Banks will often provide borrowers with the option to include a co-signer with their loan application to help improve their ability to qualify for the debt they are looking for, or get a better rate on the funds once they are approved.
However, what many people don’t realize is that finding a co-signer that the bank is actually willing to accept on the application can sometimes be just as difficult as obtaining small loans in the first place. Specifically, many banks will have some pretty picky requirements pertaining to where it is that your co-signer must be physically located in order for them to be eligible for addition to the application.
For a co-signer to be added to a loan application, they usually must first be located within the state or region in which the loan is being issued. This is primarily an issue surrounding legal jurisdictions, meaning that the co-signer must be subject to the same legal implications that the borrower is. If nothing else, how is it that the co-signer is going to make it into the branch to sign the documents necessary to be added onto the loan application if they are out of the state?
While it is impossible for a small regional bank to get around this sort of impediment, it is possible for larger national banks to circumvent the issue by taking advantage of their larger branch network. A larger institution, such as Bank of America, is usually able to get around issues where a co-signer is located in a different state by having the co-signer visit a branch that is nearby them.
In visiting the second branch they will complete a co-signer’s application, prove their identity, income, and assets as required, and then have their information delivered over to the primary branch to be included into the actual application itself. Since the bank then has enough of a national presence to keep tabs on the co-signer and the primary borrower in multiple states, there is no real impediment to the application, and business can resume as usual.
Another issue that borrowers might have when they are producing a co-signer is that they might provide someone that is either from out of the country, or has not been in the country for long enough to establish a solid domestic credit score. While the former situation is a complete hard-stop (sorry, no international co-signers), the latter can be mitigated if the co-signer was able to build up a solid credit history back home before they immigrated.
So long as the co-signer has built up a strong credit score from a reputable source in their home country (ie. a European or UK credit score), North American banks can pull that information separately to support a co-signed application. So long as the co-signer is able to then demonstrate a strong financial position otherwise, they will usually be accepted as a co-signer, despite the fact that they have yet to establish a serious history with debt in the new country.