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The Pros and Cons of Refinancing with a Co-Borrower

3 Min Read • 04/30/2024

Refinancing your mortgage with a co-borrower can present both opportunities and challenges. Whether it’s with a spouse, family member, or even a friend, having a co-borrower might influence the terms of your refinancing, potentially affecting everything from the interest rate to the loan amount you qualify for. Here’s a detailed look at the pros and cons of adding a co-borrower to your refinancing application.

Pros of Refinancing with a Co-Borrower

  1. Improved Loan Qualification Chances: Adding a co-borrower with a stable income and good credit score can enhance your loan application, making it more likely that you’ll qualify for refinancing. This is particularly beneficial if your own credit history or income might not be strong enough on its own.

  2. Potentially Better Interest Rates: A co-borrower with a strong credit profile can help secure a lower interest rate than you might get refinancing solo. Lower rates can lead to significant savings over the life of the loan.

  3. Higher Loan Amounts: With the combined financial strength of two people, you may qualify for a larger loan amount. This can be especially useful if you’re looking to do a cash-out refinance and need access to a substantial amount of money.

  4. Shared Financial Responsibility: Having a co-borrower means you’re not the only one responsible for making mortgage payments. This can reduce personal financial strain, especially in times of economic hardship.

Cons of Refinancing with a Co-Borrower

  1. Complex Exit Strategy: If your relationship with the co-borrower changes, separating finances can become complicated. This is a significant consideration for non-married co-borrowers, such as friends or unmarried partners.

  2. Risk of Credit Damage: If the co-borrower fails to uphold their financial obligations, your credit score could suffer. Late payments or defaults will impact both parties’ credit scores equally.

  3. Reduced Control: Adding a co-borrower means you will need to share decision-making regarding the home. All parties must agree on critical decisions, such as selling the house or further refinancing.

  4. Potential for Relationship Strain: Financial matters are a common source of tension. Mixing financial and personal relationships can strain ties if disagreements or financial issues arise.

Key Considerations

Before deciding to refinance with a co-borrower, consider the following:

  • Creditworthiness and Financial Stability: Ensure both parties have stable finances and understand their credit situations.

  • Legal and Binding Agreements: It might be wise to draft a legal agreement outlining each party’s responsibilities and what happens if the co-borrowing relationship ends.

  • Long-Term Objectives: Make sure both parties share similar goals for the property and agreement on how to handle various scenarios that could affect the mortgage.


Refinancing with a co-borrower has its advantages, such as potentially better loan terms and shared financial responsibility, but it also includes risks like complicated exit strategies and potential relationship strain. Careful consideration and thorough planning are essential to ensure that this financial decision benefits all parties involved.

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