Releasing a Cosigner from a Sallie Mae Student Loan

Many times to be eligible for student loans (especially private loans) a cosigner with a longer and more established credit history is required. Sallie Mae is one of the largest providers of horrible debt slavery student loans and often requires a cosigner on their loans.

I started with over $36,000 of Sallie Mae student loans in 2010 and have slowly worked it down to $29,000 in January 2013 (I’m focusing my debt avalanche on paying down my higher interest rate USAA cadet loan right now). After 24 months of on time payments to my Sallie Mae student loan, I’m ready to remove my dad as a cosigner.

Why Remove a Cosigner from a Loan

student-loan-debt-slavery

Photo by Andrew Bossi, Flickr

Removing a cosigner from a student loan or any loan mostly benefits the cosigner, not the person who needed the cosigner in the first place. By having their name removed from the student loan, the cosigner will probably see an increase in their credit score, due to their total amount of debt decreasing. This could make it easier for them to be approved for a mortgage, credit card, or any other product that requires a good credit score.

Ready to get your dad, mom, grandparent, or ex-girlfriend off your Sallie Mae student loans? Let’s walk through the process…

Steps to Remove a Cosigner from Sallie Mae Student Loans

1. Graduate, make 12-24 months of on time payments, and be over the age of 18

Here’s what the cosigner release fine print says on SallieMae.com:

To qualify for cosigner release, the borrower must have successfully completed school, made 12 consecutive on-time principal and interest payments for Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan® (24 consecutive on-time principal and interest payments are required for all other Sallie Mae private student loan programs), meet age of majority requirements, and meet the underwriting requirements when the request for cosigner release is processed. The borrower’s account must remain current until the request for the cosigner release is processed. The borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident at the time the cosigner release is processed.

Translated, this means you have to make 12 months of payments if you have the Smart Option Student Loan or 24 months of payments if you have any other Sallie Mae private loan. For my loans, Signature Student Loans, the requirement was 24 months. The “age of majority” line means you have to be a legal adult.

As for the underwriting requirements, what was explained to me when I called was that I had to have a solid credit history, with no 19 day or more delinquencies on my Sallie Mae loan payments.

2. Call 888-272-5543 and request a “Cosigner Release Form”

Call that number: 888-2SALLIE and fight your way through the phone tree (I found that just pressing “0″ a few times connected me to an operator fast). Tell the operator that you would like to have your cosigner released from your loans. They will review your account and then email the cosigner release form to your email on file.

3. Get proof of income

Sallie Mae wants to know that you can afford to pay off your debts on your own. To do this, they require that you submit proof of income, which can be a recent pay stub or a W2 (which is handy if you’re self-employed). If you’re in the military, you can go to myPay and print your most recent LES easily.

4. Fill out and mail or fax back the “Application to Request Release of Cosigner(s)”

sallie-mae-application-to-request-release-of-cosignerIt took about 24 hours for Sallie Mae to email me the notification that the release request was in my Sallie Mae documents.

The release request asks for:

  • Your employer information
  • Annual salary
  • Housing, car, student loan, and other monthly payments
  • Your US citizenship status
  • The cosigners you wish to release

Once you’ve filled out the basic two page document, send it back to Sallie Mae either by fax: 800-848-1949 or by mail at:

Sallie Mae
P.O. Box 9500
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9500

5. Wait for 7-10 days

My total time was 18 days, but the Christmas and New Years holidays fell in there.

6. Success! Cosigner is released!

You should receive a reply from Sallie Mae which looks similar to the image below:

release-of-sallie-mae-cosigner-letter

click for full size

7. Have the cosigner check his or her credit report for free

After 60 days or so, check the cosigner’s credit report over at AnnualCreditReport.com to ensure that Sallie Mae has in fact removed the loan from their report. If they haven’t, time to follow up with Sallie Mae and see what the hold up is.

So in seven easy steps (and a bit of patience) you can return the favor to your student loan cosigner by removing them from your loans.

Have you removed your student loan cosigner? Run into any trouble having your application to release them approved?

My Top Three Recommendations for Achieving Financial Independence While You Serve


1. Bank with a military friendly bank, like USAA. I've been a proud member of USAA for 6 years now and have never had a better customer experience with any other bank. They charge no BS fees, refund ATM fees, and have the best auto insurance prices for military servicemembers.

2. Use a cashback credit card, like the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard. How does a $440 sign up bonus, NO foreign transaction fees, and 2.2% cashback on every purchase sound? Read my review to see why I love this new card.

3. Track your growing investments using Personal Capital. In order to get where you want to go, you have to know where you are. Personal Capital is like Mint.com for investors. While Mint is good for tracking your expenses and getting out of debt, PC is good for seeing your wealth and investments accumulate and grow. Track your Roth TSP, Roth IRA, banking accounts, SDP, and the myriad of other accounts you have all in one place with Personal Capital. It's free and presents a beautiful graphical view of your financial situation. Join today to get the most complete picture of your finances. Read my full review here.

This entry was posted in Credit Score, Debt, Student Loans and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Releasing a Cosigner from a Sallie Mae Student Loan

  1. As a former financial aid director of a college, student loan debt always troubled me. It makes sense to get your name off as a cosigner and it will improve your credit score. I paid off my student loans years ago and was very happy when that last payment was made!

    • David – congratulations on getting your loans paid off! I really think we need student loan reform in this country, similar to the way New Zealand does it: everyone is eligible, interest free (as long as you stay in the country), income based repayments, and it’s all handled at low administrative cost and online.

  2. Tom says:

    My daughter owes Sallie Mae $75,000. She graduated in 2006 and has made continuous on-time payments for 6 1/2 years so far. We’ve applied several times to have us removed as the coborrowers but Sallie mae denies us every time. The reason is very vague. The loans were sold to us with a very high praise on “removal of the cosigner” deal after 24 months of on time payments. This is a a load of crap. Sallie Mae has no intention of removing us as cosigners. We are of retirement age and likely cannot retire with this loan hanging over our heads, especially with such a high balance and fluctuating interest rates. Can anyone suggest any way of getting us off this loan? Or does anyone have experience with attorneys who are successful with this problem?

  3. My wife and I are in the same situation as Tom: we co-signed on $55,000 with the promise of release after 24 months of on time payments. We are now over 4 years, so I sued SallieMae in federal court. They whined that the Promissory Note called for arbitration, so we dismissed the lawsuit and demanded AAA arbitration (American Arbitration Association) on the AAA website. It took AAA about 6 months to select a local arbitrator, but SallieMae, under the AAA consumer rules, has to pay for the arbitrator and arbitration. We have a hearing in August. We are arguing that the sentence: “and meet the underwriting requirements when the request for cosigner release is processed” is part of an illusary promise that you can be released, because they never will tell you what the underwriting requirements are, or what bar you need to clear to qualify. We think that they keep changing their underwriting requirements, which is why they will not tell you what they are. JDS

  4. G M Self says:

    I have been trying to have my name removed as a cosigner for 3 years now. My ex-husand has made every payment on time except there was a late paymet within the first two years of the loan so Sallie Mae will not release me as a cosigner and they informed me that becauase of the type of loan I cosigned for I can not be removed as a cosigner. I had a copy of the promissory note sent to me and no where on there does it state I cannot be removed. It is pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

  5. Nicole says:

    I realize this is an older post, but I wonder if you could answer a question– did removing your co-signer have an affect on your interest rates?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>