Does a Co-Borrower Need to Sign the Title to Sell a Car?

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Bethany Hickey is a Content Manager and Writer for Auto Credit Express, CarsDirect, and many other automotive blogs. She's a graduate from the University of Michigan-Flint, with a bachelor’s in English-Writing. 

, Content Manager - August 27, 2020

Adding a co-borrower to a car loan is also called a joint auto loan. Both of you have equal responsibilities and rights to the vehicle, and you may not be able to sell it alone.

Selling a Car With a Co-Borrower

Since you and your co-borrower own the car equally, you’re both equally on the hook for the vehicle loan. If you want to sell the car by yourself, you may not be able to – you’re likely to need your co-borrower to complete the sale. Both of your names are on the title, which can make selling the vehicle complicated. You're also likely to need your co-borrower’s permission to transfer ownership legitimately.

However, whether or not you're able to sell the car alone largely depends on the language in your title and the state you reside in. For loans with co-borrowers, there’s a modifier between your names.

You're going to usually see either “and” or “and/or” in the middle of your names. If your vehicle’s title just says “and,” then you need your co-borrower's signature on the title. However, if it says “and/or,” you may not need them to sign.

Remember, this also depends on your state, so be sure to look up your state’s rules and regulations on transferring car ownership the right way. Some states also require a notary to be present when you’re switching ownership of a vehicle, too.

Can I Remove a Co-Borrower From My Auto Loan?

Yes, there are ways to remove a co-borrower from the auto loan and off the title. But, they still need to sign the title, in the end, to transfer full ownership to you.

A common way to remove a co-borrower is by refinancing. Refinancing is done by replacing your original loan with another one. You can use the same lender or a different one, but most borrowers try to look for another one for better rates.

Most borrowers refinance to lower their monthly car payment, but you can remove cosigners and co-borrowers from the loan if you can qualify for refinancing by yourself. This was where many co-borrowers hit a wall.

If you originally needed a co-borrower to qualify for the vehicle, you may not qualify alone – unless you can change the loan terms. It may be possible to refinance alone, but it depends on the balance of your loan, your credit score, and other factors that involve your car’s age and mileage.

Refinancing is usually done in one of two ways: extend the loan term, or lower your interest rate. The most ideal way to refinance is by lowering your interest rate, which saves you money during the course of your auto loan. By simply extending your loan term with the same interest rate, you’re going to pay more for the vehicle due to increased interest charges as a result of the longer loan term.

If you do extend your loan term, the monthly payment might be more manageable if you’re trying to handle the car loan by yourself without the help of a co-borrower’s income.

Just keep in mind that you’re going to need the co-borrower’s permission to refinance the auto loan, and you’re both going to need to sign the title to transfer ownership solely to you so you can register the vehicle in just your name.

Do You Still Need a Co-Borrower?

Most often, co-borrowers are spouses or life partners who sign onto a car loan together with their combined income to qualify for larger auto loans and/or better terms.

When you apply with a co-borrower, both your and the other person’s income are combined to meet the requirements of the lender. Both of your credit scores are also considered during the approval process.

If you can’t qualify for a car loan with your own income, or your low credit score, it might be a good idea to go for a less expensive vehicle for the time being. Aiming for a bad credit auto loan could be your next step if your credit is what’s stopping you from getting into the car you need.

Taking On Another Auto Loan

When you’re looking to take on another auto loan, many borrowers worry about finding the right financing for their situation. Even if you have a trade-in that can help cover a down payment, you still need the right lender. Luckily, we know what dealers are signed up to work with bad credit lenders, and we want to get you connected to one in your area.

At CarsDirect, we’ve cultivated a nationwide network of dealerships and we want to help you get the ball rolling on your next car loan. To start the search of a dealer for bad credit, fill out our free auto loan request form and we’ll get right to work for you.


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, Content Manager

Bethany Hickey is a Content Manager and Writer for Auto Credit Express, CarsDirect, and many other automotive blogs. She's a graduate from the University of Michigan-Flint, with a bachelor’s in English-Writing. 

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