Co-signer Vs Co-applicant: Know the Difference When Applying for a Home Loan

May 23, 2022 . Financial Planning . 10 min read

When applying for a mortgage loan, you can either be a co-owner, co-borrower, co-signer, or co-applicant. It is important to understand the legal and financial implications of each role. This blog post will highlight the difference between a co-applicant and a co-signer and what both parties need to know.

A home loan, also called a mortgage, is used to purchase a home. The loan can be in the form of an equity loan, where the borrower owns a percentage of the property and pays off the debt as they live in it, or it can be in the form of a mortgage, where the borrower pays off the debt over time with fixed equated monthly payments (EMIs).

Co-signer Vs Co-applicant

A co-signer is a person who agrees to take the responsibility for the home loan if the borrower defaults in repayment. A co-applicant is someone who applies for a mortgage with the borrower and is jointly liable for the repayment of the loan. The co-signer can be an individual or an organization, such as a family member or a company.

A co-applicant is a person who is jointly applying for a home loan with the primary applicant. The co-applicant can be someone with good credit history who wants to share the responsibility of paying off the loan. The primary applicant can be someone who has average credit and needs help getting approved for the loan.

The co-applicant does not have to be the primary applicant’s spouse but can be related by blood or law.

The main difference between these two terms is that if the applicant defaults on their mortgage payments, the co-signer will be liable for repayment of the loan. In contrast, a co-applicant would not be responsible unless they were named in the mortgage agreement jointly liable.

In many cases, both parties are required to qualify for approval and must meet certain requirements. If one party does not meet these criteria, it may be necessary to find another applicant who does so that they can qualify together.

The lender may charge higher interest rates or fees to cover the increased risk of lending money to borrowers with low credit scores.

Benefits of applying for a home loan with a Co-signer

Various benefits come with applying for a home loan with a co-signer. One of them is that it can help you build your credit history and score. Another one is that it can help you qualify for a better interest rate than what you would qualify for on your own.

Your monthly payments will also be lower because your monthly income will not be solely considered for the mortgage.

Rights and responsibilities of the Co-signer

When taking out a loan for a home, it is common for one person to be the primary borrower and the other to be the co-signer. The co-signer provides additional security if the primary borrower defaults on their loan.

A co-signer usually has a good credit score and can make monthly payments if necessary but is not obligated. They may also be someone who has some assets that can help pay off the loan in case of default.

Pros and cons of using a Co-applicant

Following are the advantages and disadvantages of applying for a home loan with a co-applicant:


A co-applicant can help improve a borrower’s credit eligibility by taking on some or all of the responsibility for repaying the loan. The co-applicant with a good credit score will allow borrowers with average credit scores to qualify for lower interest rates and make it easier to qualify for a mortgage.

Having a co-applicant improves the chances of loan approval and can also help the applicant qualify for a larger loan amount.


A co-applicant is a person who is jointly responsible for the mortgage payment. Usually, a co-applicant will be a spouse or significant other. One major disadvantage of this arrangement is that if the borrower defaults on the loan, the co-applicant will also have to pay off some or all of it.

Defaulting on repayment can be risky for both the borrower and co-applicant. The other disadvantage of having a co-applicant in home loans is that they will have to agree on all aspects of the mortgage, including monthly payments, interest rates, and other fees. If they disagree on any aspect, then it can lead to problems down the line.

You can also damage the co-applicant’s or consigner’s credit score if you default or fall behind with monthly repayments.

Co-applicant versus joint applicant

A co-applicant is an individual who applies for a loan with one other person. They are jointly responsible for the loan, and both have to meet the qualifications. A joint applicant is an individual who applies for a loan with more than one other person. They are jointly responsible for the loan, and all of them need to meet qualifications.

When to opt for Co-signing and Co-borrowing

A few factors will determine whether or not you should opt for co-signing and co-borrowing in a home loan. One of the most important factors is your credit score. If you have a good credit score, it’s best to go solo on the mortgage. If your credit score is below average, you can get someone else to sign on to get better terms and increase the chances of approval.

Final thoughts

If you are looking for ways to buy the perfect home, many options are available. One of them is applying for a home loan with a co-signer and co-applicant. A co-applicant and consigner can help the person applying for a home loan. They can make up shortfalls in one’s income or credit score.

A person who has invested in their future by purchasing their own home will have peace of mind knowing that they have security for their family.


Who is a co-signer?

A co-signer is someone who agrees to take responsibility for the loan if the main borrower cannot make the payments. A cosigner can be a family member, friend, or another individual.

Who is a co-applicant?

A co-applicant is a person who has a vested interest in the property and is willing to help the applicant with the down payment and monthly payments.

How do I find a co-signer or co-applicant?

You can ask your friends and family members if they would be interested in being your co-signer or co-applicant. You can also contact your bank or credit union and ask them if they offer any programs that may help you find someone who will agree to the loan terms.

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