Whose credit score is used with a cosigner?

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When applying for a loan or credit, having a cosigner can be beneficial, especially if the primary borrower has a less-than-ideal credit score. However, when it comes to determining whose credit score is used with a cosigner, there are specific factors to consider. In this article, we will dive deeper into this topic and explore the dynamics of credit scores when a cosigner is involved.

Understanding Cosigners

Before delving into the credit score aspect, it is essential to understand the role of a cosigner. A cosigner is an individual who agrees to take joint responsibility for a loan or credit application with the primary borrower. Their role is to provide additional security to the lender, as they are equally liable for repaying the debt if the primary borrower fails to do so.

Primary Borrower’s Credit Score

When a cosigner is involved, the primary borrower’s credit score is typically the primary factor considered by lenders. The primary borrower’s creditworthiness is assessed based on factors such as their payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, and other relevant factors. Lenders use this information to determine the level of risk associated with lending to the primary borrower.

Cosigner’s Credit Score

While the primary borrower’s credit score is crucial, the cosigner’s credit score also plays a significant role in the lending decision. Lenders assess the cosigner’s creditworthiness to evaluate the overall risk of the loan or credit application. The cosigner’s credit score helps lenders determine if they have a strong credit history and the ability to repay the debt if the primary borrower defaults.

Factors Influencing Credit Score Usage

Several factors influence whose credit score is used when a cosigner is involved. These factors may vary depending on the lender and the specific loan or credit application. Here are some key factors to consider:

Type of Loan or Credit: Different types of loans or credit applications may have varying requirements when it comes to credit scores. For example, auto loans, mortgages, and personal loans may have different criteria for evaluating credit scores.

Lender’s Policies: Each lender may have its own policies regarding the use of credit scores with cosigners. Some lenders may place more emphasis on the primary borrower’s credit score, while others may consider both the primary borrower and cosigner’s credit scores equally.

Income and Debt-to-Income Ratio: Lenders may also consider the income and debt-to-income ratio of both the primary borrower and the cosigner. A higher income and lower debt-to-income ratio can positively impact the lending decision.


In conclusion, when a cosigner is involved in a loan or credit application, both the primary borrower and cosigner’s credit scores are considered. However, the weightage given to each credit score may vary depending on factors such as the type of loan or credit, lender’s policies, and the financial profiles of both parties. It is essential for both the primary borrower and cosigner to maintain good credit scores to increase the chances of approval and secure favorable loan terms.


– Experian: www.experian.com
– Equifax: www.equifax.com
– TransUnion: www.transunion.com