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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

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If I co-signed for a student loan and it has gone into default, what happens?


The student is the primary borrower with the responsibility to pay back his or her loan, but as a co-signer you have equal responsibility for repaying the loan if the student doesn’t. 

Additionally, any late or missed payments are reflected on both your credit history and the student’s. Private lenders will often hire collection agencies to get you to repay, and they may also sue you in court.

Remember that you have rights when dealing with debt collectors, and it is against the law for a collector to harass you or make false statements to you.

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The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.