Can I Be a Cosigner if I Already Have a Car Loan?

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


, - October 13, 2020

Yes, you can be a cosigner for someone if you already have a car loan yourself. In fact, being a cosigner can help you boost your own credit score if the primary borrower is making all their payments on time.

Becoming a Cosigner

When it comes to cosigning on someone's auto loan, all it really takes is a decent credit score – generally above 660 – and an agreement to take up payments if the primary borrower finds themself falling behind.

To be a cosigner on someone else's car loan, you yourself need to have a good credit score. But, you also need to qualify for the auto loan on your own, in case the primary borrower isn't able to make the payments. In those instances, you're expected to pick up the slack and lenders need to know that you can. This means having to meet the lender’s income requirements.

You should keep in close contact with the person you're cosigning for and make sure that they alert you to any changes that happen with their situation or the car loan itself. When you cosign a loan, your credit gets tied up with the primary borrower's credit, and anything that happens to the loan impacts you both.

How Being a Cosigner Can Affect You

As long as the person you signed the auto loan with keeps up with their payments, you shouldn't be too greatly affected. However, since your credit is now tied to the primary borrowers, it's a good idea to stay in touch, especially if anything changes with your financial situation.

One way in which being a cosigner can affect you is if you need to take on credit down the line. Already being on someone's loan may add to you your debt to income ratio, which can impact your ability to get approved for lines of credit.

The loan shows up on your credit reports as if it were your own, so future lenders only see a loan that is your responsibility. This leads them to believe you have less room in your own budget, even if the primary borrower is the one actually making the payments.

If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to be removed from the loan you cosigned. To do this, the primary borrower needs to qualify for refinancing in order to get you off the contract or sell the vehicle.

Refinancing is the process of replacing a current loan for a new one on the same car. If the primary borrower's credit score has improved since taking out the original loan and they have kept up with their payments, they may qualify to go it alone, freeing you to get the line of credit you need yourself.

Do You Need a Car Loan?

When you find yourself in the position of needing an auto loan, whether you've cosigned for someone or need a cosigner yourself due to poor credit, CarsDirect wants to help. We have a number of services to get you started toward your next vehicle. From researching potential cars to finding a dealership to start at, we've got you covered.

It's our mission to help people grow their financial future by connecting them to a dealer that works with subprime lenders that can assist people in a number of credit situations. We've spent over 20 years cultivating a nationwide network of these special finance dealerships, and want to match you to one today. To get started, just fill out our fast and free auto loan request form now!

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


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