Ever wondered what a cosigner is? You’ve probably seen that word if you’ve ever rented an apartment… especially if you’re a student. The forms involved seem complicated but it’s really pretty simple.
What is the role of a cosigner?
A cosigner is someone who signs a lease with you and guarantees a landlord they will pay your rent if you don’t. Your cosigner’s name will be on your lease but typically does not live in the apartment. A cosigner acts as a safety net for you and your landlord in case anything were to go wrong.
For example, if you lose your job/source of income and are unable to pay rent, your cosigner would cover the rent for you. This creates peace of mind for the landlord knowing they will receive their rental income, and for yourself knowing that you will not be evicted if unable to pay rent!
Do I need a cosigner?
Landlords require cosigners in a variety of situations to sign the lease agreement on your behalf, most commonly when an applicant for an apartment doesn’t have the required income to rent the place. The required monthly income for a tenant typically is around three times the monthly rent in order to bypass the cosigner requirement; however, this can vary from landlord to landlord.
They also sometimes ask when an applicant does not have a high enough credit score after looking at their credit history. Landlords usually like a credit score above 650 as they give good insight on issues with rent payments, credit card payments, student loans.
Where can I find a cosigner?
A cosigner typically is a parent or family member, but they don’t have to be related to you! You could also ask a close friend or trusted individual to be your cosigner. At the end of the day the cosigner simply needs to meet the financial requirements and have their personal finances in check to be your cosigner.
What happens if my cosigner doesn’t pay the rent?
If you are unable to pay rent and your cosigner does not cover your rent, this can lead to a legal mess. A landlord would evict you if your cosigner does not cover the rent, and would most likely pursue legal action against you and your cosigner for the unpaid rent. The end result almost certainly would be your cosigner being responsible for the repayment of the rent, legal fees, and potentially even more… so make sure you find a cosigner who is both trusted and capable!
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