THE BLOG

What Happens to My Cosigner If I Stop Paying My Student Loans?

02/11/2015 05:37 pm ET | Updated Apr 13, 2015

Dear Steve,

Over $200,000 in private student loan debt with a cosigner.

If I choose to stop paying my private student loans, will I be held responsible or will the companies go after my cosigner?

Lulu

Do you have a credit or debt related question you'd like to ask me? Just click here. I'm happy to help for free.

Dear Lulu,

Nothing good is going to result. The lender will most likely pursue you and/or the cosigner for payment. The defaulted payment history will be reflected on your cosigner's credit report.

A cosigner is 100 percent liable for the debt if you don't or won't pay. If these are private loans then you could ask your lender how the cosigner can be released from the loans so your future failure to pay won't drag them into court if the lender decides to sue. See Letters to Release Co-Signer From Private Student Loan.

The reason the lender asked for a cosigner was because they didn't think you were a good credit risk so they wanted somebody with better credit to go after if you did not pay.

Cosigners are well intentioned but open themselves up to a whole world of unnecessary liability and risk. My rule to anyone thinking about cosigning is don't do it.

But if you think you might default, before you do, it would be a good idea to discuss the situation with the cosigner and make the case it might make better sense for them to help you out with the payment right now than face the potential collection and legal efforts of the creditor. At least that way the cosigner would not take the hit to their credit report and credit score.

Before I go I wanted to leave you with three easy action items you jump on right now to address your situation. Just click here.

Steve

Get Out of Debt Guy - Twitter, G+, Facebook

If you have a credit or debt question you'd like to ask, just click here and ask away.

If you'd like to stay posted on all the latest get out of debt news and scam alerts, subscribe to my free newsletter.