Nearly anyone can be a cosigner on an auto loan – they don’t have to be your spouse, a family member, or even someone that lives in your state. However, they do need to meet some requirements in order to help you qualify for a car loan.
Who Can Be a Cosigner on My Car Loan?
A friend can absolutely be your cosigner on an auto loan. You don’t have to be related to someone for them to be your cosigner. In fact, they can really be anyone with a good enough credit score, if it's someone that’s willing to back you up on a car loan. This means a friend that lives three states away from you could cosign on your loan if they meet the requirements.
Cosigners help you get approved for an auto loan by promising to pay for the vehicle if you can’t, and lending you their good credit score to make up for your less than perfect one. If you need a cosigner, you need to find someone with a good credit score.
There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule on what their credit score needs to be, but, at the very least, it should be better than yours. Typically, a good credit score is one that’s higher than 660. If your potential cosigner's credit score is lower than that, then they're considered a bad credit borrower. If this is the case, they probably won’t increase your odds of getting approved for a car loan.
Another requirement of a cosigner is that they have enough income. Cosigners’ incomes aren’t combined on the loan application. Each of your incomes are considered separately, so your income needs to meet the lender’s income requirements on its own. Your cosigner also needs to prove they have enough disposable income to pay for your monthly payments in case you can’t.
What Your Cosigner Is Responsible For
If you have a friend that’s willing to cosign for you, they have some responsibility for the auto loan. If you’re unable to make payments, the lender can ask your cosigner to cover the payments. If you start to be late on payments or miss them entirely, both of your credit scores are impacted.
In a more extreme example, if you were to default and get the vehicle repossessed, those negative marks show up on both of your credit reports. Your actions impact both your credit and your cosigner’s, so it’s a big deal to ask someone to cosign for you.
On the flip side, if you were to make all of your payments on time, then both of you can walk away with better credit scores! If you have a friend you think can cosign for you, assure them that you’re going to stay on top of the car loan.
Getting an Auto Loan Without a Cosigner
With a lower credit score, it can be hard to get an auto loan approval with traditional lenders. Luckily, there are resources for borrowers who need a car loan but have poor credit and can’t find the right cosigner. If you’re in that same boat, consider subprime financing.
Subprime financing is tailored for borrowers who have difficult credit circumstances. These lenders consider more than just your credit score, so they’re ideal for borrowers who’ve had credit bumps in the past, or those who are just starting out their credit history.
To get matched to a dealership that’s teamed up with subprime lenders, fill out our completely free, secure, and zero-obligation auto loan request form. We’ll look for a dealer in your area. Here at Auto Credit Express, we’ve gathered a nationwide network of dealerships over the last 20 years, so don’t drive aimlessly hoping to find a special finance dealer – let us do the work for you.