difference between co-borrower and-co signer

What’s the Difference Between a Co-Borrower and a Co-Signer?

When filling out loan applications for the first time, you might notice that the application allows you to choose between a co-signer and a co-borrower. At first glance, the two terms seem the same. However, they have some pertinent differences.

What is the difference between a co-borrower and a co-signer? Below, our team of home-purchasing experts in Tucson, AZ,  at Altitude Home Loans defines these terms. Contact us at 520-500-1010 with any questions on the subject. 

What Does Co-Borrower Mean?

When you apply for a loan, you might fill out the application with your co-borrower. A co-borrower might purchase and live in a property with you. They have equal legal responsibility for repayment of the loan as well as access to the property.

Your co-borrower could be a family member, friend, or spouse with whom you intend to live. However, not all co-borrowers may live together. Regardless, you can each use the property as desired once you complete the purchase and move in together. 

What Does Co-Signer Mean?

A co-signer is helpful to an applicant whose credit report may not reflect optimal results for a low interest rate. You might choose a parent, grandparent, or long-term friend to co-sign on your loan application. They use their credit scores and financial security to improve your qualifications.

A co-signer bears the responsibility for repaying a mortgage if the buyer defaults on their payments. However, only the buyer or co-borrowers have ownership rights to the property. The co-signer has no authority over what happens to the property. 

The Similarities Between Co-Borrower and Co-Signer

Many people understandably confuse co-borrowers with co-signers. After all, the two bear many striking similarities. For example:

  • Both have some payment responsibilities regarding the property. 
  • Both put their signatures on the property paperwork. 
  • Both can make the acceptance application process much easier for the buyer. 

However, there exists a distinct difference between a co-borrower and a co-signer. 

The Difference Between Co-Borrower and Co-Signer

How do the two differ? Each person has a different set of risks that comes with their involvement, such as:

  • While the co-borrower can access and use the property as they see fit, the co-signer cannot. 
  • The co-signer may face a blow to their credit score during deep credit checks. 
  • If the buyer wishes to sell, they must consult and come to an agreement with their co-borrower. They don’t have to make an official agreement with their co-signer to sell the property. 

Each signature comes with its own pitfalls and advantages, depending on the situation. If you want to assist a loved one in purchasing a property, consult mortgage experts to find out which role best fits you.  

Discover More Important Information from Altitude Home Loans

The journey of purchasing and owning property can present a challenge, especially for first-time buyers. You’ll encounter many terms and options, like guarantor loans, that may sound unfamiliar. Our home-buying experts can help you seamlessly navigate your home-buying journey while ensuring you make the best decision for your family and finances. Call 520-500-1010 to apply for assistance or learn more about the difference between a co-borrower and a co-signer.


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