans from different lenders, while continuing to postpone repayment until after college. Continue reading article.

Free College Planning Tools

We offer several different tools to help students and families plan for college and find ways to cut the need for borrowing. Check out the College Planning Tools section to learn more about different resources for college planning.

Scholarships and Award Programs

Throughout the year, students and families can take advantage of different scholarship and award programs to receive funds that will help reduce college costs. Review the ISL Education Lending scholarship programs online today.

1 These calculations assume the borrower makes no payments while in school (or while the student for whom the borrower has taken out a loan is in school) and during a six-month separation period, for a total of 51 months where repayment is deferred. The interest rate is assumed to be the same during the in-school period and separation period and once the borrower enters a 15-year repayment period. No origination fees are included in these examples. Loans that require interest-only monthly payments or principal and interest payments during the in-school period may result in smaller total interest charges. Back to content