How to Remove Your Name from a Cosigned Loan

Before attempting to answer the query on how to remove you name from a co-signed loan, let us first examine what the act of co-signing a loan means. A relative or friend may come to you and ask you to co-sign a loan for him or her and it may appear that it is just a simple matter of signing your name on the dotted line.

The borrower may even assure you that the loan will be promptly paid. What you must realize is that a co-signer is needed because the credit score or history of the borrower is not sufficient to convince the lender. 
If you co-sign a loan, the effect is that you are serving as a guarantor that the loan will be paid and in case the borrower defaults, the lender would be able to come after you for the missed payments. This means that from the point of view of the lender and the law, you are liable for the debt as much as the actual borrower.

This even puts you in a worse condition than the actual borrower. In a car loan, for example, the borrower has possession of the car and if he decides to run, he has the car and you are left with a debt to pay. Take note that if you are a co-signer, you do not have co-ownership rights to the property, while a co-borrower has.

In answer to the question on how to remove your name from a co-signed loan.

This is not possible because the lender would not allow it.

To be able to cancel the contract in which you have agreed to be the co-signer, the loan should have been completed repaid or the lender would have to agree to it. I have never seen this happen or have found any actual people in my extensive research who have successfully done this.

This is not likely because the reason the lender needed a co-signer in the first place was that he did not trust the borrower enough to be able to make the payments.

Is it possible to remove your name from a co-signed loan by finding a replacement for you?

Again, this is not likely because this would mean unnecessary work for the lender in replacing the contract with a new one. It would also mean that the lender will have to do additional work in evaluating the creditworthiness of whoever would become the new co-signer.

Remember that another problem that you will encounter as a co-signer is that your credit score will also suffer if the borrower is late or is unable to make the payments.

One remedy is to find a way to repay the loan to prevent further damage to your credit score. If possible, ask the lender if you could refinance the loan to be able to negotiate a lower interest rate and to get the loan under your name only.

Your next problem would be on how to reclaim the property because it is in the possession of the previous borrower. This will be a difficult process if the borrower refuses to surrender the ownership of the property, such as a car, to you. Under these circumstances, it would be best to get the services of an attorney.

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My name is Maurice "Moe" Bedard. I am the founder of America's #1 Mortgage Forum, My online work has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, Fox Business, and many other media publications. I currently live in Carlsbad, California with my beautiful wife and children.
  • jessica

    i have a question i have a car loan w/someone, and I am the co signer on the loan, and I was wondering if it is possible if the other person on the loan, could remove their name if they chose to and just leave the loan in my name (the co signer) how does that work?
    if anything can’t you only remove the co signers name from the loan, and not the actual person who the loan belongs to?

  • Laura

    So what happens in the case of a divorce? My husband and I are trying to buy a new home, but his name is still on the mortgage from the house that was signed over to his ex-wife. The home is now titled in HER name only, but HIS name remains on the mortgage, so it appears on his credit score that he is still responsible for this loan even though she has possession of the house. How the heck are we supposed to be able to purchase a home if the bank will not remove his name with a signed copy of the divorce decree?

  • Syl

    My daughter was able to obtain a car loan on her own. The only reason I am on as a co-signer is at the insistance of my car insurer. The car is registered in my name to lower the cost of the car insurance.
    I want my daughter to get her own insurance and for me to be removed as a co-signer. Can this be done?

  • Yadi Iqbal

    I am a cosigner of person for student loan, in the last 6 months she is mess up with the payment. Is that any way I can pull my name from the co signed….please help me.
    Thanks so much

  • MPuntuaa

    I stupidly gave very little thought to the implications of cosigning at auto loan in 2008. She has been late every month in the last year. I’ve since lost my job and have not been able to keep up with my mortgage until now. Would filing a chapter 7 get me off this car loan along with all unsecured debts minus my federal student loans? Thank you

