Can a Cosigner Help Me Get a Car Loan?

Get Car Financing
Even with poor credit.

By

Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


, - June 6, 2018

Having a cosigner on your next auto loan is a great way to help you get approved, especially if you’re dealing with bad, little, or no credit.

Car Loan Cosigner Requirements

How does a cosigner on a car loan work, exactly? The cosigner’s role is to help you (the primary borrower) get approved for financing. Lenders want to make sure the auto loan will be paid on time and in full each month, and having a strong cosigner helps your cause if you have poor credit or little or no loan experience. Make sure you ask a potential cosigner if they’re comfortable with this, because they’re putting their credit and finances on the line for you.

Once you’ve discussed the risks with a potential cosigner, it’s time to see if they qualify. In order to be a cosigner, they must meet specific requirements:

  1. Must have good credit – Lenders require your cosigner to have good or excellent credit. Generally, this is a FICO credit score of at least 700.
  2. A qualifying income – Your cosigner must be able to pay in the event you have problems, so they have to individually meet the lender’s minimum monthly income requirement. Typically, this ranges from $1,500 to $2,000 a month before taxes.
  3. Must not have excess existing debt – Regardless of if they have good credit and a qualifying income, cosigners can be turned down if they have too much debt. The loan you take out will be included in the cosigner’s debt to income ratio, and if too much of their income goes toward their own debts, they could be denied.

One tip to keep in mind is to always keep in touch with your cosigner about your auto loan. If you know you won’t be able to make a payment, talk with your cosigner and see how you both can work things out. It’s never a good idea to leave them in the dark, especially when the credit of both of you is involved.

Bottom Line

Some lenders may require you to have a cosigner on your next auto loan if you have bad credit or no credit. It’s important you know what the lender’s cosigner requirements are and what your potential cosigner needs to have in order to qualify.

If you're looking for an auto loan and are dealing with imperfect credit, CarsDirect wants to help you find financing. We work with a nationwide network of car dealerships that specialize in helping consumers dealing with credit issues. To get started, fill out our secure auto loan request form right now!

Need a Car Loan?

It only takes a minute.

Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


Search New Cars by Loan Payment »

View estimated loan payments based on local rebates and financing offers.

Loan approval is not guaranteed and is subject to credit application and approval of the lender. Individual loan terms may vary. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of CarsDirect.com's Terms of Use, Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.