  • RC

    Hi, I am a cosigner on a car loan with a x-girlfriend and she lap on her insurance in 2009 and now I can not get my car register, because of this. I do not know the amount own or anything. I told her, she reply that she going to register the car in her boy friend name or her brother. CAN she do this? and How will it affect me. What about that back money she own on the car for not having ins on the same car. I am try to register my car and because she own money for ins I can. HELP

  • louise swift

    i was a cosigner on a car they was making payment
    good and they just stopped paying
    they repossed the car i am disable i can’t make the pay

  • Terry Fox

    My friend’s boyfriend wishes to remove his name from the loan of a mobile home before it is paid for. He is willing to write a release (signed & dated) and have it notarized and witnessed to remove his name so that when the title is released, it will come in his girlfriend’s name only–and not both of their names. Is this possible?

  • christi

    If I was stupid enough to cosign another loan, would a bank even let you be a cosigner on to active loans?

  • jeff isaacson

    the wife co-signed a buisness loan,the marriage became a devorse,the husband just made interest payments for 10 years,the lender know chases the wife for 20,000.00 In the devorse settlment,it says he would make best atempt in clearing the debt along with credit cards as well,she is blind to his actions for 10 years till the lender shows up with the a civil claim against her,does she have recourse with this breach of contract?

  • Missie

    is there a way to remove your name off a house if they are still paying on it without you living there for 11 years. i was only on it to protect a disabled person but they dont need me anymore.

  • Melanie

    I was a co-signer for a SUV in Feb of 2011 for an ex boyfriend, that only wanted me for the SUV, after I co- signed I was forced out of my residence, having to leaving the SUV in his controll, which was totaled in a matter of months, now he don’t want to pay for it, and it is destroying my credit badly. We went to court and was told by a judge that my name had to be reomoved, since he was crying over it. Is there any way that I can remove my name from the loan, with court documents or do I have to sue him for the remaining balance?

  • julio cesar casas

    My brother sing for my car becouse I can’t . He is name is only him on the car. But I make tha paymens.
    I have 2 years paying the car. But now my brother get married.
    And I would like to know if can I do a paper o letter that said that I paying the car . And I don’t want thah my brother take the car in a future becouse you never know

  • phillip

    My father cosigned in 2011 for me a car, and ive made every payment on time now we dont talk and he wants the car back I have tried refinancing but with no luck, so since im not the primary Co signer is there anyway I can remove myself from the loan?

  • Leon Bloom

    I am in the process of getting a divorce, and would like to be removed off my wife’s car title and loan…..Can this be done?

  • William Walters

    Hello; my wife co-signed for our daughter-in-law for a car while our son and she was still together/married, and it seems right after she got the car she left/separated from our son. The only reason the wife co-signed was to help them out in the marriage with a better car, but; it seems now that she isn’t going to resolve the marraige and come back to our son, are there anyway to get the car back from her? we are willing to pay off the loan but, not for her anymore. Please let me know something asap! thanks!

  • Evan Bedard

    Hello William,

    I’m very sorry to hear your ex daughter-in-law up and split after you co-signed her vehicle. The simple solution would be to speak with her and have her agree to sign over (i.e. refinance) her interest over to you. Unless you are able to work out an agreement with her, you may want to take this up with a local attorney..

  • M

    I’m a little concerned…recently my ex boyfriend and I co-signed for a car together (not just the loan but the title itself; it’s an and/or title). We had a nasty beak-up which ended very badly. I have possession of the car and it was bought as an early birthday present for me with the intention that only I would be driving it. I want to get a restraining order against him. He’s been harassing me nonstop, calling me horrible names and saying the most terrible things to me. He’s threatening to get the car impounded or to take it away from me somehow and I’m wondering if there is legally any way for him to do that. I’m also wondering if I can take him off the loan and the title somehow.

  • karen d gunn

    I was a co-signer for an auto loan with ex-husband, he wont pay or respond to me I have no idea what is happening with the loan or if he has the vehicle
    what are my options.

  • Evan Bedard

    Hello Karen,

    Are you trying to get the vehicle back or are you simply wanting to ensure he doesn’t default on the account?